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Faulty Tyres Contribute to Over 1200 casualties a year

The Importance of Tyre Safety

Faulty Tyres Contribute to Over 1,200 Casualties a year: The Importance of Tyre Safety

You may not often think about them, but your tyres are one of the most important parts keeping your car on the road, and for this reason, if they do happen to go wrong, the consequences could be detrimental to your safety.

in a report from the National Transportation Safety Board following figures of tyre related accidents, injuries and fatalities over 5 years, the importance of healthy tyres is accentuated with shocking figures. The research conducted shows that on average, 33 people die every year in accidents which are caused due to defective tyres on vehicles. The results also show that a further 1,200 people are injured each year in tyre related crashes too, with an average of 219 of these people having been seriously injured.

What’s more, it has been suggested by insurance experts that figures relating to accidents caused by tyre faults may even be underestimated due to people failing to report accidents, for example when only one car is involved in an accident.

Perhaps the most shocking part in these figures is that motor vehicle experts have claimed that most of these deaths and injuries could have been avoided simply by checking and maintaining tyres as required.

So, what needs to be done to maintain your tyres?

One of the main duties for drivers is to check their tyre pressure on a regular basis. Figures show that a vehicle with tyres which are underinflated by at least 25% are three times more likely to be involved in an accident, and this figure increases when it is combined with bad weather or other taxing driving conditions. In order to check that your tyre inflation is correct, check the vehicle handbook, or the inside of the door jamb and visit your nearest petrol station to check and use the air pump.

So, what needs to be done to maintain your tyres

It is also important to ensure that the tyres on your vehicle are in good condition, without any damage. If your tyre has bulges or tears on it or even a slow puncture, this can mean that it is likely to deflate or even blow whilst you’re on the road. Make sure to be aware when driving; if you hit a kerb or pothole on the road, stop when it is safe to do so and walk round your car afterwards, checking the tyres for any damage. If you do see any damage, it is important to get the tyre replaced as soon as possible, and do not drive the vehicle until you are sure it is safe to.

checking the tyres for any damage

The tread of your tyres is also a consideration for maintaining a safe vehicle on the roads and can be worn down simply when they have been used for too long. This may seem like a very slight issue, but in fact, it can be detrimental to the safety of your car. Worn out tyres can mean that the vehicle is more likely to skid in wet conditions, has a lesser grip on the road, are prone to blowouts and air leakage and can even lead to excess heat build-up from friction. For these reasons, it is highly important to check your tread death regularly. By law, the minimum depth should be 1.6mm.

Nobody likes to be told that their driving is bad, but it is possible that bad driving habits may be wearing your tyres down. Make sure that you get rid of any bad driving habits that are damaging your car to ensure a longer life for your tyres. It is important to be aware of any strange noises, smells and feelings when you are driving. From time to time, turn down the radio and just focus on your car.

Ensure you take your car for regular MOTs and services. During these, the professional will check your tyres and advise you of any replacements which need to be carried out.

If you would like more advice on maintaining your tyres for the road, contact us at In Town Automotive; we will be able to give you our professional advice and can get you on the right track for ensuring overall car safety.

9 Tips to Make Your Car Tyres Last Longer

9 Tips to Make Your Car Tyres Last Longer

If you’ve had to purchase new car tyres recently, you’ll know that there’s no denying that they can be a rather costly purchase. What with all the other regular car expenditures to fork out on for running your car, it is likely that you are reluctant to invest in your tyres again and again. By the looks of it, the cost of tyres is not about to get any cheaper either.

However, good tyres are worth the purchase and what’s more, they’re essential for a car to be running. Many people take pride in having the most on-trend alloys, which can change the entire overall look of the car. Not only that, but good, well looked after tyres can reduce your fuel consumption and make for a much more comfortable ride.

If you fail to look after your car tyres, you can find yourself purchasing them on an even more regular basis than completely necessary. Instead of simply accepting how much your tyres are costing you, there are some simple, easy and cheap tips and tricks that you can put into practice to avoid having to replace them as regularly. This will reduce the overall amount you spend on your car very significantly, so that you can use your money and more exciting things, such as sprucing up your car’s sound system, getting a new car wrap, or something entirely non-car related…

Here at In Town Automotive, we have drawn up a list of the most useful tips to make your car’s tyres last as long as possible.

