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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so I live about a mile or so from school and it takes me about 10mins to get there when I drive (there's a lot of stop sign's and school zones I have to go through). The fastest I go is maybe 30-35 for about 10 seconds.

My 355 sbc is in my '73 Malibu, once we break it in, I want to start driving it to school. The way we built the motor was more for gas mileage, not as much for power. My dad is saying that driving the car that short of a distance will not let it warm up all the way and will start destroying the exhaust and hurting the engine, (personally I just think he doesn't want me to drive it everyday).

So, will driving that short of a distance hurt anything? The car weighs about 3800-3900lbs, it's got the stock 2.73 rear end and we threw a completely rebuilt 700R4 tranny in there, so the engine it's going to be revving high at all, it probably won't see over 2500RPM's.

What do you guys think?
 

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Drive it Like u Stole it!
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the most damaging aspect in any motor is initial startup, since oil is at the bottom of the pan and not where it needs to be (unless you have an oil accumulator and use it right before startup). but, there is truth in what your dad is saying. driving short distances wont allow the oil to get up to proper temps, which would just lead to early oil fouling. you might even experience advanced piston ring wear. a newly rebuilt motor wont want to be short-driven neither, since part of the break-in process would mean varying rpms for "extended" periods of time for the first couple of oil changes.
 

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Agreed

Jmark said:
I agree with your dad. One mile and 10 minutes is NOT good for any engine or exhaust. As stated above, oil needs to reach operating temp for a while to burn off the moisture and other crap in it. Also, the exhaust needs to heat up to burn off the condensation too. All in all, either take the bus, or change to a school atleast 10 miles away! LOL
Lots of short milage trips are the hardest miles that can be put on a car..I have seen a lot of high milage freeway driven cars that are in still good shape and several of the low miles in town errand cars that were totally gone..

When the car does not get well warmed up acids and moisture accumulates in the engine and tranny and causes problems..Trannies go early from constant shifting in traffic..IMHO..

OMT
 

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I won't re-invent the wheel here, I'll just say that everything said so far is correct. Short trippin' is one of the hardest things there is on an internal combustion engine.
 

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Would be better to let the engine idle and warm up for 5 or 10 mins before taking off to school. That should let it burn off the bad stuff in the oil and condensation in/on the exhaust.
 

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Siggy_Freud said:
Would be better to let the engine idle and warm up for 5 or 10 mins before taking off to school. That should let it burn off the bad stuff in the oil and condensation in/on the exhaust.

Good Advice.

It's pretty much common sense, stop and go causes more wear than sustained speed driving. But why worry about it? Cars wear out, get sold, get wrecked in no specific order. Drive it however you need to, the cars job is to get you where you want to go. Just keep up with the maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just to clarify, I would be driving it to school after the 500mile oil/filter change/checkup.

Would this change anything? or no.
 

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OneMoreTime said:
Lots of short milage trips are the hardest miles that can be put on a car..I have seen a lot of high milage freeway driven cars that are in still good shape and several of the low miles in town errand cars that were totally gone..
Exactly!
A good example is Taxi's. The Fords and Holdens they use over here often have up to a million km's on them without any major work because the motor is spending almost all of it's time running at at the correct temp.

Short trips kill engines. I bought myself a cheap air cooled Vespa Scooter for my 5 minute ride to work so that I don't kill the engine on my other bikes or cars. The whole cost of the scoot with registration is cheaper than any rebuild I could do on either the bikes or cars.

I used to just walk to work as it was only just over half a mile, but after having my leg broken by a car running into the side of my while riding a bike has kind of stuffed my for walking any sort of distance. Hence the scooter.
 

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Like I said, let it warm up. Thats whats important. But bottom line is that its your car and like was said, its purpose is to take you to and from places. Keep it tuned well and change the oil as scheduled. In my opinion, oil change intervals were designed with both short and long distance trips in mind. If people ONLY drove distances long enough to get the engine up to good temps and burn out the oil contaminents, we probably wouldn't have to change the oil as often. I've had my truck 4 years now and for the most part it was a to and from school vehicle. I have done a lot of work on it, but the shortblock (rotating assembly) has remained in good working shape in its stock form.
 

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^I believe that

Seems like my dad would go forever without changing the oil on his truck, and it wouldn't be that bad when he finally did.

But it's a 100% work vehicle, he gets up, warms it up for 10 minutes before he leaves, and drives 2 hours to work everyday.

Parks it. Drives it 2 hours home.

Parks it, and never touches that thing until he goes to work again. He rides his Harley around town.

The truck has 280,000 miles on it. He did an alternator and a fuel pump on it, that's about it besides brake pads/shoes, tires, etc... I think he only gave it an actual TUNE UP with all the filters and plugs once... lol
 
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