5 Driving Habits that are Damaging Your Car

5 Driving Habits that are Damaging Your Car

| By: Blair Jordan, Christian Brothers Automotive Spring

Along with college education and buying a home, purchasing a car is considered one of the major long-term investments in a person's life. With proper care and scheduled maintenance checks, a car can be a keeper for many years. But many car owners do not realize the importance of daily driving habits, and the pivotal impact they have on the longevity of a car.

Five of the most common driving habits that are damaging your car include:

1. Hard Braking and Accelerating

While sudden stops are unavoidable in certain situations, hard braking is most of the time the result of poor anticipation and attention to the road. Sudden acceleration on the other hand is purely an adrenaline rush. Both hard braking and acceleration wear out the brake pads and rotors, thus greatly reducing the working efficiency of your car. Keeping your gaze ahead while driving, staying alert to traffic patterns, and smoothly pressing on pedals are some great driving habits to increase the lifespan of your car.

2. Cold Starts

A cold start is when you start up a car after a long period of inactivity. During cold starts, the engine has difficulty lubricating the internal parts of the combustion system. Repeated cold starts affect the life expectancy of the motor. Hence, it is recommended that you wait for a few minutes for the engine to warm up. Revving up the engine after a cold start leads to even greater wear and tear of your car. In addition, it is best to keep your engine speed below 2,000 RPM during the first few miles of driving.

3. Shifting from Drive to Reverse before Stopping

The automatic gearbox is designed for the smooth shifting of gears via the hydraulic coupling system. However, shifting from drive to reverse (or vice versa) before coming to a stop can wear out your transmission band. This can prove to be expensive, in contrast to serviceable parts like brake discs and pads. Hence, in order to maintain the working efficiency of your car transmission, it is a good idea to come to a stop before changing gears.

4. Frequent Redlining

Today, cars are equipped with a tachometer, a device that measures the working speed of a vehicle. Tachometers are marked by a red line which serves as an indicator of high engine speeds. If you are revving your engine very hard, this red line tells you if your engine speed is too much. Excessive revving or redlining can overheat your car engine and turbocharger. When an engine functions above its optimum operating temperature for an extended duration of time, it eventually breaks down.

5. Fueling Up in Increments

Some drivers prefer to keep a small amount of fuel in the tank, adding only a gallon or two at a time. While this incremental filling might seem reasonable when you can't afford a full tank of gas, it will eventually lead to more costly repairs in the future. The engine pump of the modern day car needs to be submerged in fuel in order to remain cool. When you drive with only a small amount of fuel in the tank, the engine pump tends to heat up and wear out more quickly. A good tip would be to always keep your car tank at least quarter full.

Have any question about how to best care for your car? The team at Christian Brothers Automotive Spring can assist with any of your concerns. Our ASE certified technicians can be your go-to auto repair experts in the Spring area. We look forward to serving you!

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