Driving habits that could be damaging your vehicle
Everyone knows that it’s important to keep up to date with servicing, maintenance and MOTs, especially when it comes to extending the life of a vehicle. However, there are some driving habits that could be causing more harm than good, with many drivers adopting them without even realising.
That’s why this month we wanted to explore some of the driving habits that could be damaging your vehicle; increasing the amount you ultimately spend trying to rectify the problems. They may seem like common sense, but all to often drivers can put themselves and others in danger if they’re caught unawares.
Keeping one hand on the gear stick
It may seem like an innocuous action, but leaving one hand, or even simply resting an arm, on the gear stick whilst you’re driving is damaging your vehicle. This is because you’re applying pressure to the gear selector fork, subsequently causing premature wear and tear.
Riding the clutch
Since the clutch is considered to a “wear and tear” item, it’s important that where possible, you take your foot off the clutch after you’ve changed gear, especially when you’re attempting a hill-start.
If you’re regularly leaving your foot on the clutch, then this can lead to excessive wear and tear, increasing the amount of time that it may need to be repaired throughout its life.
Resting on brakes when driving downhill
Everyone’s familiar with braking when going downhill, but it’s a habit that needs to be avoided, especially since it can lead to more strain being placed on the braking system, wearing out the pads and discs at a faster rate.
Where possible, try to brake sooner, anticipate the traffic ahead and make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings before putting your foot on the brake.
Overloading the vehicle
Regardless of whether you’re moving house, going on a family holiday or simply taking excess rubbish to the skip, overloading a vehicle is one of the most common practices that can damage a car or van.
These excessive weights can damage the clutch, the brakes, the tyres and the suspension, leading to costly repair bills further down the line.
It’s always advised that you check the maximum load, which is detailed in the vehicle handbook, before you start loading.
Heating the engine incorrectly in cold weather
It may seem natural to leave your car running to warm it up during the colder months, but this can lead to damage later in its life. This is because the engine oil hasn’t had time to warm up before it’s injected into the engine. Not only is this damaging your vehicle, it’s also increasing the amount of fuel the car uses whilst it’s idle.
Ignoring the noises
As much as we like to turn the music up, ignoring those whines, rattles or judders can be a costly mistake to make, especially if they come with a flashing warning light. These noises are the car’s way of telling you that something’s wrong, so it’s worth taking the time to get the vehicle into the garage, even if it’s something that doesn’t need fixing.
We want to ensure that everyone has the knowledge they need to stay safe on the road, so we’ve compiled a list of other blogs that you may find useful, including:
- What to do if you break down on a motorway
- Ten simple steps to reducing your fuel costs
- Top in-car technology for safe driving
So there we have it, a list of the bad driving habits that could be damaging your vehicle, without you even knowing it. What do you think? Are there any that you think we’ve missed?
We’d love to hear your thoughts, so make sure you let us know in the comments below. Alternatively, you can join the conversation with our communities on Facebook and Twitter; we always love to hear from new readers.
Remember, if you’re looking for self-drive vehicle hire, then our team are here to help. With a range of vehicle available for any need, you’ll always find the one for you. Get in touch with them today and speak to them about your own requirements.