Tags: car repairs | autos

7 Worst Things You Can Do to Your Car

power steering fluid reservoir
(Winai Tepsuttinun/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 16 September 2019 01:35 PM

If your goal is to get the most mileage out of your car, there are certain things you need to stop doing right now: such as driving on less than a quarter tank of gas and washing your car with dish detergent.

There is a long list of dos and don'ts when it comes to preserving the life of your vehicle, but here we look at seven of the worst things you can do to your car, as listed by Reader's Digest:

  1. Over-inflating the tires for more mileage. Chances are you have heard you can increase your mileage by overfilling your tires, but unless you are hauling a heavy load, doing so could lead to increased wear of your tires and suspension components.
  2. Mixing brake fluid and power steering fluid. It is easy to confuse the two. Steering fluid and brake fluid come in similar one-pint bottles, but this mistake is one of the worst things you can do to your car. And it will cost you. Power steering fluid can actually seal in the brake system, which can lead to brake failure. Brake fluid poured into the power steering reservoir can cause the steering gear to fail. Either way, repairs are expensive.
  3. Disconnecting the battery cable to test the alternator. While it was OK to do this in older vehicles if you are driving a newer model and want to test the alternator, never disconnect the battery cable while the engine is running. This will cause a voltage surge that could damage electronics used in modern computerized cars.
  4. Driving with the oil light on. When that "low oil pressure" warning light goes on, you need to pull over and shut off the engine. This light signals that your car is dangerously low on oil, which could be due to a leak, a failing oil pump, or several other serious issues. Check your oil level with a dipstick and if it is low, top it off before starting your car again. Avoid driving to the nearest gas station on empty, as it could damage your car's engine.
  5. Driving with less than a quarter tank of gas: If you are the type of driver who regularly drives on an empty tank of fuel, it is time to break the habit. For most fuel-injected vehicles, the electric fuel pump is inside the fuel tank so that it can stay at a safe operating temperature. Driving on a near-empty tank means the pump does not get enough cooling and it could fail early.
  6. Washing your car with dish detergent. It may seem cheap and convenient to use dishwashing detergent to wash your vehicle, but doing so is probably one of the worst things you can do to your car's paint job. The detergent can strip away oils and sealants in the paint that are meant to protect the body from the elements. You will soon degrade the body of your car.
  7. Using universal fluid in your power steering and transmission. Stocked on the shelves you may have come across "universal" power steering and transmission fluids that are meant to work on all car models, but manufacturers advise against using these products as they are incompatible with certain vehicle specifications.

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There is a long list of dos and don'ts when it comes to preserving the life of your vehicle, but here we look at seven of the worst things you can do to your car, as listed by Reader's Digest.
car repairs, autos
537
2019-35-16
Monday, 16 September 2019 01:35 PM
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