Saturday, May 8, 2010

Keeping Cars Running

Car problems can wipe out any budget, not to mention put lives at risk. I'd heard once that short trips were bad for cars, so we started trying to avoid short trips around town as much as we could. Biking and walking are more fun anyway. I finally found an article explaining why short trips are so bad. It also explains a bunch of other useful car care tips:

Best Ways to Keep Your Car Running

One of the byproducts of engine combustion is water. When an engine reaches its operating temperature that water turns to vapor and is expunged, either out the tailpipe or the crankcase ventilation system. On a short trip, however, that water stays inside your car's engine and exhaust. Unfortunately, water is one of only three ingredients necessary to make rust (you've already got the other two, oxygen and metal), and rust kills ... A further complication of condensation and water is that it dilutes your oil, which then does a poorer job of lubricating the engine. If you can't avoid taking lots of short trips, we recommend you change your oil frequently, such as every 2,000-3,000 miles.

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