Buying and running a car is a big investment for most of us and we try our best to keep it in good condition for as long as possible, or do we?
Irrespective of how we are at driving, we end up making minor errors that we should immediately put a stop to and save our cars from further damage. Sure we take good care of our cars with regular check-ups, oil changes, maintenance, washing, cleaning etc. But a few bad driving habits can cause more damage to your car than you realise and you’d eventually end up paying dearly for it.
These bad driving habits usually fail to register and go on causing wear and tear that could have easily been avoided in the first place. These bad habits when repeated constantly will lead to lasting damage to your car. It is better to address these habits as soon as possible to prolong the life of your car.
Given below are the top bad driving habits that have the potential to cause involuntary but significant harm to your car. Read on to see which ones are you guilty of!
Whether or not you are parked on a level surface, there is absolutely no reason to not make use of the handbrake. Failing to engage the handbrake shifts the entire weight of your car on a little piece of metal situated in the transmission which is more commonly known as the parking pawl. It’s about the size of your little finger and is more prone to wear out or break eventually from bearing all the weight. When you put the handbrakes to use, it evens out the load facilitating delicate transmission components to last longer.
If your car has automatic transmission, shifting into ‘drive’ or ‘reverse’ mode is not like switching from first gear to second in a manual. What you are doing is subjecting your transmission to do things that it is not meant to do and needless to say this causes serious damage to your drive shafts and suspension.
When waiting at the traffic lights or to turn on a road, it is likely that you use the clutch to keep your car stationary. With a considerable amount of time spent waiting, the clutch tends to damage the pressure plates, release bearing as well as the release arm. When these surfaces graze against each other they are worn down and could set you up for an out of the blue failure in the future. It is recommended to wait with the clutch up and gear in neutral, only pressing the clutch and engaging the car when the light turns green or it is safe to go.
There is no denying that at times you might not be able to afford to fill the tank entirely. However, adding a few gallons of fuel at a time and frequently running with low levels of fuel can seriously harm the overall health of your car. This is solely because it compels your car to consume fuel from the bottom of the tank where there is an accumulation of residue. This paves the way for a clogged fuel filter or for debris passing into the engine.
You may be under the impression that you are poised to stop in case of emergency, but when riding downhill or even in general causes unwarranted wear and tear of your braking system. If you continue to drive in this manner, you are likely set yourself up for a brake failure. So, avoid this and instead drive in a lower gear if you have the option to do so.
- Abrupt stops and take-offs
Slamming the brakes on or hitting the accelerator frequently will eventually take a toll on your fuel consumption and can lead to deterioration of the brake pads and rotors. So next time, pay more attention to being smooth when stopping and starting your car.
You can only get away with resting your hand on your gear stick if you are a professional racing car driver; if not then there is no reason to do so at all. The weight of your hand strains the sliders within your transmission, resulting in unnecessary wear.
- Carrying around load that you can absolutely do without
It is understandable if you load your car to help a friend move or carry tools that you may require to perform a certain job. But, driving around with a bunch of extra weight for no reason increases your fuel consumption considerably and puts a strain on all the components of your car.
- Improper warming of your car
There is absolutely no harm in starting your car and letting it sit idle for a few minutes before you leave the house. But, revving the engine right off the bat to ‘warm it up’ is a bad idea and you should definitely work around to avoid it. This is mainly because sudden changes in the temperature can harm your car and compel the engine to work extra hard before the oil has the chance to fully circulate.
It is usual for your car to make unusual noises before mechanical issues make their presence felt in a more obvious (read severe) manner. You know what your car generally sounds like, so ignoring a brand new rattle or hum will only amplify the problem. When something does not sound right, contact In Town Automotive to diagnose the issue before it becomes detrimental to get things back on track.
For seasoned drivers, it becomes exceptionally difficult to break habits that have developed over the years. Of course you care about your car and don’t want to waste precious time and money on repairs that can be easily avoided.
If you are guilty of any of these common bad driving habits, exercise your newly acquired knowledge today and revel in the change that it brings.