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15 Driving Habits That Might Be Aging Your Car Prematurely

After learning to drive and getting your license, you can subconsciously pick up several driving behaviors that later turn into full-blown habits. While some are okay, like radio jamming, others seem normal but take a toll on your vehicle. You often only realize it once it’s too late. Identifying these common behaviors and making simple …
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After learning to drive and getting your license, you can subconsciously pick up several driving behaviors that later turn into full-blown habits. While some are okay, like radio jamming, others seem normal but take a toll on your vehicle. You often only realize it once it’s too late. Identifying these common behaviors and making simple changes will keep your car in top condition for a few more years.

Riding Your Brakes

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Many car owners believe keeping their foot on the brake pedal makes them a cautious driver, and it would help them hit the brakes faster. However, this habit will make your vehicle to overheat, damaging the pads and rotors. To avoid reduced braking power and safety issues, try coasting more often and use engine braking when going downhill.

Revving Your Engine Before It Gets Warm

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Impatience can lead to excessive wear and tear on components like piston rings and cylinders, causing potential damage much later. It can also result in poor gas combustion and lower efficiency. Instead, allow your engine to idle for about 30 seconds to a minute after starting before revving. This tip helps it to reach proper operating temperature and lubrication levels to work better.

Ignoring the Parking Brake

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When you shift your gear selector to Park, the parking pawl secures the transmission gears. Without engaging the parking brake, the entire weight of your vehicle rests on this delicate metal pin. Activating it removes this pressure and locks the wheels so the car won’t roll away. Neglecting this tip may corrode the brake, making it to seize frequently, increasing the risk of failure when needed.

Leaving the Fuel Tank Near Empty

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We understand the concern regarding the cost of gas, especially the taxes and the exorbitant high prices. However, don’t force your car if you cannot fill your tank when the low fuel indicator lights up. The sediments accumulating in the system can clog and spoil the fuel pump. There’s also the risk of overheating, so it’s best to keep your tank at least a quarter full.

Hitting Potholes and Speed Bumps Full-On

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While potholes pop up on their own, constructors build road bumps to stop drivers from flying down the street and endangering the lives of pedestrians. Your car will be in big trouble if you refuse to see them as a caution sign and constantly hit them at full acceleration. Due to the heavy impact, your vehicle may develop faults such as misaligned wheels, tire punctures, and even suspension problems.

Overloading Your Car

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Carrying too much load beyond your car’s capacity can overwork the engine and suspension system. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct weight limits for the trunk or the rear seats. Exceeding them will require more horsepower to move your car and more gasoline, too. Also, the tires may suffer in the process due to the extra strain.

Slamming on the Brakes or Accelerating Aggressively

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Drive carefully and avoid sudden stops or rapid acceleration to keep your car in good shape. Hitting the brakes suddenly or accelerating without warning can ruin your brakes, tires, and transmission. Besides having to spend more on gas, these parts will break down sooner and cost you more.

Resting Your Hand on the Gear Stick

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Continue this bad habit, and you’ll wreck your car’s transmission in no time. The pressure applied on the gear stick increases the friction within the components, wearing them out faster. It’s best to keep both hands on the steering wheel while driving, using the gear stick only when changing gears.

Neglecting Regular Oil Changes

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According to most manuals, the recommended time frame for changing your oil is every 5,000-7,500 miles or every six months. Ignoring this advice can harm your vehicle when the engine parts rub together. When this happens continuously, your car may suffer from overheating, poor performance, and even engine failure.

Using the Clutch Pedal as a Footrest

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Resting your leg on the clutch pedal as a footstool increases repair costs and breakdowns. Rather than wearing down your clutch plate, you can place your foot on the dead pedal or the floor beside the clutch. This small behavior change will go a long way to prolonging your car’s life.

Skipping Regular Maintenance Checks

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Intermittent maintenance can save money meant for costly repairs in the long run. Frequent oil changes, tire rotations, brake inspections, and fluid checks will help your car run smoothly. Besides improving its lifespan, keeping up with these checks can help you avoid engine damage, reduced fuel efficiency, and brake failure.

Driving Over Rough Terrain at High Speeds

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Even if you use a muscle car, driving carefully over rough terrain at a moderate speed will make it last longer. No matter how strong your vehicle is, rough riding can wear out the suspension components, misalign the wheels, or ruin the undercarriage. It would be best to have a professional inspect your car regularly to ensure any issues are detected and addressed early.

Skipping Regular Tire Rotations

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Manufacturers, mechanics, and engineers recommend daily rotations to prevent uneven wear, poor traction, and accidents. Rotate your tires every 5,000-7,000 miles to escape premature replacement and enhance overall performance and safety.

Holding the Steering Wheel in One Position for Long

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This habit is the fastest way to cause uneven wear on your tires and suspension components. Holding the wheel in one spot can lead to alignment issues, increased fuel consumption, and potential safety hazards. You can grasp the steering wheel correctly, like 9 and 3 o’clock, and switch hand positions frequently during long drives.

Using the Incorrect Fuel Grade for Your Vehicle

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Lower-grade fuel may lead to knocking noises, decreased power, and lower efficiency. Likewise, higher grades might burn partially, causing excess carbon to buildup. Use the recommended option in the manufacturer’s manual to keep the engine running smoothly and improve gas mileage.