It’s usually best to refer to professionals when you don’t know what’s going on. In the case of your car, it’s usually best to take a mechanic’s advice since they work on automobiles for a living.
You can always Google something if you have a question about it, like how to change out the bulb in your taillight, or how long you should wait to change your belts or tires. However, here are six things mechanics suggest you should keep in mind when it comes to your car.
1. Don’t press the engine button while driving
This sounds pretty self-explanatory, but you probably shouldn’t press an “off” on anything while you’re using it, let alone a car. Of course, so many newer cars have this feature now rather than a traditional key in the ignition.
Nothing bad will happen if you’re driving at a normal speed, and most cars that come with this button also have safety features that will help keep you from pressing it, but it’s best to just avoid it. Maybe it’s because it’s a button and we’re just tempted to push it? Either way, just don’t.
2. Don’t put your car in “reverse” while driving
Your stick shift gives your car certain commands. When you’re in drive, your car is expecting to drive forward, so why would you bother throwing it in reverse? Unless you’re a stuntman in an action movie, this isn’t a move you want to make.
The computer in your car should ignore it in the event you “accidentally” make this mistake. However, it’s still not a good idea. In modern cars, your stick won’t even shift unless you’re pressing on your brake. Another safety feature we can be grateful for.
3. Don’t put your car in “park” while driving
Your car would probably make a horrible noise if you tried to do this. Again, most modern cars have safety features that prevent you from doing this, but there’s always an off-chance that they don’t work.
Brian Feldman, a robotics specialist, said on Quora, “If you put it in park, a parking pin will release and attempt to engage with the transmission. This pin is designed to hold a stationary car, not to stop a moving car. Done at speed, you may shear this pin.”
4. Don’t attach too much to your ignition key
I’ve definitely been guilty of the massive keychain with membership tabs and fun little tokens. My keys used to weigh more than my phone. Even my mechanic pointed out what a bad decision this was.
Heavy keychains could make your ignition key wobble when you go to start your car, and over time it will damage your ignition switch. You’ll have to consider the cost of this one; it’s likely to run you a pretty high bill.
5. Not changing your oil
Some people opt to change their own oil. This isn’t a bad idea if you have an older car, you’ve done it before, and you know how to do it. If you’ve never done it before, it’s best not to start now.
Most newer cars have very specific instructions, right down to the type of oil you need. Some cars can go for 3,000 miles, others for 5,000, but some can only go for 1,000. It’s important you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to the oil, and take it in when it needs to be taken in.
6. Don’t overfill your engine
If you don’t know anything else about your car’s engine, you should at least know about your car’s dipstick. This will tell you the level of oil in your engine, and it can be really helpful when you’re trying to figure out how long you need until your next service.
There’s a “full” point on here, so you should never fill oil past this level. Don’t fill it to the top because this could cause serious failure and you could have smoke coming from under your hood in no time.
Reach out to a mechanic and build a relationship with one who you can go to whenever you have a question or an issue you need them to look at. If you’re wondering something about your car or you suspect something is up, don’t ignore it.