Cars have come a long way when it comes to aspects of long-term reliability and longevity. An average modern car can serve you for many years and lakhs of kilometres. That said, bad driving habits along with irregular and improper maintenance can be disastrous for your car’s engine. These bad habits cause excessive wear and tear, thereby reducing engine life drastically. While changing the suspension and most other components of a car is fairly easy, changing an engine is quite a task. Hence, you should make sure you don’t have any of the following 5 BAD habits.
Most cars these days come with a tachometer. Tachometers generally have a red line above higher numbers. The red line is an indication of very high engine speeds. Any internal combustion engine cannot be revved very hard constantly and hence, the red line helps you by letting you know if the engine speed is excessive. Due to excessively high revving, your engine and turbocharger (in case you have a turbocharged motor) get really hot. Any engine that operates above its ideal operating temperature for a long duration of time suffers excessive wear and tear. Hence, it’s always a good idea to keep the revs low and avoid frequent redlining.
Not changing engine oil regularly
Just like humans have blood running through their bodies, car engines have engine oil running through various critical parts. Hence, it won’t be wrong to say that engine oil is the blood of a car engine. However, unlike a human body, an engine can’t replace old blood cells with new ones, and hence, requires frequent change of engine oil. Not changing the engine oil at the manufacturer’s recommended time intervals or even not sticking with the recommended grade of engine oil can be harmful to your car’s engine.
It’s important to stick to the recommendations by your car’s manufacturer. Not changing old engine oil timely leads to excessive wear and tear of many parts of the engine. This reduces engine life drastically. Also, it’s a good idea to check engine oil levels regularly. Running on low engine oil can also damage your car’s engine.
Driving in deep water without a snorkel
It’s said that water is one of the biggest enemies of an internal combustion engine. As you all know, fire and water don’t get along too well. Your car is not made for deep water diving and venturing into deep water can prove fatal for its engine. While you might be confident about your SUV’s high ground clearance, it’s still a pretty good idea to install a snorkel. It may be noted that water can enter the engine compartment through your car’s air-intake system, which can lead to the engine getting into hydrostatic lock mode. If this happens, the engine stops working. Hence, all those who plan to drive through water should install a snorkel. A snorkel keeps the engine safe by making sure the air-intake opening is much higher than normal.
Revving the engine without warming up
Repeated cold starts or starting a car after a long period of time results in higher wear and tear. During cold starts, the engine isn’t able to do its job of lubricating the vital parts of an internal combustion engine properly. Hence, in case you rev your engine hard soon after a cold start, there’s a higher wear and tear between the moving parts of the engine. This affects the life of the motor. Hence, it’s always a good idea to wait for a couple of minutes for the engine to warm up. Also, it’s always a good idea to keep engine speed below 2,000 RPM for the first two kilometres after a cold start.
Wrong fuel usage
It’s a really very bad idea to put the wrong fuel in a car. A car’s engine is engineered to run on a particular type of fuel. For example, the technology used in a petrol engine is very different from that of a diesel motor. Hence, an engine that is engineered to run on petrol can’t run on diesel and vice versa. There have been cases when people have mistakenly filled up their car’s fuel tank with the wrong type of fuel. In such a case, the wrong type of fuel can cause a lot of damage to the engine. Hence, in case you end up filling the tank with the wrong type of fuel, you should immediately remove the fuel tank and empty it completely before refilling it with the correct fuel. Also, you can put a sticker on the fuel cap to make sure attendants have a clear idea of what fuel your car runs on.