Keeping your car happy

happy carAnyone who owns a car will know that they are sensitive machines. They need to be looked after in order to keep all of those interconnected parts functioning properly. There are some things you can do to avoid damage to your car.

Watch out for that…. pot hole

If you want to avoid buckled wheels, cracked tyres, or damaged suspension then taking care with bumps and pot holes is essential.

Potholes are a British institution, we all have a good moan about them from time to time.  Going fast over potholes can result in damage to your car. Keep an eye out for potholes and other signs of road damage as it might just save you a tidy sum in car repairs.

Speed bumps are designed to be an obstacle and as such not slowing down for them can cause damage to your suspension, tyres, exhaust and the underneath of your car. Normally keeping to 20mph or slower should reduce the risk of damage to your car.

Another thing to watch out for if you want to save your tyres and steering are Kerbs. Drivers often climb them to get out of the way of emergency vehicles or simply to manoeuvre out of a parking space or road. But, if you misjudge the grip on your tyres, or generate too much over or understeer while driving, you can also end up knocking into the kerb. This can wreck tyres and hub caps as well as your steering column and wheel position.

Kerb your bad driving habits
Many of us feel we are good drivers, but even the best of us can make mistakes. Some bad driving habits can cause damage to your car without you even realising it.

Sudden Braking over a short distance and especially at high speeds can cause your brake discs to become warped from overheating and can wear your brake pads away. While this is often difficult to avoid when driving in a city, it can help to take a less congested route to avoid sudden stops and starts. If you find you have to brake hard a lot, you may be following the car in front too closely.

Riding the clutch or brake is a common gripe with mechanics. The build-up of kinetic energy that happens when you ride the brake can cause the pads and rotor or drum to wear out. This means it’ll take a lot longer for the car to stop when you brake. Riding the clutch can lead to the plates and the pressure pads not engaging properly, so the friction wears away the clutch.

Avoid Overloading

Whether you’ve packed the car for a camping trip, moving house or taking stuff to the tip. Overloading your car with extra weight can damage the clutch, brakes, tyres and suspension. Make sure you check the maximum authorised mass or maximum permitted weight recommended for your car before driving with a heavy load.

Improve care and maintenance
Cars need a little maintenance to keep them road-worthy, so it’s important to give them proper care.

Driving with low fuel is dangerous to your car. When running out of fuel, the car takes it from the bottom of the tank where fuel contaminants often collect. A build-up of these can block your fuel filter. Keeping the fuel tank half-full at all times can stop this from happening.

Ignoring your car fluids or not checking them regularly can lead to them becoming contaminated and ineffective, shortening the life of your car. There are a number of fluids used to keep it running smoothly, such as engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid.

Tyre maintenance is often overlooked but very important as driving with worn, incorrectly inflated, or old tyres have an increased risk of blowing out or, if the road is wet, hydroplaning, which can be a major hazard.

Ignoring the engine light is an invitation for any problem to develop into something more expensive. The engine light is the car’s own way of telling you there’s something wrong, so keep an eye on the dashboard and pay attention to any lights.

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