Robert Sikorskys little book Drive It Forever offers invaluable tips to keep your car going the extra mile. His stellar advice could save you a years worth of car payments or more!
The smoother you drive, the longer your car will run. Stopping and starting, fast lane changes, scratching off all lead to shorter life for your car.
Naturally, you can not drive at all without stopping and starting. But your goal is to keep moving smoothly any time that you can. Does it look like a stoplight is about to turn green? Then slow down and if possible, gently keep moving until the light changes.
Less engine idle means less engine wear, says Sikorsky. If you have to idle longer than 30 seconds, you may as well turn the engine off and start it when you are ready to roll. So turn off the car if you are waiting in parking lots, waiting on others to ready themselves for travel, if you have to go back in the house for something, etc.
And never rev up the car while it is not moving.
If you are driving in bumper to bumper barely moving traffic, it is wise to turn your air conditioner off. This saves a lot of wear on your car. The engine has to work overtime if the air is on and you are stopping and starting frequently.
You have probably heard that it is good to take your car out periodically for a good drive on the highway now and again, and thats good advice. This allows your engine to get fully warmed up and helps get rid of some deposits built up by short trips.
If it is below freezing, try not to take your car out on short trips of less than five miles. Sikorsky says this is one of the worst possible conditions for your car.
Do not cruise around a parking lot forever, trying to find a spot. Go ahead and park further away and get in a little exercise.
Avoid accelerating suddenly unless there is an emergency situation. Putting the pedal to the metal may get you someplace today, but tomorrow you may end up hitching a ride from a neighbor.
If possible, do not park your car headed uphill. When you are ready to start it later, the engine will have to use extra power to pull itself. It is better to park headed downhill than uphill.
Driving on dusty roads cuts your gas mileage considerably as well as adds to engine wear.
I have found Drive It Forever a valuable read! It is personal, and easy to read, even if you are mechanically challenged.
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