When you drive for a rideshare service, having a functional car is essential. Unfortunately, when your car is your place of business, it tends to wear down twice as quickly as it would if it were just for personal use. Wear and tear are inevitable, but that does not mean you are helpless against it. Our tips for minimizing wear and tear on your vehicle will keep you getting the most out of your car.
Every time we use a tool, we wear it down a little, and cars are no exception. However, you can minimize wear and tear on your car by using it the right way.
Don’t Warm up the Car
There is a common belief among car owners and car blogs that warming up the car helps it run better, especially if done in the winter. However, this was only true of cars that utilized carburetors which could stall if they weren’t given ample time to warm up. Since carburetors fell out of fashion in the 90s, and both Uber and Lyft require you own a vehicle not older than 15, chances are you won’t be driving a car with a carburetor. Warming your car up only puts unnecessary wear on the car with few benefits.
We are all eager to get our passengers to their intended destination promptly. But driving too fast won’t only stress out your passengers, but your car as well. High speeds are harder on your transmission and gas mileage. Also, taking turns too quickly can strain your tires, alignment, shocks, and suspension.
Be Kind To Your Brakes
Along the lines of slowing down, hitting the brakes too quickly can harm the brakes themselves and your tires. Any time you hit the brakes too hard and leave skid marks on the road, you lose layers of tread from your tires. The alignment may also get thrown off. However, you shouldn’t ride the brakes, either. Riding the brakes for long periods wears them out significantly and can even cause brakes to overheat and fail.
Many of us were taught to only engage the parking brake when parking on an incline. However, the parking brake should be used every time you put your vehicle in park. If you have a manual transmission, this keeps your car from rolling away and getting damaged. If you have an automatic transmission, this puts less strain on your parking pawl and transmission.
Don’t Drive on Empty
When you’re out and about, it can be tough to take the time and stop for gas if you know you still have enough to get where you want to go. But driving on low fuel can wear down the engine itself. The engine will run less efficiently, causing it to work harder to perform. In addition, driving on a low tank forces sediment at the bottom of the tank to go through the engine, which clogs up your filter. Fill your tank up when it’s between a quarter and half full.
A small problem can become larger if left alone, and larger issues wear down cars much more quickly. The best way to nip the problems in the bud is to keep up on regular car maintenance. When you book a Brooklyn TLC rental car with us, we provide everything you need for regular maintenance.
Oil helps lubricate your car engine and keep it from overheating. When we neglect our regular 3,000-mile oil changes, the viscosity of the oil changes, and it takes on the consistency of sludge. This sludge cannot travel through your engine effectively to lubricate it. An engine running in this state will experience a greater level of friction as the parts rub against each other, causing those parts to wear out and the engine to overheat.
It’s common sense that tires need enough air for the car to drive effectively, but it isn’t always clear what improper inflation does to a car. If tires do not have enough air in them, it causes the tread to run out faster. Driving on tires with bad or uneven tread can lead to steering problems and a higher likelihood of car accidents. Overinflating tires can also pose problems to a car. Along with uneven tread, these tires are also prone to blowouts. Inflating tires to the proper pressure will help them last.
We have mentioned a car’s alignment being thrown off, but what does it mean for your car? Your alignment refers to the alignment of your wheels. That is, the angle that your wheels touch the pavement. Your wheels may hit the pavement at different angles. This leads to uneven tire tread and issues with steering and handling. Fortunately, this can be adjusted by a mechanic.
Wash and Wax
Washing your vehicle isn’t merely an aesthetic choice. Over time, road salt, brake dust, and other dirt and grime can take a toll on a car. Road salt and brake dust especially are corrosive both to the car’s body and wheels. Most professionals recommend washing the car once every two weeks. If you really want to protect your car from the ravages of the road, you can go the extra mile of waxing it. This keeps dirt and grime from sticking to the surface itself and protects the car from scratches.
Lessen the Weight
Most rideshare drivers don’t keep many personal effects in the car while they’re transporting passengers. But off the clock, we all tend to keep more in the car than we are using. However, the more weight that you put in your car, the less mileage the car gets. This is especially true of smaller cars. Leave the toolbox in the garage. Your car will thank you.
Loosen Your Keyring
Most people wouldn’t think that a keyring is heavy. But between keys for home, our cars, and various novelty keychains, our key rings pack more weight than we realize. And over time, that weight can damage a car’s ignition. This is a simple fix for a mechanic, but an expensive one for you.
Get a Sunshade
Windshield sunshades do more than just keep your car cooler in the summer. As the sun beats down into a car, it can damage the car’s seats, dashboard, radio, and any other electronics in its direct path. Investing in a sunshade for warmer weather will help the interior of the car from aging prematurely.