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Even the best drivers aren’t perfect. But there are a few subtle driving habits that are both bad for your car and your wallet. Change these five behaviors and you should see better fuel economy, fewer maintenance bills, and a happier car over the long term.

Braking while cornering is a bad driving habit with dangerous consequences

Braking while cornering is an easy habit to pick up. After all, you need to slow down for corners, and sometimes you might need to slow down more than you think. But braking while turning the steering wheel is asking a lot of the front tires. Not only are you shifting more weight to the front axle, but when turning a majority of that load is going through just one tire. That creates a lot of stress that can quickly wear out those front tires, so you’ll be changing them out more often.

At high speeds, this is especially dangerous. Shifting the car’s weight forward will unload the rear tires. Brake too sharply while cornering and this can cause you to spin out, as the rear end tries to overtake the front. And on wet or snowy surfaces, braking while cornering can quickly overwhelm the grip level, causing you to understeer. At that point, the front tires stop working and you’re headed straight for a ditch, or worse.

Accelerating too slowly costs you money

Traffic lights can lead to bad driving habits like poor acceleration and hard braking.
Red light | Julian Stratenschulte/picture alliance via Getty Images

Of course, full-throttle acceleration is the least efficient way to get up to speed. But accelerating too slowly can also hinder your fuel economy, according to Popular Mechanics. It’s easy to form this bad driving habit, as a light press of the throttle feels more efficient than mashing the gas.

However, engines are at their most efficient in higher gears and at 60% to 80% throttle, depending on the model. So pressing the gas a bit harder and getting to those top gears more quickly can help you save more fuel over the long haul.

Putting off maintenance is the worst driving habit and can ruin even a new car

This is Henry Cesari's black 1988 Ford F-150 in a parking lot with its hood up for repairs it's an example of an 80s and 90s truck.
1988 Ford F-150 | Henry Cesari via MotorBiscuit

This isn’t a driving habit, but it does affect how your car drives on a daily basis. One of the most common bad driving habits that ruin your car is delaying important maintenance. Alignments, for example, are easy to skip. Who needs to spend $100 to $150 to have the suspension aligned when the car feels fine?

But even slight suspension misalignment can cause rapid tire wear and worsen fuel economy. And with the cost of gas these days, even just a 1 mpg difference can make up that $100 alignment cost in six months or less. And that’s ignoring how often you’ll be buying tires that have worn out too quickly.

Overloading your car can cause costly consequences

We get it. You weren’t planning to buy those cinder blocks, but Lowe’s is right there and they’ll fit in the trunk of this Toyota Corolla, right? They might, but the weight will stress your car to a point that costs you big in the long run.

Overloading your car can cause all sorts of suspension problems, including worn ball joints, wheel bearings, and bushings. None of those parts are cheap to replace unless you can do the work yourself. And even so, it’s hours of labor and money you didn’t need to spend in the first place.

Not maintaining speed is an inefficient driving habit

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration helps with these roads
In an aerial view, cars back up for miles on the Honoapiilani highway | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This bad driving habit won’t ruin your car, but it will hurt your fuel economy. Constantly accelerating and slowing costs gas, even if you aren’t using the brakes to slow down. Every time you lose focus and drop below your ideal speed, you’re saving some fuel, yes. But when you realize you’re only doing 55 and want to be going 70, the fuel costs to get back to your chosen pace quickly burn through any advantage you had from slowing. Maintain speed manually or set cruise control for more efficient driving that is easier on your engine.

Be a better driver and take care of your car

Whether you’re a car enthusiast or simply view your car as a tool for getting around, taking care of it is important. Fix these bad driving habits to avoid ruining your car and spending more money than necessary on maintenance.