3 tips for operating your car to make it last

July 29, 2015

Maybe you went to driving school, or were taught by parents or relatives. But there's nothing wrong with learning a few new tricks to correct car operation — consider this a quick 'n' easy refresher course.

3 tips for operating your car to make it last

1. Be patient during the break-in period

  • You've bought your dream car and now you want to make it last at long as possible in top condition.
  • Here are some things to remember as you pull it out of the dealer's lot: During the break-in period, typically the first 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles), keep your speed under (88 kilometres per hour (55 miles per hour) or to the speed recommended by your car's manufacturer.
  • Avoid heavy loads on the drive train, such as towing trailers, and loading the roof rack or trunk with heavy construction materials.
  • Do not allow your new car to idle for long periods — this is good advice for the life of your car, but especially during break-in.
  • The oil pressure generated by doing so may not be sending oil to every part of your engine.
  • Use only light to medium acceleration, keeping the engine rpms below 3,000 for the first few hours of driving.

2. Go easy when you’re stuck

  • When stuck in mud or snow, don't make the problem worse by damaging an expensive component. Gently rocking in an attempt to free the car is fine.
  • But if it looks as though you're really stuck, don't keep at it.
  • Throwing your car from forward to reverse repeatedly, as well as spinning tires at high speeds, can generate lots of heat and spell trouble for transmissions, clutches and differentials.
  • It may be cheaper in the long run to call the tow truck rather than risk big repair bills down the road.
  • It's a good idea to carry a traction aid in the trunk, such as sand, gravel or cat litter.

3. Don't drive with your foot on the brake

  • Don't rest your foot on the brake pedal as you drive.
  • Even slight pressure can cause a drag that will wear out your brakes and waste gasoline.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu