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May 14, 2024

The Impact of Driving Habits on Car Maintenance

Without a doubt, there’s a direct connection between the impact of driving habits and the necessity of car maintenance.

It’s not just about the cost of repairs—it’s also about wanting to keep your vehicle in the best working order so you’re not stuck needing roadside assistance because of a preventable breakdown.

Stewart’s Donnybrook Automotive is a local East Texas auto mechanic with decades of experience in engine diagnostics, tire maintenance, oil change services, and basically everything car repair. Here are a few things to consider about how your driving habits can affect your vehicle.

Are you a driver prone to braking and driving fast?

If you fall into this driving category, you’ve probably had to go to your local garage to get the brakes fixed on your car, truck, or SUV more often than other drivers. (Not to mention, you might make your passengers carsick!)

When you accelerate and then brake quickly repeatedly, it causes unnecessary stress on your brakes. In doing so, it wears down your brakes and rotors faster, meaning you’ll have to get them fixed or replaced more often…which can get expensive.

Additionally, having brakes and rotors that aren’t working properly can be dangerous. If you’re in the habit of accelerating and braking quickly, see if you can find a smoother rhythm to your drive—your brakes and passengers will thank you!

How do you go from one gear to the next?

Especially if you drive an automatic, you probably don’t think much about the way that you change gears.

Going from drive to reverse and back again is something we do out of habit and don’t pay much attention to.

However, if you’re making abrupt gear changes before you bring your vehicle to a full stop, you could be doing unnecessary damage to your vehicle. If you shift gears in this way, it wears down your transmission band, which will eventually cause your transmission to stop working.

As anyone who’s had to replace a transmission can tell you, such a fix is expensive and sometimes time-consuming. To prevent such a fix from becoming necessary, pay attention to how you’re changing gears and try to make sure you’re doing so as smoothly as possible.

How much and how often are you driving your vehicle?

While it might seem that driving your car or truck less frequently and for shorter periods of time would be a benefit, this isn’t necessarily the case. Your car also needs regular, longer-distance driving trips on the highway to maintain its optimum working condition.

The good news is that you don’t need to take your car on a road trip to make sure it’s working well.

About once a month or so, it’s a good idea to drive your vehicle for around 20 minutes to half an hour to help with important aspects of vehicle upkeep, such as lubrication of the engine’s internal seals, properly engaging all the gears of the transmission, getting maximum pressure out of the engine oil, and keeping the car valves in best working order by alleviating carbon deposits that may have built up during those short trips.

Are you an aggressive driver?

Be honest with yourself now… If you fall into the “aggressive driver” category, there are many reasons to chill out and slow down. Aside from road rage raising your blood pressure, it’s also best to consider the financial impact of needing more maintenance on your vehicle because of aggressive driving habits. Aggressive driving significantly adds more wear and tear, leading to higher repair costs and increased fuel consumption.

In addition, you’re constantly pushing your vehicle’s engine beyond its’ optimum capabilities and adding more stress on everything from the suspension to the tires to the bearings, as well as other parts of the engine.

Statistically, driving aggressively means you’re more likely to get into a car accident as well, which can not only be expensive and cause damage to your vehicle but could also injure you or someone else.

There are many reasons to take some deep breaths and become a more relaxed driver today!

Are you planning on selling your vehicle in the future?

If so, you’ll want to pay attention to this list to see if you need to make any changes to how you drive and maintain your vehicle. Wear and tear on your vehicle can quickly decrease your car’s or truck’s resale value. If you’re interested in getting a good price on a vehicle trade or sale, you’ll want to start paying attention to your driving habits.

Some things are simply out of your hands regarding your vehicle, but your driving habits are something you can control. As any trusted local mechanic will tell you, how you drive your vehicle makes all the difference when it comes to keeping it in the best working order.

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