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How to Avoid Damaging Your Car: 7 Common Habits to Avoid


When driving, beginner and experienced drivers do certain things which ruin their cars and drive quality. Most of us do these habits unintentionally or we’re so used to these habits that we don’t notice they are affecting our vehicles.

This article is going to focus on some common driving habits which in the long run ruin our cars.

1. Resting Your Hand on the Gear Stick

This is a much more common habit for drivers who drive manual transmission cars. As you drive, your hand might rest on the gear stick because of too much involvement when changing gears. Some drivers forget to let go of the gearstick and over a period this applies constant pressure on the gearbox. This leads to the displacement of synchronizers and gears and weakens your gear stick position and leads to problems when shifting gears.

2. Shifting From Drive to Reverse While in Motion

Doing this and vice versa gives your car mixed messages. When you shift gears, your car delivers forces trying to make the car’s mechanical parts turn in the opposite/required direction. When the car is in motion in a different direction and you apply a different message without coming to a complete stop, you strain the car’s mechanical parts which tears them.

Additionally, the habit of shifting to park when the car is still in motion destroys your car and this will hamper the gear response of your car. To learn more about how gears in automatic transmissions function check out this link

3. Driving With Low Fuel

Running your car with low fuel frequently is not advisable because in some cars the fuel pump is located inside the fuel tank therefore, they are designed to be lubricated and cooled by fuel in the tank. With low fuel, the fuel pump might damage over time. Running your car with enough fuel also provides adequate fuel pressure in the car.

Cars with steel fuel tanks have the potential to experience condensation when running on low oil and this leads to corrosion.

4. Driving on a Cold Engine

Modern engines don’t need warming up however, it is recommended that you run the engine at less than 2,000 revs until the gauge reaches the required operating temperature. At optimal temperature, engine oil would have reached optimal circulation in the car which helps you avoid burning more fuel and unnecessary engine wear.

In older engines, it is advisable to let the engine warm up for a few minutes before driving off.

5. Keeping Your Foot on the Brake While Driving Downhill

When going downhill, do not rest your foot on the brake as it overheats your braking system and wears out the brake pads and disks. Instead, shift to a lower gear and initiate engine braking if possible. You can also go smoothly on the brake as you release it.

Bad Driving habits
Ashley Neal

Shifting to neutral when going downhill is not advisable. This does not save you fuel and if it does, it won’t be of any difference. In neutral, you have less control over your car because the fuel supply is cut thus the engine is disengaged and some cars shut the fuel supply.

6. Hard Braking Frequently

Unless it’s necessary, don’t get used to braking hard. This habit affects your braking system, brake pads, and disks. If you want to brake:

  1. Place your heel on the floor. Most of the weight should be concentrated on the floor.
  2. Push the brake softly and increase the pressure until the car is ready to stop.
  3. Ease the brake pedal a bit before stopping completely.

7. Resting Your Foot on the Clutch

This is common to new drivers operating a manual transmission. When driving, ensure one foot is resting on the floor while you use the other to operate the accelerator and brake pedal. Use the foot resting on the floor to press the clutch. Resting your foot on the clutch is a bad habit that affects your car’s response system when changing gears.

Additionally, ensure you take your car on regular service and diagnosis to improve its lifespan and performance.

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Computer Engineering Student
Entrepreneur and Free thinker.

Harrison Meshak
the authorHarrison Meshak
Computer Engineering Student Entrepreneur and Free thinker.

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