bad driving habits part 2

5 More Bad Driving Habits That Are Harmful To Your Car

5 More Bad Driving Habits That Are Harmful To Your Car

1. Following Too Closely and Braking

Many drivers have a tendency to follow very closely to the car in front of them to avoid having someone cut in. But all that accelerating and sudden stopping is hard on your brakes. Braking creates heat, and can eventually cause warpage in the brake rotor, which will lead to pulsation. That pulsation is hard on the steering components and bearings because they’re constantly vibrating.

So while wearing out your brakes is going to mean replacing brake components more often, it could also add up to more repairs in general to your suspension and steering systems. The solution, of course, is to back off the accelerator and the brake pedal. If you’re an aggressive driver who brakes late, you’re only going to end up with premature front end wear.


2. Riding The Brakes

Ever been on the freeway behind a car whose brakes lights seem stuck on? That “driver” is in all probability riding the brake. People will also tend to do this driving down a steep hill because it can be intimidating. And while it might feel safer to drive along with the foot poised on the brake pedal, it will more likely cause the brakes to fail one day when they’re really needed. Even the lightest pressure on the brake pedal can cause the pads to come into contact with the rotors or the drums.


Driving this way builds up heat in the brakes, which can diminish the braking capacity of the system; it also wears out pads, rotors, and/or drums a lot more rapidly. Shift into a lower gear instead when driving downhill. This will cause engine braking, which helps slow the car down through natural drivetrain decompression. Engine braking can be as effective as regular braking in maintaining downhill speed.


3. Riding The Clutch

It seems everyone new to driving a manual transmission is afraid to remove their foot from the clutch so they won’t forget to engage it when they need to stop. Here’s the thing; clutches use hydraulics to disengage the pressure plates from the flywheel.


Even the lightest pressure on the clutch pedal can pull the pressure plate away from the flywheel a little. Because the plate isn’t in full contact, the flywheel is slipping against it ever so slightly. This causes heat buildup and premature wear—which will ultimately lead to clutch failure. Which, in turn, will lead to you writing a pretty sizable check to your mechanic.


4. Carrying Unnecessary Items

A former Eagle Scout with every merit badge, you’re still living by the organization’s guiding credo; “Be Prepared”. To that end, the trunk of your car is fully stocked. Come hell or high water—anything you might possibly ever need is in there. Which, is making your car work way too hard.


The more weight you ask your car to carry, the more fuel it burns, and the more wear and tear you put on every one of the mechanical components responsible for setting it into motion and stopping it again. Pare it back a bit. Give your interior and trunk a thorough pare down so you're only carrying the essentials.


5. Neglecting the Tires

Car tires are critical for braking and steering, and they put up with all kinds of owner neglect. You should be checking your tires as frequently as you check the oil. Driving with underinflated tires is a common mistake.


When your tires are underinflated, your car won't handle or respond the way it's designed to. Underinflated tires wear down more quickly and also lower your gas mileage. When you drive on underinflated tires, you decrease your gas mileage by up to 15 percent and reduce the life of your tires by 15 percent or more.  


Get into the habit of checking your tire pressure once a month. Compare the pressure in your tires with the recommended pressure listed in your owner's manual and on the placard in your car door. And then inflate your tires as needed. Be sure to check tire pressure when your tires are cold. A good time is early in the morning after your car's been idle overnight. Want your tires to last longer? Rotate them at least twice a year. Rotating your tires will keep your tires from wearing down unevenly and prematurely.


Well, we hope these driving tips have helped to remind you to review your driving habits. If you missed Part 1 of this article click here. And if you do have a problem, we at American Auto Care are happy to check your car out and do whatever service and repair is necessary to keep it in safe driving shape. You know what they say, “an ounce of prevention..”

Tags: Car brakes, tire pressure, car braking, riding the brake, riding the clutch, sudden acceleration, low fuel level, driving tips, protect your car