Bad habits such as not slowing down in anticipation of speed bumps, catching and mounting curbs when parking and not keeping on top of basic vehicle maintenance can cause a prolonged amount of damage to our cars and knock years off their lives! Below, we’ve listed bad driving habits that you yourself may be guilty of. We’ve highlighted the ways in which they are detrimental to car, your safety and your wallet- here’s a few tips on how to nip them in the bud!
1) Quick starts and sudden stops – Quick starts can over-work the mechanics of a car and they are proven to be fuel consuming. Similarly, slamming on the breaks will eventually cause wearing of the brake pads. Smooth transitions between speeds will result in a smoother more enjoyable ride for you and your passengers, and it will help minimise wear and tear.
2) Carrying more weight than is necessary – Loaded boots and crowded footwells can add a significant amount of weight to a vehicle needlessly. A prolonged exertion of unnecessary weight can be detrimental to a number of the cars mechanical components and can play havoc with its suspension. If you’re guilty of allowing the mess to pile up, we suggest making a conscious effort to keep extra carry-on to a minimal.
3) Catching the curb when parking – Not only does this cause aesthetical damage to your wheel trims and alloys, but it can also throw your wheels out of line with one another, which can be potentially dangerous. To avoid this, take your time when parking and keep a good distance between the car and curb (even if this means parking takes a little longer than usual) because it is a money-saving precaution worth taking.
4) Driving whilst resting one foot on the brake - Even the slightest amount of pressure placed upon the brake can cause the tires and brake pads to connect. Driving with your foot rested on the brake will generate heat caused by friction, which may result in wear of the brake pads and possibly lead to brake failure. If you feel uneasy without having your foot rested on the brake, particularly when driving downhill, try shifting into a lower gear; this should make you feel like you have more control over the speed of your vehicle.
5) Not driving mindfully of road conditions – Speed bumps and pot holes; every driver’s bugbear. Speed bumps however, are there for our safety. Pot holes on the other hand, well they’re just plain annoying. Your frustration may cause you to attack speed bumps and pot holes at full speed, but this can result in a number of damages to your car. For example, a chunk of your tire may come away which could eventually lead to a blow-out. It may also damage your cars suspension and shock absorbers, causing risk of accident. Driving on roads with speed bumps and potholes with haste is much friendlier to your car.
6) Ignoring faults – Ignoring faults such as flat or worn tires is not only dangerous, but costly. Tires are the most neglected element of a car and many people don’t pay them the attention they require. Driving with underinflated tires can cause wearing of the tire’s tread and its efficiency in gripping the road.
7) Shifting into gear whilst reversing – You may need to be somewhere quick and you’ve only left yourself half the amount of time it should take to get there to complete your journey, but shifting into gear whilst your car is still moving backwards is detrimental to your cars internal joinery. This hasty change in direction may eventually cause a mechanical malfunction. Make sure your car is completely stationery before changing gear and accelerating forward.
8) Draining the fuel tank – By draining the tank of nearly all its petrol, the car draws up all of the sediment settled at the bottom of the tank. This sediment is then fed through the fuel filter and into the engine which can cause damage. The filter may eventually become blocked and inefficient, and the sediment may also affect the engine. Repairing or replacing these components of the car will be more expensive than the £30-£40 it would have cost to fill up the tank in the first place. A half-full tank is a good thing to aim for. You may think you’re getting your money’s worth by completely rinsing the tank, but you’re incurring yourself more costs in the future.
We hope these driving tips help! At Richard Hardie we provide a wide range of different services, so if you’re unsure about your cars health, you can always book it in for a service with one of our qualified car technicians.