When Someone Hurts Your Feelings, Don’t Take it Out on Your Car!
We’ve all seen those amazing Hollywood car chases and great heist scenes in movies and shows. The good guy chases the bad guy at insanely high speeds as they fly around every turn, slam the brakes, and rev up before throwing the car into Drive to win the day!
Basically, they drive like maniacs, fast and furious.
When someone mentions driving like a maniac, they’re not talking about you, surely? That’s all in the movies! You’d never succumb to the temptations of Road Rage… right?
Let’s be honest. We all have felt the desire to lose our minds at the senseless drivers around us, and sometimes we take it out on our vehicles. We shouldn’t, but for more reasons than you might expect. Besides the safety issues of aggressive driving, you should know that your vehicle will last a lot longer if you’ll just mellow out a little.
Four traits of Good Drivers that Keep their Vehicle in Great Condition
The driver who can’t wait to get to the next stoplight is just shortening the life of his or her vehicle (and potentially putting themselves and other persons or property in danger in the process).
Jackrabbit starts and uneven acceleration beyond the average acceleration hurts your engine because the valves and cylinder heads are stressed more. All of those moving parts will wear out faster as well as other components that are connected. That means things like the air conditioner, power steering pump… just about anything that attaches by a belt or a pulley (not to mention the effect consistent aggressive driving behaviors have on your brakes, more on that in a minute)!
Also, you’ll be generating more heat. Excessive heat is one of a vehicle’s worst enemies. Remember: consistent acceleration practices are an engine’s friend but constant acceleration and deceleration can be seriously harmful!
2. Warm Rider
If you get in your cold vehicle which has been sitting overnight, start it up and rev the engine high, you’ve just put a lot of stress on your engine. That’s because you didn’t let the oil (that’s been sitting down in the oil pan at the bottom of the engine all night) get to the moving parts in order to lubricate them properly.
Some manufacturers advise that you run your vehicle for about 30 seconds before you take off. If it is really cold out, you may be wise to let the engine run for a minute or two before putting a load on the engine. If your vehicle has a remote start, use it!
All Pro Pro Tip: for the first 5-15 minutes, keep your RPMs on the low side and don’t jam on the accelerator.
3. Smooth Stopper
You’re trying to get somewhere in a hurry and have to jam on the brakes while traveling pretty fast. Just that one time can do more damage to the brakes, brake pads, and overall braking system than you would think.
All Pro Not-So-Fun-Fact: Lots of hard braking can overheat your brakes and damage your rotors, wearing them out way faster than someone who drives with a smoother touch. Hard braking also strains suspension parts, tires, and engine mounts.
You know what PRNDL stands for. Those are the letters in your automatic transmission (Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, Low).
Here are another couple of letters: IQ. A smart shifter never goes into R to D without completely stopping the vehicle, unless, of course, you’re anxious to spend some big dollars on repairing or replacing your automatic transmission.
These days, it’s common to get 200,000 miles/320,000 kilometers out of the average vehicle. It just takes regular maintenance (oil changes and regular service) and one other thing… Showing off: showing off a little moderation in driving habits with a big payoff in the end. Leave the road rage to the aggressive drivers in the movies and you’ll be driving off into the sunset long after the credits roll!
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