Inflate your tyres

One of the most important aspects of caring for your tyres is to ensure that they are properly inflated. Having your tyres inflated at the correct pressure ensures maximum fuel efficiency and the safety of your ride. Properly inflated tyres are also less likely to be badly damaged by potholes and such hazards on the road.

It is especially important to take particular notice of your tyre pressure during winter months when it likely that you could be driving in bad weather conditions, as maximum traction is needed to avoid skidding and accidents.

Get into the habit of checking the inflation of your tyres every time you stop for fuel. This can be done by simply taking a look at the tyres for any bulging places or flatness. These signs could signify that the inflation is too low.

It is important to get the right tyre pressure for your car; not all cars are the same so you will need to check for your specific car. In order to find out the specific tyre pressure for your car, you can look for it on the inside of the door jamb or in the car handbook.

You can also check your tyre pressure at most petrol stations where there is usually a tyre air pump for minimal costs, or by using a digital or manual tyre pump.

Some vehicles are equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system, which takes half the effort out on your part. This means that when the tyre pressure on the car is too low, a light will come on the dashboard to let you know.

As soon as you know that your tyre pressure is too low, you need to deal with the issue as soon as possible. If you fail to do so, you could end up with a deflated tyre, ruining the alloys and you could even get stranded, unable to drive your car home.

Drive carefully

It may sound obvious, but in order to increase the lifespan of your tyres, you will need to take care when driving. The way you drive can mean the difference between hundreds of pounds spent on the tyres, and the tyres lasting how they’re meant to. This means avoiding hazards and driving sensibly.

Driving on rough and damaged roads too fast, and not keeping enough of a distance between you and the car in front of you can all be contributing factors in damaging your tyres on hazards. For example, if you have enough time to avoid a pothole in the road, or if you go over a pothole slower, your tyres are less likely to become damaged.

It is particularly important to pay attention to the road ahead of you and take more time when there has just been a period of bad weather, which is when new potholes are most likely to appear.

Remember only to try avoiding potholes if it is safe and you have enough time to do so. If you have less time, it can sometimes be possible to slow down slightly before going over the pothole, but sometimes they are unavoidable.

Check tyre alignment

Check tyre alignment

The alignment of the tyres means that they are in the optimum position on the car, as specified by the manufacturer. It is important to get your wheel alignment put right as soon as you notice it’s not right, otherwise you could run into some problems. If your tyres are not aligned properly, this could mean that the tyres wear down more rapidly than they should, and it can even affect the handling and safety of the car.

Incorrect tyre alignment can be caused by hitting a kerb, going over a pothole or driving in places where your steering and suspension are put to the test.

A tell-tale sign of incorrect tyre alignment is the wear pattern on tyres. When inspecting the tyre tread, make sure they have about 3mm and 8mm worth; this is the safe and recommended measurement to ensure traction isn’t lost. If the tyre tread is very worn down, it is unlikely to pass its MOT and they will need replacing.

Spare a thought for the spare tyre

As well as thinking about the four tyres which are on your car, make sure you also consider the spare tyre which is often hidden away in the boot or under the car. When checking your tyres, it is also important to check if this one is safe to use too. If you fail to look after and replace this tyre when necessary, you will regret it massively when you suffer a puncture.

If you have bought a second-hand car, it’s also worth checking the condition the spare wheel is in, as you often have no idea whether or not it has been used, and for how long. It’s well worth checking it over to ensure that you’ve got a backup plan in place for those emergency situations.

Take care when parking

Take care when parking

A lot of drivers worry about damaging their alloy wheels hitting the kerb when driving, but an even more considerable worry should be about scuffing and damaging the tyres when parking. Sharp edges on the pavement could lead to a puncture or damage which could lead to the tyre blowing out in the near future, which can be frightening and dangerous, particularly on fast roads.

When parking against the pavement, take particular care not to scrape your tyre along the edge of the kerb. The risk of damaging your tyre can be decreased by choosing to park in sensible places which have ample room for your car. It is also important to be spatially aware when parking, use your mirrors and try not to cut corners in order to avoid any contact with kerbs when you are driving.

