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A car's lifespan is not dependent on its brand or make, but rather the driving habits of its owner.
In fact, there are several things you might be doing unintentionally that could hurt its overall condition. If you want to maintain the longevity of your vehicle, here are five bad driving habits you should break today.
1. Running on a near Empty Fuel Tank
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With the costs of petrol rising in Singapore, some drivers feel the pain in their wallets when they have to fill up their fuel tank. However, it could cost you even more if you drive on a low tank regularly! It could damage your car because fuel acts as a coolant for the fuel pump motor. When fuel runs low, the pump will suck in air instead, creating heat and wearing out the fuel pump prematurely. As a general rule of thumb, never let your fuel tank go below ¼ at all times!
2. Using the Shift Lever as Your Hand Rest
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It feels natural to rest one hand on the steering wheel and another on the shifter. But you probably don't realise that you're actually putting excess weight on your car's transmission. This causes premature wear and tear, so it's best to put both your hands on the steering wheel while driving.
3. Overloading Your Car
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Driving around with unnecessary weight not only puts extra stress on your car's components, but also compromises your ability to steer, handle and brake the car. Overloaded cars overheat and wear out the tyres rapidly which can cause potential failure. Your fuel costs will also increase due to the excess weight. To prevent this from happening, remember to clean out all the unnecessary junk from your car and store only the essential items that you need.
4. Shift to Drive or Reverse Before Coming to a Complete Stop
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If you're driving an automatic car, always ensure that you come to a complete stop before shifting to Drive or Reverse. Otherwise, you'll be using your gears to double as your brakes which can damage your transmission and drive shafts over time.
5. Sudden Acceleration and Braking
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This might sound like a no-brainer, but there are still many drivers on the road that engage in such behaviour! Rapid acceleration takes a large toll on fuel consumption and slamming on your brake pedal regularly wears out the tyres and brake pads. Always keep in mind the two-second rule of maintaining a safe following distance when driving. In the event of heavy traffic or driving at night, turn it to six seconds. For poor weather conditions, practice a nine-second rule when driving.
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