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Bad Driving Habits that Damage Self Drive Holidays



Traditional understanding is of the idea that “good driving” is when you don’t cause or get involved in accidents. That might be true to some extent true but it’s just part of the broad perspective of being a “safe driver”. The actual definition of a “good driver” is the one that ensures personal and vehicle protection from harm and in most cases people become “bad drivers” unintentionally. You wouldn’t want to pay penalties for damaging the rental car or better still your precious car that cost you a fortune and therefore, these are the bad driving habits that are damaging the car during Self-driving;

Intentionally slamming into potholes

As you will notice, some Ugandan roads especially in Urban Centers are filled with potholes  and therefore hitting them direct at high speeds will badly cause damage to your car during self-drive. By doing so, you are likely to blow out a tyre, or worse affect the alignment, suspension and steering. To avoid hitting on potholes, drivers are advised to always keep alert as well as aware of Uganda’s road conditions and if you must drive through it, do it at low speed to reduce on the damage.

Respect speed bumps

Some drivers totally ignore the presence of speed bumps during self-driving in Uganda and like the potholes, they can cause serious damage on the car if driving on high speed or worse still lead to accidents. The alignment, steering and suspension are also likely to be affected and therefore be mindful of your safety and other road users by respecting the existence of these speed bumps.

Ignoring the parking brake

It is undeniable that the car’s handbrake is the lifesaver during inclined parking and therefore it shouldn’t be ignored at all costs, whether you are parking at a slope or flat surface. Drivers that avoid engaging these handbrakes on automatic cars leave the whole weight of the car on the small device called the “parking pawl” hence gradually damaging it. Can you imagine that this piece of metal is as small as your finger? For this reason, it is likely to wear-out for trying to contain all the heavy weight of the vehicle and therefore care for the car by engaging handbrakes.

Driving with a low fuel tank

Travellers on self-drive trips in Uganda and beyond sometimes fill just a little bit of fuel to save some money which isn’t bad on your pockets but is detrimental on your car’s heart and soul. Reason being, the fuel pump is modeled to be submerged (lubricated and cooled) in fuel to work well and if you always drive on low fuel, just know you are causing a lot of damage on your car. Remember this indiscriminately affects both older and newer cars.

Simply shifting speed from Reserve to Drive

May drivers are guilty for simply shifting speed from reserve to drive without stopping because they are so much in a hurry to drive-off, not knowing that the car is being damaged in the long run. The recommended driving is by exercising patience by completely stopping before switching gears because the transmission system depends on the brakes to stop movement of the car to allow it shift smoothly between gears. In so doing, you are saving your car transmission, engine and axle from getting damaged.

Overloading the Car

Cars are designed to carry heavy loads but again, don’t go beyond the limit. The maximum load weight is normally indicated in the manual and once you go beyond the recommended weight, you will be placing strain on the brake, drivetrain and suspension.

Relaxing your hand on the gearstick

You were most likely advised by your driving instructor to always keep your hands on the wheel when driving, yet many drivers gradually adopt bad habitats the moment L Plates are conveyed into the bin. One of the bed habits to avoid is continuously placing your hand on the gearstick, which is usually detrimental for the transmission. As you might be aware that the gearstick is linked to the selector fork, which is modeled for making contacts with rotating collars and this should be for a short time. However with your hand resting on the gearstick, there are high chances of exerting so much pressure to the selector fork which is likely to bring about premature wear.

Dragging the accelerator in high gear

Latest cars have gearshift indicator light, which suggest to the driver when to change the gear down or up. Usually they are set for economy and you will regularly be short-shifting to make the best use of its efficiency. Nonetheless, drivers are also advised to keep an open eye to the downshift icon or be ready to change down when required. Accelerating at low revolutions per minute or in too high gear will put a lot of strain on the motor engine, forcing it to work harder. Therefore, the good driving advice is to first change down and allow the Revolution of the engine per minute to rise before changing up.

Revving the engine when cold

You will hear some drivers say making frequent and short journeys is bad for the car during self-driving, owing to the fact that the engine oil doesn’t fully warm up. The fact is that all cars normally start from cold hence the best and most recommended thing to do is not revving the engine until it gets warmed up. In so doing, the oil is given enough time to become warm thus circulate the engine which in the long run reduces damage on your car. Just remember that abrupt temperature changes negatively affects you engine.

Other bad driving habits that are damaging your car during self-driving are; going full throttle, keeping the clutch engaged, ignoring dashboard warning signs on the car which mean ignoring mechanical problems that are likely to damage the car, late and sudden braking, running on fumes, not paying attention to your car tyres, parking improperly downhill and many others.

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