Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Want to Prolong the Life of your Car? Don’t Drive Like a Clown

Clown cars bring a hilarious image to mind. Goofy — but mainly creepy — groups of clowns driving in a vehicle that’s way too small for all of them. Even if you don’t see it driving on the road, you automatically imagine the way that car is driven: erratic, with sharp turns, hard stops, and pedal-to-the-metal action. You can’t help but laugh when that conjured image flashes across your mind. But, at the same time, you might feel bad for the little car, thinking to yourself, “I wonder how long a car driven like that would last?” The answer won’t surprise you — not very long. So, why the hell do I see at least half the drivers on my commute driving like the maniacal clowns described above? They either haven’t put on their costumes and make up for the day yet, or they must really hate their car.

Want to know the the number one way to prolong the life of your car? Aside from routine maintenance, it’s not driving like a clown.


Yes, slush-shifting falls into the category of clown-car driving, and it can happen to many different degrees. This is a more obscure term, so I’ll elaborate a little bit.

Slush-shifting is when you have an automatic (or manual) transmission, and shift without remorse or regard for your vehicle. If you fire your car up, drop it in reverse to get out of a parking space, then immediately jam it into drive — without so much as a slight pause in neutral— all while feathering the brake pedal; you’ve just slush-shifted. A more severe case would be dropping it from drive to park without even putting your foot on the brake.

Not only is it uncomfortable and unnerving to do this, but it’s also a great way to destroy your transmission.

Unnecessary Revving

If you’re one of those people who sits at a red light and likes to rev their engine for no reason, you’re driving like a clown. Revving for absolutely no reason puts unnecessary wear and tear on an engine. Furthermore, with no where for the power to go because you have your foot on the brake, it’s also quite damaging.

Driving Hard

More of a destructive art form than a specific driving “technique,” driving your vehicle hard just means generally abusing the powertrain on the road. Unnecessary revving could fall into the category, but redlining your RPMs constantly, jamming your foot against the pedal all the time, lurching your car from a standstill, and not letting your engine warm up before taking off maniacally, all fall into this category quite neatly.

Even hard braking is a good way to blow a brake line or damage your rotors. Both of which cost time and money to repair, the brake line being the more expensive of the two scenarios to fix.

If you do any of these things, then you fit the description of a group of clowns driving a clown car — and I feel sorry for your ride. A more to-the-point way of saying it would be don’t drive like an ass on the road, and your car will live a lot longer.