If you have been driving for any given period of time, then you know that practices such as changing the engine oil, drive belts and tire rotations are some of the things peopled do to have their cars working smoothly for a long time. But sometimes observe all the manufacture’s recommendations on how to take good care of the car, including never skipping service dates, but you still seem to have one problem after the other with the car.
Well, the probable reason may actually boil down to how you are actually driving your car. There are certain driving habits that are completely detrimental to your car, and unless you can change and drive better, you will never enjoy using your car in good condition because you will be visiting the garage every now and then. Below is a look at some of those bad driving habits that are hurting your car.
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Resting your arm on the shifter
You may find your arm on the shifter during a traffic snarl up or when you are just driving at normal speeds. Though comfortable and it may also sound trendy to non-drivers in the car, you have no reason to touch the shifter unless you are changing gears. When you rest your arm on the shifter, you add more weight on the car’s synchronizers and bushings and this will likely lead to internal wear. As a rule of thumb, both your hands should always be on the steering wheel and this should only change when you are shifting the gears.
Failing to use the parking brake
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Again, most people are in the habit of not using the parking brake when they should be doing so. When you don’t use this component, a lot of weight will be vested in the parking pawl, which is nothing but a little piece of metal within the car’s transmission. This will make the parking pawl wear out quickly and sooner or later, you will need to have a replacement for it. You should always make it a habit to use the parking brake to complement the parking pawl.
Driving on an almost empty tank
Sometimes you may be compelled to drive with an almost empty tank, but this should be on very rare occasions. You should not make it a habit to drive your car when it is showing this warning. This is because most of the modern cars are designed with a lot of sensitivity to empty tanks because there is always a tendency by those tanks to accumulate sediments which when taken up by the injection, a lot of damage can be done to the engine. When you drive a car on an almost empty tank, the pump will try to suck whatever could be left at the bottom of the fuel tank and these will mainly be sediments in the fuel tank which will end up clogging up the filters. If you are fond of driving under this conditions, just prepare for very expensive repairs in the near future.
Dragging the brakes when driving downhill
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When most people drive downhill, they have a habit of putting their foot on the brake pedal so that they can bring the car to a stop with a moment’s notice. Though it may sound nice as a safety precaution, it is causing unnecessary strain on the car’s breaking system. With your foot on the pedal, there will be more pressure on components such as the brake rotors and brake pads and you will soon be visiting the garage for replacements.
The best way to control speed when driving downhill and bring the car to a safer and smoother stop is to shift down to the lower gears to help slow down the car naturally. When you do that engage the brakes, there will not be a lot of pressure and it will be generally easy to bring the car to a smooth halt.
Going from reverse to stop before stopping completely
By switching from reverse gear to drive without stopping completely, you may think you are an expert driver and though it may be tempting when you are in a hurry, you are just hurting your car for no good reason. When you do that, you put a lot of strain on the drivetrain because it has to stop suddenly before changing direction rapidly on the opposite side. If you do this for a long time, you will have to change your gears and this will be more expensive than taking your time to reverse, stop and then engage the drive gear.
Revving a cold engine
After a cold start, it is usually a good idea to let the engine rev for a minute or two before you drive away. When you do this, you allow time for the engine to warm up and also for the oils to start flowing properly. However, you should always avoid the temptation to rev the engine immediately after a cold start. In as much as you will enjoy the sound of the exhaust, revving the engine when it is cold will make the temperature to change abruptly and this may end up damaging some components of the car. Additionally, it is a sure way to cause unnecessary wear to some parts of the engine that may have not gotten enough lubrication due to improper flow of the fluids. This is usually the case for all cars, including used Ford Phoenix. Once the engine warms up, it will sound better and it will rev more smoothly than on a cold start.
Practicing hard starts and stops
Hard starts and stops may be fun and may make you think as the next safari rally sensation, but you don’t just know the kind of damage you are doing to your car. To begin with, hard starts and stops uses more fuel then when you apply the throttle gradually. Secondly, they cause a lot of wear and tear to the brakes, and finally, hard stops may make you prone to crashing the car. Always look ahead, plan and press the pedals gradually and smoothly when starting or stopping.