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Driving habits that are bad for your vehicle
As a car owner, you probably run a tight ship when it comes to keeping your vehicle in tip-top condition. While changing the oil regularly and keeping a close eye on your tyres is essential, you also need to pay attention to the way you drive as you could be inadvertently causing damage.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at 10 common driving habits that could send you straight into the path of a mechanic.
- Resting your hand on the gear stick
If you’re always taking one hand off the wheel and resting it on the gearstick – stop. This might seem like a cool and comfortable driving position but the weight of your hand causes internal wear and tear.
- Carrying around excess baggage
Is your car overloaded with stuff you don’t even need? If so, it could be time for a clear out. The heavier your car is, the more fuel it will consume and as every pound impacts the handling and economy of your ride, it’s crucial to keep things as light as possible.
- Only filling your tank a small amount
Running a car isn’t the cheapest thing in the world but filling your tank at least half way every time you go to the petrol station could save your costly repairs down the line. Why? Well modern fuel pumps are often cooled by being submerged in fuel and therefore if fuel runs low, the pump can overheat.
- Not putting on the parking brake
If you only put your parking brake on when you’re about to leave the car and don’t use it when stationary, you could be putting too much pressure on the parking pawl which could potentially wear out and break.
- Driving in a jerky and chaotic way
When you get behind the wheel, you should aim to drive smoothly, particularly if you’re transporting passengers. While this will improve comfort levels, it will also stop you from wearing down the brake pads and rotors.
- Revving when the engine is cold
Some people think that starting the car and revving the engine is a good way to warm everything up, but actually, revving can cause rapid temperature changes which can lead to internal damage.
- Resting your foot on the clutch
We all want to get going as quickly as possible, whether stopped at a traffic light or edging into a roundabout, but there’s no need to rest your foot on the clutch unnecessarily. If you do so, this could damage the pressure plate, release bearing and release arm.
- Pressing the brakes downhill
When going downhill, you may feel tempted to put the brakes on in order to stop going too fast – but try not to as this can damaging the braking system, again wearing out components such as the brake pads and rotors.
- Not putting the clutch down properly
If you try to change gears without pushing the clutch all the way to the floor, you will probably hear a horrible crunching sound. Not only is that unpleasant on your ears, it’s also bad for the internal components of the gearstick and can damage the braking system.
- Ignoring warning signs
More often than not, your car will tell you if something’s wrong by making moans and groans. It might rattle, creak, squeak or make other strange noises. If you think something’s wrong, stop and get it checked or you could cause even more damage.
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