Modern cars can last a million kilometers. You will be amazed to find regular cars lasting more than a few lakh kilometres without any major issues. If you want to be in the more-than-a-couple of “LAKH” kilometer club, here are ten good habits you need to religiously practice.
Warm-ups are critical
According to experts, the most amount of engine wear and tear happens just after the car starts. The engine oil and other important fluids in the car settle down after a few hours, and take a few seconds to reach their optimum lubrication level.
Such oils and fluids form a protective layer over engine and transmission parts and provide lubrication. Most of the engine oils and other fluids require a minimum temperature to become viscous and actively spread over the engine parts.
If the car is revved instantly after a cold start, it can drastically bring down the engine’s life. Make it a habit of waiting for a minute or two after starting the engine to provide ample time for the oils to spread. It is advised to keep the engine rpm below 2,000 for diesels and 3,000 for petrols until the car temperature gauge reaches the half way mark.
Sticking to the service schedule religiously
A car is made up of complex parts that are engineered precisely. There is a number of moving parts in the vehicle that require regular lubrication and periodic replacement. Car manufacturers decide the service period according to the design of the parts and it should be followed very strictly.
If a car manufacturer has mentioned a 10,000 km or 1 year service period, make sure that you take your vehicle for the scheduled service. Essentials sucj as timing belt should be replaced as per the service book, else the car loses out on warranty and also the life shortens.
Coast to halt
Normally while driving within the city limits, most of the people brake hard to bring the car to halt. Learning to coast will not only increase the mileage but it will also add valuable years to your car’s life. Coasting is a technique where the car moves without any engine power. It can be done by putting the car into neutral or keeping the car’s clutch depressed while it is on the move.
If you are approaching a red light, you can coast and slowly bring the car to halt instead of accelerating all the way and using the brakes sharply. Coasting on downhills can be dangerous and should be avoided. During downhills, coasting gives you limited control over the vehicle. Instead, use engine braking in such situations.
Alignment and balancing should not be avoided
Tyres are the most important part of the vehicle. Extreme care should be taken of the tyres to make sure that the car is in pristine running condition. One such common thing that we forget about wheels is the alignment and balancing.
Over a period of bad roads and driving can cause wheels to go out of the place. Such out of the alignment wheels put extra pressure on the vehicle’s suspension. The car engine also has to work extra to put effort for moving the unaligned wheels. Keeping the wheels aligned increases mileage and puts less pressure on the suspension and car’s engine. The same goes for balancing the wheels that involve placing a few weights on the wheels.
Be as gentle as possible on the suspension
Regular car suspension works all the time. Even on the smoothest of roads, the suspension continuously works to keep the ride stable. If you’re driving on bad surfaces, the suspension system has put extra effort. Always be slow on bad roads to give car’s suspension more time to react and absorb the undulation.
The same goes for speed breakers and potholes. Whenever you spot a speed breaker or a deep pothole that you can’t avoid, slow down while negotiating it. Smoother drives over bad surfaces will also make the car less susceptible to early rattling.