Your car is one of your biggest investments, and can be the most costly thing you own. Reliable transportation is not just a freedom to enjoy, but also one of the things we depend on the most get where we need to go, literally and figuratively. Therefore it makes sense to do everything we can to get the most out of our car while spending the least amount of money. Believe it or not, the way you drive can have an impact, for better or worse, on your auto expenses. It can also prevent accidents, and that makes for more affordable car insurance as well. Driving to reduce auto repairs is something we can do by just being aware. Here are some of the top bad driving habits that can cost you money on auto repairs.
Bad Driving Habits
- Gas in the tank: Running around in your car with your fuel level low can actually hurt your car. It puts more pressure on your fuel pump to use gas that is on the bottom of the tank, and you could end up having to replace it sooner than necessary. In addition, the bottom of your gas tank tends to be where sediment builds up, and these particles can get clogged in your fuel filter, or even pass the debris into your engine. Therefore, try to keep your gas tank around one quarter to on half full.
- Abusing Breaks: Continually pushing on your breaks while you are going down hills can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your pads and rotors. It can also make brake failure a higher risk. Sudden stops and take offs can do the same thing. Taking off too quickly can also cost you in gas as the engine sucks up a huge amount to get going faster. This has an even more negative effect if you do it while your engine is still cold and the oil hasn’t been completely dispersed throughout the engine. Fast starts are also hard on your tires, removing tread faster than if you just drive normally.
- Parking Break: When you do not use the parking break the only thing holding your car still is a small piece of metal in the transmission. Using the parking break helps the wear and tear on this part, and it will wear out less quickly.
- Heavy Loads: Carrying around extra weight in your car puts stress on the suspension, the breaks, and the transmission. It will also significantly decrease your gas mileage, so unless you need these heavy items on a daily basis, getting them out of your car will prevent early deterioration of those necessary auto parts.
- Shifting To Soon: In a car with an automatic transmission, shifting into drive or reverse while in motion can cause damage to your drive shaft and suspension. Always come to a complete stop before shifting to prevent having to replace your transmission prematurely.
- Ignoring Strange Noises: Often times your car will subtly be trying to tell you something is wrong by making a new rattling noise or hum. Don’t ignore these noises and allow them to get worse. Get the issue checked out as soon as possible and you may have to replace only a small belt or filter, rather than a major part.
Good Driving Habits
Car repairs and accidents are all getting more expensive. These lead to an overall higher cost of driving, and possible increase in your car insurance rates. Along with the basic good driving habits like being aware, obeying speed limits and avoiding road rage, make car insurance one of your good driving habits. Make sure you not only have enough coverage to meet the laws minimums, but also make adjustments that work for you personally. Roadside assistance, uninsured motorist, and higher comprehensive coverage can make you a more relaxed driver, and that’s the best habit to have.