It is also advisable to park in places in which you do not have to bump over the kerb to get out the way of the road. It cannot always be avoided when parking, but it is important to consider your parking as much as possible when you are out and about in your car.

Stick to one brand

No two tyre manufacturers have exactly the same processes and procedures when creating their tyres. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages and use their own unique technologies to create their own original types of tyres.

Manufacturers design their tyres assuming that they will be used as a set, because they have those individual advantages which are unique to their own design, and for this reason, they perform at their best when they are used as a set.

Having multiple different brands of tyres on your car could put you at a disadvantage, causing your tyres to wear out more quickly, put a strain on each other for their different qualities, and ultimately costing you more money than they should. Having different brands of tyre on one car will likely only have a small impact on the handling of the car, however in terms of the way they wear and last, ensuring you only purchase one brand of tyre at a time can make a massive difference.

Therefore, if you need to change a tyre it will be most efficient to stick with the same brand of tyre, coinciding with the others. If you decide to change the brand of tyre you prefer, it is best to change all of the at once so that they are performing at the optimum.

Rotate your tyres

Rotating your tyres involves swapping the position of your tyres every so often to ensure to stop them from repeatedly being exposed to the forces which are specific to their position on the car.  For example, the front tyres hold more of the car weight, because this is where most cars have the engine, and also where people are likely to be in the car. This means they will have more pressure on them and are more likely to wear.

In the same way, in a country with right-hand drive cars, the turns are tighter on the left wheel, so the right-hand wheel will wear more quickly because they are travelling the furthest overall.

To avoid some tyres wearing in certain places and becoming damaged beyond repair, it is suggested that you get the wheel of your car rotated approximately every 5000 miles or so to make your tyres last longer, however, this distance can vary according to the manufacturer of the tyre and the make of the car.

If your car’s tyres vary in quality, it is usually advisable to put the best tyres at the back of the car. This is because, in the case of a tyre blowout, a front tyre blowout will cause an oversteering condition, which is easier to handle than the understeering condition caused by a back wheel blowing out.

Clean your tyres

The tyres are the part of the car which is constantly in contact with rough surfaces on the road and are most likely to get worn down by this, however many people still fail to see the importance of cleaning them along with the rest of the car.

Debris and dirt caught in the tyres can cause them to wear down and damage more quickly, but by simply giving them a good clean and taking care that no sharp objects are stuck and pressing into them, you can spend less money on constant replacements.

Scrub the treading with a bristled brush to remove any objects and general debris which can dig into and grate on your tyres, and you will reduce the risk of any damage caused by these unavoidable but easily dealt with issues.

Not only will cleaning your tyres spare you money by not having to replace them as regularly, but it will also make the overall look of your car much more valuable and appealing.

Reduce your load

Reduce your load

The tyres of your car are put under a lot of weight from the body, the engine and all the mechanics within the structure, and it is clear to see why it is important to check them regularly, with so much force being put on them constantly.

A good way to significantly increase the lifespan of your tyres is to reduce the amount of weight you carry around in your car. Most people have at least a few unnecessary items in their car, but sometimes they can pile up to a ridiculous extent.

If you have been hoarding piles of things in your car, make an effort to reduce it significantly, to lower the overall strain of what is put on your tyres.

To get a full professional look over your car and ensure that you are driving a safe, road-worthy car, it is best to contact the professionals at In Town Automotive.

8 Car Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

8 Car Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

Owning a vehicle

Owning a vehicle is a major responsibility and in order to work well and ensure your safety, cars require regular maintenance measures to be carried out. Maintaining your vehicle will also ensure that it has a long life.

Despite the importance of maintaining your car well, life can get in the way sometimes and costs can get in the way, meaning that you may disregard some of your car maintenance obligations from time to time.

Getting regular MOTs and services are always a top priority, but there are other ways you can maintain your vehicle too.

To help you to prioritise what you need to do and plan your maintenance time effectively, we have put together a list of the most common car maintenance mistakes people make and how to avoid them. Read on to find out how you can maintain your car for safer driving.

