As Uber/Lyft drivers, or even delivery drivers, it’s critical that we keep our cars in the best shape we can in order to keep them on the road and avoid costly repairs.
Now more than ever, it makes sense to keep our cars in tip-top shape. Many of us are not driving (or are driving less), and you may be wondering what you can do to stay busy and productive during this downtime.
Why not take care of your car with the car maintenance tips below?
Today, we have a guest post from YourMechanic.com on the top five things to avoid as a rideshare driver – this list could potentially save you thousands! We also secured a coupon to help you get a discount on anything you may need, too.
All drivers want to keep their expenses low and their incomes high, and one of the best ways to do that is to take care of your rideshare vehicle. Below, we’ll outline basic car maintenance rules and the five things you should absolutely avoid doing as a driver.
- Avoid topping off!
- Don’t drive on empty
- Don’t idle your engine
- Avoid stop-and-go driving
- Don’t delay oil changes
Schedule your first service appointment with YourMechanic.com.
Car Maintenance Tips: The Basics
Routine preventative maintenance is a non-negotiable if you want to keep your car in good working condition, according to Leopold Lacy, a Master Technician who works with YourMechanic.com – a mobile repair company that delivers 600 services to customers’ homes and offices.
Whether you drive a Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, or Cadillac, the best way to avoid breakdowns and expensive repairs down the line is to keep up with your car’s factory-recommended preventative maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations, cabin air filter and brake pad replacements.
And while all preventative maintenance is strongly recommended, the number one service that you should never delay is a timing belt replacements because it can suddenly snap when it’s worn out and destroy the entire engine.
You can find your car’s recommended preventative maintenance in your manual or use YourMechanic.com’s instant scheduled maintenance calculator.
5 Tips for Car Maintenance as a Rideshare Driver
Even the most well-intentioned car owners make these minor mistakes that lead to costly repairs. The good news is that these errors are extremely simple to avoid with these simple tips.
1. Topping Off
Stopping your work day to fill your gas tank results in revenue loss. So it’s understandable that many drivers will want to fill up their gas tanks to the max to the most out of each fill.
Overfilling your tank however, can cause gas to overflow into the evaporation separator and damage it – a repair that can cost over $1,000.
Lacy strongly recommends simply stopping your fill when the fuel pump automatically shuts off and makes that “click” sound. “The extra one or two miles you get out of an extra pint of gas simply isn’t worth it,” says Lacy.
2. Driving on (or Close to) Empty
When your gas tank nears empty, it’s vital to pull over and fill up your tank or you can risk overheating your fuel pump – an incredibly costly repair.
The fuel pump is responsible for sending fuel from the tank to the engine and requires gas in the tank to keep it cool and lubricated, and it can burn out without adequate fuel.
3. Idling the engine
As a rideshare driver, you may find yourself waiting for passengers for a minute or two. But if you’re waiting for more than 10 minutes, Lacy recommends shutting off the engine to avoid overheating your catalytic converter, which can eventually burn out and costs several hundred dollars to repair.
You could still technically drive your vehicle with a damaged catalytic converter, but it’s not good for your vehicle, and anyone who lives in a state where there are smog checks won’t pass the test.
4. Jerky Stop-and-Go Driving
The most common driving mistake someone in a hurry can make is slamming on the brakes and jetting off like a rocket when the light turns green. This type of driving not only irritates passengers, but also wears down brake pads quickly.
Instead, try what Lacy calls “feather footing” by slowing down far in advance of a red light or stop sign, and letting go of the brake pedal, and then gently stepping on the gas when you accelerate. This will help preserve your car’s overall health and provide a smoother ride.
5. Delaying Oil Changes
Most car owners wait for the light on their dashboard to tell them it’s time for an oil change. But by then, your oil is already dirty and you have a short window of time to get your oil changed.
“Oil changes are one of the cheapest and fastest ways to maintain your car’s health,” said Lacy. “Just make sure your mechanic isn’t using the cheap stuff because it will break down faster and result in greater friction between engine parts.”
Lacy says that all YourMechanic.com’s technicians use premium Castrol oil in their mobile oil change appointments and that customers note the improvement in their car’s performance.
Readers, what steps are you taking to keep your car up and running, and what other ways are you staying productive during this time?
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- Schedule your first service appointment with YourMechanic.com
- Check out YourMechanic.com’s scheduled maintenance calendar here