4 Bad Habits That Damage Your Vehicle

  • Jan 31, 2019
  • Resources & Tips

The devil is in the details. Often the smallest issues can snowball and turn into much greater problems over time; issues with your vehicle are no exception. We’re all guilty of engaging in a few faux pas behind the wheel, like exceeding recommended maintenance schedules or failing to slow down at a speed bump. But things become problematic when these types of minor flubs develop into bad habits that occur frequently. Careless disregard can manifest into very real and very expensive problems for your vehicle. The good news? Many of these bad habits are highly preventable. A little more care and consideration can save your vehicle (and your wallet) in the long run.

1. Driving with the Parking Brake On

Your parking brake is one of your vehicle’s greatest features. It’s a safeguard when parking on hills and adds a layer of security in the event of brake failure. While some new vehicles are equipped with an audible warning, telling you that you’ve left your parking brake on, the majority of vehicles simply display a light on the instrument panel. It can be easy to forget the brake’s still engaged and you can end up driving several miles before realizing it. Driving with the parking brake on is similar to driving with your foot on the brake pedal. It produces heat and boils the brake fluid, compromising the integrity of your brakes, and potentially causing an accident. Pay close attention every time you get in your vehicle and note whether the parking brake is on to avoid any problems.

2. Ignoring a Chipped Windshield

It often begins the same way every time. You’re driving on the highway and a small rock hits your windshield. It creates a chip in the glass, and though disgruntled, you promise yourself you’ll have it addressed. But time passes and you neglect to fix the issue. As you continue to drive, the chip expands into a hairline crack. That crack spreads, and soon it spans the entire length of your windshield. What was once an easy repair is now a much more expensive problem, as you’ll likely have to replace the entire windshield. Not only is it a financial burden, but a cracked windshield also creates a safety hazard. The crack can impair your sightlines and lead to an accident. Don’t wait until it’s too late; get the issue repaired right away. We offer a variety of glass repair services to get you on your way.

3. Driving Over Potholes

Winter brings its fair share of cold weather, and ultimately it affects the quality of our roads. Potholes are a natural part of the season, and while they’re occasionally unavoidable, distracted driving can result in hitting more than necessary. Depending on factors such as the depth of the pothole, the speed at which you’re driving and the air pressure in your tires, the aftermath from the impact could soar into the thousands. It’s not just your tires that are vulnerable to damage; your suspension and alignment could also be impacted. Your best defense against potholes is slowing down and paying greater attention to the road to try to avoid them.

4. Ignoring the Check Engine Light

You’re simply driving along when suddenly you look at your dashboard and see it. The dreaded Check Engine light has illuminated and you don’t know why. There doesn’t appear to be any issues, so you continue to drive, hoping that it may go away. It’s very important that you don’t ignore the Check Engine light (or any warning light for that matter), as it could be indicative of a major problem with your vehicle’s components. While it could be something extensive, like a catalytic converter that’s gone, it could also be something more minor, like a loose gas cap. The best thing you can do is get it checked right away to know for sure and minimize damage.

None of us are perfect, and we all engage in some poor practices from time to time. It’s when those poor practices develop into bad habits, that your vehicle can feel the brunt, along with your wallet. Holding yourself more accountable, being more cognizant behind the wheel, and addressing issues as soon as they arise can help negate problems from escalating. If you’re already experiencing issues, our team of experts can help find the problem and get you back on the road before you know it. Your vehicle looks after you, so this year, make a habit of looking after your vehicle!

 

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