Driving Habits that Could be Damaging your Car

June 22nd, 2021 by

If you have a car that you want to keep around for a while, it is best to not drive like a professional NASCAR driver. Professional drivers have a full team of mechanics on hand to replace tires, brakes–even entire engines–as soon as the racer’s rough driving gets the most of the ride.

But you are probably not so lucky to have a team of mechanics on 24/7 standby or the ridiculous amount of money it would take to keep your abused ride in tiptop shape.

Even so, you might have plenty of bad driving habits that could damage your car. Common mistakes that most of us make can cause excessive wear and tear and prematurely end the life of your vehicle. Here are just a few driving habits that might be driving your ride to an early grave.

Tapping the Brakes too Often Going Downhill

This constant activity can stress your brake system, especially if your vehicle is pulling a trailer or other heavy load. It’s better to downshift to a lower gear rather than having to brake constantly when going down long hills. If you can’t avoid braking, using fewer firm pumps to the pedal is better than keeping the foot lightly pressed on the brake constantly. It won’t place quite as much strain on your braking system.

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Riding on Fumes

We all know that ‘empty’ doesn’t really mean you’re out of gas. Even after fuel gauges insist that our cars should be dead on the side of the road, we can still coast another couple of miles on what’s actually still in the tank. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Taking too many trips on fumes can clog your fuel filter, strain your fuel injector and even burn out the fuel pump. That’s a lot of potential damage just to see how far you can go on an empty tank. 

Shifting From Reverse Gear to Drive Without Pause 

Sure, it looks pretty cool when you reverse out of a driveway, yank the gearshift into the ‘drive’ position without coming to a full stop and hit the accelerator. What’s not cool is the stress this kind of driving puts on your vehicle’s drivetrain. If it breaks down, that’s an expensive repair, so take an extra second or two to come to a complete stop before shifting into drive gear.

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Flying Over Speed Bumps

This might be the likelier behavior of a teenage driver taking the folks’ car out for a spin with friends. The driver’s not actually taking flight over that speed bump. It just seems like it, and the airtime is sure to impress junior’s friends. But it’s one of the driving habits that ruin your engine–or at least can put the vehicle in the service garage for a number of repairs. Make sure your kids respect speed bumps as a sign that drivers should slow down–not go for extended flight time.

What Driving Habits are Bad for Your Car?

Now is a great time to think about these and other habits of your own that might be causing undue, and potentially expensive, damage to your vehicle. Smart and careful driving and regular maintenance, on the other hand, can dramatically extend the life of your car.


  • Abusive driving habits will only result in high repair bills and a vehicle on life support.
  • Even carefully driving on a near-empty gas tank can damage important components.
  • Careful driving and braking and regular maintenance can dramatically extend the life of your car.

But no matter how carefully you drive, there will inevitably come a time when you need to replace your car with a new or quality preowned vehicle. When that time comes, we invite you to visit the showroom of Gloucester Toyota in Gloucester, VA.

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