Buying a car or truck is a big investment and, for most drivers, a vehicle is something that they want to keep in prime condition for as long as possible. But, sometimes, bad habits can unknowingly cause damage to a vehicle.
Which ones are you guilty of? Here’s a list of the top ten most common issues:
Bad Habit #1: Not using the parking brake
Possible Damage: Not engaging the parking brake puts the entire weight of your vehicle on a little piece of metal in the transmission called the parking pawl. It's only about as big as your finger, so it can wear out or break from holding all that weight.
Bad Habit #2: Driving on empty
Possible Damage: Many fuel pumps keep cool by staying submerged in the gas tank. If you're regularly running at a quarter full or less, you risk speeding up the need for a fuel pump replacement.
Bad Habit #3: Suddenly shifting from reverse to drive
Possible Damage: Rapid direction changes, like shifting from reverse to drive, can damage your drivetrain, including the engine, transmission or axles, and lead to a costly repair.
Bad Habit #4: Revving before the engine is warm
Possible Damage: Cold revving causes abrupt temperature changes that create stress between the engine's tight-fitting components. Many drivers think that revving the engine will warm it up faster, but the opposite is true.
Bad Habit #5: Flooring it, then slamming on the brakes
Possible Damage: Hard acceleration burns a lot of fuel and places a heavy load on drivetrain components. When you pair that with a full-force stop, you also cause rapid wear to the brake pads and rotors, which can lead to a costly repair.
Bad Habit #6: Using the shifter as a hand rest
Possible Damage: While it may feel comfortable in the moment, leaving your hand on your vehicle’s shifter puts a strain on the transmission's bushings and synchronizers, which can lead to premature wear.
Bad Habit #7: Abusing the clutch
Possible Damage: Unnecessary overuse of the clutch, such as keeping it engaged at a red light, can cause it to wear out permanently or lead to possible failure. It can also cause damage to the release bearing, release arm and pressure plate.
Bad Habit #8: Carrying too much weight
Possible Damage: The more a vehicle weighs, the more stress it places on its drivetrain, suspension and brakes. Plus, your vehicle will require more fuel, which adds up very quickly with each visit to the pumps.
Bad Habit #9: Riding the brakes downhill
Possible Damage: Sometimes you've got to brake when going downhill. But, this causes heat to build up in the brake pads and rotors, causing wear and increasing the risk of overheating or warping.
Bad Habit #10: Ignoring warning signs
Possible Damage: We get it – nobody likes having to bring their vehicle in for service because it requires an invest of cost and time. But, if you ignore certain warning signs, like strange vibrations, intermittent squeaks, occasional knocks or other unusual symptoms, this can lead to an even bigger issue down the road.
Don't let your bad habits wreak havoc on your beloved Ford car or truck! Contact our Service Department today to book your next maintenance appointment at Key West Ford.