Driving can be both exciting and exhausting. The longer you own a car or drive, the more driving habits you acquire. Unfortunately, not all of those habits are good ones and the more experience you get the harder it is to break the habits. Here are unwise driving behaviour that every driver should stop;
1. Resting Your Hand On The Gear Stick.
Resting your hand on the gear stick shouldn't be done for several reasons;
Holding the gear stick exerts small but constant pressure on the gear box displacing synchronizers of the gear box and the gear itself. This in turn leads to problems with shifting of gears. Whether you own a manual or an automatic car, a transmission that isn't working can cost you problems and money in transmission repairs.
Another obvious reason is that you need both hands to steer the car.
2. Neglecting To Use The Hand Break.
When you park your car with an automatic transmission on a slope, the entire burden falls in the lock gear on the output shaft of the gear box.
To successfully park on an incline, hold the foot brake and shift the car to park mode. Then pull the hand break and slowly release the foot brakes. Car manufacturers always recommend the use of parking or hand brakes to mobilize any parked vehicle.
If you don't use the handbrake, you will be putting constant pressure on the parking pawl and transmission component which will eventually fail leading to costly repairs.
3. Frequent Braking.
Keep your distance and merge with the traffic. This is what is taught in driving schools. However, if you keep braking unnecessarily better set aside hefty sum for regular brake pad and disc replacement. To avoid unpleasant accidents, remember to properly change the brake hoses and check the brake fluid level. Keep in mind that braking is another skill to be mastered and it takes a certain skill level to do it correctly.
Here are some instructions for a proper braking technique;
- place the heel of the right foot on the floor, it should be close enough to the pedal, the bottom of the foot should touch the center of the brake pedal.
- remember that most of the weight of the foot should be on the floor while giving the pedal light pressure.
- continuously increase the pressure until the car is almost ready at a complete stop.
- ease up the brake pedal a bit before a complete stop. That will keep the vehicle from bouncing back.
4. Keeping Your Foot On The Brake While Driving Downhill.
Many motorists tend to keep their foot on the brake pedal to be able to stop at any moment. This leads to brake system overheating , thus making the brake pads and discs to wear out.
The proper thing to do is to shift to a lower gear and initiate engine braking which helps reduce the use of normal brakes. It works by reducing the speed of the engine thus reducing the speed of the vehicle. Don't get scared of the noise that you hear when you use the method of engine braking as that is pretty normal. Car racers usually use engine braking to slow down the car before another turn.
5. Refuelling Only When The Tank Is Almost Empty.
When your car is not in use, mechanical impurities accumulate in fuel tank and segments form at the bottom. The dirt gets into the filters and the pump causing damage. The purpose of the fuel pump is to get fuel from the fuel tank and deliver it according to engine demands.
During cold months, be sure to always leave the tank atleast half filled with fuel to avoid the formation of large amount of condensate.
6. Ignoring Suspicious Sounds.
Slight clicking sounds and other unusual noises can indicate a malfunction. The malfunction can cause the car to break down in the middle of the road, occuring great trouble not knowing what to do with the car. Moreover it might be dangerous. Please use the following steps to move your vehicle away from the highway;
- pull over to a safe spot.
- don't hesitate to ask for any possible assistance as the process may not as easy as it seems. Remember to switch on the hazard lights and put the hazard sign.
- if the car has completely broken down, just push it to a safe place and call for assistance.
If your car starts making unnecessary sound, it's better to have it checked.
7. Running a Cold Engine At High Revs.
Most modern engines don't need warming up. However it's worth remembering that until the gauge indicates operating temperature one shouldn't run the engine at high revs. In freezing conditions, it's advisable to keep the engine running for 2 or 3 minutes before pulling away. All you need to do is start the car, for a couple of minutes to keep the engine working.
To the editor, I have included some sentences to make readers understand better.
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