5 Bad Driving Habits that Can Damage Your Car
With more traffic and massive congestion on the roads everywhere, you probably witness some rather bizarre driving behaviors on a semi-regular basis. At OKC Auto Works, we see them too, but don't fret--it happens whether you're living in Oklahoma City, OK or anywhere else in the country.
So, here are five things that many drivers do that can seriously damage their vehicles in the near future if they do them on a continuing basis:
1.) Resting Your Hand on the Shifter: Unless you're vigorously changing gears, there's no reason to touch the shifter. Resting your hand on it places weight on the transmission's bushings and synchronizers and can cause internal wear in your tranny over time. Keeping both of your hands on the steering wheel and taking them off only to switch gears is the best suggestion here.
2.) Not Using the Parking Brake: By not applying your parking brake, it forces the entire weight of your car to rest on the parking pawl, which is a tiny piece of metal within your transmission. By ignoring your parking brake, this could cause the pawl to gradually wear out and eventually break, making the "P" on your shifter basically worthless. So, please use the parking brake every single time, because it's easy and takes less than three seconds to do so.
3.) Revving the Engine When It's Cold: Too many people do this and it can eventually damage their engines. It's not a terrible idea to let the engine idle for a minute or two after a cold start. This allows it to warm up and gives the oil some time to circulate throughout the engine. However, you should avoid revving the engine when it's cold. Sure, the exhaust sounds impressive, but revving the engine when it's cold causes unexpected temperature changes that can potentially damage components. It also causes excessive wear on parts of the engine that haven't had a chance to be lubricated with oil. Your motor will sound better, and rev more effortlessly once it has a chance to warm up, so be patient lead foot and it will benefit the vehicle down the road.
4.) Hauling Too Much Weight: Your car is not your home, so you don't have to carry all of your earthly possessions in it, right? Each pound of extra weight can impact your fuel economy and the vehicle's handling, plus it can cause excessive stress on suspension, brake and a wide range of drivetrain components. So, take a moment and give your trunk a thorough cleaning out and save the wear and tear on your car.
5.) Hard Starts and Stops: This one's surely a no-brainer, but so many people seem to never figure it out. Mashing on the gas can be a blast, but it uses significantly more fuel than gradually applying the throttle. Abrupt stops are sometimes needed, but if you do them all the time, the wear to the brake pads and rotors will become evident. Looking ahead, planning your trip and applying the pedals smoothly is the best strategy and a safer way to drive.
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Sources: MSN, AAA and TIME