Driving Habits That Are Damaging To A Car

By molly atherton 7 months ago
Rev up your engine and discover the driving habits that secretly sabotage your car's happiness. Buckle up for a  ride through the roads of automotive misadventures.  You're going to be shocked, for sure!

Changing Gears To Reduce Speed

Something as simple as changing to a lower gear in order to slow yourself down can have lasting negative effects on your vehicle.
Image Source: Reddit
This seemingly insignificant driving habit can actually cause damage to different parts of the car such as the clutch, transmission and the drive train.

Resting On Your Gear Stick

Is your car finding itself in need of fixing due to unexpected issues? If you resting on your gear stick too often, you may be unconsciously causing some serious damage to your car.
Image Source: Reddit
This can cause your transmission to falter.  If you are applying pressure to the gear shift you can cause the rotator collar to wear prematurely.

Flooring The Accelerator In A Higher Gear

If you currently have a bad habit of not making proper use of your rev counter reacting to the prompt light (if you have one), then you may be putting your car at risk of damage.
Image Source: Reddit
When you accelerate in too high a gear, it puts unnecessary pressure and strain on the engine as well as its motor. You could find yourself without a car!

Overloading Your Car

Our modern cars are specifically designed to carry heavy loads and cater to our needs. It is crucial though to find out how much your car can hold by looking at the manual.
Image Source: Reddit
This overloading will place a massive strain on the cars suspension as well as its brakes and drive train, causing the car to produce more emissions.

Hard Braking

We can all be found guilty of excessively using our brakes from time to time but would you maintain this truly dangerous habit if you knew how potentially life threatening to your car?
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Serious wear and pressure that us caused to the brake pads and discs can be quite expensive to replace as well as the wearing down of the tyres.

Eating While Driving

There is a lot of scepticism around whether or not it is legal to eat while you are driving. Well maybe you will think twice as you could endanger yourself and your passengers.
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If you slip on a spillage of your food, this can cause you to unintentionally swerve and hit curbs, fences or much worse, another car.

Changing From Park To Reverse Before Stopping

If you get stuck in the habit of changing gear straight into reverse, without stopping, then you may be causing some quite worrying damage to your car.
Image Source: Reddit
This awful driving habit can cause your transmission to incur some serious wear and tear as well as damage to your brake pads and discs.

Going Over Speedbumps

It's well known that many drivers approach speed bumps at a greater speed than is recommended but by doing so, you may cause your vehicle a detrimental amount of damage.
Image Source: Reddit
By approaching speed bumps at a high speed it can cause structural damage to your car's and cause cracked alloys and affect the vehicle's tracking.

Not Getting Maintenance

Although some maintenance jobs are not very serious such as the need to refill your windscreen washer or replacing a headlight bulb which went out ......
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Do not postpone your vehicle's annual service and MOT as this may cause your car to develop some rather greater issues than it originally had and you ignored them!

Driving Over Potholes

It can be a bad habit of drivers to not pay attention to the potholes in the road and they can cause serious damage to your tyres, causing them to go flat and puncture.
Image Source: Reddit
It could cause cracking and deforming of the alloys and internal structure of the wheel, making the tracking of the car  waiver and disrupting the balance.

Not Cleaning Your Interior

Some drivers fall into the habit of not cleaning the inside of their car, even though they always insist on the exterior being polished to within an inch of their life!
Image Source: Reddit
By not cleaning up any crumbs, dust or debris it can cause damage to the material in the car including ripping seats and scratching your dashboard.

Neglecting Warning Lights

Some drivers are unwilling to tend to faults or damages to their cars as this will mean that they may have to pay out large sums of money to fix the issue.
Image Source: Reddit
Ignoring dashboard warning lights could be very dangerous as there could be a problem with the vehicle's cooling system, braking system, car traction or the engine.

