One of the most interesting ironies of driving is that having more experience doesn’t necessarily turn people into responsible motorists. In fact, the more time drivers spend behind the wheel, the more they pick up bad habits which generate excess costs and endanger safety. Going to the trouble of applying for a driver’s license isn’t a one-time transaction. It’s a lifelong commitment to observe the complex rules and regulations which govern vehicular traffic. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for all of the bad habits driver’s succumb to over time and make sure they don’t become a part of your own behavior. Here are a few problematic practices that could be making your life difficult as a driver:
1. Ignoring the Grade of Gasoline Listed in your Manual:
A wide number of motorists tend to believe that fueling up on High-Octane or Premium-Grade Gasoline helps the engine perform better. This is a misconception. It’s actually more beneficial to adhere to the grade of gasoline specified in your car’s manual. Using the wrong grade of gas, even if it’s labeled premium, forces the engine to burn fuel at a temperature which is incompatible with the engine’s mechanical structure. If you want good performance from your engine, fuel it with the factory-recommended gas.
2. Changing the Engine Oil too Often:
One of the most sacred rules of auto-maintenance is getting an oil-change every 3,000 miles. This rule might have worked well in the past, but it isn’t exactly relevant to the vehicles which are manufactured today. Not only have engines become extraordinarily efficient, but modern engine oils include ingredients which vastly enhance their overall utility. All of this means that your engine oil can probably last for at least 6,000 miles between changing, depending on what car you drive and how often.
3. Forgetting to Warm Up the Engine:
Are you the type of driver who hops into your vehicle and dashes off without a second thought? If the answer is “yes,” you should probably rethink this habit because car engines need time to warm up. If your car has been parked for a while, let the engine rev for at least 2 minutes so that its fluids can mechanically flow into all the critical components. Driving without a warm-up momentarily forces moveable parts to clash without lubrication.
4. Driving with a Lead Food in the Morning:
If you know for a fact that you’re running late, pretty much nothing can stop you from putting the pedal to the metal. The problem with driving as fast as you can first thing in the morning though, is that it forces the car to exert itself before adjusting to an even operating temperature. Even if you’ve allowed the engine to warm up before going for an early morning drive, wait a few minutes before accelerating strongly. The engine might be warm, but the rest of the car still has to defrost.
5. Not Having a Pre-Drive Checklist:
In the wrong circumstances, your car can stop being a vehicle and turn into a lethal projectile. This is the most important reason why you should always inspect your car before hitting the road. Being oblivious to defects like flat tires, window cracks, or faulty dashboard indicators, can end up jeopardizing public safety in traffic. Even if it means planning ahead so that you can have more time, go the extra mile as often as possible and inspect your car for damage before using it.
The good news about bad habits is that they can be abandoned just as easily as they were picked up. All it takes is your own personal resolve to do the right thing. If any of the practices you’ve just read sound like things you do often, then the time has come for you to take a stand and choose to do better. Being a driver is that much easier if you understand the simple truth that you have everything to gain from upholding good safety standards. Instead of driving your car without thinking about preparation, paying attention to whether your vehicle is functioning under extreme conditions. Precaution takes a little more time, but it pays immeasurable dividends in the long run.