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We all have bad habits, and some of them are worse than others. And sometimes our bad habits can really hurt us, literally and financially. We see that sometimes at Milex Complete Auto Care. That’s why we thought we’d spotlight some bad car habits that a lot of people do – that can sometimes cause you to bring their car in to be looked at, far more than they had planned. What sort of bad habits are we talking about? Well, see if you ever do any of these.

You ignore a potentially troubling sound coming from your car. Maybe it’s the brakes. A screeching sound. Perhaps it’s a banging sound. None of those sounds are good, but maybe you downplay their significance if your car is still running without a problem. If you’re hearing screeching when you’re braking, you probably need brake pads, and if you’re not careful, and the screeching continues, you may need to replace the brake rotors, which just adds to your expense. The screeching sound might be a belt that needs replacing, or you may not even need a new belt; it may just need tightening or loosening. And that banging sound should definitely be checked out, immediately.

When your car is making a troubling sound but the car is still running, don’t look the other way and leave it to chance. Come on in and get your car checked out while it’s still driving without any major problems.

Driving on empty. A lot of us do this, and it’s hard not to sometimes. You’re busy and going to the gas station is yet another errand you don’t have time for. Or maybe you want to wait and pump after the next paycheck arrives. But driving with your car on an almost completely empty tank can actually hurt your fuel pump. It may not – so don’t freak out if you always drive on empty – but having gas in the tank helps cool the electric fuel-pump motor, and when you get really low, the fuel pump sucks in the air in your almost empty gas tank. And if your tank is almost empty, there’s a lot of air in there. That creates heat, and potentially, your fuel pump could age faster than normal and that could, one day, lead to you having to replace your fuel pump.

Having a dirty car. No judgments here. It’s human nature to sometimes let your car go, especially if you’re often transporting kids and pets. But if you really let your car go, where you never wash it, and it’s always a mess, and maybe you got a dent in the car that you probably could have straightened out but didn’t, you may start to view your car differently. Maybe you were proud of your car once but now your friends write “clean me” in the dust on the windows because it looks like you haven’t washed it since the last presidential election. If that happens, you might start seeing it as no big deal if you go a little longer between oil changes or other regular services because your car is no longer your pride and joy. Keeping your car clean can help you remember that you really do like and value your car and would hate to see it break down prematurely someday.

Not putting the parking brake on. “But I don’t park on a hill,” you say. “My driveway or garage is completely level,” you say. True, but when the parking brake isn’t on, the entire weight of your vehicle is actually on a piece of metal in the transmission called the parking pawl. That’s a small metal piece that locks the output shaft of your car’s transmission. Why is this important? The weight of your car is basically on the parking pawl, but the weight is more nicely dispersed when the parking brake is engaged. If you never put your parking brake on, don’t worry too much – you’ll probably be fine – but if you now start using it regularly when you park, and you’ll increase the odds of never having to replace the parking pawl on your transmission. Or rather, you’ll reduce the odds of having to possibly replace your entire transmission, because if the pawl breaks, pieces of it could end up in the transmission and damage it.

By breaking these bad car care habits, you may be able to extend the life of your vehicle.


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