Normal vs. Excessive Wear and Tear — How to Avoid the Latter
One of the major factors regarding your leased vehicle is wear and tear. At the end of your lease, you will have to decide whether or not you want to purchase the vehicle or return it. In some cases, the leasee may know that they definitely do not want to buy. But, the damage to the vehicle may be so expensive that buying the car makes more sense, thus they are stuck with a vehicle they don’t want.
To avoid this situation, it’s important to keep your lease in the best condition possible. In this article, we will go into detail about the best practices regarding car maintenance. This not only will save you money, but it will ensure you have a safe clean ride for as long as possible.
Avoid Short Runs
It’s a little counterintuitive but taking your lease for a short drive actually causes more wear and tear then longer drives. The oil inside engines takes time to come to a boil. Once it boils it burns off all the moisture inside the engine. Short runs prevent the oil from getting hot enough, this causes gunk to build up in the engine.
Keep this in mind if the majority of your drives are shorter than 20 minutes or are at an extremely slow speed. Let’s say your job isn’t far at all but you spend most of the time in bumper to bumper traffic. You could be doing more damage to your vehicle than you realize.
In some cases this is unavoidable. You can’t change your job and there’s no way to get there faster. To avoid doing damage, make sure to change your oil frequently. In your owner’s manual, there is a section on oil. Look for “severe usage” and change your oil according to the schedule provided.
Use Your Parking Brake
If you happen to drive in a hilly area and are often parking on inclined roads, using your parking brake correctly can save a lot of wear on your transmission. The parking brake locks up the transmission which prevents your vehicle from moving. This can cause damage over time, but there’s a way to prevent this from happening.
When you have yo use your parking brake, engage it while you’re still in drive. Apply the brake pedal, while in drive, pull the emergency brake and then put the vehicle into park. This causes the parking brake to shoulder the weight of the vehicle instead of the transmission.
Keeping this in mind on your daily commute will save you a lot of wear and tear on the transmission on your lease, which is arguably the most expensive part to replace if necessary.
Be Easy on The Gas
Let’s face it, it’s fun to go fast. We all want to be quick on the accelerator to make sure we get through the green light before it turns yellow. Even when we know there is a stop sign ahead of us, we still feel the need to get there as quickly as possible.
This type of aggressive driving just adds onto the wear and tear of your vehicle, especially the braking system. Any unnecessary acceleration ultimately leads to unnecessary breaking.
A counter-argument to this point could be that breaks are easily replaced. But that doesn’t count the entire braking system that is under stress every time we break unnecessarily. Making this simple change will ensure your vehicle’s longevity.
Stop and Start
Another aspect of driving that can cause unnecessary wear on your lease is stop and start driving. Unfortunately, this is usually unavoidable for most drivers. Vehicles are mostly designed for long term consistent driving routines. Constantly making short runs, stopping and starting, and not letting the oil get hot enough will eventually lead to excessive wear and tear.
The best way to avoid this kind of issue is by taking the highway as much as possible. Avoid shortcuts that take you residential districts or other roads controlled by traffic lights. Always remember, a longer more consistent drive is always better for your vehicle than a short one.
Warming up your vehicle before you begin driving can save you a ton in maintenance down the road. It goes back to the same concept that we’ve been talking about in the above sections. Cars and trucks run better when their hot, you need to give them a chance
Your vehicle is made up of a complex system of oils and fluids they need time to begin their function before immediately taking off for the road. Experts recommend allowing the vehicle to warm up for about 30 to 45 seconds before beginning your drive. If it’s winter, that estimate goes up to about 60 to 90 seconds, and in extreme weather 240 seconds.
Keep in mind that allowing the vehicle to idle for too long is simply a waste of fuel. Avoid hitting higher RPMs until the vehicle has hit its normal running temperature damage. Keeping these temperatures balancing tips in mind can save you severe damage to your engine and transmission.
The most obvious section on this list is to avoid collisions to the best of your ability. Drive safe, don’t text and drive. Make sure you’re paying attention and following the rules of the road. Even minor collisions with curbs and bumpers can add up over time.
Parallel parking in urban areas can do a lot of damage over time to your vehicle. Invest in a rubber bumper cover to protect the value of your car. All those dings and scrapes from careless drivers can result in having to replace the bumper entirely at some point.
Treat Your Vehicle with Care
Everything comes down to simply taking care of your vehicle. You made an investment when you signed your lease, don’t fall into the trap of not caring about it simply because you don’t own it. You are responsible for this vehicle, and how you treat it will come back to you at the end of your lease. Be safe, be punctual with maintenance, and overall, treat your vehicle with care.