There are things we do to our cars on a regular basis that we think are harmless, but they can actually do more harm than we realize. Here are ten things you should never do to your car.
10. Don’t Forget to Wash Your Car
Not only does a dirty car look bad, it’s actually bad for your car’s exterior–especially in the winter when salt can be on the roads. And, when you do wash it, make sure you avoid using dish detergent. Yes, we know that Ajax detergent is tough on grease, but it’s even tougher on your car’s paint. According to an article published by Reader’s Digest, the oils and resins contained in car paint, clear coat and car wax help maintain the paint and filter out harmful UV rays. And, when you wash your car with dish detergent, it strips off the wax and washes away some of those oils and resins, making your car vulnerable to the elements. Use soap specifically designed for cars instead.
Here’s another tip: Don’t wash your car on a sunny day. That’s because putting water on your car in bright sunlight can ruin the car’s finish–especially brand new cars with base/clear-coat paints. Wash your car on cloudy, overcast days instead. Or, find a nice shady spot if it’s a sunny day. An even better time to wash it is just after dawn or late afternoon when the sun is making its way past the horizon.
9. Don’t Let the Gas Get Too Low
So, what’s considered too low? Less than a quarter tank of gas. If you drive your car with less fuel than that, it can cause premature fuel pump failure. That’s because the fuel acts like a coolant for your pump, and if there’s too little fuel in your car, not enough cooling will be provided for the pump and it’ll overheat. Replacing it can cost hundreds of dollars. But, that’s not all. Driving around with a low fuel level can cause the pump to suck in debris from the bottom of the tank. The particles can then wear out the pump impeller and cause you to have low fuel pressure.