Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Should I be concerned about my engine when taking frequent short trips?

asked by on

I've heard multiple times that short trips are bad for car engines. Is that still true today for new cars (like mine)? I commute only 10-15 minutes to work (about 3 miles). If this does seem like a problem, are there recommended ways to prevent any increased wear?
My car's mileage is 6000 miles.

A: The problem would be several (10+) short tr...

The problem would be several (10+) short trips per day. The issue is that your vehicle never really has a chance to warm up for the fuel control system to go into "closed loop" status. This is when all systems are operating properly for maximum performance and efficiency. I suggest allowing your vehicle to reach operating temperature (when heat can be felt from the vents when your heat is selected on climate control) before starting your commute. Additionally, I suggest taking a quick trip (at least once a month) on the Interstate highway to "stretch the legs" on your vehicle. This will help clean carbon deposits from your valves, get your engine oil to maximum pressure, lubricate all the internal seals within the engine, and allow the transmission to engage all gears.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: On my headliner my son splashed some moca coffee. How can i get this off?

At your local auto parts store, there will be several interior upholstry cleaners available that should work well. These cleaners can be used on carpet, seats, door panels, and headliners. I would recommend using a soft towel rather than the...

Q: Will not start even though I jumpstarted.

You may have an issue with your fuel or ignition system. The battery may be dying being brand new because of continuous cranking of the starter in attempt to start the vehicle. If the fuel or ignition systems have any...

Q: Car won't start after replacing cam sensor - 2006 Scion xA

Hello. You will need to have the computer scanned and system checked for codes indicating the problem. You may have a bad crankshaft sensor or computer problems with the anti-theft system. If you would like to have this corrected, consider...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.