Most of us love our cars as much as we would our family members. But the 'loving' often stops at giving the vehicle a good wash and vacuum once a week, but does not go beyond the occasional maintenance.

Here are some driving habits that may cause your vehicle damage, without you even knowing it.

1) Dragging the brake downhill

Yes, pressing the brake when you are heading downhill will increase wear and tear on the brake pads and discs.

When heading downhill, it is best to engage a low gear while applying some light braking, and then release the pedal to allow the brakes to cool. Remember to apply the brake only when needed and repeat the process until you reach the foot of the hill.

2) Resting your hand on the gearstick

Many of us have the habit of resting our left hands on the gearstick, even when we are driving an auto shift vehicle which does not require manual gear changes. This habit can be very bad for the transmission as the gearstick is connected to a selector fork, which is designed to make contact with a rotating collar for a short amount of time.

Applying pressure on the gearstick may risk applying pressure to the selector fork, which, in turn, causes premature wear. Many modern cars today come with owner's manuals specifically advising drivers against resting their hands on the gearstick.

3) Overloading your vehicle

Every car is designed to carry a certain amount of weight, and loading it with more than that strains the vehicle's brakes, suspension, and drivetrain.

In addition, travelling with extra load will also affect your car's fuel economy.

4) Hitting potholes and speed bumps

Face it, Malaysian roads are filled with potholes and speedbumps, and it is next to impossible to avoid them.
But if you can, steer clear of roads riddled with such hurdles as they can cause buckled wheels, crack the alloy in the car rims, and upset the car wheel's alignment and balancing, if they are hit at high speed.

Besides, driving fast over a speed bump can also damage the car's undercarriage, and potentially the exhaust system.

5) Ignoring the warning lights

We all know that our vehicle bashboards are filled with knobs and warning lights, but few of us know what they are there for.

Do take time to read the owner's manual to know what the warning lights on your dashboard mean, so that you need which ones you have to pay attention immediately if they come alight when you are on the road. If they do, seek help at your nearest workshop, as ignoring it would be at your own peril.

6) Revving the engine when cold

Many people like to rev their car engines to warm it up before moving the vehicle from a complete stop, but this actually causes more damage.

Give some time for the engine oil to warm and circulate around the engine to avoid potential damage and wear and tear.

7) Late/sudden braking

Consistently flooring the brake pedal can strain your braking system and wear out your pads and discs faster. In addition, it also burns more fuel.

Make sure you keep a good distance behind the car ahead of you so that you will not have to brake suddenly.

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