Experienced drivers NEVER make these mistakes

There are certain things about driving  that you learn through experience/thorough training, and these things separate the men from the boys. Here are 10 mistakes that experienced drivers never make.

Driving downhill in neutral…

Driving downhill in neutral

is a sureshot recipe for disaster. Not only will your brakes get overheated and lose efficacy, it’s also very easy to lose control of a car that has no engine braking. This is the reason you’ll find experienced drivers always using engine braking on a downhill slope instead of slotting the gearbox into neutral.

Using only the clutch and brake to slow down…

Clutch and Brake

just increases the stopping distance and puts additional wear and tear on both the clutch and the brake. Experienced drivers know the art of using engine braking to come to a steady halt, be it at a traffic signal or even for slowing down for junctions. Using engine braking also makes for a smoother drive.

Keeping the clutch depressed at a traffic signal…

Depressing Clutch

is silly. It not only increases fuel consumption but also wears out the clutch sooner. Instead, shift to neutral when you’re stopping for more than 5 seconds. And this is not just applicable to a manual gearbox equipped car. You need to follow this on automatics as well, which brings us to the next point.

Keeping an automatic car in drive at a traffic signal…

Automatic transmission in drive

is not good for the automatic transmission. There’s a reason why car makers offer a neutral option even on automatic gearboxes. Use it while you’re stationary at a traffic light, instead of keeping the transmission in drive and using the brake to prevent the car from moving ahead.

Revving a cold engine

Cold engine

Now, this is something no self-respecting enthusiast or experienced driver will do. Engines need at least a minute to come to operating temperature and revving it hard before this happens only increases wear and tear dramatically. If you want your car’s engine to last, never rev it hard when cold.

Not idling a turbocharged car before switching engine off…


is another mistake most newbies make. Most turbochargers except those that are water cooled need the engine to idle for about 30 seconds to make sure that the bearings are lubricated properly. Not idling a turbocharged car for a few seconds before shutting the engine can cause premature turbo failure.

Driving on under-inflated/over-inflated tyres…

Underinflated Tyre

can kill, as many unfortunate victims of tyre bursts have found out. Over-inflated and under-inflated tyres can burst when subjected to high speeds. An experienced driver will always make sure that the tyre pressure is right, even if it means spending a few minutes extra at the fuel station.

Riding the clutch

Riding the clutch

is what newbies do. Experienced drivers always release the clutch fully while driving. Failure to do so results in clutch plates wearing out very soon. There have been many cases where newbies have come in for clutch replacements within just a few thousand kilometers. A normal clutch lasts anywhere between 80,000-120,000 Kms, or even more in case of certain vehicles.

Fully turning a hydraulic steering and holding it there…

is something that must be done only when unavoidable. Hydraulic power steerings don’t like to be turned lock to lock, and doing this frequently can cause them to wear out prematurely. This is why experienced drivers quickly come back from a fully locked position on a hydraulic steering.

Parking on a slope with wheels not facing the kerb

Parking Uphill and downhill

You have engaged handbrake, and even put the car in first or reverse gear while parking on a slope. Ready to leave? Well, you have a final thing to do that experienced drivers always do. Make sure that the wheels point to the kerb, while parking downhill, and away from the kerb while parking uphill uphill. This ensures that the car will have the kerb to stop it if ever rolls forward(when parked facing downhill) or backwards (when parked facing uphill).