- Frequent rapid acceleration and hard braking can take its toll on your car.
- Fuel up your car with the appropriate grade of gasoline per the owner’s manual.
- Prolong your tires’ life expectancy and rotate them every 10,000 kilometres driven.
There is never a convenient time for car repairs and breakdowns. They always seemingly happen out of nowhere to ruin your day and lighten your wallet. However, there are ways to protect your car so you can avoid the pricey garage. Stay safe and keep that money in your bank account with the help of these five tips to protect your car.
1. Drive with intelligence and care
Much like the human body, cars shouldn't be constantly pushed to the limit. Frequent rapid acceleration and hard braking can take a toll on your car (and possibly affect your discount if you're enrolled in a usage-based insurance program.) In case of an emergency, it is good to know the car is capable of such feats but should only happen when it is entirely necessary, like avoiding a collision.
In addition to driving smoothly, you can also minimize your car's wear-and-tear by:
- Following the owner’s manual recommended maintenance schedule. One of the keys to keeping your car running at its best is to take care of it. Regular visits to your mechanic can help you avoid bigger, more expensive repairs later on.
- Minimizing how much extra weight you add to your car. Using your trunk as storage not only adds weight to the vehicle putting more strain on it, but it also decreases your fuel efficiency. Remove roof racks and cargo carriers as well when not in use.
- Paying attention to the lights on your dashboard. The lights on your dashboard are there for a reason, and some are meant to serve as a warning system that something is not quite right. Even if the light goes off, it’s time to take the car in for a check-up.
2. Choose the right gasoline
Going back to the human body analogy, humans and cars both require the right fuel to operate at peak levels. For humans, if all we eat is junk food, we’ll eventually feel sluggish. Cars are no different. Fuel up your car with the appropriate grade of gasoline as recommended in the owner’s manual.
If your car requires premium gasoline, putting in a lower grade can result in your engine producing odd sounds that are often described as a ping or knock. If you regularly use a lower octane of gasoline than required, it can lead to engine damage, loss of performance, and decreased fuel efficiency.