No matter how great of a driver you are, everyone is bound to make mistakes on the road. And although we tend to learn from these mistakes to keep ourselves and others on the road safe, some of these mistakes are more elusive and could harm the condition of your car.

Here are a few everyday habits that could be hurting the health of your vehicle and how to break them!

Abusing Your AC

There’s nothing quite like blasting the AC when in the middle of a hot summer drive, but there are certain things that Sitting in a hot car for long periods. During the summer, it can be tempting to leave your vehicle running while you pop in to pick up a few things (or run one errand after another), but constantly turning on and off your car is actually worse than leaving it running.

Rethink turning on the AC while your car is still warming up. If you’re in a hurry, you might turn up your AC while you’re stuck behind the wheel, waiting. However, cars need to idle before they can begin running properly—so if you blast the cold air right away, you’ll be putting more stress on your vehicle.

Shifting Without Stopping

When we’re in a hurry, we often don’t think about our tiny driving habits that aren’t great for the lifespan of our cars. For instance, if you’re the type of driver to shift from reverse to a drive gear without fully coming to a stop in between, you could damage your transmission significantly. If you’re going even a few miles an hour, you can cause harm, so that being said, be sure to make a full stop before moving on from one gear to the next in your automatic car.

Driving on Empty

There’s a general rule that you should drive a car with at least a quarter tank of gas. But a lot of drivers think that’s simply so you won’t run out of gas. Unfortunately, running on empty (or close to it) can cause parts of your car to malfunction and for parts to overheat. From the fuel pump and fuel system to the catalytic converter, you’re doing more harm every time you drive your vehicle on a low fuel level.

When you run your vehicle on low, sediment can build up within the gas tank, resulting in a clogged fuel filter. Although we recommend regular fuel tank cleanings to reduce that build-up, you can prevent significant damage by keeping your tank full.

Underestimating Strange Noises

We’ve all been there. Whether we’re starting our cars up or driving down the road, suddenly we hear an unfamiliar noise coming from our vehicles. If your car could tell you something is wrong, this is surely how it would do it. Many of us have the habit of disregarding odd noises, but we need to break that habit for our cars. While not all noises mean something seriously wrong is going on, it’s better to be safe than sorry when an unfamiliar noise comes about. So what sounds are we talking about?

  • Ticking
  • Rattling
  • Rumbling
  • Sputtering
  • Whistling
  • Squealing

If you don’t recognize the noise, take it to your mechanic!

Ready for a Tune-Up?

Don’t let bad driving habits get in the way of the health of your vehicle. That being said, we’re here for you! If you are experiencing issues with your car, come into Master Muffler Pocatello today and let one of our trusted and certified mechanics take a look under the hood. We’re the full-service auto shop ready to help you get out on the road from brake replacements to engine repairs.