From the moment you first pass your driving test you start picking up bad driving habits – whether it’s putting your arm round the headrest when reversing or crossing your hands when turning a corner.
24/7 Home Rescue has revealed the bad habits that could be costing your thousands in avoidable repair bills.
1. Driving with low fuel
Heading out on the road with your vehicle’s tank dangerously empty allows rust, grime and dirt sitting at the bottom to get sucked into the system, damaging the fuel pump and filters – expensive to replace.
2. Leaving your hand on the gearstick
A lot of Brits leave their hand on the gearstick when driving, but doing so can be damaging to your gearbox.
The stick is attached to a control rod in the gearbox that has selector forks designed only to make contact with gears for a short amount of time – resting your hand on the gearstick with some force will cause the forks to rub against the rotating collar causing easily-avoidable wear.
3. Leaving your foot on the clutch pedal
Resting your foot on the clutch can cause your clutch to engage – riding the pressure plate against the clutch which will causes heat and wear.
4. Revving the engine before it has warmed up
Starting up your car and driving without giving it the chance to warm up can damage any moving parts because the oil hasn’t had chance to fully circulate.
5. Skipping regular maintenance
Keeping up with services can be expensive, but avoiding them could see you paying out even more. The oil in the engine can become burnt and sludge-like, causing blockages in the oil galleries – leading to catastrophic failure.
6. Ignoring dashboard warning lights
Ignoring your motor’s warning lights can lead to expensive repairs down the line. A recent survey revealed that 98 per cent of British motorists don’t understand the most common dashboard warning lights. Make sure you’re in the know so you don’t get hit with an unnecessary bill.
7. Ignoring your handbrake
If you own an automatic car, it can be tempting to simply leave the car in park mode oppose to engaging the handbrake. But doing so puts unnecessary strain on a little metal pin called the ‘pawl’ – this engages a notched ring that’s attached to the transmission output shaft.
Failing to use the handbrake puts pressure on the pawl which can lead to it becoming damaged or dislodged.
8. Using the brakes too hard
If you’re constantly on the brakes because you’re driving erratically – then you’ll be causing faster wear to your motors brake pads and discs.
9. Driving in too high a gear
While keeping your engine revs low can save you fuel, driving in too high of a gear for your speed, also known as lugging, will put strain on your car’s engine and can damage the cylinder heads.
10. Not allowing your turbo to cool down
If your car has a turbocharger, not letting it cool down when your journey is over can shorten its lifespan. Idle the engine for roughly a minute to allow significant cooling time – helping to make the turbocharger last longer and ensure the bearings do not break.