San Diego Driving - Save Money on Car Maintenance Costs

Some times your car just breaks, other times it’s from years of misuse!  Avoid the five most common “bad car habits” that wear down your vehicle and save thousands in car repair bills:

  1. Running too low on gas: Some auto mechanics say the sediments in your gas tank will be pulled into your system and ruin your fuel injector! The truth is you should fuel up before hitting empty even if those mechanics are wrong.  You’ll prolong the life of your fuel pump because the pump gets overheated easily when it’s pumping from an empty tank.  Average fuel pump repair cost: $450 to $680.
  1. Not using the parking brake: Parking on even a slight incline without a parking brake will stress your transmission.  There’s a tiny pin in the transmission that holds your car still, so stopping the transmission from moving with your parking brake takes the pressure off that delicate part.  Make sure you disengage the brake before you drive away! Future transmission replacement cost: $1,300 to $3,500.
  1. Not coming to a complete stop before shifting: Your transmission is a set of gears.  When you shift between “reverse” to “drive” without stopping, the transmission acts as a brake, stressing those gears.  Transmissions are not cheap repairs so it’s worth it to take the few extra seconds to come to a stop.  See #2 for transmission cost.
  1. Riding the brakes driving downhill: You can wear your brakes out quickly by keeping that brake pedal pressed to the floor.  Too much of this can even make your brake pads and brake fluid so hot that you’ll lose your brakes completely.  Downshift instead to slow your car down hills.  Average brake pad and rotor replacement cost: $300 to $400.
  1. "Warm up the car" by revving: Revving your car when you start it doesn’t help your car warm up, but it can harm your engine.  Let your car sit and idle for up to 30 seconds to allow the oil time to recirculate and lubricate your engine’s moving parts.  Potential repair cost: $2,500 to $7,000 or more depending on labor charges to install a new engine.

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