As we have recently begun a new year, there’s no better time to get rid of bad habits, including bad driving habits. And the scary thing is, these 5 bad driving habits will slowly ruin your car without you even realizing it. Here at Plains Tire, we can certainly fix your car – but wouldn’t it be better if it never broke down in the first place? If you currently are guilty of any of these 5 habits, ditch them now.
Bad Driving Habit #1: Sudden Starting & Stopping
Do you have ‘lead foot syndrome’? Are you constantly slamming hard on the brakes or the accelerator? If so, you should stop. This is a bad habit for a number of reasons. Not only does it waste gas (which doesn’t help the environment), but it puts unnecessary stress on your brakes, causing the brake pads to wear down faster. It is also dangerous for you and other drivers, so you’re more likely to end up in an accident. Unless you have to, avoid hard stops or starts.
Bad Driving Habit #2: Riding the Brakes
When you are driving down a hill, you may find yourself leaving your foot on the brake to prevent acceleration. Although you do this out of a desire to drive slow and safe, this is actually pretty bad for your brakes. The high amount of friction turns into heat and can lead to overheating and brake failure. The alternative is to put your vehicle into a lower gear that only requires you to brake occasionally. The lower gear will create engine braking and take stress off your brakes.
Bad Driving Habit #3: Riding the Clutch
If you drive a manual transmission car, this one is for you. It’s very important that you don’t ride the clutch. Even small amounts of pressure on the clutch pedal can activate the hydraulics and pull the pressure plate away from the flywheel slightly. This leads to unnecessary friction and heat, resulting in premature damage. Whether you are stopped at a red light or cruising down the highway, don’t leave your foot on the clutch!
Bad Driving Habit #4: Resting Your Hand on the Shift Lever
You probably do this one without even thinking. Or maybe it makes you feel like you are in Fast and Furious. Either way, leaving your hand on the shifter puts pressure on the transmission’s bushings and synchronizers. If you pay close attention, you will feel a vibration in the shift lever when you do this, which is a sign that you are ruining your transmission.
Bad Driving Habit #5: Neglecting to Use the Parking Brake
Very steep hills aren’t the only place where you should use your parking brake. You are better off to use your parking brake every time you park your vehicle. Without the parking brake, all of the vehicle’s weight rests on a small piece of metal known as the parking pawl. The parking pawl and brake system of your car will last much longer if you use your parking brake!
We hope that these driving habits will help you get the most out of your vehicle! Come see us at one of our nine Plains Tire locations for all of your automotive and tire needs throughout Wyoming!