One benefit amongst many others that UAE residents enjoy is the ease of owning their dream cars. While it might be tempting to race down Sheikh Zayed Road, the speed and Dubai’s heat can be a bit too much for your car. For most people, their car is their prized possession. However, they are unaware of the different ways they might be damaging their car.
We have listed down 10 simple tips that you can follow to prolong the life of your car and save money on frequent repairs:
1. Shift to neutral at the red light: On your way to work, you might encounter quite a few traffic lights and the wait can be quite long. If you hold down the break until the light turns green, you are putting a strain on your engine as it is still working to push the car even while it is stopped. You can reduce the strain by shifting to neutral while you wait at the red light.
2. Check your tires: Getting your car’s tires changed in Dubai is quite common and one of the reasons for that is the extreme heat almost all year round. Hot weather can adversely affect the condition of your tires and cause wear and tear quicker than normal. You should consider getting new tires for your car every 3-4 years depending on your car’s usage. Conducting a weekly inspection of your tires can quite helpful. Once a week, take a closer look at your tires and check for any areas that are wearing thin or if there are any cracks on the sidewall of your tires. This is especially helpful to avoid any tire burst situations on the highway which will cost you time and money.
3. Tire pressure: Almost all petrol stations in the UAE have a tire pressure service, each time you fuel up your car, make sure to check the tire pressure as well. A good measure would be to do this every week or so. The recommended tire pressure for your car will be stated in your owner’s manual. But in case you don’t want to go through the thick book, a quick tip would be to check the little slip of paper stuck on the driver’s door jam. Under-inflated tires create excessive heat and stress which ultimately lead to tire failure.
4. Fewer short trips: Did you know that most of the wear and tear happens during the first few minutes of driving. If you take too many short trips during the day for different errands, try consolidating these short trips into one long trip, where you can run several errands at once. This will not only keep your engine healthier but also help control the pollution produced by your car.
5. Avoid heavy key-chains: This might not seem like a problem to most people but having multiple heavy keychains on your car key can have an impact on the health of your car. The weight on the key when it is in ignition plus the bouncing around while you drive can lead to wearing out of the tumblers inside the ignition and eventually leads to ignition switch failure.
6. Engine Coolant: Engine oil reduces friction between the moving parts to keep the engine running smoothly, but the moving parts also generate excessive heat which needs to be controlled with an engine coolant. The main purpose of the coolant is to prevent the engine from overheating by absorbing the heat. It is quite an essential component, especially in the UAE because of harsh weather conditions. If your car’s air conditioner isn’t cooling enough, the problem is most likely with the coolant.
7. Service your car regularly: Regular checkups are essential to prolong the life of your car. If you are buying a new car, service is usually covered for the first few years. You can visit your car’s designated service centre or any other mechanic for a checkup of your car. Ideally, you should get your car serviced every 20,000 km. Servicing your car helps the mechanic discover any faults before they come as a surprise and leave you stranded on the highway.
8. Try becoming a better driver: The way you drive impacts your car. Rash driving causes more wear and tear to the car than average. Simple things like slowing down before a speed-breaker, avoiding potholes and refraining from sudden acceleration and braking can prolong the life of your car. It is also recommended to use only light to medium acceleration and keep the engine below 3000 rpm for the first few minutes of driving
9. Check your brake pads: The condition of your brake pads depends on how long you have been driving and how you drive. Other than the brake light flashing on your dashboard while driving, if you hear a screeching sound, feel vibrations or feel that the car pulls to one side while driving, it is time to get your brake pads replaced. Driving light, avoiding sudden braking or braking at a high-speed turn can increase the life of your brake pads. Gradually braking instead of slamming your foot down on the brake is a practice to adopt for longer lasting brake pads.
10. Insurance: Finally, no matter how careful you are, you are at risk for an auto accident or malfunction each time you step into the car. Make sure you compare insurance from different companies before you select one. If you have a clean driving record with a no claim certificate from your previous insurer, you can use it for a no claims discount on your car insurance premium.