Bad driving habits

What not to do on the road.

Poor driving habits can cause undue wear and tear on your vehicle.

Driving on a nearly empty fuel tank

It’s bad practice to drive when your vehicle is almost out of fuel. By running on fumes, you’re unnecessarily shortening the life of the fuel pump. Fuel pumps keep cool by being submerged in fuel, so if you’re continually driving on low reserves, it will need replacing more frequently.

Resting your hand on the gearstick

Don’t ignore the safety advice of having two hands on the wheel. Having one hand on the wheel and the other resting on the gearstick can cause premature internal wear of manual gearboxes.        

Changing from drive to reverse before stopping

Shifting from reverse to drive (or drive to reverse) while moving can be an early death sentence for automatic transmissions. Similarly, damage can also be caused in a manual transmission by crunching the gears.

Incorrect braking

There are times when coming to a sudden stop is necessary, but emergency braking should only be a last resort. Constant late braking will place added stress on braking systems and wear out brake pads and discs faster.

Riding the clutch

Riding the clutch happens when a manual car driver fails to take their foot off the pedal after changing gears or holds the car on a hill with the clutch rather than the brake. Poor clutch control can lead to excessive wear and early failure of the clutch, clutch system, pressure plate and release bearing.

Overloading

Follow the advice in the owner’s manual on how much weight your vehicle can carry. The heavier the weight, the more wear and tear on the brakes, suspension and drive train. Overloading can also negatively affect your vehicle’s fuel economy, performance and handling. For more tips on how to improve your vehicle’s fuel economy, click here.

Avoid driving over potholes and speedbumps at speed

Driving over a pothole can cause buckled and cracked wheels, tyre damage and throw off the car’s wheel alignment. Similarly, driving over a speedbump at speed can damage suspension and underbody components.

Ignoring servicing and warning lights

Failing to maintain your car regularly can lead to more significant problems. While it might be inconvenient to follow the recommended service schedule or respond to the warning lights on the dash, failure to do so can be costly and may even jeopardise your safety and the safety of other road users.