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Your driving habits are hard-wired into your system from the moment you ditch the dreaded L-plates. But your insistence to stick to your usual driving style could be causing your car some serious damage – and you won’t even know about it until it’s too late.
Every car needs to be regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic, as they’ll spot any potential damage.
They’ll check your brakes, steering, suspension, engine, and electrical systems.
But did you know that some driving styles could make it more likely for a service to pick up something?
Making just small changes to your driving could help your car to live longer, saving you a whole heap of cash.
Resting your hand on the gearstick
Everyone’s taught to keep your hands at ‘two and 10’ on the steering wheel.
While it’s much safer than driving one-handed, it’s also likely to save your transmission.
If you’re resting your hand on the gearstick as you drive, you’re more likely to apply pressure to inside of the gearbox, subsequently causing premature wear.
You’re much better off simply touching the gearstick whenever you want to change gear.
Riding the clutch
When you’re driving around town, you’re probably going to be changing gear every minute or two.
If you’re feeling particularly lazy, you might just keep your left foot hovering over the clutch so you’re ready for action.
But, that increases the risk of excessive wear, which shortens the lifespan of the clutch.
Best practice is to completely remove your foot from the pedal, using the little footrest next to the clutch (if you have one).
Driving over speed bumps
Speed bumps are designed to slow down drivers; usually because it’s a particularly busy area of town.
If you don’t choose to slow down enough while driving over the bumps, you’re likely to risk damaging the front or back of the car.
You might even be scraping the underside of the car, as well as the exhaust.
Make sure you slow right down when heading over a bump, and that goes double for potholes.
Overloading the car
While cars were designed to hold plenty of weight, every vehicle has its limit, according to the RAC.
It said: “The greater the weight, the more strain you’re placing on the brakes, suspension and drivetrain.
“It’s also worth noting that while leaving unnecessary items – like golf clubs or gym gear in the boot of you car – won’t add increased strain on your car’s parts, it will affect your car’s fuel economy and possibly your car’s emissions output.
“So it’s always advisable to leave the golf clubs at home when not needed and try to travel as light as possible.”
Sitting in a high gear
Fuel costs are through the roof, and you might be trying to save as much money as possible by avoiding low gears.
However, if you’re accelerating through town in a very high gear, the engine has to work double hard to get up to speed, putting more pressure on the motor.
Instead don’t be afraid to let your rev counter go up a bit, and change down gear whenever you need to.
You should definitely avoid accelerating in low gear while driving up hills.
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