Drivers are unknowingly damaging their cars every day across NJ highways and roads. Constant heavy breaking, hitting a stray pothole, and slamming on the gas pedal are a few of the culprits. On top of standard wear and tear to tires, axles, and paint jobs, there are many small actions that take a quiet toll on a vehicle.
Luckily most of these damages can be avoided by careful attention to your everyday car health. Understanding what mechanical issues can be avoided is the first step. And reading this post will set you up to extend the life of your car by avoiding these common driving mistakes.
Tire Health May Be Killing Your MPG
Not keeping your tires filled to a healthy level can drain cash from your wallet. Car tires that are not properly inflated can impact a tire’s lifespan, the cars braking ability, and reduce gas mileage by up to 10%. Which all adds up to a higher chance of accidents and pricey maintenance.
These issues can easily be prevented by using a tire gauge, the “penny trick”, or asking a gas station attendant to check your tire’s air pressure. You can also have your local mechanic shop check your tires during an oil change. Stay on top of tire pressure and you’ll avoid that next accident while spending less on gas.
Constant Short Trips Take a Toll
Thinking of taking that drive to the corner store? You might want to think about walking. Too many short drives can take a serious toll on a vehicle. Specifically the muffler, the exhaust system, and your engine.
Short drives impact a muffler due to the build-up of water inside the muffler. During a long drive this water is not an issue due to it evaporating as the muffler heats up. With short trips, the water does not have enough time to evaporate. Leading to rust and other damage.
Before a Crisis, Be Prepared NJ!
Not knowing how to react in a driving emergency can be the difference between a totaled vehicle or a thankful ride home. Whether it’s a rogue deer striking a windshield, hydroplaning in the midst of a down pour, or what to do when caught in a flood, disaster can strike without notice.
If hitting a deer is unavoidable, do not try any last minute swerves or mindless mashing of the brakes. It is always safer to strike a deer than risk going into traffic in NJ. Rather than swerve, focus on braking towards a controlled stop.
When hydroplaning, it is best to turn your wheel into the direction that you’re spinning. The instinct to swerve against the path a vehicle is forced into, can make the issue even worse.
If caught in a flood, turn your engine off to avoid serious damage. And most important of all, do not attempt to drive into a submerged street. Just six inches of water can send a car out of control.
Stay on Top of Your Fluids
Not paying the short term costs of changing fluids, can lead to expensive long term issues down the road. Antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and even power steering fluid are central to a long and healthy life for your car.
Check the color of a car’s fluids during every other gas station trip you make. Transmission fluid for instance should be bright red. Also check for any burnt smell, which is a sign it needs changing. If you ignore these signs, you may end up paying up to $1,500 for a transmission repair.
Don’t Choose Just Any Service Shop
Even with the best attention to your car, emergency maintenance and repairs will happen. So when something does come up, it is crucial to choose the right mechanic or auto-body shop to handle the job.
In this case, most of the steps to take are online. Use tools like Google Reviews, Yelp, and even Angie’s List to find a quality mechanic or automotive specialist. Countless New Jersey drivers pay for lackluster mechanical repairs that end up being a small bandage for a larger (more costly) problem down the road.
When selecting a repair shop, make sure they are transparent and well regarded in terms of online reviews.
When Breakdowns Happen, You Can Still Save on Repairs
Despite the best attention to detail, car breakdowns and maintenance issues can still happen. When there is no other choice, make sure you search through NJ Car Coupon for potential savings. Our coupon selection covers almost every repair issue. And when buying your next car, you can use our savings coupons for price and finance.