10 Bad Habits That Are Bad for Your Car

Even the most careful drivers out there may have driving habits that could be bad for their cars in the long run. Some of these habits might not seem harmful to the vehicle at the moment, but over time, the following 10 bad habits can have negative and expensive consequences for your car. 

Ignoring your tire pressure

A Valvoline worker checking tire pressure, which is one of 10 bad driving habits to keep an eye on
A Valvoline worker checking tire pressure | Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Even before your tire pressure alert comes on, your tires could be losing air pressure, and a tire doesn’t have to be flat to adversely affect a car’s performance. Tires below the recommended PSI can wear down more than they should, and low PSI can even affect handling. To prevent these issues, it is good to get in the habit of regular, monthly tire pressure checks.

Being too hard on the brakes

Your brakes are not immune to overuse, and riding your brakes can reduce the effectiveness of the brakes over time. Drivers tend to ride their brakes while going down hills, and while this seems like a good way to prevent excessive speeds, it can also overheat the brakes. Erie Insurance states that doing this too often can mean replacing your brake pads more frequently.

Ignoring warning lights and waiting on maintenance

No one wants to see a “check engine” light or any other warning on the dashboard, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. If you have a warning, your vehicle could be less safe, and the issue may get worse and more costly over time.

Shifting to reverse without stopping

Whenever you shift to drive or reverse, you should come to a complete stop to prevent damage to your car’s transmission. It might save a few seconds to shift while the vehicle is still moving, but it could do more harm than you might expect.

Hitting potholes and speeding through speed bumps

If you encounter a pothole, it is always a good idea to avoid it if possible. Potholes can damage your tires and even things like your car’s suspension. Similar damage can occur if you take speed bumps too quickly. They might be annoying, but slowing down for speed bumps can save you from costly repairs later on.

Skipping car washes

In addition to making your car look nice, washing is an important part of car maintenance. Even if the dirt on your vehicle looks harmless, it could damage your paint if left unwashed for too long. 

Driving with an empty tank

Paying for gas is more stressful than ever, but driving with the tank on E is a bad habit. You might have even less gas than you expect, and this could result in running out away from a gas station. Additionally, not having gas in your tank can overheat your fuel pump. With proper maintenance, you will never have to replace a fuel pump, but this can change if you frequently have an empty tank.

Having a chip in the windshield

A small chip in the windshield might not seem like a big deal, but if left untreated, the chip could become more of an issue. Fixing a small chip before it becomes a crack will save you money. 

Revving the engine when it is still cold

Some drivers rev their engines in an attempt to warm up their cars, but this is a bad idea. Engines aren’t meant to run with cold oil, so revving your engine in cold conditions can do damage. 

Driving in flooded conditions

One of the most important rules while driving is to avoid high water. You never know exactly how deep a flooded road might be, and driving through it could be costly and even dangerous. Water can damage your engine to the point where it would need to be replaced, and other components can also be affected. More importantly, driving in deep water can pose a safety hazard to drivers and passengers.

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