​10 bad driving habits which actually damage your car

Published by on . Updated on 30 Jun 2024

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1717336618415 %E2%80%8 B10+Bad+Driving+Habits+Which+Actually+Damage+Your+Car+ +Ph+Pic1

Avoid these 10 bad driving habits if you wish to prolong your car’s roadworthiness and reduce your motoring costs.

Bad driving habits aren't always road-related. Sometimes, these habits affect the car's overall health and may increase a driver's expenditure for his or her vehicle. Some classic examples include driving around with a low tank of gas, or braking suddenly or unnecessarily while driving.

To help you minimise unscheduled trips to the workshop, we'll be taking a look at 10 bad driving habits you should avoid at all cost. Check them out below.

1. Driving with less than half a tank of gas

Do you have a habit of pumping 10 litres of gasoline at a time? If you do, thinking you're reducing the car's weight and therefore saving fuel, you might want to pony up more money for gas instead, because driving around with a low tank of gas can actually cause harm to your car’s fuel system. For instance, dirt and rust do accumulate in your gas tank, and these sediments can enter your car’s fuel system and clog its fuel filter if the petrol level in your car drops too low.

If you wish to avoid an early trip to your workshop, it’s best to drive around with at least half tank of gas.

2. Sudden acceleration and braking

Cities in the Philippines such as Metro Manila are big and busy, with tons of traffic and numerous junctions. There is no need for drivers to accelerate hard and then have to jam their brakes barely a few hundred metres down the road. 

Not only are you accelerating your fuel consumption with your bursts of acceleration, but you’re also wearing out your brake pads excessively by hitting the brakes frequently.

If you cannot resist the urge to accelerate/decelerate ad nauseum for short distances, just remember that your wallet will pay the price when your workshop bill arrives.

3. Carrying too much weight

Did you know that all cars come with a maximum load weight? If you go beyond the weight limit, you’ll be putting unnecessary stress on your car’s suspension and brakes. Your car also consumes more fuel when it is overburdened.

If you don’t need your golf clubs or baby stroller on your next trip, it’s best to store them at home.

4. Resting your hand on the gearshifter

Unless you are actively changing gears (for manual cars), there is no reason to rest or keep your hand on the gearstick. Doing so places unnecessary weight on the selector fork and causes premature internal wear.

Instead of resting your hand on the gearstick, heed your driving instructor’s advice by keeping both hands on the steering wheel.

5. Revving the engine when it’s cold

Letting your car run for a minute or two before driving off is good practice. However, revving your engine while it’s still cold is generally not a good idea. Not only are you causing abrupt temperature change in your engine, but you’re also wearing down internal engine parts which have yet to be lubricated with oil.

Instead of being impatient, treat your car like a person by giving it some time to warm up on its own.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1717338243055 %E2%80%8 B10+Bad+Driving+Habits+Which+Actually+Damage+Your+Car+ +Ph+Pic2Let the engine warm up before you play hard with the car.

6. Shifting your transmission from Drive to Reverse before coming to a complete stop, and vice versa

It's common for most drivers to shift from D (Drive) to R (Reverse), or vice versa, when attempting to parallel park. But did you know this actually damages your car’s transmission? 

Think about this for a moment. How would you like it if you were suddenly pulled backwards as you're running forward?

Do yourself and your car a favour by coming to a complete stop before engaging D or R to change the direction of travel. 

7. Not engaging your parking brake when parked

Failing to engage the parking brake when parked forces your entire car weight to rest on the parking pawl. Located within an automatic transmission, the parking pawl is a small metal component that locks up a car's transmission and prevents the drive wheels from turning. If this component is worn out prematurely, it essentially makes the “P” on your gearshift useless.

Always remember to use your parking brake when the car is parked, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

8. Squeezing the clutch at traffic lights

Only applicable to manual cars, squeezing the clutch while waiting for the red light to turn green can cause some damage to your vehicle's gearbox. When holding the clutch in, the weight of your foot puts unnecessary stress on the pressure plate, release arm and release bearing. It might even cause irreparable damage to the transmission if engaged for too long.

Instead of squeezing the clutch, leave your car in neutral with the handbrake engaged until you are ready to move off again.

9. Using the brakes when driving downhill

Instead of relying on your brakes to modulate your speed when travelling downhill, you should switch to a lower gear and make use of engine braking. Not only will you reduce the wear and tear on your brake pads. but you will also avoid the additional cost of having to replace them.

If braking is absolutely necessary while driving downhill, remember to brake lightly and release the brake pedal after a while to allow the brake system to cool off.

10. Ignoring warning signs from your car

Modern vehicles are quite intelligent as they’ll often inform us if something’s wrong under the hood. However, some of us choose to ignore these warning signals, perhaps worried about spending more money on the car. 

However, it’s always best to troubleshoot the indicated problem before it worsens and becomes even costlier to fix.

By fixing a car problem early, it not only helps you save money in the long run - it might even save your life on the road.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1717338271195 %E2%80%8 B10+Bad+Driving+Habits+Which+Actually+Damage+Your+Car+ +Ph+Pic3Driving badly is not good for your car's roadworthiness and reliability.

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