Short Journeys causing big problems
Short journeys may seem a harmless part of your daily routine, but did you know that these journeys can create big problems for your car?
Whether it’s your short commute to work or a quick trip to the shops, too many of these journeys can cause issues and affect the health of your vehicle.
Why Short Journeys Are Problematic for Your Vehicle
Short journeys can have large effects on the health of your vehicle battery. This is because short trips do not provide sufficient time for your battery to fully recharge.
Starting your vehicle requires a large amount of battery power, so if you are frequently starting your car and not driving for reasonable recharging time, you are causing the gradual depletion of the battery charge and, eventually, its health.
Short journeys can also have a ‘knock-on’ effect beyond battery health, causing additional strain to the starter motor and alternator.
Short Journeys in Winter
Shorter journeys are more harmful to your battery during the winter season. In cold weather, your vehicle’s engine and electrical systems require more power to function. Consider taking longer routes or combining errands this Winter to give your battery more time to recharge. Read more about this here.
The Effects of Small Journeys on Engines
Short drives often prevent engines from reaching the ideal operating temperature. This results in the accumulation of condensation in the engine, leading to dilution or oil emulsification.
Dilution reduces the oil’s viscosity and lubricating properties, causing premature wear and damage to engine components. Oil emulsification creates a creamy sludge that can compromise the oil’s performance. Our specialist engine services at our Blackburn Garage are designed to detect early signs of condensation and oil-related issues, protecting your engine.
Short Drives and Diesel Vehicles
Shorter journeys are extra problematic for Diesel vehicles. This is because many components in diesel engines must reach certain temperatures for optimal capability.
Diesel vehicles are equipped with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF). The DPF is designed to capture soot particles. To burn off these particles and regenerate the filter, the DPF needs to reach and maintain a certain temperature. Short drives do not allow the engine to heat up sufficiently, leading to incomplete regeneration. Over time, this results in a clogged DPF, reducing fuel efficiency and potentially causing engine issues.
In addition to this, many diesel vehicles rely on turbochargers to enhance performance. If turbochargers don’t reach optimal operating temperatures, issues like oil coking can occur, leading to a reduced lifespan.
Because diesel engines rely on and operate at higher temperatures than their petrol counterparts, they are more prone to moisture accumulation during short drives. When the engine doesn’t reach the optimal temperature, condensation can build up in the exhaust system. This moisture, combined with soot from incomplete DPF regeneration, can create a sludgy mixture that further hinders the DPF’s effectiveness.
Have short journeys affected the health of your vehicle?
If you are concerned about your vehicle after understanding why short journeys are harmful, it is important to get a diagnostic.
At Ewood MOT & Service Centre, we offer FREE health checks for vehicles for peace of mind and pre-service & MOT tests. This allows you to discover any issues earlier and avoid failures or costly solutions. This is particularly useful if you are looking for a new vehicle and want it checked before you purchase.