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Most people think they drive perfectly, and may be completely unaware of small habits that can damage their car and cost them extra! To help out, we have compiled a list of 10 common problems that can be easily rectified:

1. Neglecting warning lights – if the warning light for the engine, braking system, power steering failure, airbag, oil pressure, or cooling system comes on, it is advisable to stop immediately and seek help. Check your owner’s manual to familiarise yourself with what all of the different lights mean.

2. Late braking – consistent late braking places strain on the braking system, causing wear and tear, as well as costing more fuel. A slow and considered approach, fully anticipating the road ahead, is much better.

3. Riding the clutch – poor clutch control can cause excessive wear, leading to more frequent replacements of the plate. It’s also considered to be a ‘wear and tear’ item, and so isn’t covered by a warranty!

4. Overloading your vehicle – the greater the weight, the higher the strain on the brakes, suspension, and drivetrain. Plus, unnecessary weight is bad for the fuel economy of the car. Check your owner’s manual for the vehicle’s maximum weight.

5. Dragging the brakes downhill – increase the wear and tear on brake pads and discs, so they have to be replaced more frequently. When travelling downhill should be in a low gear, apply light braking, and then release to allow the brakes to cool.

 

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6. Shifting from drive to reverse before stopping – shifting in this way in a car with an automatic gearbox is bad for the transmission, and causes wear and tear. The same can happen from crunching the gears in a manual car, so it’s always advisable to come to a complete stop before switching into reverse.

7. Hitting potholes and speedbumps – up to a third of all vehicle damage is caused as a result of potholes. The impact can cause buckled wheels, lumps in the tyre, and cracked alloys, amongst other issues. So try to avoid potholes, and always slow down before driving over a speedbump.

8. Resting your hand on the gearstick – risks applying pressure to the mechanism that the gearstick is attached to, which can cause premature wear.

9. Flooring the accelerator in a high gear – accelerating at a low rpm, or in too high a gear, means that the engine is working harder, placing unnecessary strain on the motor. Change down and allow the revs to rise before changing up.

10. Revving the engine when cold – your vehicle starts from cold, so it is critical to avoid revving the engine until it is warm, to give the oil time to warm and circulate, avoiding damage or wear and tear.

We hope that this list has helped identify some of the ways in which your driving can impact your vehicle. If you have any questions, or your car is in need of a service, call us or come into one of our branches and our staff will be happy to help!