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Bottom Line Up Front

  • Being gentler on your vehicle means getting more out of its components over its lifetime.
  • Simple driving habit adjustments are easy to incorporate into your daily commute.
  • You’ll spend less money on repairs and maintenance by reducing car wear over time!

Time to Read

3 minutes

April 15, 2024

Regular maintenance is a critical part of being a responsible vehicle owner, but there are other things you can do to keep your car running smoothly. Adopting good driving habits could reduce wear and tear that could lead to more frequent maintenance—and costly repairs. 

From easing up on the accelerator to keeping your tires properly inflated, here are a few simple driving habits that could help to maintain your car’s condition.

  1. Accelerate and brake smoothly. 
    Benefit: Less wear on tires, brakes, transmission and engine

    Abrupt acceleration not only wastes fuel; it also puts extra strain on your car’s engine and transmission. Likewise, hard braking could reduce your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and can wear down your brake pads and rotors faster. Instead, be gentle on the accelerator and brake pedals, so your car can adjust smoothly to changes in speed—and react better in situations where you need to brake or accelerate quickly for safety.
  2. Avoid overloading your vehicle.
    Benefit: Less wear on tires, brakes and suspension

    Whether you’re transporting a car full of passengers or packing up for a long road trip, resist the urge to cram as much as you can into your car. Loading a car past its weight limit or with improper weight distribution puts unnecessary strain on tires, brakes, suspension and other critical components. It can also lead to poor handling, reduced fuel efficiency, tire blowouts and suspension issues.
  3. Steer clear of potholes and rough roads.
    Benefit: Less wear on suspension, drive train and wheels

    A road filled with potholes, cracks and other imperfections can quickly do a number on your vehicle’s suspension. Frequently driving on roads with potholes and other bumps can send a vehicle’s alignment out of balance, leading to costly repairs. Even if there isn’t noticeable damage, poor-condition roads have a tendency to cause long-term problems with a car’s drivetrain. As you drive, keep your eyes out for potholes and steer clear of rough roads whenever possible. 
  4. Take good care of your tires.
    Benefit: Less wear on tires, suspension and drivetrain

    Tire quality directly affects your car’s handling, especially in wet and snowy conditions. You can prolong the lifespan of your tires by regularly checking air pressure and keeping them inflated to the manufacturer's recommended specifications (found on the driver’s side door sticker). Make sure to also have your tires periodically rotated and aligned to even out wear. This will save you money not just on tire replacements but also on fuel consumption.
  5. Park in the shade, when possible.
    Benefit: Less wear on upholstery and interior elements

    It’s not just the mechanical aspects of your car that you need to preserve over time—aesthetics also have a big effect on value. If you want to keep fading, cracking and any other deterioration from impacting your car, make sure to park in the shade whenever possible to protect your interior from harsh UV light. Also, keep a sunshade handy if you need to park in a spot with no shade nearby.
  6. Navigate bumps and curves smoothly.
    Benefit: Less wear on suspension, brakes and tires

    When you drive over a bump or take a sharp turn, you put extra stress on your car’s suspension and tires. You could reduce wear and tear by simply slowing down before you hit a bump or navigate around a sharp turn. Not only does this help keep your car under control (making you a safer driver), but it also keeps your vehicle from bouncing and swaying, and potentially damaging the suspension. 

Mindful driving habits preserve your car’s lifespan

Your car is a significant investment, and you want to preserve its lifespan for as long as possible. By practicing mindful driving habits—and even paying attention to where you park—you could reduce wear and tear on your car and keep it in excellent mechanical and aesthetic shape. 

Remember—taking good care of your car starts with you and your driving habits. It’s not just a matter of responsible ownership; it’s a matter of saving money, too!

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This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.