Redditor u/xmascrackbaby asked a question on Reddit: "Mechanics of Reddit, what seemingly inconsequential thing do drivers do on a regular basis that is very damaging to their car?" The answers provided some very obvious but oft-ignored solutions to our car problems. Here are the best of them:
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1."When small things don't get fixed, and it ends up costing much more to repair. For example, I once had a car come in with a really bad ball joint. The customer declined repairs and went on their way. Got a call 10 minutes later saying the ball joint let go and it was getting towed back to the shop. They ended up having to replace the ball joint, along with the CV axle and the wheel bearing. Ended up costing nearly 3x as much as if they'd just replaced the ball joint in the first place."
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2."Actual mechanic here. I will say one thing I see quite a bit that you may not know is when people almost exclusively take short trips, never allowing their vehicles to get up to temp, and always babying their car. ESPECIALLY direct injection engines."
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"It's important for your vehicle to get up to operating temperature, and also for you to flog it from time to time. Failure to do so will result in large amounts of carbon deposits on your intake valves. Carbon deposits can build to the point where your car will not run correctly. This can be dealt with by driving the hell out if it from time to time. Some customers end up paying us good money to take their car out for them, and beat the hell out of it, knocking the carbon off the valves. If it's too bad, we have to take off the intake and clean them manually. Happens about once a week." —u/feelin_raudi
3."Having the right tire pressures is one thing you need to check. Will cause uneven tire wear and cause you a lot of money in the long run."
"Not stopping while shifting from reverse to drive or drive to reverse.
Delaying your oil change until the light comes on will over time mess up your engine.
Riding the brakes can cause too much heat and crack the pads.
Not flushing fluids can cause build up in the systems." —u/Stubbs200
4."Driving through deep puddles after hard braking. It will warp your rotors every single time."
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5."Driving with cold engines, riding the clutch."
6."Not doing regular oil changes, no tire rotations. Just plain ignorance. Cars don't like 'if it isn't broke, don't fix it.' Ignorance isn't bliss; it's expensive down the road."
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7."Heavy keys will eventually break the ignition. I've seen this happen to so many people."
8."Smashing speed bumps. Idiots."
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9."Driving with 2 feet. In an automatic."
10."Not a mechanic, but topping off your gas tank can ruin a device called the EVAP purge valve. (From my understanding, it has something to do with equalizing the pressure in the gas tank when the car slows down or is at a stop.) It cost me about $350 to have it fixed."
11."Riding your brakes down a steep hill."
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12."Dumping transmission from neutral to drive while revving the engine."
13."Running your car low on fuel — bad for the fuel pump."
14."Get the alignment corrected. Keeps the whole car from shaking apart over time."
15."Texting while driving."
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