When it comes to driving, no one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. But could these habits be costing you money and secretly killing your engine? If you want to ensure your engine is running at optimum levels and that your car will last longer, then you should break some of those bad driving habits.
Some driving habits you are practicing may even be unsafe for you, your passengers, and other driverson the road. Here are a few everyday habits that you may be doing that you didn’t know maybe damaging your car.
1. Ignoring the dashboard lights
If your dashboard light goes on then, it means something is very wrong with your engine. Some choose to ignore it, but it could have dire consequences later. The following are possible reasons why your dashboard lights are on.
Check engine light – when the check engine light goes on, it usually indicates a problem with your engine. The problem could be with the fuel injection system, the ignition, or the emission system. Because the engine is composed of different components, the check engine light may indicate a problem with the engine’s components. It’s best not to ignore the light and take chances. It could cause your engine to knock, and this will cost you so much more later. Ensure that you take your car to the auto repair shop to have it assessed by professional mechanics.
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Brake light – ensuring your brakes are in excellent condition should always be a priority. When your brake light goes on, please check that the emergency brake is off. If it’s off, it only means a problem with the brake fluids level or the hydraulic system.
Airbag warning – if your airbag light comes on, then you need to take your car for inspection as soon as possible. When the light is on, it means that you are driving with defective airbags, and they will not deploy if you are involved in a car accident.Sometimes it also means that the airbags may deploy randomly, which may cause you serious bodily harm if you are driving. An airbag warning light could also mean that there is something wrong with your seat belts, and you need to have that checked out also.
Tire pressure – if your tires have low pressure when driving, then they can pose a serious threat to both you and other drivers on the road. If this light goes on, please ensure to check your tire pressure immediately.
Oil pressure – when the oil pressure light comes on, it means your oil levels are running low, and you need to fill it up.
2. Riding the brakes
Riding the brakes means leaving your foot on the brakes for a long time while driving. Doing that can lead toextra wear and tear and overhearing, which will drastically reduce your stopping power. This a major hazard because while driving, you need your brakes to respondas swiftly and accurately as possible.
Instead of placing your foot on the brakes when the car is going downhill, lift it off the accelerator. The vehicle will slow down, and it also leaves enough space between your car and the one infront of you. If you own a manual car, you can try using a lower gear.
3. Shifting from drive to reverse without stopping
Even if you are running late, if you want to shift your car to reverse, always ensure the car stops beforeshifting between drive and reverse. This is especially important if you aremoving for a couple of miles. The abrupt gear change can damage your transmission and ultimately shorten the lifespan of your vehicle.
4. Driving with an empty or low fuel tank
Generally, it’s advisable to ensure your fuel tank is filled quarter way or, if possible full tank. If you drive your vehicle on too little fuel, it can cause overheating and malfunction to your fuel pump injection system and catalytic converter.
Topping your vehicle with little fuel at a time may cause the injector system to take fuel from the bottom of the tank, where there is usually sediment build-up. This will also result in a clogged and dirty fuel filter. However, you should ensure regular engine tune-upsand replacement of your fuel filters to avoid build-up.
5. Overloading your car
This may surprise most people, but carrying extra weight than your vehicle capacity may damage the engine. It will put additional pressure on all the components because they have to work extra hard to manage the extra weight.
Overloading your vehicle also decreases your car’s fuel economy because it has to use more fuel to handle the excess weight. If a vehicle is too heavy, it can also cause the tires to quickly wear and tear or even cause a major blowout, proving dangerous.
Did you know that overloading your car not only damages it but is also illegal? In case you are involved in an accident, the insurance may not pay for cover.
6. Revving your engine
Letting your car idlefor afew minutes after starting is always an excellent idea. When you let your car idle for a few minutes, it allows oil to be distributed throughout the engine.Revving the engine will not increase the process and may cause damage to some of the engine’s components. Ensure that your car has properly warmed up before you rev up your engine.
7. Using the wrong fuel
Ensure that you use the highest quality fuel. Sometimes you can fill up your diesel engine with gasoline by mistake. If that happens, don’t start the engine. This can save you from damaging your engine because once you switch one the car and the gasoline move into the injection system, it will damage everything because gas doesn’t ignite like diesel.
Don’t let bad habits destroy your car, and if you notice any car issues, ensure that you visit your mechanic as soon as possible.