Keep a tip-top engine with these top 10 tips

It’ll make you sit up and pay attention to hear that your driving can majorly influence the lifetime of your engine. Bad driving habits that continuously put pressure on certain parts of the engine will shorten their life, while better habits can extend their life.

During tough economic times it’s important for us to preserve our assets, especially our vehicles, by ensuring that wear and tear is minimised. The good news is that it is possible and we can all change our driving habits. If the next few “don’ts” seem harsh (for example, don’t brake too harshly), bear in mind that it will all be worth it in the end if it extends the life of your engine and its parts.

Here are our top 10 driving tips we all need to put into place to extend the lifetime of our vehicles:

Don’t ride the clutch

Despite the frustration of edging forward in stop-start traffic, riding the clutch can place strain on the entire clutch system, shortening its lifespan. Try and get into the habit of not resting your left foot on the clutch pedal.

Don’t rev harshly when first starting your vehicle

When a car has rested for a while, the oil settles to the lowest point that it can and revving the engine harshly when starting does allow proper circulation of the oil. This could increase the friction in your engine. Like us, a vehicle prefers to be woken up gently.

Don’t drive on empty

The high fuel price is effecting our pockets (and every sector of the economy). However, driving when close to empty can place strain on the fuel pump, causing it to overheat. The best advice is to always drive with the tank at least half full.

Don’t brake late

It is better to bring your car to a smooth and gentle stop by looking ahead of you all the time and anticipating the time and space you’ll need to begin your braking. Harsh braking places strain on brakes, wearing pads and discs out much faster.

Don’t drag your brakes on a downhill

Dragging your brakes on a downhill means that they are constantly working during a descent. This places major strain on them. A better practice would be to gear down on a downhill, applying light braking and then releasing the brakes to allow them to cool.

Don’t overload your vehicle

Overloading your vehicle will place strain on the brakes, suspension and fuel consumption.

Don’t accelerate harshly in a high gear

Particularly when carrying heavy loads or climbing hills, don’t let the engine work harder than it needs to by accelerating harshly in a high gear. Instead, gear down and let the revs climb gradually before gearing up again.

Don’t change drive modes (from drive to reverse) in your automatic before stopping

An automatic gearbox is designed to shift gears and not bring the vehicle to a stop. Shifting gear before coming to a stop will cause wear and tear on the transmission, which could be costly.

Don’t neglect your warning lights

The warning lights on your dashboard are the “health” indicators for your vehicle. Make sure you consult your vehicle’s manual so that you know exactly what the various lights mean. When a warning light comes on, address the concern right away.

Don’t neglect the service schedule

A service schedule proposed by a manufacturer is based on the full complexity of the engine and its parts so that optimum performance is achieved. However, failure to adhere to the advised regular services could result in breakdowns or even expensive damage repair.

At Oakhurst, we really care about the safety of our clients and their vehicles. Our Oakhurst Smart-Box is a telematics device which is installed in the vehicles of all our comprehensive vehicle insurance clients. The Smart-Box is able to give our drivers feedback on 7 key indicators pertaining to their driving, and we reward the safest drivers with up to 25% cash-back on their monthly premium. The key indicators like, swerving, harsh braking, accelerating, cornering etc. encourage better driving habits, in the same ways as our top 10 list does. We believe better driving habits will prolong the live of your vehicle’s engine and keep you safer on the roads too. To find out more about the Oakhurst telematics Smart-Box, call 0861 001 041.

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