Driving Habits That May Cause Damage to Your Car

Overloading a car poses a huge risk for the driver.
  • There are various typical driving habits that motorists adopt that ultimately have a negative effect on their vehicles. Over time these habits may cause parts of your car to wear out hence leading to safety risks.

    Here are some of the dangerous driving habits for motorists to take note of.

    Overloading a car poses a huge risk for the driver.


    This occurs mostly during the festive season when most people are traveling upcountry. Overloading your car places a greater strain on the brakes and suspension during the journey. Over time, this may lead to the vehicle developing mechanical challenges. 

    This may lead to brake failure as the heavy load may potentially lead to the damage of the brake disk which controls the car movement. 

    Furthermore, overloading your car beyond the required weight limits causes imbalance to the car. This makes it hard for the driver to steer the car which potentially leads to an accident. 

    Experts opine to stick to the maximum load weight outlined in the manual. 

    Notably, during the festive season, travel as light as possible or if in extreme cases, ensure you don’t surpass the load limit.

    Gear lever of an automatic transmission.
    Gear lever of an automatic transmission.

    Rest your Hand on the Gear Lever

    This is the norm for most drivers who tend to rest their hands on the gear lever.

    The gear lever is connected to the selector fork which is designed to make minimum pressure to a rotating collar for a limited period. 

    Thus resting your hand on the gear lever for a longer period forces it to handle more weight than usual.

    The pressure piles up on the transmission’s internal parts which may lead to wear and tear of gearbox components. 

    In the long run, the wear and tear may speed up the possible failure of the gear lever.

    Various experts opine that keeping both hands on the steering wheel when driving is a much safer habit to adopt and will enable the motorist to be alert in case any road hazard occurs.

    A petrol station attendant pumping fuel into a car.
    A petrol station attendant pumping fuel into a car.

    Running with low fuel

    When your low fuel light turns on at the dashboard, it signifies that the car is close to running out of gas. If your car runs out of fuel, it will inevitably break down.

    According to consumer reports, the fuel in the engine operates as a coolant for the electric fuel pump motor, hence low fuel allows the pump to suck in air which causes heat leading to the potential failure of the fuel pump.

    Considering the cost to repair engine parts and any other damages incurred, this may lead to the driver to cough out more money out of their pockets.

    Experts further advise that rapid acceleration, speeding and braking at highway speeds consume a lot of fuel.

    In addition to this, the traffic system in most highways is attributed to too much fuel consumption for drivers who endure long hours of traffic.

    It’s advisable for motorists not to wait until the fuel indicator flicks on in order to fill up the tank.

    Shifting into reverse before the car stops

    Shifting the gear lever before coming to a complete halt ultimately causes wear and tear on the transmission band. This habit is notable during tight parking spots, whereby motorists maneuver by shifting from reverse to drive while still rolling backward.

    Ford Motor company’s Chief engineer for transmission programs, Craig Renneker noted that the habit poses a risky move for car owners.

    “Transmissions are not meant to engage in reverse while traveling forward. Sure, you can jam it in at the bottom of your driveway apron while you’re still rolling a little, but even that’s not the best of practices. The safest bet is to just not do it,” chief engineer Renneker remarked.

    For the case of motorists, repairing the automatic transmission will be costly and labor-intensive.

    Experts opine that motorists should come to a complete stop before shifting into reverse, whether the transmission is manual or automatic.

    Used cars yard.
    A used cars yard.

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