As a driver, you have acquired and nurtured some habits until they have become part of your driving routine. Some of these habits are good for your car and also make driving more comfortable and enjoyable.
However, while seemingly good for you, there are those driving habits that are bad for your car. You may have acquired the habits from the so-called experienced drivers you assumed knew better, but, as we will find out, even experienced drivers have bad habits they should drop.
They may have developed them without realizing, and some of them certainly wish they could drop the bad habits, only they are stuck with them. Of course, some drivers reason that they have good motives behind the bad habits.
The following are the 8 driving habits you should stop before they wreck your car and empty your pockets:
1. Dragging the Brakes while Rolling Downhill
In your zeal to be cautious and avoid causing an accident while driving downhill, you have perhaps made it a habit to keep your foot on the brake pedal so that you can apply it promptly in case of emergency.
It is a case of doing the wrong thing with the right motive. Over a period (weeks or months depending on frequency), the brake pads and discs wear out due to overheating of the brake system. You then have to replace them too soon, unnecessarily adding to your expenses.
If you are rolling downhill and would want to do it safely, you should engage a lower gear then apply light braking before releasing the pedal so that the brakes can cool.
When necessary again, apply the brakes; continue the procedure until you get to the foot of the hill. As for the emergency you may be concerned about, note that always riding the brakes sets you up for brake failure, which could be a more serious emergency.
2. Revving a Cold Engine
A good number of drivers have the habit of revving the engine and driving away as soon as they start the engine, taking no time to check the temperature gauge.
When starting the engine, you should be patient enough to wait for the engine to warm up before pulling away. Keep the engine running for at least 1 minute or until the gauge reads more than 2000 revs, which is considered the proper operating temperature.
You see, the oil usually gets cold when the car is parked. When you start the car, giving the car the time to warm up actually gives the oil the chance to warm up and circulate easily around the engine. This helps avoid wear and tear or damage associated with a cold engine struggling to run through a cold engine. Letting the engine is especially crucial in freezing conditions.
3. Not Slowing on Potholes and Speed Bumps
You don’t slow down on potholes or speed bumps when hurrying somewhere or when you didn’t spot the pothole in time? Sometimes you are just not up to slowing because the car from behind might overtake you? Whatever the case, driving fast over potholes or bumps harms your car in many ways.
Driving fast over potholes leads to buckled wheels, cracked alloys, lumps in the tires, and unbalanced wheels. On the other hand, speeding over speed bumps damage the car’s underside, tires, suspension, front, rear, and exhaust system.
So, when you drive at night or in the rain, be more careful so that you do not spot the potholes when it is too late. Better still, avoid them altogether because potholes are the third cause of car damages. As for the speed bumps, do what is right when you see them: slow down.
4. Overloading the Car
Cars are modern horses and camels, so it is in order to put your luggage in the car. Modern cars are also designed with the capability to bear heavy loads. But make sure you do not overload the car, as is the habit of some drivers.
The boot is for your luggage, yes, but ensure you do not over strain the car’s brakes, suspension, and other moving car components. Maintaining or replacing the worn-out parts would empty your pockets.
5. Resting A Hand On The Gear Stick
Resting a hand on the gear stick is another bad habit you should learn to stop. Driving instructors usually tell the learners repeatedly never to develop this habit, but they disregard the instruction as soon as they get a driving license.
First, you should steer the steering wheel with both hands to be in complete control. You risk when you drive with only one hand on the wheel.
Secondly, keeping your hand constantly on the gear stick is bad news for transmission. It piles pressure on the gearbox, turning it into a kind of cocktail shaker. Soon, the gears and synchronizes are displaced, leading to problems whenever you shift gears.
6. Braking Late
Do not turn every situation into an emergency that requires sudden braking. Some drivers have perfected the art of braking late, turning it into a habit. When done consistently, late braking puts excess strain on the braking system, causing the pads and discs to wear out. Your pockets have to feel the pinch in the long run.
Careful driving, with eyes focused on the road, will save you from having to apply brakes when it is late.
7.. Regularly Under-Fueling the Gas Tank
You may not always be financially able to fill the fuel tank fully, but under-filling it should not become the norm. For some people, the fuel tank is an exception only indulged in when they come across very cheap fuel. Running with low tank damage your car’s fuel pump and filter because the car takes the fuel from the tank bottom, which usually has sediment/debris build-up. The debris that escapes the filter ends up in the engine as well.
8. Ignoring the Car’s Voice
A car speaks now and then, and you better learn to listen to its voice. It would help if you also mastered your car’s language. When you hear your car makes unusual noises, find out why. Well, some drivers have the habit of ignoring the car’s complaints.
Stop the bad habit and always look into the possible mechanical issues the car is raising before it is too late.
One good thing about bad habits is that they are not cast on stone; therefore, you can unlearn them if you develop the right mindset. Do not keep up with bad manners merely because your circle of friends is practicing them. Be the voice of reason.
Pierre Paul Driving School’s driving instructors will impart in you the good driving habits that prolong your car’s life. You also learn about the bad habits you should shun as a driver.