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Media post: Ways you may be inadvertently damaging your car

No one wants to intentionally damage their car but sometimes it’s just because they aren’t aware that they are doing something damaging.  With the help of Zeigler Ford (North Riverside, Il), we put togther a list of ways that drivers may be damaging their car when they drive.

Hard braking

If you constantly brake hard, your brakes will wear out faster. In specific, the pads and rotors will wear out sooner than usual. An obvious solution is to try to anticipate stops and slow down gently.  Clearly this is not possible in every braking situation, but driving “gently” can save you money.

Underinflated tires

Not a lot of tires on our nation’s cars are inflated properly. According to a recent Department of Transportation study, 60% to 70% of the cars on the road have tires that are underinflated by 10% or more. What does that mean? When tires are run underinflated, they tend to wear excessively on the edges. If you do this for months on end, you will wear your tires enough that they need to be replaced. The solution: Check your tire inflation monthly and add air if necessary.

Avoid jackrabbit starts

Some people accelerate from stop signs and lights like they competing in a race. If you are late to an important engagement, it might be sort of excusable but why do it when you aren’t in a hurry? Not only does this eat up gas mileage, it also stresses engine and transmission parts which can lead to premature failure.

Using old coolant

The coolant used in your car does more than just cool your engine, it prevents internal corrosion. Thats why you need to flush and replace your anti-freeze periodically.Ask any mechanic: Cars that run on old, dirty anti-freeze eventually develop problems like head gaskets failing and radiators leaking.

Parking in direct sunlight

Sometimes you can’t avoid it but parking in direct sunlight can do a number on both your car’s interior and exterior.  Inside the car the effects may include cracked dashes, split seats and faded upholstery. Outside the car, the sun usually causes plastic lenses to become cloudy and UV rays can damage the car’s clearcoat. Bottom line: while it isn’t always an option to park in the shade, its really worth the trouble if you can.

Forgetting to change your oil

You probably know that the oil in your car’s engine lubricates all the internal parts. It’s a very important job, so you want to keep the oil in your engine both filled to the proper mark on your dipstick and changed frequently. In the old days it was said that oil should be changed every 3000 miles. Today that interval is longer. Your owner’s manual will tell you what the manufacturer suggests.

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