Adverse driving practices have consequences not only for the car, but also for the driver’s financial well-being. To protect both your vehicle and your financial resources, it is imperative to practice safe driving habits and pay attention to warning signs. Good driving practices and habits that promote the health of your car may seem unnecessary or overrated, but they will not only help you enjoy your drive more, but also avoid expensive repairs in the future.
Here are some expensive practices that drivers should always beware of.
10 Rotation of a cold engine
Imagine a scenario where an enthusiastic driver eager to embark on an exciting road trip cannot resist the urge to rev the engine. This action, often done out of excitement or out of habit, may seem harmless at first glance. However, overclocking a cold engine can be compared to an excessive load on the internal components of a car, similar to its mechanical spine tingling. Engines are designed to operate optimally within certain temperature ranges, and cold engine acceleration is disrupted by this delicate balance. Of course, a cold start is always good for the ears, and doing it once or twice may not cause any harm, but over time, this seemingly harmless habit can lead to premature wear that can significantly affect the overall life of the engine .
So what is the financial toll of this frosty escapade? Repair bills associated with this practice can range from a cool $500 to as low as $1,200, depending on the extent of the damage. That’s a high price to pay for a fleeting moment of excitement. The engine really won’t take that long to warm up, so let the revs drop below a thousand and then enjoy its symphony.
9 Driving in the wrong gear
Picture it: a driver in the middle of their daily commute, navigating city streets or driving down the highway. However, the harmony of this journey is disrupted when the driver makes the mistake of changing gears prematurely or shifting the engine into a higher gear than necessary. Driving in the wrong gear can be compared to hitting a dissonant note in a finely tuned symphony. This not only disrupts the smooth flow of the drivetrain, but also puts undue stress on the vehicle’s drivetrain. This, in turn, leads to reduced fuel efficiency and potential long-term damage. Driving in a higher gear will put a lot of stress on the transmission with noticeable vibration and unwanted underperformance. Driving in a lower gear will similarly stress the engine by operating it outside of its comfort range for extended periods of time.
What is the price of such disharmony? Depending on the extent of the damage, the cost to repair a broken transmission can go up to $2,600, even more if the engine is involved.
8 Keeping the fuel tank low
In a world of thrifty drivers, keeping your fuel tank low at all times can seem like a smart financial move. After all, the goal would be to maximize every drop of value from the gas tank, and considering the savings, that might not seem like a bad trick. However, this seemingly sensible practice can have dire consequences for a car’s fuel system.
Since the fuel pump in most cars is positioned to dump into the tank, keeping the fuel level consistently low forces the fuel pump to work harder to draw fuel from deep in the tank, potentially causing overheating. . In addition, impurities that settle to the bottom can enter the pump if the tank is low, clogging the pump and causing irrefutable death. The average financial cost of this fuel-saving strategy is around $1,500, and that estimate doesn’t even include potential towing costs in the event of a breakdown. That’s a high price to pay for trying to squeeze every last drop of fuel out of it.
7 Armrest on the gear shift lever
Comfort on the road is a priority for many drivers. During long journeys, it is not uncommon to seek solace in the habitual act of resting your hand on the gear lever. It seems like an easy, harmless way to relax on a ride. However, beneath this layer of comfort lies the potential for trouble. If you keep your hand on the gear level, it can lead to an undue burden on the connection that exists directly below it with the shiftr. While driving, this stress can be extremely harmful, again not immediately, but over time. This may provide comfort at first, but it can lead to accelerated wear on the vehicle’s transmission links, eventually leading to potentially expensive repair bills. The financial burden of finding such comfort can range from $200 to $600, depending on the extent of the damage.
6 Riding The Clutch
In the realm of manual transmissions, the clutch pedal is what defines the entire experience. Some drivers, however, get into the habit of “riding” the clutch: a practice that involves keeping it at the point of bite. This technique can provide a smoother ride with less tendency to jerks caused by misaligned gears. Even though there are times when keeping the clutch in the bite point becomes a necessity, say in bumper-to-bumper traffic, doing it repeatedly can wear out the clutch extremely easily. Keep in mind that this is not the same as fully pressing the clutch, which doesn’t really do much damage. It is this “biting” that hurts. This can cause the clutch to overheat as well as the gearbox, which of course needs no clear explanation as to why this is a bad thing. The financial consequences of this habit can be significant, with repair costs ranging from $800 to $3,000. That’s effectively parting with your hard-earned money with every pedal stroke.
5 Ignoring warning lights
It is quite obvious, but also a significant part of drivers does not pay attention to it. Modern vehicles are equipped with a dashboard decorated with light bulbs, each of which serves as a message about the internal state of the car. Ignoring or neglecting these warning indicators is simply ignoring the car’s sincere pleas for help. An educated understanding of what each sign entails should be a precursor to whether or not to ignore it. Someone can ignore a check engine light for months and then end up on the freeway in the middle of nowhere just because they don’t care enough about the car’s signs. The cost of such carelessness often goes beyond the financial implications, as human life can also be at risk. Imagine that the airbag sign goes off and the driver doesn’t pay attention to it. It is scary. Of course, repair costs vary greatly depending on the extent of the problem.
4 Trunk overload
When traveling or performing routine tasks, you want to fill the trunk of the car with many things. however, the attractiveness of carrying additional cargo can place unintended stress on the vehicle’s suspension system. Also, overloading the trunk will also reduce fuel economy, and in this world, that needs no clarification. As such, it’s always a good idea to pack lightly and efficiently so you don’t put too much pressure on a car that isn’t meant for it. The financial ramifications of this load limit can be significant, with suspension repairs costing anywhere from $1,000 to a whopping $5,000.
3 Ignoring scheduled maintenance
Regular maintenance may not be the most exciting aspect of owning a vehicle, but it is an important component of keeping your vehicle performing at its best. Neglecting critical tasks like oil and filter changes may seem cost-effective in the short term, but over time it can cause significant engine damage. The costs associated with this negligence run the gamut, with engine repairs requiring investments ranging from $1,000 to a substantial $5,000 or more. Maintenance costs vary quite a bit between car manufacturers, so it might not be a good idea to have unwanted costs on them.
2 Operation of tires with reduced pressure
Tire pressure may not be the most exciting topic, but it has a significant impact on vehicle performance and safety. Operating a vehicle with underinflated tires can result in reduced fuel efficiency due to significantly increased rolling resistance. It can also cause uneven tire wear and poor handling as it dampens the driving experience. Low tire pressure can result in tire replacement and alignment costs totaling between $400 and $800, from replacing entire sets of tires to having the alignment calibrated. Tire pressure monitoring systems are fitted as standard in most cars these days and it is good practice to keep this under control so that these problems can be proactively avoided.
1 Ignoring traffic rules
It’s simple: disregarding traffic rules. This is not only a traffic violation; this carries potential significant financial and physical consequences for both the driver and modern road users. Speeding, careless driving or failure to obey traffic signs and signals can not only lead to fines, but also put lives at risk, and in such a situation the possibility of costs related to road accidents recedes into the background.
The financial consequences of such recklessness, of course, range from several hundred to several thousand dollars in fines, not to mention the potential health costs and legal issues in the event of accidents.