Drives too fast then brakes with heavy foot

My husband drives too fast before braking…if it’s a curve that says 30 mph he’ll do 45 and then put on the brakes with a heavy foot. I think that kind of driving ruins the car (at the moment our car is in the mechanics garage, having stopped on the highway and a pinkish brownish fluid leaking out also RPM is shifting, but car doesn’t really move forward). My guess is the transmission - and my 2nd guess is that this type of driving CAUSES the transmission to go. Our first vehicle - the brakes had to be replaced after letting my husband drive it a while. 2nd vehicle had spongey brakes too after he drove it. “Nothing wrong with the way I drive!” he insists…but I have a feeling it does ruin the car - any answers?

You can’t change him. His behavior is so ingrained that, to him, it has become ‘normal’. You CAN demand that he drive your car gently. For him, it would be “gently”. To you, it would only seem to be a little less of the same.
Yes, it sounds like the automatic transmission may be gone (slipping) from loss of automatic transmission fluid.
How a car is used, affects how long, and how well, it runs. Don’t fight a battle you can’t win; just keep your car “yours” (not “ours”).

If I was a passenger with your husband driving I think I’d be a nervous wreck. And yes he is being very tough on the car too. If he can’t change, then I’d be the one doing the driving. Let him drive himself around, and yes let him drive his car and you get a car you like for yourself.

His driving habits will use up the brakes quickly, and put unneeded stress on the engine, transmission, differentials, CV joints, U joints, and tires.

That type of driving is VERY VERY HARD on a car…not to mention how DANGEROUS it is. Many states have actually been cracking down on AGGRESSIVE drivers. If ticketed in NH for aggressive driving it’s a $1000 fine.

If that heavy braking happens BEFORE he enters the curve, he is just wasting fuel and putting unnecessary wear and stress on the car. If he brakes AFTER he has entered the curve, he is sooner or later going to find some oil or gravel on the road and loose control. Curves should be negotiated at steady speed or gentle acceleration.

My only suggestion would be to keep careful track of the fuel economy when you drive the car and when he drives the same car. Once fuel costs go back up (and they will), show him the data.

It is tough to attribute a specific mechanical failure to a driving style, unless it happens repeatedly, but he may reconsider his driving habits if he realizes what they cost him in fuel. It didn’t work with my wife, but it might work with your husband.

As someone who enjoys driving briskly (but safely), I’m a little less pessimistic than the other posters. I’d say “ruin the car” is an overstatement. He’ll go through brakes and maybe tires more quickly and he’ll spend more on gas, but I think that’s the main cost of his fun. There will be some extra stress on other components, but in general they really should be designed to handle that.

UncleTurbo is right. I would not ride in a car with him and I would NEVER let him drive one of my vehicles. I admit I am sometimes not the most gentle driver, but I would never drive that way with a passenger.

You might need to find a way to live with this if he isn’t willing to change. So I would insist on driving when the two of you are in the car. Your safety is important, but other than that, you should decide if this issue is more important than your marriage.

I admit that it is difficult for a man to let a woman drive with him in the passenger seat, but if he wants the privilege of doing the driving, he needs to learn how to be a better driver, at least when he has a passenger.

What kind of car are you talking about? Some cars hold up to that kind of driving better than others. If he’s driving something like a Boxster or Corvette then driving 45 MPH on a curve that is rated at 30 MPH isn’t a big deal, If’s he’s driving a minivan then he’s probably subjecting to forces that it wasn’t designed to endure.

It’s a 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan and it had over 120,000 when it was gifted to us last year

yeah, he’s definately not helping anything. It’s not exactly a high-performance machine.

The fix for this problem is to replace the nut behind the wheel.

He is using more fuel, will have shorter brake life and is less safe. It does not ruin a car, but it is not good for it.

He certainly would not be allowed to drive my car and I would avoid driving in his.

First, the yellow speed signs are guides. If someone don’t know how to drive, and are driving a poorly-maintained vehicle in bad weather, you should be at that speed or lower. Otherwise it is up to the driver. Those sign speeds are pretty low.

Second, I learned to drive observing my father. This was in a rural area so I learned that, generally, if you had to put on your brakes entering a turn, you made a mistake. That rule does not hold up if you are entering a downhill turn or you have a really good reason to be in a big hurry. It is just efficient to coast down to a safe speed for the curve. It saves brakes an fuel. In addition, on roads that were known to him, I don’t think I ever saw him take curves at or below the marked speed in good weather. It is probably why my siblings and I were car-sick on every trip.

Come to think of it…that might explain why our 11-yr old daughter gets carsick in the back seat - she usually gets in and immediately goes to sleep. I think the reason I let my husband drive my car is because the older I get, the less confidence I have driving in large cities (Toronto, Syracuse, Rochester, Pittsburgh)and Thruways too…he’ll drive anywhere, anytime. It’s sort of embarrassing to admit that big city driving scares me nowadays. I did let him read the comments and he really respects Car Talk so he may mend his ways. It was right after he went 45 mph on a 30 mph curve that our car broke down on the thruway.

There will be some extra stress on other components, but in general they really should be designed to handle that.

Not necessarily.

Other stressed components caused by driving aggressively…Ball-joints, Bearings, Bushings (especially on stabilizer), shocks, differentials, tires, engine mounts, control-arm bushings, steering linkage…and the list goes on.

The failure rate of these components is directly proportional to the aggressiveness of driver.

It was right after he went 45 mph on a 30 mph curve that our car broke down on the thruway.

The two events are likely unrelated.

OK - our mechanic called: new radiator, coolant flush, transmission flush w/ filter. Nice to know the two events are probably unrelated - but it’s still scary to be a passenger in front seat. Thanks EVERYONE for all the input- it helps!!