How would you like to increase your vehicle’s lifespan while spending even less on maintenance and repair bills? There are a few things you need to stop doing or never do to your vehicle.
Owning a vehicle is pretty easy these days but increasing the lifespan of the vehicle is where a lot of vehicle owners falter. There are a lot of things you do to your vehicle without considering or taking not of the damages it causes.
For your vehicle to serve you longer you need to do certain things daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Though modern vehicles are built with technologies and systems that have sensors that track the health of your vehicle, you still need to avoid doing certain things.
If you are not aware of the harmful activities that may cause damage to your vehicle you may end up in a tough spot based on your actions. In order for you to increase your vehicle’s lifespan and maintain value here is a list of things you should not do to your vehicle.
Routine maintenance by a professional and at the appropriate time will generally keep your vehicle in top condition but there are also a few things to take note of as you use your vehicle.
How to Increase Your Vehicle’s Lifespan
1. DON’T Overfill Your Engine
The crankshaft stops the oil from leaking and if you overfill your engine it could put pressure on it which can cause it to leak. Overfilling your vehicle engine puts pressure on the gasket and seals. Seals like the front and rear main seals are difficult to access or replace.
Overfilling of your engine leads to excess oil leaks which can leak into the spark plugs. When oil leaks into the plugs it can lead to engine misfire or your vehicle may not run smoothly or even start.
If any of the oil gets to the combustion chamber or the exhaust it is likely to burn when it gets to the catalytic converter. Catalytic converters are expensive to replace and oil burning in the catalyst convertor may shorten its lifespan. In a worst-case scenario, a catalyst converter may get clogged and could start a fire.
In a nutshell, overfilling your engine could lead to smoke from the exhaust, misfires, leaking, stalling, noise, difficulty accelerating, overheat your engine, and fire.
2. DON’T Over inflate vehicle Tires
Some drivers over-inflate their tires because they believe it will improve their gas mileage. But they do not consider the price they have to pay which may cost them more. Over-inflating tires are stiff and have less flexibility which gives a rough ride. It causes wear and tear of your vehicle tires, increase stopping distance, and damages suspension components in the long run.
Overinflated tires can transmit road shocks to your entire suspension system causing you to feel every dip and bump. This can cause damage to your vehicle components such as struts, springs, control arms, ball joints, etc. if your vehicle should hit a bad road with potholes it may cause a blowout.
An overinflated tire will have a distorted shape which may decrease traction. It may bulge in the center leaving a smaller rubber area to have contact with the road surface. Decreased traction will make driving difficult, especially when it snows or rains.
Your vehicle manufacturer will have a recommended tire pressure for your vehicle based on the weight. You may see a slight increase in gas mileage with overinflated tires but the effect outweighs the gain. It is advisable to stick to the recommended pressure gauge to increase your vehicle’s lifespan and ensure road safety.
3. DON’T Use Wrong or Mix vehicle Fluids
Different vehicle fluids play different roles in the smooth running of your vehicle. Engine coolant ensures that the engine is functioning properly. Using the wrong coolant or mixing coolant can lead to radiator failure, damage to the water pump, heater core, heating tubes, and pipes of your vehicle.
This is due to the corrosion inhibitors designed to be compatible with specific metals used in the cooling system of different vehicle models. Some vehicles are manufactured with plastic or rubber as lightweight substitutes for metal inhibitors. Using the wrong coolant or mixing coolants can damage plastic and rubber seals and reduces the effectiveness of inhibitors. To increase your vehicle’s lifespan, you need to know which coolant is compatible with your vehicle.
The brake fluid and power steering fluid are different fluids used for different purposes. Power steering fluid in the brake system will damage the rubber seals and cause a brake failure. You will have to replace the master cylinder, calipers, proportioning valve, etc to rectify this issue. Sometimes expensive components like the Anti Brake System will need to be replaced.
Similarly, putting brake fluid into the power steering can cause pump and steering gear failure. Due to similar appearance, some vehicle owners mix both fluids which can cause extensive damage to vital components of the vehicle. It is also advisable to avoid using multipurpose fluids because they may not be compatible with the power steering or brake system of your vehicle. Always check what fluids you are putting into your vehicle to avoid damage.
4. DON’T Ignore Engine Fault Codes on Your Dashboard
It is important to pay attention to fault codes that pop up on your dashboard to avoid a vehicle breakdown, expensive repair costs, and ensure road safety. Fault codes are sometimes dismissed by vehicle owners until there is a total breakdown of their vehicle. Some may find it annoying that they pop up on their dashboards like Christmas lights.
Fault codes are the vehicle’s way of telling you to have your vehicle checked or serviced. Some fault codes require immediate attention while others are not threatening.
If the oil fault code pops up, it means your vehicle’s oil is running low and you need to refill to avoid engine malfunction. If the engine temperature warning light comes in it means the engine is overheating and you need to pull over to avoid casualties or severe engine malfunction.
Fault codes can pop up any time, from Engine check to fog lights it is advisable to have them checked to avoid long-term damage to your vehicle.
5. DON’T Tow Your Vehicle Wrongly
Oftentimes vehicle owners prefer to tow their vehicles themselves when it is broken down. Wrong towing of your vehicle can lead to serious damage. While towing your vehicle, if it is not hooked properly it could cause dent and damage to your vehicle’s exterior. Though it might not affect the performance it will definitely cost you a recoat with paint and other repairs.
Wrong towing can lead to serious issues like transmission damage especially for vehicles with automatic transmission. Towing a vehicle with automatic transmission in neutral is not advisable. It does not disengage, towing can force the transmission to go in the wrong direction.
Towing a vehicle with manual transmission with the gear in “park” could damage the transmission. Manual vehicle’s should only be towed in “neutral”. Vehicles with all-wheel drive need special attention when towing. It is advisable to take out the rear driveshaft and tow it with the back.
Wrong towing could result in severe damage to your vehicle which will cost an expensive repair. It is advisable to know the model of your vehicle, the transmission type, and the correct towing method.
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Regardless of how much you proactively maintain your vehicle, vehicle components ultimately have a lifespan. This is important so you avoid spending tons of money on fixing a vehicle that has outlived its usefulness.
If your vehicle is old or keeps giving repeated issues, it might be time to consider a new vehicle.
We’re more than happy to help with that – for a fraction of the retail price.
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