Not checking tyre pressure

Many people take a quick glance at their tyres and simply assume that they are absolutely fine before driving off. However, on closer inspection, your tyres could actually be low on inflation. They can lose inflation fairly easily just by driving over potholes, and from changes in temperature. If this is the case, you could have poor fuel economy, which will cause you to be spending much more money than you need to. The last thing you want is a flat tyre, so it important to check your tyre pressure regularly. To do this, you will need to check the pressure which is needed via the vehicle handbook or the inside of the door jamb, and head to the nearest petrol station to use the air pump.

Ignoring the engine light

When the check engine light comes on the dashboard, it can be easy to simply ignore it and just speed off without thinking twice. However, the longer you ignore it, the more likely it is that your car will break down without further notice. What’s more, the longer you leave it, the worse the problem is likely to get; it may become dangerous to drive and the problem will get more and more expensive to fix. The engine light is a sign that your car needs some proper attention from a trained mechanic. Ideally, as soon as you see this light, take it to the local garage and get the problem fixed by the professionals.

Not changing the oil

Not changing the oil

Due to the development in mechanics and motor industry technology, there is no need to change your oil as regularly as you once had to. It is no longer necessary to change the oil every 3,000 miles; in fact, you the average car will only require an oil change every 7,800 miles. This is a relief for most car owners, who have to spend less time and money on their vehicle maintenance. However, it can be more difficult to remember when the oil needs changing and the old changes cannot simply be skipped. Without old changes, your vehicle’s engine will seize up and it will break down. Plus, if the oil in there is old, it can start to break down, causing sludge in the engine and damaging the parts.

Not checking fluid

Many vehicle owners wrongly believe that the oil is the only fluid in the car which needs checking; however, there are actually many other fluid levels which need checking, changing and topping up regularly. These checks help your vehicle to stay in good condition and avoids leaks. For full information on your particular vehicle, check the manufacturers’ guidelines. The brake fluid, transmission fluid, engine coolant, and power steering fluid all need checking on a regular basis.

Ignoring an overheating engine

Due to the entire mechanical process of driving, a car’s engine gets incredibly hot when it is running; it requires a cooling down system to avoid it overheating. However, on occasion, these systems do fail, meaning that the car is no longer safe to drive. Many drivers admit to continuing to drive even when their engine is overheating, however, this is not a wise decision at all. If your engine does start to overheat, it is important to turn it off immediately and call for someone to tow the vehicle.

Failing to inspect the brakes

When your brakes start to get worn, it can be easy to ignore the squealing noise they make, sometimes allocating it to another car or part of your car. However, your brakes are one of the most important components of your car to ensure your safety and the safety of other road users when driving. If you do start to hear a squealing or grinding noise and suspect that it may be the brakes, get an inspection as soon as possible from a professional.

Not changing windscreen wipers

Not changing windscreen wipers

Windscreen wipers weaken over time as they are used against harsh weather conditions. It can be easy to ignore the problems experienced by poor wiper blades, but chatters, tears and general wear can mean that the wipers leave streaks on the windscreen. You need to ensure that as soon as your visibility is compromised due to worn windscreen wipers, it is time to change them. If you are unsure as to whether or not your wiper blades need changing, check for imperfections in the wipe pattern, a change in effectiveness, marks or splodges on your windscreen, noisy sounds whilst operating, and waring to the rubber.

Not using filters as recommended

Filters stop dirt particles from entering the engine, air conditioning or fuel of your vehicle to prevent problems from occurring. In order to work well, your filters need to be clean. If they are dirty, they can lead to a multitude of problems, for example, poor fuel efficiency, and the system wearing. Have your vehicle filters changed as regularly as necessary and it will prolong the life of your vehicle.

 

For more information on maintaining your vehicle or if you need professional help to maintain your car, contact us at In Town Automotive. Our professionals will be able to advise you on all your car maintenance questions.

7 Hacks to increase the resale value of your car

7 Hacks to Increase the Resale Value of Your Car

When reselling your car, it can be tempting to get it off your driveway as soon as possible and get the cash in return. Especially with the thought of a new car in the pipeline, no time is likely to be spared with regards to making your old ride look sleek before saying goodbye to it.

