How to Reduce Wear and Tear on Your Car

By Angela Monroe - November 18, 2021

reduce wear and tear

Reduce wear and tear on your car! Wear and tear costs money in more ways than one so reducing it is a great idea.

A car with heavy wear and tear has a lower resale value – if you can find a buyer. It’ll also require more repairs, more often.

Check out these tips on how to reduce wear and tear.

Follow to the maintenance schedule

schedule

Did you know that car manufacturers put a lot on the line when deciding on maintenance schedules for their vehicles?

  • Time
  • Reputation
  • Future models
  • Money

To reach the conclusion that, for example, after 10,000km in Australia, a demographic (which they’ve analysed) driving a specific model and variant will need certain maintenance performed, takes a lot of research.

Tests will show that, for example, a hatchback sees more city driving than an SUV, but an SUV weighs more so requires larger brake pads.

It’s these kinds of calculations that result in maintenance schedules being so important, in fact, you might void a warranty by not following one.

Always make sure to follow the maintenance schedule. It’s not just to keep you spending money, it’s because the vehicle really needs it.

Be gentle on the brakes

brakes

Other than wearing out pads much faster, being gentle on the brakes prevents other components from the forces of sudden, hard stopping (yourself and your passengers too!).

The same goes for riding the brakes. You may have seen drivers in front of you with their brake lights lit up the whole way down a hill, this is riding the brakes and they’re paying for the privilege.

Try to use your brakes sparingly and gently. When going down a hill, don’t “ride” them, use them in shorter bursts.

Accelerate slowly too

car smoke

Hard acceleration is a surefire way to cause major wear and tear. It demands work from your engine (obviously) but also suspension, tyres (even when you can’t hear them squealing), fuel consumption and brakes when you slow down.

Accelerating hard means asking your engine to convert a huge amount of force and power through your drivetrain and suspension to the tyres to get a heavy car moving fast.

To reduce wear and tear, be gentle when accelerating.

If you see another driver blasting their vehicle by accelerating hard, remember you’re financially better off.

Let it warm up

cold car

Especially important on cold mornings, warming an engine up allows components to reach normal operating temperatures.

Moreover, it allows oil to lubricate the engine. Engine oil acts similar to honey – put it in the fridge and it goes hard and is difficult to spread, put it in the microwave and it becomes runny.

Warm oil has more lubricating ability than cold oil.

Usually, all you’ll need to do is give it 30 seconds to a minute, depending on how cold the weather is and how long since it’s been driven. If you can’t wait, drive it very gently for the first few minutes.

Don’t drive on an empty tank

empty fuel

This can be tougher than it may sound. Filling up when you’re running late or when the prices are high isn’t fun for anyone.

Of course, filling up on low-price days is the way to save costs.

Running your tank on empty risks your fuel pump sucking in air. This is a problem as fuel actually helps cool the hard-working pump.

Also, especially on older vehicles, petrol tanks typically contain some small debris. These might be grains of sand or dust that have found their way in over the years.

Typically, they sit at the bottom of a tank and can be sucked up by a pump taking fuel from a near-empty tank.

Note that because of this, fuel pumps are not located under a tank, nor do they acquire fuel from the bottom of the tank. Your can also has a fuel filter.

Debris can

  • Damage a fuel pump
  • Clog a fuel filter (resulting in sluggish performance)
  • Damage internal engine components

Reduce wear and tear by preventing your car from sucking in debris in fuel. Keep the tank over 20% full at all times.

Avoid bumps and potholes

bad road

This one’s easy: reduce wear and tear by avoiding rough terrain. If you can’t avoid bumps, just take them extra slowly.

Shaking your car as you rattle over bumps at speed means potential damage to a number of things from electrical components to your engine, suspension and drivetrain.

It can also cause spills if anyone is eating or drinking in your vehicle.

Avoid demanding extremes from your car

This covers a few things;

  • Hard accelerating on when the engine is cold: can cause components to crack as they quickly heat up or suffer from lack of lubrication
  • A/C set to the coldest temperature on an extremely hot day: can cause the compressor to fail. Simply, roll your windows down to expel the hot air and (slightly) cool the interior surfaces, then use the A/C.
  • Hard driving with a heavy load: can cause wear and tear on brakes and suspension. Drive gently when loaded up with cargo.

Reducing wear and tear on your can is always a good idea

defects

Make sure to take at least a few of the steps above into account when you drive.

Reducing wear and tear on your car can make a huge difference when you trade it in or sell it. 

Car buyers are notorious for haggling prices down and will use almost anything to get a few dollars off – scratches and damage for example.

Reduce wear and tear!

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.

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