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How bad driving habits can affect your car

  • How bad driving habits can affect your car

Did you know that the way you drive your car can have a big effect on its performance? But what are these habits and how can they cause problems to your vehicle?

Below we’ve taken a look at the biggest bad driving habits that could be damaging to your car. These may result in minor or major problems, breakdowns, or extra trips to the garage - be honest, how many do you do?! 

Adding heavy loads

Whilst modern cars are getting bigger - with SUVs proving to be extremely popular - they still aren’t designed to carry excessively heavy loads. You may not know this, but your vehicle’s owner's manual will let you know what its maximum capacity is. Bear in mind that if you are to overload your car, more stress will be put on the brakes, accelerator and suspension. 

Driving fast over speed bumps

Although they can be irritating, speed bumps are in place for a reason - to slow a vehicle down. Driving over a speed bump too fast can cause significant damage to the underneath of your car - especially if it doesn’t have a particularly high ground clearance.

Driving through potholes

Unfortunately they can’t always be avoided, but unintentionally driving through a pothole can end up costing you hundreds of pounds in repairs. From punctured tyres to buckled wheels, cracked alloys to unbalanced tracking, pothole damage can be held accountable for almost a third of all vehicle damage on UK roads. 

Driving with low fuel in the tank

We all do it, but just how damaging can it be to drive with low fuel levels in the tank? The main risk is that running your car on low fuel can loosen sediment in the bottom of the tank, causing problems in the filter and fuel pump. It’s recommended that a fuel tank is refilled before it drops below a quarter full.

Excessive revving

In winter months especially, many of us have a habit of revving our engines to help warm up the car. Modern cars, however, are designed to be ready to drive as soon as the engine is turned on, so unnecessarily revving your motor is only adding to extra wear and tear on the vehicle.    

Ignoring warning lights

Of course, it’s tempting to turn a blind eye to an annoying warning light that keeps coming on every time you start the engine. Whilst it may seem that your vehicle is still performing well, in reality, you may be causing unnecessary damage resulting in expensive repairs. 

Resting your hand on the gearstick

Sounds crazy, right? Keeping your hand continually rested on the gear stick is not only bad driving practice, but can actually cause damage too. The gear stick is connected to other elements designed to come into play for a short period only. By resting your hand on the gear stick for longer than the standard gear change, means that you’re extra applying pressure which in turn can cause extra wear.

Riding the clutch

So what does the term ‘riding the clutch’ mean? In essence, riding the clutch happens when the driver doesn’t lift their foot off the clutch pedal after changing gear. This means that the car will over rev resulting in excessive wear and tear, meaning that the clutch plate won’t last as long as it should.