Do you think you know enough about driving? You’ll be surprised to learn that some of the things you have become accustomed to doing can be harming your vehicle.

These so-called bad driving habits can ruin your vehicle in the long run and shorten its lifespan. Without further ado, here are the top 5 bad driving habits that are ruining your vehicle:

top driving habits ruining your vehicle

1. Allowing the fuel tank to run empty before refilling

This is something that’s commonly committed even by experienced drivers. After all, with the prices of fuel rising, it may seem practical for drivers to wait until the fuel tank is almost empty before refilling it. Others put off refilling the fuel tank in hopes of fuel prices going down so they can at least save a few dollars.

But this habit may prove to be harmful to your vehicle. Sure, it can stretch your budget now but it can cause damage to certain vehicle parts like the fuel pump.

Fuel pump failure is often due to keeping the fuel level low.  Fuel serves as a coolant of the pump. When the fuel tank is low, the fuel pump sucks in air and generates heat.

Over time the heat can cause premature wear of the fuel pump. It is not far-fetched for the fuel pump to fail to operate. And you should know that repairing the fuel pump is not exactly cheap.

Another explanation as to why you should avoid letting the fuel tank to empty before refilling is that it can lead to dirt build-up in the fuel tank. Dirt can block the fuel filter and lead to costly repairs.

2. Being a ‘clutch’ driver

When we say clutch driving, we mean that habit of keeping the left foot on the clutch pedal majority of the time. This often happens even when the clutch pedal is not being used.

This habit is commonly committed by pro drivers. They keep both the accelerator and clutch pedals engaged at the same time so they can quickly shift gears without any impact on their speed.

Now you might ask: “why is clutch driving considered a bad habit?” The answer is simple: the force that presses on the clutch pedal can damage internal parts such as clutch plate, bearing, and pressure in the long run.

Remember that the only time that you are to press on the clutch is when you are to disengage or engage the gear.

3. Riding the brakes downhill

This is a bad driving habit commonly committed by novice and intermediate drivers. The belief is that they feel safer by riding the brakes when going downhill.

But this is a terrible driving habit that you should never do at all. Riding the break even puts you at risk of brake failure. Additionally, it can damage the brake system components of your vehicle.

When you put your foot on the brake pedal without no intention of stopping, you are putting unnecessary and dangerous on the brake pads of your car. Friction and heat are generated since the brake pads are constantly in contact with the rotor.

And the longer the hill that your vehicle is traversing, more heat and friction are generated. This can cause wear on the brake system components such as the brake pads, brake shoes, brake calipers, and rotors. Even the brake fluid, drums, and hoses may be affected

Moreover, riding the brakes when going downhill is unsafe. The drivers trailing you would see your brake lights on but are not exactly sure of your plans.

Instead of riding the brakes when going downhill, it is better to use low gear. This can help control your vehicle’s speed. It can also engage engine braking that prevents the brakes from overheating.

4. Not avoiding potholes

Potholes are a common sight in many countries. These are not only ugly but can also cause substantial damage to your car.

Potholes develop when the soil underneath the concrete is weakened or displaced. Continuous exposure to rain or water as well as being driven over by cars can lead to the formation of cracks. This eventually grows wider and deeper into potholes.

Hitting potholes can impact the suspension of a car. Parts like the steering rack, tie rods, shocks, and struts can be affected. Eventually, suspension problems like misalignment and broken ball joints may surface.

The vehicle’s tires can also be affected.  Driving through deep and wide potholes can lead to tire damage especially if the blow is forceful enough to bend the rim. When this occurs, the seal between the tire and rim will loosen. The tire will then leak air and flatten. This is a common occurrence in aluminum rims.

5. Tailgating

Finally, tailgating is defined as driving behind a vehicle too closely.

There are many reasons why motorists do this. One is that it is in preparation for overtaking. Moving closer to the vehicle in front means there is less distance to be covered when overtaking.

Other drivers simply tailgate because they are frustrated at the speed of the car in front of them. It’s as if they want to push the driver in front to move faster.  

But tailgating is dangerous. When you tailgate another vehicle, you are risking yourself to potentially crashing into it especially when the other vehicle suddenly stops. This is very easy to lead to a car accident.

To avoid tailgating, it is recommended that you drive at a safe distance. Follow the 3-second rule; meaning there should be at least 3 seconds of space between your car and the vehicle you are trailing.

You may also increase this to 4 seconds especially if the road conditions are bad or if it is too dark.

Those are the 5 bad driving habits that are ruining your vehicle now. Avoid them and you can increase the chances of your vehicle lasting for a long time.