However, if you are selling your old car, it is highly advisable to take just a few simple steps to make the most out of what you have before you put it in the papers and online for resale. Just a few simple steps can increase the resale value of your car by a considerable amount, and it is well worth it for the small amount of effort you will need to put into it. What’s more, you will have more cash to spend on your new ride.

Using a few simple tips and tricks, you can add hundreds, sometimes even thousands of pounds worth of value onto your car, and this can make a real difference to your funding when you sell it and see the difference in your bank account.

Here at In Town Automotive, we have comprised a list of simple hacks you can use to increase the resale value of your car considerably, without having to spend too much money or time on your old run-around. You’ll definitely see the return on investment with these easy few tips and tricks:

Wax your car

Wax your car

Over time, it is natural for your car’s paint job to fade a little from exposure to natural sunlight, abrasive cleaners and the general pollutive air around us.  A faded paint job can make your car look worse for wear, discoloured and old, all of which are not the most appealing factors from a buyer’s perspective.

If you’re not sure if your car’s paint job has faded, or of how much of a difference it is really making to the overall look of the car, open the door of your car, and take a look at the paint on parts which haven’t been exposed to the outside world as much, such as the inside of the door jamb. These parts won’t be as faded as they haven’t been exposed to as much sunlight or washing chemicals as the main body of your car. It is likely that the colour of the paint on these inner parts of your car will look much more vibrant; and no, it’s not just a trick of the light. You can use this colour to identify how the colour of your car should look.

However, it is not worth spending a fortune on a new paint job just before you sell it, so don’t rush out to the nearest spray painter. Instead, grab the wax and polish and use some elbow grease to make a startling difference to the finish of your car.

Bear in mind that the colour will probably not miraculously go back to the way it was straight out of the factory, but it will add shine and will make it look newer and better looked after, and the overall end look of your car is one with more value.

Make the most of the lights

If your car’s lights are dingy, it can make it look much older and less appealing to potential buyers, who are very likely to check these basic requirements when they are viewing the car.

Apart from changing the bulbs, you can also make the headlights appear brighter simply by cleaning the headlight covers. A build-up of the wrong cleaning products, general dirt and bug splatters on the lights can all amount to a failure of the proper amount of light shining through, and cleaning all this grime off can make all the difference to how bright your lights are.

However, it is important to make sure that you use the right cleaning products. When it is suggested to clean the headlight covers, many people often think they have already tried their hand at cleaning them, having actually used the wrong products. A simple window cleaner will not do, and if you’re wondering why this hasn’t done the job as of yet, it’s because it isn’t made for the job. What’s more, a build-up of the wrong products and chemicals could even make the problem worse.

Instead, try one of the many specific headlight cleaning products which are available. They can transform your headlights from dull to dazzling in a matter of minutes, and it is a real investment to ensure that your car looks spick and span for any potential buyers.

Even with the most expensive cleaning products, sometimes it is necessary to get the professionals in to fully restore your headlights. This is a worthwhile investment and can make all the difference to a resale.

Shine your wheels

When purchasing a new car, the tyres are always something people consider. A cool, new set of wheels can transform the entire look of the car, and many people who take a strong interest in cars will hold a significant value in the look of the wheels. Not to mention, nobody wants to see the dirt you acquired on your wheels from last week’s trip to the local fairground.

Even if you haven’t got the newest, most expensive alloys on the market for the car that you’re selling, you can still make the most of what you’ve got by simply making them look appealing. Shiny wheels can make any car look new and more appealing to anyone who is considering buying it.

As well as taking the time to get the dust and grime from around the wheels, also add some shine to the wheel rims by getting some shine product on there too.

This small amount of effort will make a real difference to the overall look of the car, and people will be more willing to pay more for a car which looks well looked after and in tip top condition.

The interior matters too

The interior matters too

As well as making the outside of the car look great, the inside is also a huge consideration for most buyers. They are likely to open all the doors, get inside it and examine how the car has been looked after. For most people, the way the inside of a car has been treated is very telling as to how the car will run. The logic is that if the inside of a car looks good, it is likely that the car has been taken care of and will be more reliable. What’s more, potential buyers want to know they can drive the car away with them as soon as they’ve decided on it.

