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Driving Habits to Avoid that Bring Costly Repairs
Motoring can be an expensive pastime.
11:22 20 August 2021
You’ll need to not only buy the car in the first place, but spend money on fuel, insurance and maintenance throughout the vehicle’s lifespan. Over months and years, these costs can quickly accumulate – and thus it’s worth getting into the right habits as early as possible, and identifying and avoiding the wrong ones.
So, what are the bad habits we should be looking to avoid? Let’s take a look.
Riding the Clutch
If you rest your foot on the clutch when you’re not changing gears, then you’ll not only have less control over the vehicle, but you’ll also accelerate wear and tear. Given the often-exorbitant cost of replacing the clutch, this is a habit that might cost you big in the long-term.
Resting your hand on the Gearstick
Your gearstick is physically attached to the interior of the gearbox. Thus, if you’re putting constant pressure on the top of it, you’ll accelerate wear and tear. What’s more, because this problem is so subtle, you might not realise that the damage is being inflicted.
Driving on Bald Tyres
If you’re below the legal tread-depth limit of 1.6mm, then you risk being landed with a hefty fine. But even if you aren’t yet approaching the limit, a lack of tread can lead to a lack of grip, which can impair driving performance and generally make a collision more likely. If you’re buying a used car, even from a reputable dealer, then it makes sense to check the tread depth, and potentially factor in the cost of replacement tyres to your new purchase.
Driving too Fast
If you’re driving faster, then you’re making a collision more likely, as you’ll have more limited time to react. The relationship between speed and braking distance isn’t linear. If you have to stop at 40mph, it’ll take an extra few car lengths more than if you’d stopped at 30mph. What’s more, excessive stress on the engine will cause it to wear out more quickly.
If you haven’t had adequate sleep, then the effect on your driving performance can be similar to driving drunk, in every respect that matters. Your reaction times will be slower, you’ll have more difficulty concentrating, and you’ll be vastly more likely to be involved in an accident. Any habits that you can form that will promote sleep, therefore, will help you to cut your driving cost.
If you’re having to apply the brakes rapidly, then you’re going to be distributing that much more force through the brakes. This will cause them to wear out more quickly. Ideally, you should aim for the smoothest possible drive, which means anticipating stops ahead of time and sticking to the speed limit.