There may be a time when you need to perform an emergency stop, in which case sudden braking is essential.
But consistent late braking will place more strain on the braking system, wearing out your pads and discs faster, as well as costing you more fuel in the process.
In general, a slow and considered approach to driving, anticipating the road ahead, is better for your car and the environment.
2. RIDING THE CLUTCH
Riding the clutch is a bad idea, especially as it’s considered to be a ‘wear and tear’ item, and therefore not covered by a warranty.
Riding the clutch happens typically when a driver fails to take their foot off the pedal after changing gear, or when attempting to do a hill-start.
Poor clutch control will cause excessive wear, shortening the life of the plate. Make sure your foot has left the clutch pedal – using the off-clutch footrest if fitted.
When performing hill-starts, leave the car in neutral with the handbrake on until you’re ready to move.
3. REVVING THE ENGINE WHEN COLD
Some folk may tell you that making regular short journeys is terrible for your car because the engine oil never fully warms up.
In reality, all vehicles start from cold, so the critical thing is to avoid revving the engine until it is warmed up.
This gives the oil the time to warm and circulate around the engine, avoiding potential damage and undue wear and tear.
4. NEGLECTING WARNING LIGHT
Modern dashboards feature more lights than Blackpool at Christmas.
Some, such as ‘washer fluid’ or ‘bulb gone’, can be ignored until you get a chance to stop.
But others need to be investigated at the earliest opportunity.
It’s worth checking your owner’s manual to find out what the warning lights on your dashboard mean and familiarizing yourself with the most serious ones so you know which ones to pull over and address immediately when driving.
If the following warnings appear on the dashboard, you’re advised to stop and seek help from your breakdown provider or a reputable local garage:
- Braking system
- Power steering failure
- Oil pressure
- Cooling system
5. HITTING POTHOLES AND SPEED BUMPS
Reports have found that a third of all vehicle damage is caused as a result of potholes, so these holes in the road really are best avoided.
The impact can cause buckled wheels, lumps in the tyre and cracked alloys, as well as upsetting the tracking and wheel balancing.
Granted, some potholes are hard to spot – especially in the wet or at night – but where possible, they should be avoided.
Similarly, driving over a speed bump without slowing down can cause damage to the front and rear of the car, the underside, and potentially the exhaust system.