The gentleman came in with his 13-year-old Honda Accord and he needed some advice. Due to a job change, his needs for his car had changed from a basic city commuter to more of a road car. He would now be driving far more freeway miles and he was wondering if the Accord was the way to go or if he should buy a new car. It was an excellent question.
Oddly, freeway driving is much easier on a car than city driving is. The largest amount of engine wear occurs when the engine is cold and city driving is typically a 1-3 mile trip followed by a cooling off period, only to be repeated over and over. This means that the car often operates in the temperature zone that is the worst for the car. Freeway driving involves long runs with warm fluids and little shifting, so the car is usually operating in the best zone for longevity.
The largest amount of engine wear occurs when the engine is cold...
Although the engine is operating at a consistently higher speed, the pumps keep the oils and hydraulic fluids right where they need to be. In the case of the Accord, the primary risk was whether the owner had kept up with maintenance since regular service can help offset the ill effects of city driving. A quick check of his records put us at ease and after replacing 4 tires that were nearing the end of their lives he was ready for his new gig without carrying a car payment with him.
Maintaining Your Car
Given that car payments are averaging almost $500 per month (Experian), one can imagine the sigh of relief that the driver must have felt. Maintaining your car often seems like a waste of money since you cannot feel any difference once the work is done. But circumstances change and opportunities arise, and when they do the last thing you want is a broken car!
Drive Safely, The High Road Crew