The first step to making the inside of the car look more appealing is to empty it of all the unnecessary junk you have been carting around. Clear it of all your own possessions; nobody wants to see the packaging from yesterday’s lunch or the baby seat you drive around with. Yes, it’s important to you, but a potential buyer does not need to be reminded of what the car has previously been used for; to them, they are buying a new car for themselves.

The next step is to clean it. This means hoovering and working to get as many stains out of the fabric as possible. If you have floor mats, clean them, and if they are too dirty to recover, simply take them out or replace them. It’s also well worth cleaning the inside of your windows to get rid of any dirty fingerprints or general grime.

Make sure that you buy specific products for what you are using them for, for example of you have leather seats, they will need to be treated and cleaned in a different way to any fabric seats.

The last thing to remember is the boot of the car. This is an area which is largely forgotten about when clearing and cleaning a car, but not forgotten by potential buyers, who are very likely to open and close it at least to see if it works. It’s a good idea to ensure that when they do this, they’re not greeted by last week’s shopping bags or the picnic blanket you used last summer.

Get your papers organised

So, you might have had your car serviced every year and the battery is brand new, but how can you prove it to your potential buyers? It might be completely true, but if you don’t have the relevant paperwork, anyone who is considering buying the car could question what you say, and a lack of vehicle history can significantly reduce the amount a person is willing to pay for it.

When buying a car, most people want to know exactly what they are getting and that it is going to be a reliable choice, and this means proving that it has been well looked after.

Before putting your car advertisements out, make a folder of all your vehicle history records, including the maintenance history and repairs your car has had. This will prove that what you say about your car is true and that you have taken good care of it.

Also get a history report of your car to show the owner history of it, and present it to your potential buyers along with the car. This will make your car look appealing, and will instil trust in the sale.

Fix easy and cheap jobs

Fix easy and cheap jobs

If there are some small replacements and fixes to be done on your car, it is well worth sorting them out before it goes on the market. These could include burnt out lights, fixing the air con and anything which is referred to on the dashboard as a warning light. People want to buy a car which they can drive away and trust instantly, so making these small changes can make your car look a lot more valuable to the amount of money you are asking for when there are no additional hassles to consider.

Most of the issues represented by lights on the dashboard are easy and cheap to remedy instantly, but they can make the car look like a lot of hassle. Check that the tyres are at the correct pressure, fill the wiper washer fluid up, replenish the oil and fill the brake fluid if any of these lights are on. They are very cheap fixes and will make your car look in tip top condition for anyone who is thinking of buying it.

If something is displaying on the dashboard, your options are to either get it fixed before you sell the car, or tell the truth to your potential buyers.

Remedy dents and scratches

Dents and scratches can make a car look unappealing, and most potential buyers will see them as a tell-tale sign that the car has not been looked after properly and may have been involved in some scrapes that you might not be telling them about.

Many scratches on your car can be waxed out or remedied with some T-cut. This is a well worthwhile investment to make your car look more appealing to your potential buyers, and it is a very cheap option which will add value when selling it on.

In terms of any dents which are on your car, you will need to look into how much they will cost to repair and how much of an impact they are creating on the value of your car. If it is feasible to fix the dents, it is usually worthwhile doing, because buying a car with pre-existing dents is not the top priority for anyone. If they are planning to buy this type of car, they will usually be looking for a cheap way to get from A to B and might not be willing to pay the full price for it.

To get a full professional look over your car and ensure that you are selling a safe, driveable car, it is best to contact the professionals at In Town Automotive. We can restore your car to be more appealing and sellable to your potential buyers, and give you the peace of mind that you are selling a safe ride to your buyers.

Driving Habits That Are Damaging Your Car

Driving Habits That Are Damaging Your Car

good condition for as long as possibleBuying and running a car is a big investment for most of us and we try our best to keep it in good condition for as long as possible, or do we?

Irrespective of how we are at driving, we end up making minor errors that we should immediately put a stop to and save our cars from further damage. Sure we take good care of our cars with regular check-ups, oil changes, maintenance, washing, cleaning etc. But a few bad driving habits can cause more damage to your car than you realise and you’d eventually end up paying dearly for it.

