How to make your car last longer

Get more life out of your car with safer driving

Safe driving has more than one benefit. The first is obviously that you don’t turn yourself into a hood ornament on someone else’s car. However, safer driving is also better for your car. And this can make the difference between driving your car for several years or having to either shell out for expensive repairs or put yourself at the mercy of the public transport system.

Here’s how you can get more life out of your car with safe driving.

Get fairer car insurance. Based on how you drive

Cornering

Taking a corner at 90 km/h and living to tell the story is an exhilarating experience, for you at least.

Your car, however, won’t enjoy it quite as much. Fast and hard cornering generates enormous centrifugal forces, which in turn put pressure on your suspension and tyres. If you don’t end up on a slalom run along the pavement or rolling your vehicle, you’ll create mechanical stress in your suspension and wear down your tyres.

The safe way to take a corner is:

  1. Slowly
  2. Break before the corner, not in it
  3. Hold as straight a line as possible through the bend.

Your car and other drivers will thank you for it.

Braking

Harsh braking runs a continuum from spilling your passenger’s coffee to putting them and their coffee into orbit. You want to be off this continuum entirely. The only time you want to brake suddenly is in an emergency. If hard braking is part of your driving style then you’ll wear down your suspension, tyres and braking system and end up having to repair or replace all three.

Safe breaking involves:

  1. Slowly applying your brakes well in advance of your stopping point
  2. Coming to a stop slowly by gently applying pressure to the brake pedal
  3. Gently release the brake pedal once you have stopped or reached the desired speed
  4. Practising the ‘limo stop’ – as your car is coming to a stop release the brake so that your car
    rolls to stop
  5. Avoiding the ‘taxi stop’ – maintaining pressure on the brake until the car has stopped, which
    will cause it to jerk backwards

Acceleration and speeding

You were born too late to join the Apollo program and too early to join the missions to Mars. So you decide to make your car pay the price by getting it to do an impression of reaching escape velocity from a stop street in downtown Wagga Wagga.

This is going to have two effects. Firstly it’s going to burn a hole in your petrol card. Secondly, if done frequently or before the car has warmed up, the high revs generated by harsh acceleration will degrade the oil in your engine and cause damage to all sorts of intricate and expensive engine parts.

If you want your car to live a long and happy life:

  1. Don’t redline the rev counter unless you’re specifically doing so occasionally to flush carbon
    deposits out of the engine
  2. Accelerate gradually and smoothly.

Harsh acceleration and speeding can require very sudden and harsh braking if you unexpectedly encounter a stationary or slow moving object in front of you. The faster you’re going the harder it is to stop and the more likely you are to lose control of your vehicle when you attempt to stop. At this point you can stop worrying about the impact this will have on your car and will instead have the brief opportunity to worry about what effect your car’s impact will have on you.

Phone use

The same people who’d never consider a leisurely browse through the morning papers while driving to work are quite happy to instead browse their chat apps and social media accounts while doing the same. Phone use while driving tends not to put any strain on your car’s systems until it does so all at once as you drive into someone innocently stopped at a traffic light.

The good news is you can use your car to improve your driving safety by installing a telematics app on it. This app will track and rate your driving. At the end of each trip you’ll get a report trip rating your braking, acceleration, speeding, cornering and phone use, and even score you on a leader- board comprising other drivers in your area. This can not only improve the safety of you and your passengers, but also ensure a longer, less expensive lifespan for your car.

Drive smart with UbiCar

UbiCar is the ground-breaking telematics app that promotes and rewards smart driving. Download the free UbiCar app and we’ll provide you with feedback on your driving and offer you rewards such as fairer priced car insurance premiums when you drive safely.

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