Most modern cars are designed for long term performance and safety, but the way you drive can also have an impact on your car's performance and safety over time.
Bad habits like riding your brakes and accelerating fast can cause premature wear on your car parts, leading to more frequent and more costly repairs. Understanding what the common bad habits are can help you make better driving decisions and protect your car from unnecessary damage.
Here are 9 bad driving habits that damage your car.
1. Riding the brakes
Even small amounts of pressure on your brakes will cause the brake pads to come in contact with the rotors and drums. Continually pressing the brake pedal or riding the brakes can put a lot of strain on your brakes and wear them out much faster.
Instead of holding your foot on the brake while going down a long hill, try shifting down gears instead. When driving in traffic, try to keep more distance between you and the driver in front so you don't have to keep pressing the brake.
2. Running the tank on low fuel
Running your fuel tank down to low regularly isn't great for your fuel pump. In many modern cars, the fuel pump is located inside the fuel tank where it is lubricated and cooled by the fuel. Running the fuel low means the fuel pump doesn't get as much lubrication which can increase wear and tear over time.
What's more, some older cars have steel fuel tanks which can corrode if there's not enough fuel in the tank. Instead of letting your fuel tank run right down to low, consider filling up when you hit a quarter tank.
3. Hard stopping
There may be times you need to brake hard, for example if you are going down a steep hill. However, regular heavy braking will wear out your brake pads faster. Not to mention, braking hard and fast can be dangerous for other drivers on the road.
To avoid unnecessary hard braking, try to keep an eye on your surroundings when you drive and anticipate what other drivers will be doing. Keep good distance from other vehicles and avoid driving when tired as you won't be as quick to respond to dangers.
4. Fast acceleration
Accelerating fast is a bad driving habit that damages your car by putting strain on the engine, transmission and tyres. Doing it often can cause these parts to wear out much faster. Hard acceleration also burns fuel faster, making it an expensive driving habit.
Where possible, try to accelerate slowly and gradually to prevent unnecessary wear.
5. Taking speed bumps too fast
Going over speed bumps or potholes too fast can wear out your car's suspension system. Parts like shock absorbers and ball joints will need replacing sooner with this kind of strain. Plus, going fast over speed bumps can throw out your car's wheel alignment.
When you see a pothole on the road, avoid it or slow down if it's safe to do so. For speed bumps, slow down to an appropriate speed. It'll be better for your car and more comfortable for your passengers too.
6. Incorrect tyre pressure
When your tyres have the correct pressure, your car will be safer and more economical to drive. Tyres that are under-inflated deteriorate faster. They also increase braking distance, which can be unsafe for you and others on the road.
You should check your tyre pressure once a month and especially before you go on a long drive. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines when inflating your tyres – these can often be found in the owner's manual or inside the driver's door.
7. Changing from drive to reverse without stopping
In automatic cars, it may be tempting to switch from drive to reverse – or the opposite – before coming to a complete stop. But doing so puts unnecessary strain on the transmission.
The gearbox is designed to change gears, not stop your car. When you change before coming to a complete stop, you force your gearbox to bring your car to a stop too.
The best way to protect your gearbox from unnecessary damage is to use your brakes to bring your car to a complete stop before switching from drive to reverse or vice versa.
8. Ignoring warning lights
When warning lights come on in the car, it can be tempting to ignore them, especially if it's not a convenient time. However, warning lights are designed to help you get on top of problems before they become too big.
Ignoring your warning lights could lead to serious issues and expensive breakdowns. Similarly, not addressing bad driving habits that damage your car can accelerate wear and lead to costly breakdowns.
9. Not performing regular maintenance
Maintaining your car doesn't have to be time consuming or hard. In fact, little bits of maintenance regularly is the best way to keep it in good shape.
You should take your car in for a service every 6 months. If you notice any issues with your car, you should take it in sooner so that the problems can be fixed before they develop further.
A specialised Mazda service in Perth is the best way to look after your Mazda, as the mechanics understand Mazda models inside and out. Plus, it ensures genuine parts are used for a longer life, better performance and minimal wear and tear.
Book a Mazda service with Melville Mazda today to keep your car's zoom-zoom at its best.