Revving Your Engine

The addictive habit of revving the engine can cause your car some unprecedented problems. This often happens when drivers make short meaningless journeys and ......
Image Source: Reddit
It does not give the car's oil enough time to warm up and revving the engine can cause this to happen unnaturally and too quickly, resulting in damage to the engine.

Texting While Driving

This habit is horribly dangerous and not to mention incredibly illegal and can result in a large fine and ban from driving.  More importantly ......
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Texting while driving can also be damaging for your car as if you lose focus, you may drift on the road and end up hitting the curb resulting a punctured tyre and maybe even more damage to your wheel.

Driving In Too High Of A Gear

With experience, it becomes second nature to reach the top gears and become more comfortable doing so but driving at too high a gear can have consequences.
Image Source: Reddit
If you are driving in a higher gear, this would imply that you are driving at a high speed which can be damaging to your fuel consumption and may result in running out of gas during your journey.

Riding Your Clutch

The overuse of the clutch and drivers riding their clutch is not uncommon.  Some do it to reach the biting point on a hill start.  You aren't doing your pedal any good!
Image Source: Reddit
This somewhat unconscious habit can cause the clutch to wear due to it being one of the most important pedals. It is also dangerous as if your foot slips, it could result in a crash.

Braking Late

Waiting until the last minute to decide whether we need to brake or not when approaching lights of a stop sign is irresponsible and damaging to the vehicle.
Image Source: Reddit
Unless it is a real emergency where, say, a pedestrian is walking out into the road, this habit of braking can cause early wear and tear of your tyres and braking system.

Running Down Your Fuel

If you are in the habit of allowing your fuel to run down to empty before refuelling, then you may be causing considerable damage to your car.
Image Source: Reddit
It can cause a large amount of wear and tear when trying to pump fuel as there is not a sufficient amount of fuel to lubricate the pump.

Resting Your Foot On Your Clutch

Over-use of the clutch is not always down to riding your clutch or constantly changing gear.  Sometimes it may be due to you simply resting your foot on the clutch which is a bad habit to get into.
Image Source: Rx Mechanic
By doing this you are unconsciously activating your gear and brake systems which can cause the gear stick to fall out of gear and damage the rotator.  It's an expensive repair!

Applying Your Makeup While Driving

Applying makeup while driving is a bad habit that can have horrendous consequences.  The driver is concentrating on their face and not the road.
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The driver is placing themself and others in harm's way.  If they fail to stop in time due to being distracted it could result in a very damaging accident for the car and maybe a human life.

Turning At The Wrong Time

Turning is arguably the most difficult part of driving due to the uncertainty as to how to approach the turn .  Some drivers may even take slower routes to avoid certain turns.
Image Source: Reddit
By being more hesitant, you may run the risk of pulling out of a junction at the wrong time and possibly causing a minor or serious accident.

Braking For Too Long

Some drivers brake too often and for too long in one period of time and it can cause significant damage to your vehicle, especially the brake discs.
Image Source: Reddit
By braking for too long, you are also damaging the brake pads and causing these parts to be in need of change more often than is typically needed.

Not Cleaning Your Car

Lack of cleaning your car can be a very serious problem and it's one that is common amongst drivers. If your car goes without receiving a detailed and careful clean, the vehicle' lights may be impaired.
Image Source: Reddit
Also, by not regularly cleaning your vehicle, you run the risk of serious corrosion which may cause damage to paint work and the overall body of the car.

Slamming Your Car Door

This very common but quite damaging habit can cause the car door to incur heavy body damage and even dislodge the inner components of the door.
Image Source: Reddit
A more serious impact of the slamming of car doors is the damage to the car windows and locks where it often leaves drivers unable to open their car or wind down their windows.

Reaching Around Your Car To Grab Things

A driver trying to place different items in their glove box, another seat or even in the car door holders is an incredibly bad habit that many drivers have acquired over time.
Image Source: Reddit
It causes a lapse in concentration and a possible quick look away from the road.  Bearing this in mind, anything could happen and it has, many times.

