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Eight Common Mistakes That Will Damage Your Vehicle

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Millions of British motorists have been warned that their everyday driving habits could cost them thousands in vehicle repairs.  

With two-thirds of Brits cutting back on their vehicle usage to cut costs amidst the cost-of-living crisis, ​​motoring experts at LeaseCar.uk have warned drivers to brush up on their bad driving habits or expect hefty consequences.

Including fuel, tax and insurance, the average yearly car running cost is already an eye-watering £3000.

For more than 10 million drivers on the road, careless and lousy driving mistakes are affecting the durability and performance of their cars, which will drastically increase costs for motorists already feeling the financial pinch.

Assumed innocent habits, like resting hands on the gearstick, could damage vital components leading to bad transmission, which could set motorists back over £2,000.

Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk said: “Many drivers aren’t aware how damaging certain habits can be to their vehicles.

“Often, people who have been on the roads for years can get lazy and adopt habits and driving styles which can be detrimental to a vehicle and could cost thousands to fix.

“Resting a hand on the gearstick and driving with low fuel are just some of the everyday driving habits which cause damage to cars, so anyone doing them should stop immediately.

“In these financially challenging times, drivers should be extra cautious to avoid paying out to get their car fixed.”

These are eight everyday driving habits that LeaseCar.uk say will cost: 

      1. Resting Hands on the Gearstick

This habit is easy to get into, especially when feeling lazy on a long drive of gear-changing, but it will cause unnecessary damage to a car’s transmission.

By placing their hand on the gearstick with any force, drivers risk forcing the selector fork against the rotating collar, causing wear or even a snap, which can cause expensive transmission trouble and general wear in the gearbox.

      2. Going From Drive to Reverse Quickly

Cutting corners while driving, such as rushing to change into reverse, can cause severe damage to the gearbox. When switching, the car should be at a complete halt, or it could be causing wear to the transmission, which is costly. So, being patient is essential.

      3. Driving in the Wrong Gear

Driving in the wrong gear can adversely affect the condition of a vehicle, but it is surprisingly still a widespread occurrence. Doing this can cause strain on a vehicle’s engine, so moving between gears properly is essential. Driving in a bag that is too low for your speed, or vice versa, puts extra pressure on the car. The recommended gear and speed combined with the best mileage is 60 km in 4th gear.

      4. Putting the Car in Gear at a Stop Light

Drivers should avoid staying in gear at a stop light as it can wreak havoc on the car clutch. Although it seems tedious, especially in rush hour, when at a stoplight, or whenever the car comes to a complete stop, drivers should avoid engaging with the clutch and instead stop the car, put the gear on neutral and use the brake if on a hill.

      5. Driving With Low Fuel

If it is close to payday, drivers may be tempted to see how long they make their petrol last, which is a terrible idea. Letting the fuel run dry in a car can cause increased wear to the fuel pump, leading to failure and an expensive replacement.

As well as this, it can destroy the car engine and cause damage to the fuel filter and catalytic converter. Replacing a catalytic converter alone can cost £1,000, so to be safe, get to the petrol station before the warning light appears.

      6. Resting Feet on the Clutch Pedal

Inadequate clutch control can shorten the life of the plate due to excessive wear and tear. Some drivers are inclined to rest their foot on the clutch, unaware that it creates friction and will eventually lead to failure, which is costly to repair. The average UK clutch replacement cost is around £500-600 but could be over £1000 depending on the complexity.

      7. Overloading the Vehicle

A heavy load in the car will strain the brakes, drivetrain and suspension, so drivers should think carefully about what they choose to take in their car. It can also affect the vehicle’s ability to stop quickly, leading to tyre failure due to overheating and generally affecting the state of the car’s tires.

      8. Jumping Bumps and Potholes

With many UK streets now pothole-ridden, it can be easy to forget how damaging travelling over them in a car can be. However, they should be avoided where possible as the impact of going over them can cause buckled wheels, poor tracking and wheel balance, as well as cracked alloys and lumps in tyres.

For the same reason, cars should slow down before approaching a speed bump as it can cause damage to the underside, front and rear of a vehicle and cause issues with the exhaust system.

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