While cars and bikes are more robust than you and I think, their components have a limited life. And regular, careful driving means they can go on forever, but surprisingly some everyday bad habits can prove to be very costly. Avoid it at all costs!
Starting with the most common one,
One should never switch to neutral or turn off the car while going downhill. In case you switch to neutral and continue to drive (or coast, as it’s called), you lose the ability to slow down or increase your pace, hence relying only on brakes and steering. And that can be dangerous especially if you have to make your way around an obstacle.
Things become even worse when people shut their engines off.That takes away the steering and brake power assistance, other driver assists like ABS and stability control, and even airbags if the car is not ON. So that means your car’s steering is overly heavy, the brakes not as effective, and should you face a wall, the airbags may not deploy. All this to save a liter or two of fuel? Not worth it!
Not letting the turbo cool down
The turbocharger on your vehicle takes longer to cool down in comparison to the engine, because it’s running faster than the engine itself. So ideally when you come to a half after driving for some time, it’s advised to let the turbo cool down and then shut the engine. About a minute of idling isn’t going to cost a lot of fuel, but it will surely make the turbocharger last longer.
Not doing so means you end up, mostly unknowingly, damaging a vital component of the engine.
Load on cold engine
From hot to cold, it’s not just high temperatures that can damage engine and its components. You see when the engine is cold and you try to go fast, the components are put under a lot of strain. Also, when it’s very cold, the oil will take some time to heat up and work as a lubricant. Before that, in case of increased load on a cold engine, you’re basically making the engine components work harder, are achieving nothing, and are also damaging them while doing so.
In case of modern engines, there’s no need to warm them up for a long period of time. Instead drive slow for the first couple of kms, let the engine temperature rise and then go ahead with your normal routine.
Using ‘P’ to brake
Driving recklessly is going to wear your car faster than anything else. And being foolish enough to use the ‘P’ mode on the automatic transmission is likely to prematurely bring a not so sweet end your gearbox’s life. Use brakes to brake, switch to ‘P’ only when you come to a complete halt. Using the gearbox to stop — and we’re not talking about engine braking — is foolish.
Shifting into reverse while the car’s still in motion
As we mentioned above, using the gearbox to brake (‘P’ in the case above) is stupidity. And so is switching the direction of motion without using the brakes. So if you’re going in reverse and want to go forward, use the brakes, and when the car comes to a half, switch to first (or ‘D’ in case of automatics) and drive.
Failing to follow this simple rule means you overstrain the gearbox, and that’s going to cost you a lot sooner than you think.