Five ways you might be ruining your car without realising | The Sun

MOTORS experts have revealed the five ways you might be ruining your car without realising.

The driving whizzes ran through a list of major mistakes that drivers make all the time and which could cost them hundreds on repair bills.

First of all, they warned against popping your vehicle into neutral to coast downhill.

While it is a common urban myth that this reduces stress on the engine, it can actually increase wear and tear on the brakes and doesn't save fuel.

An expert with fleet management company Lightfoot said: "When coasting downhill, gravity and momentum combine so you rapidly gain speed.

"Without the engine connected to the wheels, you can’t use the engine’s gears to slow down (known as 'engine braking') – giving you less control.



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"To make up for the lack of engine braking, you have to press harder on the main brakes, wearing them out more quickly."

Secondly, drivers were warned against overinflating their tyres despite claims it improves fuel economy.

Tyre company Watling Tyres pointed out that this can lead to uneven wear, poor traction and even distortion, requiring an expensive replacement.

If you find you have overinflated your tyres, you can use the machine at your local petrol station to deflate them or take the car to a garage to have this done professionally.

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Thirdly, it is important to keep track of the fluids that go into your car, both keeping them topped up and making sure not to mix them.

Engine oil, brake fluid, coolant and transmission fluid are all vital for the proper running of your motor.

Always follow the instructions in your owner's manual to replenish the fluids properly or ask your local mechanic to do so at your next service.

As a rule of thumb, oil should be changed around every 5,000 miles, brake fluid every two years, transmission fluid every 60,000 to 100,000 miles and coolant every two years or 30,000 miles.

Next, motorists were urged to let their cars warm up for a few minutes on cold days rather than just trying to switch it on and drive off.

Letting the car idle for two or three minutes gets lubricant flowing through important systems and even help defrost your windscreen.

Dustin Hawley from JD Power said: "Warming up is a great way to maintain engine health. You allow it to lubricate itself and, in turn, prolong its life cycle.

"However, modern vehicles no longer have carburettors, and lubrication takes 20-30 seconds.

"So, there is no real need to sit idle much beyond the time it takes to defog the windshield."

He warned not to idle for more than a couple of minutes as otherwise you are just wasting fuel with "no real tangible benefits".

Finally, the experts rubbished the myth that you should run your car on premium fuel to make it more efficient or faster.

Paul Horsman from Direct Line said: "If your car has a 100 horsepower engine, that is its power output.

"Using a fuel with a higher octane rating won’t increase that output.

"It may increase its economy but the margins are likely to be so insignificant you won’t notice them. And the savings you’ll make on fuel won’t outweigh the extra outlay in cost"

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It comes after an EV owner explained why he hates his car despite having it for just six months.

Meanwhile, a car insurance expert revealed the reason for EV repair claims tripling in the past three years.

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