Not Using Engine Coolant

The refilling and constant checking of a vehicles engine coolant is often viewed by drivers as an extremely tedious job that many drivers tend to neglect when they are maintaining the engine of their car.
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By ignoring this, you can cause a lot of damage to the engine.  It could overheat and break down and could have been avoided by filling engine coolant regularly.

Becoming Distracted By A Phone Call

The use of mobile phones and more specifically the action of taking phone calls while driving is quickly becoming one of the largest causes of accidents and fatalities.
Image Source: Jordan Times
It's easy to take a call with the invention of bluetooth and the ability to answer a phone call from your steering wheel but it's not worth the risk or consequence?

Not Clearing Snow Properly

Clearing your car of snow is one of the most hated jobs because of the nature of going out into the winter morning and moving the mounds of snow from your car but it's crucial.
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Due to the low temperature of snow if you use heat to remove the snow it can cause the windows and windshield to crack or shatter. The salt from the snow can also cause the car to erode.

Accelerating At A Yellow Light

By accelerating when the traffic lights are at amber means that your are going at a higher speed than necessary to beat the changing lights and placing a lot of strain on the engine.
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You aren't doing the gearbox much good either!  More importantly if the light does turn red then you may encounter oncoming traffic and cause a serious accident.

Staring At Things While Driving

If you are in the habit of allowing your attention to be diverted by the various surroundings you come across whilst driving, then you may be placing your car and yourself in danger.
Image Source: Reddit
This lack of concentration may cause you to crash, causing significant damage to the vehicle but possibly to yourself. cause significant damage to your car.

Reading whilst driving

This may sound silly, but think about it - you're stuck in a heavy traffic area with the jam moving at a snail's pace so you decide to keep your latest novel or newspaper on your lap.
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It may sound logical, but it's another distraction. Accidents are most likely to happen with cars so close together, even if they're moving slowly - and especially if everyone is getting annoyed about the jam!

Slightly speeding

You might think it doesn't count as speeding if you're going 5 over the limit instead of 50, but speeding is speeding no matter how you look at it.
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The speed limit is there because of braking distance and reaction time, which is why it's not about whether you can see any other cars in front of you on an empty street and think it's okay to go a little faster!

Driving after having a drink

We all know there's a legal limit to what you can have before getting behind the wheel, but really, is it safe to drive after a drink at all?  Some people react differently to alcohol, too.
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This means if you're a lightweight you could feel more affected by one glass than someone else might. You don't have to be officially drunk to have your reaction time slowed by alcohol.

Running a red light

You might have panicked or decided to chance it because you got there just too late, or maybe it's late at night and quiet and you think it's okay because there are no other cars in sight but ......
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Running a red light is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents and you're risking serious damage to your car - and yourself - you think the coast is clear when it's not.

Running a stop sign

Stop signs can be annoying, sure, especially when you can see there's no traffic, and the fact you have to come to a complete stop instead of a 'rolling stop'... we get it. But stop signs are there for a reason.
image source: Kiss My Sass
Trying to skip one or not stopping completely to chance it, is a dangerous business and one of the worst driving habits. You can put yourself, other drivers and pedestrians at risk.

Changing lanes the wrong way

Changing lanes can often cause panic or impulsiveness in some drivers where lanes are busy, because you think you only have one quick opportunity to do it and you don't want to miss it.
image source: 1 ACT Driving Schools
Changing lanes too quickly and without giving enough indication to other drivers - as well as wildly zigzagging - is one of the worst habits you can do. Make sure to use turn signals and check blind spots!

Missing the 'wrong way' sign!

If this happens, at best you don't run into any traffic while still committing one of the most dangerous driving fails you can do! At worst, you're going to meet another vehicle.
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That could be a vehicle that's traveling the right way down a very narrow street and there's the risk a collision - or risk of a pedestrian who checked for which direction traffic should be coming.

