Common Driving Habits that are Slowly Destroying Your Ride

There’s nothing more frustrating than not knowing why your ride or a part of it is falling apart. You’ve followed every rule in the book, performed appropriate maintenance procedures, and stuck with the schedule, yet a part of your ride still wound up failing, and prematurely at that. If you’re facing the same issue, then this is the perfect read for you. The reason behind the premature failure may be something that is ingrained within your system and something that you never thought was ruining your ride—a bad driving habit. Here are the most common habits that are destroying your ride:

Ignoring the parking brake

Failure to use your parking brake even when you’re parked on a level surface can cause damage to the parking pawl component. When parking brakes are not in use, the entire weight of your vehicle rests on this little piece of metal. It’s only as big as a finger, so you can just imagine how easy it is for this part to wear out and break. Engaging the parking brake evens out the load and helps this component and others in the transmission to last longer.

Abrupt shifting from reverse to drive

You may be guilty of this more than you notice. Drivers often display this habit when they’re backing up out of a parking space. Think back to the times when you backed out of a parking spot and saw that the coast was clear. You hurriedly shifted to drive without missing a beat and without letting your vehicle stop. It may also be that you’ve done the opposite—shifting from drive to reverse without halting. Both these practices involve a sudden change in direction, which deal unnecessary damage to the drivetrain. If you can’t break this habit, then you’ll soon find yourself dealing with engine, transmission or axle damage. Sure, time is money. But it only takes a second or two to come to a stop and shift gears, and you’ll find that this will cost you a lot less.

Driving with low fuel levels

You may not believe this, but emptying out your fuel tank before stopping for a refill can actually damage the fuel system. Driving with very low fuel levels prompts your ride to draw fuel from the very bottom of the tank. And present at the bottom of the fuel tank are harmful sediments. If these sediments get pulled into the fuel line, your fuel filter may get clogged and they may even reach your engine. To avoid this, experts suggest to always keep your tank half full or half empty–whichever type you are.

Riding the brakes and clutch

Riding, in this context, means that one of your feet is always by the brake or clutch. You may think that you’re being a good driver by doing this since you’ll always be ready to stop or slow down, but it’s actually the opposite. If your foot is always on the pedal, you will be prompted to press down even if it’s not necessary. This will cause the pads or plates to come into contact with the rotors, drums, or flywheel, which could then build up heat, speeding up wear and eventual failure. Avoid this by using the foot rest placed by the clutch.

Resting your hand on the shift lever

The only time your hands should be touching the shift lever is when you’re actually planning to shift gears. If you let your hand rest on the shift lever, you may cause unnecessary damage over time. If you pay close attention, you can feel your shift lever vibrating whenever you do this. These vibrations indicate that the shift fork is preloaded against the slider while the transmission is spinning, which will hasten the rate of wear and eventually lead to failure.

These are just some of the many driving habits that damage your vehicle. Now, everyone knows how hard it is to break a bad habit. But if you just think about how much damage your ride is taking and how big the repair bill is going to be at the end of the day, then you may just get that motivation you need.


Author: JC Whitney

JC Whitney is the largest and oldest catalog and Internet direct-to-consumer auto parts and accessories retailer in America. Since 1915, JC Whitney has been filling the needs of customers by providing the right part at the best price. You can always shop with confidence at

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