Rural Driving vs City Driving: What Maintenance is Needed for Each?

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Rural Driving vs City Driving: What Maintenance is Needed for Each?

Some people argue that city driving is harder on a vehicle than rural driving thanks to potholes and frequent idling. Others say rural driving is harder on a vehicle than city driving because of dirt roads. Obviously, both types of drivers need to maintain their vehicles properly. Here are some maintenance tips for both types of vehicles.

City Driving

City driving…doesn’t everyone love those back to back traffic days? City drivers face unique obstacles due to the way they must drive, idling in traffic or stopping and going at all of the stoplights. City cars need special attention and special maintenance because of this.

  • City roads can be hit or miss, and some can be poorly maintained and have things like potholes or trash in the road that is a danger to vehicles. Your tires and suspension will bear the brunt of this. Get regular suspension maintenance done on your vehicle and check your tires regularly. Don’t ignore it if you do hit a pothole. Pull over and check your vehicle immediately. Check your tires and wheels and pay attention to if your vehicle is pulling to the right or the left. If something is wrong, get it fixed as soon as possible. If you’ve gotten a flat tire, check out our previous blog on how to change it.
  • Cities are full of stop and go traffic. This takes a huge toll on the brake pads and rotors. Because of this, you must make sure to maintain your brake system and get it checked often. Also, make sure all brake lights are always in working order every time you exit or enter your vehicle. Keep an eye out for any high-pitched squealing or metal on metal grinding sounds when braking or if your vehicle gets pulled to one side when applying your brakes. If you notice this, get your vehicle in for a brake check immediately.
  • During this stop and go traffic, you are also going to be doing a lot of idling on city roads. Because of this, you need to pay close attention to your radiator. Your car’s cooling system is one of the most vital parts of your car. It ensures your engine and transmission don’t overheat while you’re driving. Make sure to practice good radiator maintenance and don’t hesitate to get your vehicle to a good mechanic if you notice your engine temperature creeping up while you drive.
  • Make sure to get regular oil checks and changes. Use the dipstick to check your oil’s level and cleanliness. Every 3,000 miles is a good measure of time for oil changes, but every vehicle is unique so check your owner manual for best practices.

Rural Driving 

Do you remember the last time you went down a dirt road? Do you remember the effect it had on your vehicle? Rural drivers face many obstacles and those are seen on and in your vehicle. Debris and potholes are not things that only a city driver has to worry about. According to data, rural drivers are more likely to speed and are less likely to wear their seat belts, and there are more rural road fatalities than city road fatalities. One reason for this is because rural roads are often more dangerous. Proper maintenance not only saves your car, but can also save yours and your passengers’ lives. There are some maintenance tips that rural drivers should focus more on than city drivers.

  • Keep up with regular oil changes. If you are living in a rural area, it is more than likely that you are putting more mileage on your vehicle than average, making the “every 3 months” old rule of thumb obsolete for you. Rural drivers should follow the general rule of thumb and get their oil changed every 3,000 miles. Because of the quality of some rural roads, dirt roads can also affect the cleanliness of your engine’s oil. If you are doing a lot of your driving on dirt roads, make sure to get your oil changed more frequently so the cleanliness of the oil stays fresh. 
  • Get your air filter checked often. Dirt roads cause your air filter to get dust filled and clogged. You can DIY this, but you can also just get this done every time you get your oil changed. If your filter clogs with too much dirt, air struggles to get to the engine’s combustion chamber, and it could stop your engine entirely. To check if your air filter needs to be replaced, just lift it out and hold it up to the sun or a bright light. If you can see the light streaming through it, you are good. If you cannot see the light, try dropping the filter lightly on a hard surface to shake some of the dirt loose. If you drop the filter a few times and it remains dirty, you need a new one.
  • Pay attention to brake lights and headlights. Rural areas usually don’t have street lights and your headlights may be the only thing you have to make it down the road. Check these every time you exit your vehicle so you know when to replace them and aren’t stuck in the dark.
  • If you drive a smaller, compact vehicle or one with a light backside, keep some kitty litter in the back of it. This sounds weird, but it can help you weigh down the back of your vehicle when driving on winter roads. You can also spread it under your tires if you get stuck.
  • Keep your vehicle clean. Mud can get caught in the undercarriage of your vehicle, wearing parts out before their time is up. Make sure you are getting frequent car washes and pay good attention to your undercarriage.

Maintain your auto glass frequently. You know this was coming, right? Debris can chip your autoglass, and you want to make sure that is fixed as soon as possible to avoid it getting any worse. Keep it free of mud and dirt which can wear your glass down over time. Contact us online or give us a call at 877-49-GLASS for professional help if your auto glass is damaged.

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