Rush hour damage to your carIt’s an ordinary weekday at 8 a.m., and rush hour has officially begun. With your briefcase and coffee mug in tow, you rev up your engine in the cold morning air and prepare to join hundreds of other commuters on the expressway.
Stop-and-go driving not only ages your engine, it also works on your brakes. If you notice a “grinding” sound or feel a grabbing or pulling to one side while braking, have your brakes checked right away. Since regular maintenance is key to safe braking, it’s a good idea to have the brake fluid checked with each oil change and to use a fluid that is formulated for extreme driving conditions, like SynPower High Performance Synthetic Brake Fluid.
Finally, try to reduce your speed and follow the car in front of you at a greater distance to limit the amount of braking necessary — this also helps reduce braking-induced coffee spills and dry cleaning bills and improves fuel economy.
Stop-and-go driving may be a fact of life, but the damage it causes to your car doesn’t have to be. By taking a few precautions and following a regular maintenance schedule, you can keep your car in good shape and stay ahead of the game — even if you can’t stay ahead of rush hour traffic.
As you begin braking and honking your way through traffic, your engine is getting stuck in a different kind of gridlock. While you are sitting in traffic, idling the engine, the engine ventilation system is at its weakest. This helps keep acidic combustion products and incompletely burned fuel in your engine where they can form something you don’t want — engine deposits. You encounter your fair share of red lights — more sitting and idling — potentially more deposits. Finally, you arrive at work and park your car until it’s time to battle the same traffic back home — repeating the same deposit-building process.