5 things you should never do to your car

April 11, 2022

A study of 2000 American car owners revealed that the bond shared by owners and their cars is unbreakable. 

Here are some shocking stats: 

  • 64% of owners consider their car a friend
  • 21%would rather spend a day in jail than have their car totaled
  • 13%would leave their partner before parting with their car. 

Probably, this is what you would call true love.

According to the same poll, nearly 45% of them had shed actual tears when it finally came time to part ways with their beloved car. If you share the same bond with your car, what do you do to keep it in its best condition? 

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Owning a car comes with a hundred responsibilities, from carrying out checks on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis to taking it for scheduled services and keeping it clean to guarantee it is in good condition. Likewise, there are many things you should avoid doing to your car if you want to keep it running for longer. 

Keeping it in mint condition will help you avoid making unnecessary claims and help lower your insurance cost. 

Here is a list of things you should refrain from doing to your car. 

Inflating your car tires too much or too little

Has your gas mileage been a little lower than usual off late? Does your steering wheel feel a little sluggish when you’re behind the wheel? Does your car feel like you’re practically sitting on the road? 

A good idea would be to start by inspecting parts of your car that touch the road. Yes, the tires. Over-inflating your tires is just as risky as leaving them under-inflated. 

Make sure you have the proper tire pressure to get the maximum mileage and life out of your tires. Every car has a recommended tire pressure that will give the best mileage, handling, and tire life for that car. 

Hint: This can be found on the driver’s door. When checking the air pressure of your tires or getting them filled, follow the directions and fill it to the recommended psi. 

Recommended air pressure:

The recommended air pressure can be found listed on a sticker inside the driver’s door for newer cars. If you cannot locate it, you can find the specs in the owner’s manual. Most cars will recommend 32 to 35 psi when the tires are cold. You should check the psi when the tires are cold. This is because when the tires are warm from rolling along the road, friction between them and the road generates heat, increasing both the temperature and air pressure. For the most consistent reading, make sure the car has been parked overnight or for a few hours. 

Over-inflating your tires can result in a bouncy ride and poor handling, while under-inflating may result in premature tire wear due to higher friction. In any case, not inflating your tires to the proper pressure may affect tire wear, vehicle performance, and your maintenance plan for tire replacement.

You need to find the right pressure; there isn’t room to go over or under the board – that’s what we call tough love. 

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Using the wrong coolant for your car

Most car owners do not give coolants a second thought, much alone considering the consequences of using the incorrect coolant. It’s simply another fluid level to check when the car is serviced, or they may top it off themselves. Engine coolants fulfil three critical functions:

  • Prevents rust and corrosion in the cooling system and engine.
  • It lowers the freezing point of the cooling system throughout the winter months.
  • It boosts the cooling system’s boiling point during the hot summer months.

Costly complications might arise if your vehicle’s cooling system isn’t topped up or replenished with the correct coolant.

If you decide to buy and use your coolant or antifreeze, be sure you have your vehicle’s proper brand and kind. The recommended variety is generally specified in your car’s owner’s handbook. Using the wrong coolant can lead to corrosion in the engine system, and it will eventually damage your engine and reduce the performance of your vehicle. It’s good to verify with an authorised repair centre to see if you’re using the correct coolant. If not, a mechanic should inspect the vehicle for any damage and, if necessary, cleanse the coolant.

Driving with the oil warning light

If your car displays a low-oil warning light, you should safely pull over and turn off the engine. This light indicates that your car’s oil level is too low, and it would be risky to continue driving without rectifying the issue. The light could mean a fault in the oil pump or an oil leak. If you ever feel confused or overwhelmed by the situation, it is advised to park your car in a safe spot, call for help, and have your car towed to the repair shop. 

Get familiar with warning lights on your dashboard. This image will  help you get a basic understanding of what the most common signals indicate.

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Driving with minimal fuel 

Are you someone that enjoys the thrill of driving on the last bits of fuel? You probably don’t realise how bad that is for your car. The fuel gauge may not be completely accurate, and the actual fuel level may be lower than displayed. Furthermore, operating on low gasoline might cause the fuel pump to wear out prematurely. It would be best if you topped it off when your gasoline tank hits the quarter-full level. In the long term, this will save you money on repairs.

Driving when the car is overheated 

Summers in the UAE can get unbearable for us and our cars. If it’s a hot day and you’re caught in rush hour traffic or driving up a steep hill, ‘engine overheating’ is possible. Your car’s display may show that the engine is overheating, and if you continue to drive, you risk causing harm to your vehicle. If your car begins to overheat, you should first turn off the air conditioning and open the windows. After that, you may transport the heat from your engine into your cabin by turning on the warmer. Make an effort to park your car carefully and contact a service centre to have it hauled and repaired.

Check the dashboard for any warning lights or the temperature metre to check the condition of your car. 

That’s the end of our list of five things to avoid to maintain the condition of your car. If you’re looking for the best coverage for your car – why don’t you consider insuring with Hala? Read more about our car insurance policy options. 

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