Tail Gating

When you're impatient, or even when you have all the time in the world, it's always annoying to have a ridiculously slow driver in front of you. Unfortunately that's one of the downsides of driving.
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It doesn't mean you should tail gate. You might think it prompts them to hurry up, but really it's just risking your vehicle going into the back of their car.

Driving when too tired

The difficult thing about life in this day and age is we're taught to sort of suck it up when we're tired and get on with things, but this should never apply to driving.
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If you have a job that requires driving, too, this can mean you're more likely to power through and try to continue. Even if you're not close to falling asleep at the wheel, being even a little bit drowsy reduces your reaction time.

Misjudging a curve in the road

We'd like to think that any road you're driving on will warn you of a dangerous curve with a huge sign, so don't think you don't need to brake too much and misjudge - a curve can be very misleading in how sharp it is.
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If you're taking it even a little bit too fast you can risk losing control of your car or swerving into the opposite lane. It's much better to take it far too slow than far too fast!

Braking suddenly

We said before that braking suddenly can risk causing damage to your car but if you're braking suddenly in a very built up traffic area, this is very dangerous.
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You are running the risk of the person behind you driving into you because you didn't give any warning of slowing down, or any obvious sign of needing to brake.

Ignoring broken lights

The most important light never to ignore is of course you're brake light - it's extremely dangerous if you're driving without this signal to other drivers working.
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If both your headlights go, you're not visible at night, and even with a single one out, it can confused other drivers who are at a distance.

Parking where you shouldn't be

Parking in a no parking zone or risky spot can be more dangerous than you think. No parking zones are put in place for a reason.
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If your car is in the way, it could negatively impact the traffic flow in that area - and if there are more cars built up, more chance of an accident!

Giving in to road rage

Road rage can happen to anyone during busy rush hour and while it's okay to feel a little miffed, you should never give in and let your anger affect your driving.
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Even if you don't actively do anything - like tailgate or drive too fast - you can still be distracted by how angry you feel and not pay enough attention to the road.

Ignoring your seat belt

There are no circumstances or no small amount of time where not wearing your seatbelt is okay. In the US, it happens a surprising amount of times.
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Even worse, a full car of passengers with one or more not wearing a seat belt could have devastating consequences.  If you are involved in an accident, it could be life changing.

Thinking traffic signs are voluntary

It's true that traffic signs don't know when other traffic is around or how busy it is, so it's easy to think 'sure, I should yield for other traffic when it's busy... but there isn't another car, so I'll go' - nope!
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Traffic signs should always be followed no matter if it's the dead of night, completely empty or busy. No matter what, make sure to follow traffic sign instructions or risk being a dangerous driver!

Ignoring your blind spots

Your blind spots are difficult to see by their very nature, but that doesn't mean they should be ignored completely just because you can't see very well.
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You need to actively move your body and line of sight to try and see as much as you can through your blind spots before you make any driving change, such as turning, signalling or merging into a different lane.

Failing to merge properly

If you're a driver disrupting the flow of merging into another lane, it can be extremely dangerous on a high speed freeway.  That includes being too slow on the ramp.
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Too slow on the ramp means you're risking the cars behind you and causing a jam. If you're too quick, you're risking merging too quickly when there might not be an opening.

Forgetting your turn signals

Turn signals are so important, and there's really no reason to forget them - you know you're going to be turning because you're moving the steering wheel, and the signal is right there!
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Not using them is extremely dangerous - there's a reason the signals are built in your vehicle, after all - as other drivers will be confused why you're slowing down, or not expecting you to move in a certain direction.

Driving with earphones in

Depending on what car you have, you might not have a very good speaker system or prefer to listen to your Spotify playlist on your phone with your Airpods.  Don't do it.
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They block out sounds of everything else going on, so you aren't going to be able to hear your car if it starts making noises that need attention. You also aren't going to hear things like sirens of emergency services that need to get past!