Driving Habits That Can Damage Your Car
Habits are something that creeps upon us. Suddenly we’ve adopted particular behaviors that we’re not even aware of, something that’s especially true when it comes to driving. The thing is, they aren’t only detrimental to our driving skills—bad ones actively damage the car and end up costing us money.
The following are some of the most common driving habits. How many are you guilty of…?
- Resting your hand on the gearshift: Not only does this mean you’re not in full control of the car, but it’s also damaging the transmission. The gearshift is connected to the selector fork, and that act of resting your hand on the stick applies pressure and causes premature wear.
- Consistently running the gas tank near empty: It’s ok once in a while, but doing this regularly can have all kinds of repercussions on the fuel system, catalytic converter, and fuel pump.
- Failing to come to halt before shifting from drive to reverse: Or vice versa, something we’ve all done on occasion. But the thing is, the gearbox isn’t designed to stop the car’s motion—that’s what the brakes are for. Every time you crash from drive to reverse you’re reducing the lifespan of this expensive part of the car’s mechanism.
- Overloading the car: Your car is designed to carry a certain maximum load. Exceed it, and you put excess strain on the suspension, brakes, and the whole framework of the engine.
- Hitting potholes and bumps at speed: Not only is this likely to damage tires and wheels, but it also places stress on the suspension and steering. It can also cause physical damage to the undercarriage of the car.
- Not using the parking brake: Relying on the gearbox to hold the car stationary (be it an automatic or manual transmission) is not what it’s designed for. Sure, it’ll do the job, but is shortening the life of the transmission. Use the parking brake every time you park.
- Riding the brakes: In other words, leaving your foot on the brake for extended amounts of time, something commonly done when going downhill. Not only can it lead to overheated brakes and, worst-case scenario, brake failure, but it leads to excessive wear and tear on brake pads and discs too.
- Late braking: Regular heavy braking won’t only mean you need to change the discs and pads more often— it also leads to higher fuel consumption.
The nature of such habits is that we’re not even aware of them and the consequences usually end up being costly. It’s crucial to get any maintenance issues sorted as soon as possible, and one reason that the “no-appointment” model of nationwide vehicle maintenance service, Jiffy Lube, fits so well into everyday life. In addition to fixing any urgent issues, they can also carry out routine maintenance checks, ensuring that your car remains the reliable asset you need it to be.
Combine this with regularly checking your driving habits and you’re well on the way to trouble-free motoring, plus you’ll save yourself the frustration and expense of any unexpected garage costs.