10 terrible mistakes drivers make:

1. Running the tank low on fuel

Ricks Auto Service FrontLeaving your tank to get dangerously empty allows the dirt, rust and grime that sits at the bottom of it to get sucked into the system, attacking the fuel pump and filters.

2. Resting your hand on the gearstick

Leaving your hand resting with a certain amount of force will make the forks rub against the rotating collar causing unnecessary wear.

3. Resting foot on the clutch pedal

Riding the pressure plate against the clutch causes heat and wear – and new clutches don’t come cheap.

4. Revving the engine before it’s warm

Just like athletes, cars need to warm up first. When you start the engine, the oil pump pushes oil around the system and this oil takes time to fully circulate.

You should leave the engine to run for 10 seconds before setting off.

5. Delaying regular maintenance

It might be a pain keeping up with services, and expensive, too, but if you don’t you’ll suffer a build up of horrible sludge and burnt oil in your engine.

6. Ignoring dash warning lights

A recent survey found 98 per cent of drivers didn’t really understand the most common dashboard warning lights, such as tyre pressure, engine emissions and fog-light indicators.

Don’t ignore the dash warnings – because your car’s clever computer knows what it’s doing.

7. Ignoring your handbrake

If you’ve got an automatic car, it might be tempting to simply always leave it in ‘Park’ mode rather than engaging the handbrake.

But doing this puts lots of pressure on one part – a little metal pin called the ‘pawl’, which engages a notched ring that’s attached to the transmission output shaft.

Over a long period of time, abusing the pawl can dislodge or damage it, meaning you might one day leave your house, look frantically for your missing car, only to find it parked at the bottom of a hill.

8. Stamping on the brakes

If you’re always on the brakes because you’re driving too close to the car in front you need to back off.

Not only is it hugely unsafe but sudden stops cause faster wear to the brake pads and discs.

9. Being in too high a gear

Keeping engine revs low can save fuel but “lugging” – being in too high a gear at too low a speed – actually creates unnecessary strain on the engine and can damage your cylinder heads, leading to expensive repairs.

10. Not letting your turbo cool down

Has your car got a turbocharger? This is a contraption that forces extra air into the combustion chamber and increases power.

And it takes longer to cool down, compared to your engine, when you come to halt.

It’s important you idle the engine for around a minute before switching off in order to make your turbocharger last longer and make sure the bearings don’t break.

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