9 Driving Habits That Are Damaging Your Car

A male driver incorporating safe driving habits

While technology in vehicles has come a long way, there are still some driving habits that can severely affect your vehicle. This can lead to costly damage and shortening the overall lifespan of your car. Therefore, eradicating these bad driving habits will not only increase your vehicle’s life cycle but also save you from costly repairs and frequent maintenance visits. That is why we’ve highlighted a few driving habits to avoid to ensure your car is in good condition.

Shifting from Drive to Reverse While Still Moving

This habit is probably the most severe out of the rest and can be costlier. This driving habit takes a big toll on your transmission every time you shift from drive to reverse or vice versa without coming to a complete stop. Your vehicle’s transmission depends on your brakes to switch gears in a smooth transition, so not coming to a full stop and trying to switch gears can become a major problem.

Slamming On Your Brakes

While slamming on your brakes is sometimes necessary to avoid a collision, doing this regularly can have negative effects. This driving habit can cause your brake pads and discs to wear out much faster. Additionally, slamming on your brakes constantly can lead to tears and cracks in the hoses, leading to leaks, affecting the overall performance and potentially putting you and others at risk. Slamming on your brakes only when necessary can also save you money by conserving fuel.

Going Over Speed Bumps and Potholes at a High Speed

Accelerating through speed bumps can hurt your vehicle’s suspension and can cause misalignment, which will affect your steering. Doing this continuously can also affect the undercarriage of your car and can even cause leaks, which can lead to all kinds of problems and repairs.

While speed bumps are there for a reason and can be easy to spot, the same cannot be said for potholes. Try to keep a lookout for these, especially during the night and rainy conditions as they can be harder to see. Not paying attention and going over potholes at a high speed can also cause your tire to blow out while damaging your suspension, steering, and alignment. If you come across potholes or speed bumps, your best bet is to slow down.

Overloading Your Car

This is a common driving habit, especially when going on trips or moving. Although it might seem harmless, overloading your car can impact your car’s suspension and brakes. Furthermore, all the extra weight affects your vehicle’s performance when it comes to fuel efficiency and even exhaust emissions, harming the environment. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind what the recommended weight capacity for your vehicle is as you can find this in the owner’s manual. 

Revving a Cold Engine

Letting your car’s engine warm-up in the morning lets oil circulate throughout the engine. Revving your car while the engine is still “cold” can cause unnecessary wear and tear to parts in the engine that have not fully warmed up.

Riding the Clutch

This driving habit is strictly for those driving vehicles with manual transmissions. Resting your foot, or, “riding the clutch” can lead to wear and tear and severely shorten the lifespan of your clutch. By resting your foot on the pedal you cause unnecessary friction between the flywheel on the engine and the clutch. Get rid of this bad driving habit by only resting your foot on the clutch when necessary.

Ignoring Dashboard Warning Signs

Another common driving habit is to ignore those dashboard lights, but not paying attention to your vehicle’s warning signals can lead to costly repairs down the road and can lead you stranded in some cases. Therefore, it is best to familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s warning signs by checking the owner’s manual and learn what each means or at least recognize the most important ones. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Check Engine Light
  • Braking System
  • Battery Light
  • Airbag Light
  • Oil Light

Running On Fumes

Driving your car with a near-empty gas tank damages several parts of your vehicle. Fuel also acts as a lubricant for your engine, without it you risk damaging your fuel pump, fuel system, and catalytic converter. Therefore always try to fill up when your car has about a quarter tank left.

Accelerating While In a High Gear

This driving habit places unnecessary stress on your car’s engine, which can lead to malfunction down the road. Try changing down a gear, this allows the revs to rise, easing your engine’s strain before accelerating again.

Get Back On the Road With Ric’s Body & Paint

Breaking all of these bad driving habits will help extend your vehicle’s lifespan and also save you money on costly repairs and maintenance visits. But even with all these tips, we understand accidents happen on the road in mere seconds. Therefore if you’ve suffered a collision or need any auto repair Ric’s Body & Paint will take care of you and get you back on the road. 

With over 44 years of experience, we offer I-CAR Gold certified repair technicians, state-of-the-art equipment, and original equipment manufacturer, and high-quality parts. We focus on getting you and your car back to it’s best and on the road. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Recommended Posts