5 Ways to Wreck Your Car and How to Avoid Them
More often than not, drivers are guilty of ignoring warning signs or doing certain things to their vehicles that lead to an earlier trip to the repair shop than they had anticipated. At Searles we see it all the time: early on-set damage to vehicles that we know could have been prevented.
Sure, accidents happen, and potholes and icy patches can come out of nowhere, but in many cases, paying more attention on the roads and to your vehicle itself will help prevent you from having to see an auto mechanic practically every other month.
However, if you really want to come and see us more often, here are five of the worst things you can do to damage your car:
- Hit Curbs and Potholes on a Regular Basis
Maybe you hit the curb from time to time when you parallel park or when you’re pulling over to answer a call. That’s fine. But if you find you’re drifting sideways regularly into curbs or other solid obstacles due to a lack of control in say, icy weather, this is definitely going to wreck your tires and rims. Your alignment may also take a beating, as well as your vehicle’s suspension and steering components.
Likewise if you’re not slowing down for potholes and speed bumps. If you routinely hit them at the right speed and at the right angle, your suspension can get thrown off in a hurry. Take it easy out there if you don’t want to wreck your ride.
- Ignore Signs of Water Damage
As residents of Victoria, we’ve all been there: accidently leaving our windows down and sunroofs open while we’re grocery shopping on a sunny day, only to return to the vehicle to see a monsoon has occurred.
Now, you’d think the interior of your vehicle is quite waterproof, but some of the delicate electrical components on the dash aren’t, especially today’s cars and trucks that come complete with all of those fancy sensors.
To really wreck your vehicle, go ahead and leave your sunroof open all night, and then ignore any water damage. Doing so will lead to mouldy, smelly interiors as well as potentially failing electric components. Otherwise, take a shop vac to the problem if it’s really bad, and try and air out the vehicle as soon as possible. Oh, sure. Towels work well too.
- Ignore All the Other Fluids
It takes a lot of fluids to keep your car in good working condition. So, to wreck your vehicle, just ignore some or all of the fluids it takes to operate your vehicle. Things like engine oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission oil, coolant, and fuel are critical when it comes to maintaining the innards of your car or truck.
Most of a vehicle’s fluids degrade over time, or collect dust and debris, or straight up start leaking. Ignoring these issues will lead to problems with small moving parts like seals, gaskets, and rings. You’ll also experience trouble with crankshaft or camshaft bearings, or pistons and valves quickly burning out.
Another thing that can get wrecked is your power steering. If the reservoir springs a leak and things dry out, the whole pump will have to be replaced. So, if you DON’T want to wreck things, check fluids and check them often. If that sounds too hard, come see us a Searles so we can do a complete Peace of Mind inspection on your vehicle.
- Never Check Your Tire Pressure
Driving around on under-inflated tires is an effortless way to wreck your vehicle, mainly your tire sidewalls. When tire pressure is too low, the internal temperature rises, leading to the increased risk of having a tire blow out on you unexpectedly.
If you’d rather not wreck your vehicle, check your tire pressure about once every month, or during every third fill-up at the gas station, referring to the info label on the driver’s door frame or your owner’s manual for the right specs. Also check out our Guide to Tire Pressure blog post for more tire pressure tips.
When tires are properly inflated, you’ll also notice your fuel economy will improve. Properly inflated tires is one of those things you think you can see with a naked eye, but without a tire gauge or proper monitoring system, you’re doing it wrong.
Brush Off Warning Lights
You don’t ignore red and green street lights, do you? (Maybe you’ve ignored a yellow one here and there…) So why ignore the red lights on your dash? Doing so is a sure-fire way to wreck your vehicle in a hurry.
Today’s cars and trucks come with a lot of warning lights. If you want to wreck your car, ignore them all! But if you want a little more life out of your vehicle’s components, we suggest reading your owner’s manual so you get a good working knowledge of what they all mean.
Some dashboard warning lights are more serious than others. For example, some dashboards now warn you an airbag is failing, or brakes need some attention. If you’re unable to sort the problem on your own, it’s time to book an appointment with your auto mechanic who can run diagnostics and solve the problem.
Bonus Ways to Wreck Your Vehicle
- Text & Drive – Eventually this could lead to a fender bender, or worse, a head-on collision. A written-off vehicle is most certainly a wrecked vehicle.
- Be Hard on Your Brakes – The harder you are on the gas pedal, the harder you’re going to have to be on those brakes, which only means something is bound to get wrecked.
- Ignore the Bird Poop – More than just an unsightly mess, bird poop can do serious damage to a vehicle’s paint job if you let it linger, especially in hot, sunny weather.
- Try and Tow Something You Shouldn’t – This is just an all-around bad plan.
So there you have it—a perfect summary of how to wreck your new car or truck faster than you ever thought possible. If you follow the advice given here, you’ll become a regular at your auto mechanic shop in no time at all. They might even start stocking your favourite type of coffee and snacks in their waiting room just for you!
All jokes aside, the team at Searles cares about you and your vehicles. It is our hope that once we get your car back up and running in like-new condition, you won’t have to come rushing back to us. We like seeing you and all, but we’d rather see you enjoy every aspect of your vehicle for as long as possible.
Call us today to book that ever-so-important oil change and Peace of Mind inspection!
Car already wrecked and not starting? Check out our Top 5 Reasons Your Car Won’t Start, then bring it to us for a tune-up!