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Old 05-18-2005, 09:01 AM   #1
JaneiR36
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Question Driving habits: Which of these are bad?

1. Using the maximum tightness of your turning radius, as against doing wide turns all the time.

My car has a very tight turning radius, but sometimes when I see people almost intentionally go the long route, I wonder if they know something I don't about vehicle mechanics?

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How about this one, it seems drivers around me on the highway get irritated when I won't let my car accelerate downhill or decelerate uphill. I heard keeping your speed constant is best for gas mileage and have been doing so since I started driving! However, sometimes I come across as an aggressive driver, because when you're going uphill and others are slowing down in front of you, you tend to get closer and closer to them. Or I could seem like I'm being a slowpoke just 'cos I let up the gas when going downhill. And they probably think they're normal because as far as they know, they're keeping constant pressure on the gas! Any thoughts?

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The next one is taking your foot off the gas and letting the engine coast to a stop as against using the brakes.

Which one uses more power, and is it bad for your engine to have the sudden drop in RPM that comes when you suddenly take your foot off the gas, without following up by using the brakes? When getting off a highway, especially when the offramp is long enough, I will frequently get off at my highway speed, then let the engine coast all the way down to 30 or 40, before applying the brakes to stop. Is this bad for my car?

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How about taking curves at your regular highway speed? Is this bad for any part of your car, and how much more quickly does it cause your tires to wear out?

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Or how about using up all of the power in your car (or what seems like it), eg, highway speeds, having headlights on, radio blasting, wipers running, AC/Heater on, etc. Does something gotta give at some point? Or are you okay so long as your car is in top shape?

I'll add more as I remember, but I just seem to keep having these questions and finally got around to posting them!
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Old 05-18-2005, 04:40 PM   #2
ChrisV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneiR36
1. Using the maximum tightness of your turning radius, as against doing wide turns all the time.

My car has a very tight turning radius, but sometimes when I see people almost intentionally go the long route, I wonder if they know something I don't about vehicle mechanics?

Unless your'e turning so fast that the tires are squaliing or sliding, no, you're not really hurting anything.

Quote:
How about this one, it seems drivers around me on the highway get irritated when I won't let my car accelerate downhill or decelerate uphill. I heard keeping your speed constant is best for gas mileage and have been doing so since I started driving! However, sometimes I come across as an aggressive driver, because when you're going uphill and others are slowing down in front of you, you tend to get closer and closer to them. Or I could seem like I'm being a slowpoke just 'cos I let up the gas when going downhill. And they probably think they're normal because as far as they know, they're keeping constant pressure on the gas! Any thoughts?

I tend to drive just like you do in that regard, thugh I'm not anal about being a constant speed. Though I don't do it for fuel milage, as keeping a constant throttle position is better for fuel mileage that pressing harder to maintain speed up hills. and you will accellerate downhill even without the throtlle on if you don't have much drag or resistance in teh car. But that doesn't matter for fuel mileage beceuse your foot is off the throttle in either case .

Quote:
The next one is taking your foot off the gas and letting the engine coast to a stop as against using the brakes.

Which one uses more power,

Neither, really.

Quote:
and is it bad for your engine to have the sudden drop in RPM that comes when you suddenly take your foot off the gas, without following up by using the brakes?

Nope. Your engine doesn't care at all. With a stock flywheel, your engine can't decellerate as fast as it would with a light racing flywheel, and that rapid decelleration doesn't hurt those engines, either.


Quote:
When getting off a highway, especially when the offramp is long enough, I will frequently get off at my highway speed, then let the engine coast all the way down to 30 or 40, before applying the brakes to stop. Is this bad for my car?

Nope. It'll extend the life of your brake pads a little, but that's about the only benefit/harm involved.

Quote:
How about taking curves at your regular highway speed? Is this bad for any part of your car, and how much more quickly does it cause your tires to wear out?

If your car is aligned properly, you won't notice a difference in wear on the tires, and no other part o fth ecar will be hurt. Hell, stock class auotcrossers work the cars systems MUCH harder and only incur marginally worse tire wear on average. I've pushed completely stock cars past the point where the tires slide on the track and that's the only part that wears out in general.

Quote:
Or how about using up all of the power in your car (or what seems like it), eg, highway speeds, having headlights on, radio blasting, wipers running, AC/Heater on, etc. Does something gotta give at some point? Or are you okay so long as your car is in top shape?

You MIGHT put more wear on your alternator doing that, but in general, alternaors are sized to produce more power than all the accessories put together do. If you don't notice a difference in starting ability after a night time run in the rain with your stereo and climate control blasting, then you haven't used up the capacity of the alternator.
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:59 AM   #3
Mathew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneiR36
1. Using the maximum tightness of your turning radius, as against doing wide turns all the time.

My car has a very tight turning radius, but sometimes when I see people almost intentionally go the long route, I wonder if they know something I don't about vehicle mechanics?

Don't hold your steering wheel all the way to the left or right stop for more than 5 seconds. This can cause power steering fluid leaks.
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:00 AM   #4
dodgerforlife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathew
Don't hold your steering wheel all the way to the left or right stop for more than 5 seconds. This can cause power steering fluid leaks.

so can a rock putting a hole in your power steering line....don't laugh, its happened to me....the joys of living on a farm and driving on gravel roads. thank god its an easy fix.

but that is a good tip, i'll have to watch out for that.
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:38 AM   #5
JaneiR36
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Very informative, guys!

ChrisV, were you saying cruise control is not necessarily better for gas mileage?
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