A car mechanic can tell a lot about how you drive just by spending a few minutes looking at your car. If you walk into a mechanic and tell them something is playing up, chances are they will ask you if you were doing something that they think has caused it. Bad driving habits can damage your car in both the short term and the long term. What may seem harmless, may actually be building up to a big problem with your car.
There are many different driving habits that can cause problems to your car and because of this you need to be mindful of how you drive.
Here are just a few bad driving habits that damage your car.
Ignoring the handbrake on a hill
We all forget the handbrake every now and again. But when you constantly forget to put it on, especially when you are on a hill or incline it can start to cause issues. The handbrake is there to help take the pressure off the parking pawl and without it, the parking pawl will start to become damaged. Over time if you continue to not use the handbrake, the parking pawl will start to fail.
Shifting the gears from reverse to drive without stopping
Even if you are in a hurry, you need to bring the car to a halt before you change from reverse to drive.
The way your car’s transmission is set up, it requires your brakes to halt the car so that it can change the backward reverse motion to a forward one. When you force that shift yourself without stopping the car you just put an enormous strain on the transmission.
Driving on empty
There are two types of drivers. The ones that fill up when they use half a tank and others who will push it as long as they can. All fuel has an amount of sediment in it and when you drive your tank on empty it starts to pull up the sediment from the bottom of your tank. This then starts to go through the engine system and can cause havoc. It can be very expensive to have to drain the engine.
Riding the clutch
As much as you want to look like the race car driver at the red lights, sitting there revving your car – it really isn’t necessary. This is called ‘riding the clutch’ and it is not good for your car at all. If you are doing this regularly it can cause serious damage to some very vital parts of your car such as the release bearing, the release arm, and the pressure plate. This can be an expensive job to fix.
Not slowing down for speed bumps
Speed bumps and pot holes are two things you should definitely slow down for. If you are hitting these at high speeds than you can cause all sorts of problems for different parts of your car. These can include the shocks, suspension, undercarriage, tyres and alignment. If you see a speed bump or a pot hole up ahead, slow down and take it at a cautious speed.
Last minute braking
Every now and again you will be in a situation where you may need to quickly hit the brakes. In these cases it is not too bad. However if your normal driving habits include not starting to slow early and just hitting the brakes hard every time – you need to change it. Both your brake pads and discs will pay if you are not braking safely and slowly.
Bad driving habits can and will damage your car over time. It may not seem like it when you are doing it, but trust me – the damage is being done.
Take a look at how you drive and ask yourself if there is anything you need to change.