Owning a car is no simple task. It’s a big responsibility that requires you to remember a lot of rules and methods of best practice both on and off the road. It only makes sense that those who haven’t been doing it for too long might be more liable to make a mistake. But a mistake with a car is rarely not a serious issue. In the best case, it might simply cost you money. In the worst case, it could be a real danger. Here are a few of the most common mistakes you’re going to want to avoid.
Not learning more about your car
Everyone who owns a car needs to be prepared for some kind of repair or maintenance costs down the line. It’s a good idea to create some space in your budget to build a ‘car repair fund’. But if you find yourself dipping into that fund a little too often for your preferences, it could be because you’re not as savvy about your car as you need to be. There are some jobs that need to be handled by a mechanic. Then there are others that are a lot easier to do yourself, like some simple part replacements. Take the time to learn the basics of car DIY maintenance and it will save you a bundle.
Not being prepared for breakdowns
We might like to think that accidents and breakdowns aren’t likely to happen to us. However, statistically, they’re almost a given. A breakdown can be a big inconvenience and somewhat dangerous. When it becomes a more drastic problem is when you’re caught off-guard and left stranded and entirely unprepared. That’s why it is essential you prepare by bringing an emergency kit. As well as car maintenance essentials like jumper cables and a spare tire, that kit should contain items that will keep you safe. Reflective clothing and some reflective cones to put around the car will make it safer for those brief ventures outside. Some kind of food and warm clothing are essential in the winter. A first-aid kit should help you cope with any minor injuries you might have sustained.
Locking yourself out
It’s less serious than breaking down, b
ut it’s no less convenient. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to lock yourself out of your car and end up stranding yourself. Memorise the rule that you never leave your keys in the ignition, for one. Not only might you get locked, but it makes your car a lot easier to steal. Getting spares can help you prevent it, but it’s a good idea to think about how you deal with a situation, not just prevent it. So, make sure you have local, fast locksmith services as one of your phone contacts. Do your research and find those that are willing to be prompt and on-demand so you’re not left hanging outside your car for way too long.
If you want to talk about costs, then you have to look at one of the most expensive ‘little mistakes’ that thousands of people will continue to make. As you might have guessed from the header, we’re talking about idling your engine. This is one of the most fuel inefficient practices you can engage in and it can even cause damage to your engine. Most people think that idling is an efficient way to get the car ready before you’re able to set off. However, as soon as you’re idling for ten seconds, you’re wasting more fuel than you would if you had just reignited. It’s not necessary for dealing with the winter, either. Get a block heater to get the engine good to go in the cold, instead.
Not being aware of the flow of traffic
This is a mistake that a lot of new drivers will make on the motorway in particular. That’s because a lot of instructors don’t give new drivers the chance to learn on the motorway. It’s essential to learn the flow of traffic when there are overtaking lanes and the right etiquette. Hogging that lane is going to easily get some road rage aimed in your direction. Not only does that make driving less pleasant. You don’t know when an angry driver might become reckless and attempt something that you could put you both in danger.
For your safety, your money, and a more pleasant driving experience, make sure that you’re doing your best to avoid the mistakes mentioned above. Be aware of what you’re doing and it should become second nature in no time.