Five Habits That Will Ruin Your Car

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Most things you own will last longer if you take care of them and treat them well. Your car is no exception to this rule. While neglecting your car may seem harmless in the short term, regular neglect and mistreatment will add up and will reduce your car’s lifespan. To keep your car running longer and stronger, avoid these five harmful habits.

1. Delaying regular maintenance

Regularly maintaining your car is vital to your car’s longevity. Regular maintenance includes oil and filter replacement, as well as transmission fluid, air filter and brake pad care. Every vehicle manufacturer specifies a different maintenance routine, which can be found in your owner’s manual. While regular maintenance requires you to invest some time and money, it’s peanuts compared to the cost of a new engine or transmission.

2. Ignoring dash warning lights

When a warning indicator lights up on your dash panel, it’s important to address the problem immediately. If you don’t know what the light means, check your owner’s manual or call your mechanic. Dash warning lights can alert you to some very serious problems, such as a coolant leak, which can cause your engine to overheat. A simple preventative repair can often prevent a large problem down the line.

3. Shifting while moving

The transmission is one of the most complex and expensive parts in your car and it’s important to use is as it was intended. Be careful not to shift from drive to reverse or vice versa while the car is still moving. This “jerky” shifting places excess strain on the transmission’s internal gears and can instantly destroy it.

4. Jerky driving

We all know someone who accelerates wildly on every straightaway only to brake hard at a traffic light or stop sign. This type of driving won’t destroy your car immediately, but will cause your engine, transmission and brake system to deteriorate much more quickly than intended. Cars that have been abused will have premature fluid leaks, broken seals and mechanical problems.

5. Putting off tire replacement

Tires for some cars can be expensive, so replacing them is an unwelcome cost. Driving on bald tires is very risky, however. If a tire blows out while you’re driving, you can lose control of your vehicle and have a serious accident. And if you drive with bald tires in the rain, the risk of hydroplaning goes up tremendously. A new set of tires may seem pricey, but probably costs less than your car, and even less than your insurance deductible.

Stan Markuze is the founder of PartMyRide, the online marketplace for used auto parts.

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Stashi is an Editor at Driver Pulse, a provider of online automotive editorial reviews and latest news throughout the automotive industry. From the sight of sleek curves to the sound of a roaring engine, old and new, she has a great love for vehicles of all makes and models. What she finds most exciting is that automakers of iconic muscle cars from the past, such as Ford and Chevrolet, are reproducing them for this generation of gearheads. Her dream car, the 1964 or 1966 Ford Mustang, is the ultimate American pony car and paved the way for her love of growling and rumbling engines of old school muscle cars. She spent her whole life in the Midwest and still finds herself playing the same game she once played with her father when she was a young girl. It’s a game her father liked to call “Name that make and model”. This game has become more challenging as the years pass making it a great way to pass the time on long road trips. She believes that automobiles, old and new, are an art form that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.

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