These bad driving habits usually fail to register and go on causing wear and tear that could have easily been avoided in the first place. These bad habits when repeated constantly will lead to lasting damage to your car. It is better to address these habits as soon as possible to prolong the life of your car.

Given below are the top bad driving habits that have the potential to cause involuntary but significant harm to your car. Read on to see which ones are you guilty of!

  • Failing to pay heed to the handbrakeFailing to pay heed to the handbrake

Whether or not you are parked on a level surface, there is absolutely no reason to not make use of the handbrake. Failing to engage the handbrake shifts the entire weight of your car on a little piece of metal situated in the transmission which is more commonly known as the parking pawl. It’s about the size of your little finger and is more prone to wear out or break eventually from bearing all the weight. When you put the handbrakes to use, it evens out the load facilitating delicate transmission components to last longer.

  • Shifting into drive or reverse without completely stoppingShifting into drive or reverse without completely stopping

If your car has automatic transmission, shifting into ‘drive’ or ‘reverse’ mode is not like switching from first gear to second in a manual. What you are doing is subjecting your transmission to do things that it is not meant to do and needless to say this causes serious damage to your drive shafts and suspension.

 

 

  • Riding the clutchRiding the clutch

When waiting at the traffic lights or to turn on a road, it is likely that you use the clutch to keep your car stationary. With a considerable amount of time spent waiting, the clutch tends to damage the pressure plates, release bearing as well as the release arm. When these surfaces graze against each other they are worn down and could set you up for an out of the blue failure in the future. It is recommended to wait with the clutch up and gear in neutral, only pressing the clutch and engaging the car when the light turns green or it is safe to go.

  • Adding small amounts of fuel to the fuel tank regularlyAdding small amounts of fuel to the fuel tank regularly

There is no denying that at times you might not be able to afford to fill the tank entirely. However, adding a few gallons of fuel at a time and frequently running with low levels of fuel can seriously harm the overall health of your car. This is solely because it compels your car to consume fuel from the bottom of the tank where there is an accumulation of residue. This paves the way for a clogged fuel filter or for debris passing into the engine.

  • Riding the brakes downhillRiding the brakes downhill

You may be under the impression that you are poised to stop in case of emergency, but when riding downhill or even in general causes unwarranted wear and tear of your braking system. If you continue to drive in this manner, you are likely set yourself up for a brake failure. So, avoid this and instead drive in a lower gear if you have the option to do so.

  • Abrupt stops and take-offs

Abrupt stops and take-offsSlamming the brakes on or hitting the accelerator frequently will eventually take a toll on your fuel consumption and can lead to deterioration of the brake pads and rotors. So next time, pay more attention to being smooth when stopping and starting your car.

 

 

  • Using the gear stick as a hand restUsing the gear stick as a hand rest

You can only get away with resting your hand on your gear stick if you are a professional racing car driver; if not then there is no reason to do so at all. The weight of your hand strains the sliders within your transmission, resulting in unnecessary wear.

  • Carrying around load that you can absolutely do without

Carrying around load that you can absolutely do withoutIt is understandable if you load your car to help a friend move or carry tools that you may require to perform a certain job. But, driving around with a bunch of extra weight for no reason increases your fuel consumption considerably and puts a strain on all the components of your car.

  • Improper warming of your car

There is absolutely no harm in starting your car and letting it sit idle for a few minutes before you leave the house. But, revving the engine right off the bat to ‘warm it up’ is a bad idea and you should definitely work around to avoid it. This is mainly because sudden changes in the temperature can harm your car and compel the engine to work extra hard before the oil has the chance to fully circulate.

  • Ignoring the telltale signs that your car needs some TLCIgnoring the telltale signs that your car needs some TLC

It is usual for your car to make unusual noises before mechanical issues make their presence felt in a more obvious (read severe) manner. You know what your car generally sounds like, so ignoring a brand new rattle or hum will only amplify the problem. When something does not sound right, contact In Town Automotive to diagnose the issue before it becomes detrimental to get things back on track.

For seasoned drivers, it becomes exceptionally difficult to break habits that have developed over the years. Of course you care about your car and don’t want to waste precious time and money on repairs that can be easily avoided.

If you are guilty of any of these common bad driving habits, exercise your newly acquired knowledge today and revel in the change that it brings.