Common Ways People Unknowingly May Damage Their Vehicle
There are a lot of bad drivers on the road. We’ve probably all had this thought. And we’re usually thinking it when someone is driving recklessly near us. Maybe you’ve gotten cut off by someone on Kellogg or were stuck behind a slow danger on Rock road, it’s pretty easy to spot the faults in the drivers around us. At Collision Center of Andover, we see a lot of auto issues come into our shop that are a result of some bad habits a lot of drivers have.
What are Bad Driver Habits?
But sometimes bad driver habits aren’t something you can see on the road. It’s not a matter of how you drive, but how you treat your vehicle. Perhaps you are careful to obey all the laws and drive safely and appropriately on the roads, but you may have some bad driving habits you didn’t even realize.
Bad habits in how you drive and maintain your vehicle can cause serious wear-and-tear on a vehicle and reduce how long it will last you.
The Top 4 Bad Driving Habits
Bad Habit #1: Running on Empty
How low do you wait until deciding to fill up your gas tank. If you always wait until you get that Low Gas warning, then you may be causing damage to your vehicle.
Driving a car that is very low on gas can cause problems with your fuel pump. The large lack of gasoline in a tank leaves room for more air. This additional air in your tank creates heat which could increase how quickly your fuel pump wears down.
Bad Habit #2: Ignoring the Sounds
Can you recall a time when you heard an odd or new sound coming from your vehicle? What did you do about it? Did you immediately take some action to look into it or did you ride it out for days (or weeks) to see if the weird sound would just go away?
Once you notice an odd sound, you do need to take action. This may be sign of damage or other trouble that needs to be addressed immediately.
Troubleshooting Common Car Sounds
- Screeching while braking means your brake pads may need replacing
- Screeching at other times means a belt may need replacing or tightening
- A high-pitched sound that continues after you turn off your car could mean your radiator pressure cap is damaged
- Whistling sounds could mean vacuum leaks in hoses or a leak in the weatherstripping
- A clunking sound (especially when going over a bump) could mean you have an issue with your shock absorbers or suspension system.
Bad Habit #3: Vehicle is Often Dirty
Does your car bear the message “clean me”? We know the task of keeping your vehicle clean on a regular basis can feel like high maintenance. But having a clean car isn’t just for vanity reasons.
This is really about basic psychology. If you take pride in your vehicle and keep it looking good, you’re more likely to address issues when they pop up. A clean car will make dings in the windshield or little dents and scratches more noticeable. Also, you will likely be more diligent in getting those problems handled right away.
Bad Habit #4: Not Using the Parking Brake
But we’re in Kansas! Do you still need to use your parking brake? Surprisingly enough, yes. Your vehicle’s parking brake is not just to be used on hills. It is to be employed on even flat surfaces.
When you don’t use your parking brake, the full weight of your vehicle rests on a small piece of metal called the parking pawl. When your parking brake is on, the weight is more evenly dispersed.
It’s simply a good habit to always use your parking brake even here in Kansas, where it’s easy to think it is never needed. Not putting it into regular practice will make it easier for you to neglect doing when it’s really needed. Using your parking brake regularly may mean you can prevent or delay needing to replace the parking pawl or even possibly your vehicle’s entire transmission.
If you find yourself suffering the problems of any of these bad habits, feel free to stop by Collision Center of Andover. We have a top-notch auto body shop with a team of incredibly experienced auto body technicians. We can handle just about anything that bad habits or normal wear-and-tear can do to your vehicle. We’ll get you back on the road with the vehicle looking just as good as the day you bought it! Give us a call at (316) 733-9310.