The longer you’ve been behind the wheel, the more driving becomes second nature to you. You may not realise it but over time, you begin to develop driving habits without even realising it, some of which can be harming your car’s health and cause an unnecessary strain. Whether you’re an experienced driver or relatively new to the road, you could be causing wear and tear to your vehicle and this isn’t because you’re a bad driver, it’s just that you have developed certain bad habits within your day-to-day motoring.
Here’s what we believe to be the most common bad driving habits that can cause damage to your car:
1. RESTING YOUR HAND ON THE GEAR STICK
Although you may think that resting your hand on your gear stick is harmless and perhaps this is something that you do regularly, this can be harmful to your car’s transmission. You should try and avoid resting your hand on the gear stick as both of your hands should be kept on the steering wheel at all times. Yes, this may feel comfortable for you, but in doing this, you risk applying pressure to the selector fork, which is connected to the gear stick and therefore causing it to wear.
2. SHIFTING FROM DRIVE TO REVERSE WITHOUT STOPPING
To avoid putting any unnecessary stress on the gearbox, try not to shit between drive and reverse and vice versa while still moving. This is a driving habit that you should try and avoid at all costs. Before switching from either drive to reverse or reverse to drive, ensure that you have completely stopped first before you change gear. Even if you’re in a rush, take your time to prevent any hasty gear changes and take an extra moment to ensure that you have completely stopped.
3. DRAGGING THE BRAKES DOWNHILL
Travelling downhill can be daunting, however, it’s important not to drag your brakes. By all means, you can rest your foot on the brake pedal so that you’re ready to slow down, but try and switch to a lower gear if you can. Dragging the brakes can cause strain and it’s likely that you’ll add increase wear and tear on your brake pads and discs. If you want to avoid the risk of any unnecessary increased spending on your driving, simply shift into a lower gear when driving downhill so that you can reduce running the risk of having to replace your brake pads and discs more frequently than you would like.
4. IGNORING DASH WARNING LIGHTS
It’s quite easy to ignore your dashboard, even more so if there are lights flashing as this may cause you to think about repairs and the extra costs that may be involved. However, it’s important to remember that your dashboard is there for a reason and you shouldn’t ignore any warning signs that may appear. If you’re unfamiliar with the meaning of each symbol on your dashboard, then you should reach for your driver’s manual. If you ignore any warning signs or any unusual noises that your car makes, then it’s likely that something could go wrong if you don’t inspect the issue right away.
5. REVVING THE ENGINE WHEN IT’S COLD
It goes without saying that all our vehicles start from cold so it’s important that you let your engine warm up for a minute or two before you start revving the engine. Allowing your engine time to warm up, gives the oil some time to warm and circulate around the engine. So if you feel the urge to rev the engine even just a little before the oil has had time to circulate, think twice about this and try to resist as much as you can. Your exhaust probably sounds great and you just want to hear the incredible sound, but revving your car when your engine is cold can damage components within your car and you don’t want this. Give your engine a chance to warm up and your engine will sounds so much better.