Buying a car is an investment, and for most of us, a car is something we want to maintain for as long as we possibly can. However, sometimes, we tend to commit some driving faux pas. These bad habits are the biggest enemy of a car. Are your bad driving habits putting your vehicle under unnecessary strain? Here's a list of six driving habits that could be damaging your vehicle.
1. Late/sudden braking
You never know when you might have to make an emergency stop. In these situations, sudden braking is essential. But regular late braking will put more pressure on the brake system, wearing your pads and discs out faster and costing you more fuel. In general, a slow and thoughtful approach to driving, anticipating what's to come on the road, is not just better for your car, but for the environment too.
There are some things you can do to help prevent overheating of your brakes. Instead of resting your foot on the brake pedal when you're descending a hill or navigating stop-and-go traffic, you should drive cautiously, with extra space between cars. By doing this, you can release the accelerator to slow down. You can also use your handbrake at red lights instead of resting your foot on the brakes.
2. Revving the car when the engine is still cold
This is a matter of general driving practice. You must let the engine warm-up for a while before you move the car. Moreover, it's better to keep the engine running until it's warmed up. It enables the engine oil to warm up and circulate in the engine, avoiding potential damage and excessive wear.
3. Neglecting your dashboard warning lights
Modern dashboards have more lights than Burj Khalifa! Never ignore the flashing lights, or the warning light, as it attempts to signal something important. We always advise you to check your owner's manual to find out what each warning sign on your dashboard indicates. This, in turn, also helps you familiarise yourself with the most serious ones, and which ones to pull over and immediately address, when you're on the road.
4. Hitting potholes and speed bumps by driving fast
Speed bumps have a single purpose - to slow down incoming traffic. However, a lot of SUV drivers take their high suspension for granted by accelerating over these speed breakers.
Studies have shown that a lot of vehicle damage is due to driving fast over potholes and speed bumps. Avoid potholes when you're on the road. The impact may cause deformed wheels, lumps in the tyre, and cracked alloys, as well as interference with wheel tracking and balancing. Some potholes may be hard to spot, especially when wet or at night. They can still be avoided, though.
5. Driving with a dead or depleted battery
A dead or depleted battery is a car issue that's commonly reported. There are plenty of reasons for your car battery to doze off. Whether it's leaving electricals on when not in use, faulty charging, parasitic drain, defective alternator, or more, it spells a lot of trouble.
If you ever get into a situation like this with your car, there are two options you can use - either jump-starting the car, or getting a car battery replacement. You can get flat battery roadside assistance and a car battery replacement from Service My Car.
6. Fast driving habits
Fast driving requires effort on the part of the engine. More effort means more wear. So you can't say that speeding is good for the engine. However, cars are meant to be used. They can be used to drive at high speeds, but only occasionally.
What are the top tips to become a safer driver?
Safety techniques start when you get inside the vehicle. Start by creating good habits (like the ones below) and use them for every drive, whether it's a trip to the supermarket or you're driving blocks or hundreds of miles.