Getting a company car is a privilege afforded to few. Depending on the details of your agreement, you may find yourself responsible for things like maintenance if the vehicle breaks down on your watch.
Thankfully, there are a number of easy and inexpensive steps that you can take to protect the engine of your company car. Here are a few quick and easy tips to get you started.
Review Your Owner’s Manual
You may not own your company car, but the owner’s manual that comes with every vehicle still provides a wealth of information on everything from where the high beams are to how frequently you need to change the oil. The first time you climb behind the wheel of your company car, take the time to read over the owner’s manual. You don’t have to commit it all to memory immediately but having that information at your fingertips can make protecting your engine that much easier.
Stick to the Maintenance Schedule
One of your responsibilities as a company car driver will be to stick to the maintenance schedule provided by your company. This will probably include things like oil changes, inspections, and tune ups based on mileage and use. It might seem like a hassle but sticking to that schedule, even if it requires taking some time off work here and there for trips to the shop, is one of the easiest things that you can do to protect your company car.
Keep Your Mileage Low
Depending on your company, you may find yourself limited in how much mileage you can put on a company car. Part of this might be due to the fact that these vehicles are leased and have mileage limits, but keeping your mileage low also helps to reduce wear and tear on the engine. The further you drive, the more likely it is that parts will start to wear out.
Pay Attention to Warning Lights
No one likes to see the warning lights on their dash light up, but ignoring them — or worse, hiding them beneath a piece of electrical tape — can create even bigger problems. Pay close attention to the lights that might show up on your dashboard. Consult your owner’s manual for a basic definition of their use, and make sure you take it to a mechanic or talk to your company’s fleet manager to get the problem taken care of. Seemingly small problems can become big ones very quickly if you ignore them.
Check Your Tire Inflation
Properly inflated tires play an enormous role in protecting your vehicle’s engine. Underinflated tires don’t grip the road properly, so your engine has to work harder to keep you moving forward at the same speed. This extra exertion can wear the moving parts out faster, causing all sorts of problems down the road. Check your tires once a week and make sure they’re properly inflated. If you drive a newer company car, it may come equipped with tire pressure sensors that will alert you when the air pressure gets too low, but you’ll still have to check each tire to figure out which one is triggering the alert.
It’s tempting to drive a little aggressively, especially in a company car, because your name isn’t the one on the title. Don’t give in to that temptation. Instead, focus on driving smoothly and safely. The harder you push the engine, the faster it will wear out. Also, driving smoothly makes it easier to avoid accidents which is another major part of protecting the engine.
Protect Their Investment
There are a lot of rules that come with the privilege of driving a company car, and most of them are to protect the sometimes substantial investment that the company is making, both in the car and in you as their employee. It doesn’t take much to protect the engine of your company car, but you do need to be a bit more mindful about how you drive and take care of this vehicle.
All you really need to do is stick to your maintenance schedule, be careful about how you drive, and don’t ignore the warning lights that might pop up on the dashboard.