Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday: Be Kind to Your Car

I thought I'd share a few tips from my "I should have been a mechanic" husband today. Over the years, I've learned a lot from him about taking care of my car. Even though he's on something like car #14, that's because in his teens and twenties, he used to buy beaters on their last leg with like 80K on them and drive them until the last leg fell off. Now though, we both buy newer cars and drive them, well, until they die! But they last a whole lot longer these days!

1. It's always a good idea to not allow your gas tank to get too low. He recommends keeping it at least half full, especially in the extreme cold and hot weather. In the cold, a fuller gas tank will add weight to your car, a help on icy roads. In the summer, the additional gas acts as insulation to keep your fuel pump from overheating (something like that - he makes me recite this maxim several times a year!)
2. Whenever possible, drift as you drive. That's right - keep your foot off both the brake and gas. You'll be surprised how easy it is to do this when you learn not to over-accelerate. Instead of jamming on your brakes, you'll find you've already slowed the momentum of the car enough. This is especially useful for residential driving. You'll save wear and tear on your brakes and get better gas mileage.
3. This is my own tip I learned from teaching cable installation - from the driver safety section. When stopping in traffic, get in the habit of ensuring you can see where the rear tires of the car ahead of you touch the pavement. Allowing this extra room provides a buffer in the event of a rear-end hit to your car, and if you accidentally snooze or become distracted at the light, and your foot slips off the brake, you'll most likely NOT rear-end the car ahead of you.

These tips work for us - hope they help someone else today! Happy Driving!

11 comments:

Jennifer said...

Okay--I'm 1 1/2 for 3 here. I never keep extra gas in my car. I drive it until it's on fumes, because I hate to stop and fill it up, but maybe I'll take your/his advice. I'm great on number two! I'm glad that it's really a good thing. I think I'm about half and half on number 3. So, not bad, but still some room for improvement. Thanks!

Katrina said...

Good tips, Dianne! My husband also frequently reminds me to not let my gas tank go below 1/4 in the summer. :) I usually do the coasting-when-possible, but I'm bad about leaving extra room between my car and the one in front of me when stopped. I'll have to work on that!

Mieneke said...

Great tips!
My driving instructor even tought me your second tip. I must tell him about your nr 3 tip when I see him next! I plan on implementing that one going forward.

Thanks! (And to the hubs too, ofcourse! ;-) )

Barb, sfo said...

Tip #2 is new to me. Makes sense--I'll try it! Thanks! (It should save GAS, too!)

Overwhelmed! said...

Great tips! I need to get better at #1!

I've posted a WFMW tip as well. Stop by and take a peek. :)

Christine A. said...

another good reason to keep the tank at least half full- emergencies. You never know when you might have to get out of town fast without time to get gas.

Thanks for these tips, they were all really helpful.

Shalee said...

What fantastic tips these are. I need to work on ALL of them.

Susanne said...

My Dad taught me all of these tips too! Right after he taught me that a car is like a loaded shotgun and you never fool around when using (driving) it. You don't know how many times his voice saying this still comes to my head in the car. Now we're teaching our daughter these tips.

Stacy said...

Good tips! We, too, buy new cars and drive them "until the wheels fall off". :) My husband is a pretty good mechanic, and it helps to have someone who can change oil, etc. It saves us a bit of money!

Be safe!

ladyofvirtue said...

Great tips--my hubby will love these!

PastorMac's Ann said...

Thanks for the tips. Seems like our car is always an near empty.