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If You Love Your Car, Don’t Do These 5 Things

Vishal Bhaskaran

Vishal Bhaskaran

2021-07-30

You love your car. We know this. Or you must have at least some form of attachment after dropping a huge downpayment and committing yourself to a bank loan.

Which is why you should take care of it, so stop doing the following things to your car and it will care for you in return.

1. Shift to Neutral When You Stop

This is a bad habit that a surprising number of people have, data painstakingly collected from the experience of sitting in their cars. This is unnecessary, your brakes were built to hold for long periods of time, but your automatic transmission wasn’t built to switch from drive to neutral so often. Keep doing this, and you’ll wear it out.

This isn't an issue in a manual car, however. Go ahead and shift to neutral at the red light.

2. Not Cleaning Your Wipes

There are days when you will either have no time to clean your car, or you just can’t be bothered to do it. On such days, try to clean just one thing — your wipers. Your wipers pick up all sorts of dirt and contaminants, and if you don’t clean them you end up not only spreading them all over your windscreen, but you could scratch up your windscreen over time as well. Better to keep your wipers clean and change them regularly instead of having to replace a windscreen.

A good solid wipe of your, er, wipers is all you need.

3.Let Your Tyre Pressure Drop

Low tire pressure leads to a myriad of problems. Uneven tyre wear, suspension strain and even increased fuel consumption. Inflate your tyres a couple of times a month, and not only will you avoid these issues, but they will last longer as well. If you can see that they’re underinflated, well, you probably should have filled them a week ago.

“Tell me how I’m supposed to drive with no air” — Jordin Sparks, 2007.

You are also a lot more likely to suffer a blowout from low pressure in your tyres as opposed to if they were overinflated, from the heat produced by the increased friction.

⁠4.Playing Frankenstein with Accessories

A car’s electrical system is very delicate, more so in newer cars. The issue with upgrading your sound system with aftermarket parts and installing additional alarms is that all these tap into your existing wiring. Done incorrectly, and you could be looking at damaged sensors and fuses or worse, damage to the actual wiring harness. Also, messing around with the wiring can void your warranty, which means that you’re no longer protected if anything else goes wrong with your car that you had nothing to do with.

This is impressing nobody. Not your dates, and certainly not the residents association of your neighbourhood.

5. Drive Hard from a Cold Start

Sitting in your idling car while waiting for the engine to warm up is a thing of the past. Just be gentle for the first few minutes as the temperature settles and you’ll be good to go. Just don’t try and live out your Fast and Furious fantasies by stepping on it and revving your engine to redline from the get-go, or you risk premature engine wear from your fluids not having a chance to circulate at running temperature and protect your engine.

No, no pedal to the metal! 

sprays water in your general direction

Any other bad habits that you know could slowly kill your car? The Fluxsters have seen it all, so tell us something we don’t know.

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You love your car. We know this. Or you must have at least some form of attachment after dropping a huge downpayment and committing yourself to a bank loan.