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7 Harmful Habits That Can be Disastrous to Your Vehicle

You may have developed harmful driving habits when you’ve been behind the wheel of a vehicle for some time. And, if you’re anything like us, it’s been quite some time since you took driver’s education.

As a result, you could cause severe damage to your car.

Today, we’re sharing seven harmful habits you might want to avoid to protect your vehicle.

Let’s hit the road!

A woman driving a car. What harmful habits can be damaging your vehicle?

How Harmful Habits Damage Your Vehicle

How you behave behind the wheel can damage your car. If you want your ride to last, you’ll want to avoid them as much as possible. Doing so helps ensure you can depend on your car each time you go out to start it up.

Abusing your auto is an excellent way to end up stranded in a parking lot or on the side of the road. Harmful habits create dangerous conditions and may lead to your vehicle failing.

Operating an automobile is a responsibility that you must take seriously. It’s critical to have confidence that you’ll safely get you and your passengers from point A to point B.

Avoid These 7 Harmful Habits That Can Damage Your Car

You’ve probably picked up a few harmful habits while driving your vehicle. We’re all guilty of them on occasion.

#1 Distracted Driving

While technology makes our lives easier, it’s made it very easy to get distracted while driving. Unfortunately, this is one of the most dangerous and harmful habits for you and your vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 3,500 lives are lost each year due to distracted drivers.

Additionally, more than 320,000 people get injured in accidents due to distractions. Had the individuals involved kept their eyes and focus on the road, the misfortunes may not have happened.

Almost every state has rules and regulations that make texting or operating a cellular device illegal while driving. Unfortunately, many people still fail to obey them.

Avoid road rage: 5 RV Driving Habits That Make People Instantly Dislike You.

Texting while driving is definitely a harmful habit that can damage your vehicle.

#2 Driving on Empty Damages Your Car

Another thing you might be doing to damage your car is not filling up your gas tank. Whether you know it or not, your fuel pump relies on what’s in your reservoir to control its temperature. Typically, this critical component risks exposure running on empty.

This simple action causes the pump to generate heat, increasing its wear and tear. Like most components, it’ll withstand abuse but eventually throw in the towel. When it does, you won’t be going anywhere. You might even need to call a tow truck and get a lift to a nearby shop.

To avoid this, fill up as much as possible. It may cost you a few extra bucks now, but it’ll save you frustrations and a chunk of change in the long run.

Driving with a near empty gas tank is a harmful habit that can damage your vehicle.

#3 Revving a Cold Engine

If you live in a colder climate, it’s possible to seriously damage your car when you don’t let the engine warm up properly. Some make the mistake of pressing on the accelerator, thinking it helps speed up the process. Unfortunately, they don’t realize they’re doing more harm than good.

That said, you also don’t have to let it run for 15 to 20 minutes to be safe to drive. It might make the inside nice and toasty, but it’s wasteful. Typically, they only need to run for 60 to 90 seconds before they’re ready to go.

When in doubt, avoid hard accelerations for the first few minutes of driving.

#4 Carrying Too Much Weight

Another harmful habit you need to avoid is carrying too much weight. Whether you’re driving a car, minivan, or truck, being mindful of how much load you’re hauling is essential.

Pushing the limit on your payload capacity causes severe damage to the drivetrain, suspension, and brakes. In addition, you’ll notice your fuel economy tank the more you add.

Whatever you do, don’t remove parts like spare tires. Instead, remove any unnecessary things that could weigh you down. If you’ve been hauling a box of books to donate, make it a priority to drop them off.

Every bit matters and helps ease the burden on your car.

Do you know? What Is the Three-Second Rule When Driving?

#5 Riding Your Brakes Can Damage Your Car

It’s crucial to stay in control when you’re behind the wheel. However, riding your brakes is a harmful habit that causes significant damage to your pads and rotors. The heat generated makes them overheat and warp.

In the worst situations, you may be unable to stop during an emergency.

Shifting into a lower gear when driving a manual transmission helps you avoid relying too heavily on stopping power. Instead, your drivetrain can assist with maintaining a safe speed.

If you have an engine or exhaust brake, use them. They’ll help you to maintain control when going down hills or steep grades.

Riding your brakes is a harmful habit that can damage your vehicle.

#6 Ignoring Dashboard Warning Lights

Another harmful habit you want to avoid for your vehicle is ignoring dashboard lights. When you see a warning indicator pop up while you’re driving, take it seriously. We’ve seen some people with dashboards with so many warning lights that they look like Christmas trees.

Don’t ignore it, whether it’s a light reminding you to change your oil, check your tire pressure, or several other things. Make it a priority to address the situation so it doesn’t grow into a more significant problem.

You could cost yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars if you don’t. While your mechanic will appreciate the business, your bank account won’t.

#7 Shifting Gears Before Stopping

Shifting gears without stopping is the final harmful habit that can damage your car. This issue commonly occurs when backing out of a parking space. You may apply the brake, but you don’t let the vehicle come to a complete rest. Instead, you jam it into drive and press the accelerator.

While this saves you a second or two, it causes severe issues for your engine, transmission, and axles. Instead, take an extra second or two and come to a complete stop. Something simple can help you avoid wreaking havoc on your ride.

Wow! Who knew there were so many bad driving habits? You’re Driving Me Crazy!: 101 Dangerous, Inappropriate, Discourteous, Illegal, and Just Plain Stupid Driving Habits!

Drive Smart to Avoid Needless Damage to Your Car

We’d be lying if we said we’ve never committed one of these harmful habits in a vehicle. While making these mistakes once or twice may not be a big deal, they can do severe damage over time.

Avoid these habits as much as possible to keep your car out of the shop. The more money you spend at the mechanic, the less you have for future adventures.

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