Top 10 Bad Driving Habits that Damage Your Car

Even the best drivers are guilty of bad driving habits. Riding the brakes, not warming up the engine, and ignoring warning signs will damage your car.

Your vehicle is one of your most expensive belonging, and it’s surely one on which you heavily depend. So, you need it to keep it conditioned to last as long as possible. Even if you have the proper vehicle maintenance measures set up, there might be important everyday responsibilities you ignore that negatively affect the life of your car.

Here are the top 10 bad driving habits that can cause unintentional but significant harm to your car:

1. Ignoring the Parking Brake/Handbrake:

When you park on a slope or inclined road, use the parking brake/Handbrake even if you don’t think it’s necessary. If you don’t, you put pressure on your transmission, where there’s only a little pin the size of your pinky finger, known as the parking pawl, keeping the entire weight of your car in place

2. Shifting into Reverse gear when not completely stopped:

In a car making the shift into reverse gear isn’t like changing from first gear to second. You force your transmission to do things it’s not expected to do, and that can make harm your drive shafts and suspension

3. Driving with the Clutch engaged:

Drivers sometimes keep the clutch engaged in, when it’s not time to brake or change gears. This can wreak havoc with the water hydraulic system where the pressure plates meet the flywheel. Driving with the clutch engaged causes those plates to graze the flywheel haphazardly, wearing down the system in general and potentially setting you up for sudden clutch failure in the future

4. Regularly Adding Small Amounts of Fuel to the Gas Tank:

Although there might be times when you can’t bear to fill the tank totally or plan to wait for a better fuel price, adding a couple of liters of fuel at once and frequently running with low levels of fuel can really hurt your car. That’s because it forces your car to utilize fuel from the base of the tank, where there is normally sediment that has developed overtime. This can lead to a clogged fuel filter or debris passing into the engine.

5. Riding the Brakes Downhill:

Despite feeling like you’re ready to stop in an emergency, riding the brakes while going down slopes, or even in general, causes undue wear and tear on your braking mechanism. Driving in this way really sets you up for a higher risk of brake failure, so try driving in a lower gear rather, if you have the choice

6. Sudden Stops and Take-offs:

Frequently slamming on the brake or suddenly accelerating the pedals take a huge toll on your mileage and can even cause deterioration on parts like your brake pads and rotors

7. Using the Shift Lever as a Hand Rest:

Unless you’re an expert racecar driver, there’s truly no reason to drive around with your hand resting on your car’s gear stick. The weight of your hand really puts load on the sliders inside your transmission, creating unnecessary wear

8. Carrying Heavy Loads You don’t need:

It’s one thing to load your car down when helping a companion move or carrying tools to your job, however driving around with a pack of additional weight for no reason declines your fuel economy significantly and puts additional weight on the most of your car’s components

9. Improperly ‘Warming Up’ Your Car:

While there’s nothing wrong with starting your car and letting it idle for a couple of minutes before you go out on a cool morning, revving the motor immediately to ‘warm it up’ is a bad thought. This causes sudden temperature changes that can really hurt your car and forces the engine to work under load before the oil has a chance to complete the cycle

10. Ignoring what your car tries to ‘Tell’ You:

It’s normal for your car to make unusual noises before mechanical issues make themselves known in more obvious ways. You realize what your car should sound like, so putting off examining another rattle or hum just permits an issue to get worse. When something begins to sound amiss, get in touch with a mechanic who can analyze the issue and set things back in order

If you’re guilty of any of these regular terrible driving habits, put your new knowledge to use today.

Do you have any ‘great driver’ tips we missed? Send them to us at


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