Bad driving habits that hurt your vehicle

  • Feb 16, 2021
  • Resources & Tips

Let’s face it; we all have bad habits when it comes to our driving. Maybe you listen to the radio too loudly or never wash your car. While it’s not good to do either of these things, they shouldn’t affect the drivability of your vehicle. There are, however, some bad driving habits that could damage your vehicle. We don’t want you or your car to get hurt, so here are 5 bad driving habits to take note of and avoid.


1. Not using your parking brake

The parking brake is there for a reason. Whenever you park, especially if it’s on a hill, you should use your parking brake. When you don’t use your parking brake you’re relying on your transmission to keep your car from rolling. The parking brake is designed to actually keep your wheels from rolling. By using it, you reduce the amount of wear on the transmission. This wear can result in your transmission failing later in your car’s life, a problem every car owner would like to avoid, so start using your parking brake!


2. Running your gas tank to empty

We’ve all been caught on empty, looking for the nearest gas station because we forgot to fill up the last time we drove. While mistakes happen, this is not a good one to make a habit of. When your car is running on fumes it can cause parts to overheat and malfunction; gas actually acts as a coolant in your car’s systems. Your fuel pump, fuel system, and catalytic converter could be damaged if you run out of fuel completely. So it’s recommended that you fuel up when you get down to a quarter tank of gas.


3. Stopping and going quickly

When you stop hard, you wear out the brakes on your vehicle faster. Likewise, when you step on the gas quickly, you waste more fuel. Obviously sudden stops are necessary at times, but the best way to drive is to look ahead, plan accordingly and gently press on the gas or brake pedals when needed. This will help save your brakes and a little extra money at the fuel pumps. 


4. Carrying extra weight

A clean car is a happy car. Clean out the trunk or the back of your truck, as there’s no need to be driving around with extra weight in your car. Every pound of extra weight affects your fuel economy and puts extra stress on your suspension, drivetrain and brakes. Lighten your load and you’ll reduce wear and tear on these important systems in your vehicle. 


5. Revving a Cold Engine. 

It’s hard to be patient when it’s cold outside. We want our vehicles to heat up faster so we can get warm, but the best way to do this is to start your engine and let it idle for a few minutes. This helps the engine warm-up and gives the oil time to circulate. Revving a cold engine causes unnecessary wear on engine parts that haven’t had time to be lubricated through with oil. It also causes abrupt temperature changes that can damage parts. Letting your engine warm-up gradually will protect your vehicle and ensure it runs more smoothly. 

By avoiding these bad habits you can help ensure your vehicle will run smoothly for years to come, and retain its resale value too. Should something go wrong with your car, though, don’t hesitate to bring it in. Our expert team at Warrenton Auto is here to help you get back on the road. Get in touch today to book your appointment.