Cars are expensive items to purchase, often being the second-most valuable item people own. If you for some reason love to throw away money and want to ruin your car, here are some tips to help you do just that. On the other hand, if you don’t like to waste your hard-earned money, do the exact opposite of the following ten tips and help your car last longer.
1. Never check the fluids.
Cars need various fluids to run properly. If you don’t want your car to last very long, you should never check any of the fluid levels under the hood. For example, running the oil too low can cause serious engine wear, potentially to the point that the whole engine seizes up. Neglecting the coolant can lead to the engine overheating, which can also cause serious damage.
2. Idle long and regularly.
Modern cars really don’t need to be idled very much. At the most, on a cold morning a car’s engine should be idled for one or two minutes. Beyond that, you’re not only needlessly generating more air pollution, you’re also doing damage to the engine. The same is true if you’re idling your engine for long periods of time in a drive-through or while waiting somewhere.
3. Never check the tires.
Tires are perhaps the most neglected thing on a vehicle. Tires with low air pressure not only wear out faster, they also cause your engine and transmission to work harder than necessary. Even worse are tires that are worn out, with little to no tread left and the steel belts exposed. Excessively worn tires make it so your car takes a longer distance to stop, plus they can suddenly blow out, resulting in complete loss of steering control.
4. Skip routine maintenance.
Manufacturers all make recommendations on routine maintenance. If you want to ruin your car, you’ll skip all of these recommendations since they help keep everything running smoothly.
5. Ignore the dummy lights.
The so-called “dummy” lights are the warning lights that sometimes illuminate on your dash, such as the low oil pressure warning light or the notorious check engine light. The worst thing you can do is completely ignore any of these lights. Depending on the problem, this could result in immediate or long-term damage.
6. Drive hard all the time.
If you want to see your car die faster, perform burnouts, jackrabbit starts, hard stops and sharp turns constantly. Driving like you’re constantly in a race wears out various mechanical components quickly. This is why many race cars are rebuilt at least every few races, if not after every race.
7. Never wash or wax it.
Washing and waxing your car isn’t just for looks. Believe it or not, cleaning up the paint job also offers considerable protection. Washing removes buildup that can eat away at the paint, the finish and even the body panels. Waxing builds up a protective layer that keeps any corroding elements at bay. By neglecting both, you help ensure a quicker death for your car.
8. Always take short trips.
Some people might think that driving your car for long distances is bad. The reality is that shorter distances driven on a regular basis are much harder on your engine. If you notice that the engine temperature gauge never reaches the normal level when you run errands, that’s a bad sign and will result in premature engine wear.
9. Forget to use the parking brake.
With most cars sold today having automatic transmissions, many people think that parking brakes are completely unnecessary. The reality is, not applying the parking brake puts extra pressure on the transmission. If you park on an incline of any sort, that pressure only increases. Eventually, not using the parking brake will cause the transmission to fail.
10. Ignore warning signs of problems.
If you want your car to wear out faster, ignore any strange noises, smells or smoke of any kind coming from under the hood or chassis. Drive around listening to loud music, with your windows rolled up so you’re sure you won’t notice anything. And certainly don’t take your car to a mechanic if you do happen to notice something odd. +