No matter how safe you are behind the wheel, you’ve probably some of these things. After all, most everybody has a bad driving habit or two. But, most everybody doesn’t have to pay for your repairs – you do.
So, review these 7 driving habits, and learn why you should avoid them. It may be time to change the way you drive!
1. Running on Empty
You might enjoy living on the edge, but driving around without much gas can put your car’s fuel pump on edge, too. Unless you just drove your car off of the new car lot, there is likely sediment in the bottom of your gas tank. Anticipating that, carmakers have a fuel filter to capture it before it get to the delicate engine parts. So, driving with your needle near “E” will quickly clog the filter, make your car run crappy and cost you some money in repairs. Keep your tank at least a quarter full.
2. Shifting into Drive While Still Going Backwards.
If you have an automatic transmission, it’s easy to pop the car into drive while it’s still rolling in reverse. Don’t! Unless you want to put additional stress on your transmission, that is. Come to a stop, then shift.
3. Racing the Engine When Cold
Here is a quick lesson in engine design… The oil rests in a pan in the bottom of the engine. The fast moving, vital parts (valves, cam, etc) are near the top. When your car is resting and “cold” the engine oil thickens and waits in the pan. Whatever kind of car you have, give it a minute before you punch the gas from a stop. Those fast starts mean faster wear on your tires, too.
I know that you are in a hurry, but riding the other guys tail is not only dangerous but causes unnecessary brake wear. If you live in a hilly place, shifting into a lower gear (moving it from “D” to “2” on your shifter) will slow you down without riding the brakes. People that tow things know this. Truckers know this. Now you know this.
5. Forgetting to Release the Parking Brake
Oops! Do you know what holds your car in park? One small piece of metal in the transmission. Not using the parking brake puts more stress on that bit of metal. Use it.
6. Carrying Extra Weight
Just like with your body, extra weight puts stress on several areas of your car. So, clean out your trunk and the interior; your suspension, transmission & brakes will thank you. You will get better gas mileage too.
7. Leaving it Dirty
Bird droppings, road salt, environmental garbage settles on your paint. Remove it and add money to the resale value. It may also reduce stress and embarrassment on the kids.