Everyone considers themselves to be great drivers, but there are certain habits that we tend to pick up and these might be damaging your car, especially with the heavy traffic that we experience daily. Revving your car and repeatedly braking when stuck in traffic can cause major damage.
Here are 10 habits to stop now to make your car last longer:
- Don’t ignore the warning signs – We tend to get used to our cars because of the amount of time we spend in them, so it is easy to forget about that squeaky noise that started last week or the niggling wheel that put your wheel alignment out. These sounds are not to be overlooked as something can be seriously wrong. As soon as you hear an unfamiliar get it checked out!
- Your gear stick is not a hand rest – Only have your hand on the gear stick when actively changing gears. When placing extra weight, like your hand, on the gear stick it is causes damage on the transmission’s bushings and synchronisers and leads to internal wear. You should be keeping both of your hands on the steering wheel.
- The boot is not for storage – Any extra weight in the boot impacts your fuel efficiency, handling, stress on suspension, brakes and drivetrain components. This could also be a safety risk. Rather take your things out and avoid these problems.
- Not using the parking brake – If you do not make use of the parking brake (if you have one) you are relying on the parking pawl to bear the weight of the entire car and will eventually wear out. The “P” gear will then be ineffective so rather ditch this habit soon.
- Not filling up – We all love filling up, NOT! The tedious task of filling up our cars, not to mention the cost and time wasted, is very important. Low levels of fuel in the tank can cause your fuel pump to heat up and wear out much quicker as the pump is usually kept cool by being submerged in fuel. Keep your tank at least a quarter full, better yet – fill up completely and get more kilometres per litre.
- Don’t pretend that you are in a video game – Braking hard and accelerating fast is not something that a standard car is equipped to do unless you have added modifications. Your car’s brake pads and rotors will have a much shorter lifespan.
- Don’t rev the engine in winter – Switching on the ignition and letting your car idle heats it up and not revving. Excessive revving when it is cold causes quick temperature changes that damages components.
- Don’t ride on your clutch – Using your clutch to keep it at a standstill, normally at robots, damages the pressure plate, release bearing and release arm. Rather use your handbrake.
- Don’t switch straight from reverse into drive – You need to stop completely before switching from reverse to drive otherwise you will place strain on the drivetrain by suddenly forcing the car to move in the opposite direction.
- Don’t sit on the brakes when going downhill – Resting your foot on the brake when going downhill strains and heats up the brake system which wears out your brake pads and rotors. Rather use the “engine braking” manoeuvre and shift to a lower gear which will slow the car down through its natural drivetrain decompression.