10 Ways Your Bad Driving Habits Are Actually Damaging Your Car

Published by on . Updated on 14 Feb 2022

Bad Driving Habits(Photo Credits: Pexels)

Here are 10 bad driving habits that you might want to avoid if you truly treasure both your car and wallet. Follow these tips if you want your vehicle to last as long as possible.

Regardless of how good a driver we think we are, we all engage in at least one bad driving habit. However, bad driving habits are not always road-related. Sometimes, these habits affect the car's overall health and increase a car’s expenses.

To help keep you out of the car workshops we will be listing out 10 bad driving habits that are damaging your vehicle. Check them out below.

1. Keeping Your Petrol Tank Light

Pumping petrol gas tank(Photo Credits: Pexels)

Do you have a habit of only pumping a few litres at a time? If you do, you might want to fork out more Ringgit the next time you are pumping gas. Although your car would be lighter, and in turn, burning less fuel, driving with only a few litres of petrol can actually damage your car’s fuel system. In case you did not know, dirt and rust can collect in your petrol tank, and they can enter your car’s fuel system and block its fuel filter if your car’s petrol level drops too low.

If you wish to avoid an unnecessary trip to the mechanic, it’s best to have your petrol tank half-full at the least.

2. Sudden Acceleration and Braking

speeding acceleration car(Photo Credits: Pexels)

Unless you are on the North-South Highway trying to overtake another speeding car, there is no need to accelerate hard. Especially when you are in a city where there are traffic lights a mere couple hundred metres apart from each other. Why accelerate hard only to have to jam their brakes at the next junction?

When you do that, you are not only burning petrol faster than usual with your unnecessary acceleration, you are also wearing down your brake pads faster than usual whenever you hit the brakes hard. If speeding is an itch you cannot get rid of, just remember that it’s your wallet that takes the blow at the workshops.

3. Overloading Your Car

Did you know that every single car has a maximum load weight? If you go over the weight limit, there would be unnecessary stress weighing down on your car’s suspension and brakes. Your car also burns more fuel when it’s loaded down.

So, if there is something heavy in your car that you do not need on your next drive, you might want to unload it and leave it at home.

4. Using the Gear Shift as a Hand Rest

Gear stick shift(Photo Credits: Pexels)

Unless you are driving a manual car and have to constantly change gears, you should not be resting or keeping your hand on the gear stick. With your hand on the gear stick, there would be extra weight on the selector fork, causing avoidable internal wear.

To prevent that from happening, you could just keep both hands on the steering wheel or just rest your arm on the armrest.

5. Revving a Cold Engine

car engine cold(Photo Credits: Pexels)

A good habit you could cultivate is letting your car run for a minute or two before driving off when you are not in a rush. But, revving your engine while it is still warming up is on the whole, not a good idea. By doing that, you are causing sudden temperature changes in your engine and wearing down internal engine parts that did not have the chance to be lubricated with oil.

Think of your car as a person, be patient with it and give it some time to warm up to you!

6. Shifting from Drive to Reverse Before Stopping (& Vice Versa)

A common habit of a lot of drivers is to shift their car from drive to reverse (and vice versa) before coming to a complete stop when parallel parking. But doing this actually damages your car’s transmission and gearbox.

Treat your car with a little more humanity by coming to a complete stop before changing gears.

7. Not Applying the Emergency Brake When Parked

car wheel emergency brake(Photo Credits: Pexels)

If you do not apply the emergency brake when your car is parked, your entire car’s weight will rest on the parking pawl. Located in an automatic car, the parking pawl is a small metal component that locks up a car's transmission and stops the drive wheels from turning. If the parking pawl gets worn out, it essentially makes the parking gear useless.

From now on, don’t forget to use your emergency brake when parking, regardless of the duration.

8. Clutch in at Traffic Lights (Manual Only)

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1639031604611 Car Pedals(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

Only applicable to manual cars, pressing the clutch while stationary can damage your vehicle's transmission. When clutching in, the weight of your foot causes unnecessary stress on the pressure plate, release arm and release bearing. It might even cause irreversible damage to the transmission if the clutch is held for too long.

Instead of clutching in, you should leave your car in neutral and engage the handbrake until you are ready to move off.

9. Pumping the Brake When Going Downhill

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1639032009962 Hilly Terain(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Instead of dependent on your brakes when travelling downhill, you should just use a lower gear and rely on engine breaking. By doing so, not only will you reduce the wear and tear on your brake pads, but it can also save you the money it takes to replace them.

If you absolutely need to brake when going downhill, try to brake lightly and release the brake pedal once in a while to let them cool off.

10. Ignoring the Warning Lights in Your Car

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1639032125677 Dashboard Warning Lights(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Modern vehicles are quite intelligent in the sense that they will often inform us if it detects that something’s wrong. However, some drivers do not act on the warning signals out of laziness or reluctance of spending more money. Instead of waiting for the small niggles to turn into a huge problem, you should just get it fixed as soon as possible.

By fixing a problem with your car early, it can not only help you save on money and future problems, it might even mean the difference between life and death on the roads.

Do you have any bad driving habits you would like share? Tell us in the comments below.

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1 Comment

Olx Cash My Car
Thanks for posting this list and I will show to my son as he needs to see this.

about 5 years ago