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How Driving Habits Affect Wear and Tear

How Do Driving Habits Affect a Car’s Wear and Tear?

Cars today last much longer on average than even 20 years ago. That’s despite having more technology and recycled materials than ever. But there’s one factor on a vehicle’s operating life that still plays a major role: driving habits. How do driving habits affect wear and tear on a car. And more importantly, when you’re choosing a used car, what should you look out for?

Low Mileage, Bald Tires

Tires equipped on cars from the factory are notoriously quick to wear out. You might only get 30k to 50k miles on a set of tires. But if the odometer on a car is lower than that and the tires are already bald, there’s something to look for. Bald tires in a short time indicates the previous driver probably accelerated hard and braked hard. It’s a sign closely associated with stop-and-go city driving too.

Pitted Brake Rotors

Brakes are designed to wear – it’s part of the job they do, caused by friction. But if the brake rotors have pock marks or pitting on them, it’s a sign that the car was parked for an extended period. While it’s not a big deal to replace pitted rotors, you might want to check that tires, CV boots, and other rubber components haven’t experienced dry rot from sitting.

Rust Spots on Paint

Ever seen a car covered in tiny orange dots of rust? It might seem like it’s because of a really bad paint job. But instead, it’s probably rail dust. For people who drive near or work in railway yards, the brake dust from train cars can settle on the paint. It oxidizes or rusts, making it look like the car is rusting out all over. Rail dust can be cleaned off if it’s addressed regularly. If left for a long time, it can corrode into the paint and cause actual rust to form.

High Mileage, Low Wear

If you come across a car with tons of miles on the odometer but in surprisingly good shape, it’s probably a highway commuter’s car. There’s less accelerating and braking when you drive on the highway, resulting in less wear while the odometer keeps ticking upward. The powertrain often has more hours of use than a city car, though. This type of car is usually a good buy, as long as the engine and drivetrain maintenance is up to date. Looking for a used car? At Jay Wolfe Auto Outlet, we have used vehicles with a wide variety of histories. Come check out our inventory and find the used car that’s right for you.