GDI and short trips

Hey guys!

So, just took a job that is literally 5 minutes from my house (driving wise). I will probably bike it on nice warm days, however, in winter in going to be doing a lot of short trips. I have a 2015 Kia Sportage with the GDI engine. How do I prevent major future problems? Obviously I will be changing the oil more frequently.

Also, I have been reading about a lot of engine failures around 100k. How can this be prevented, or do I ditch the car long before?

Thanks mucho

Is that the only driving you expect to do on a weekly basis? If so it might be beneficial to significantly reduce the time between oil changes and possibly take the car out for a half hour drive at highway speeds prior to each service. But that’s just my non scientific WAG. A good friend drives less than 4 miles to and from work daily but her total annual mileage is 20,000+ that accumulates from various trips both short and long and in the past 10 years I have seen no indication that her vehicles have suffered. And MR2, a Corolla, and now a Rav4 seem to have had no ill effects. And the Corolla was bought with 80,000+ miles and traded at 160,000 when it looked and drove like a new car with no unexpected repairs being needed.

Enjoy the new job and the bike ride on nice days.

Engine failures at 100,000 miles were common in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Today with good lubricants and clean burning engines think 300,000 miles with proper maintenance.

I lived close to work for an umber of years and just took a 15 mile or so trip shopping on the weekend to get the car well warmed up. If you live in a cold area, an engine block heater would be a good investment. That way you always start a warm car in the morning.

If you follow the “Severe” maintenance schedule your engine will last a long time.

With GDI engines you are advised to stick to quality fuels with a high detergent content. All the major brands have this.

De Nada!

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I’ve heard about the Hyundai engine failures in the Sonata, but not ones in the Sportage. Do you have more info on them? Here’s the recall info for the Sonata:

Buy a used Nissan Leaf for driving to work (they’re cheap).

Hyundai has extended warranty on the 2.4 GDI used in the Sonata’s from 2011 to 2014, but apparently the affected cars are mostly 2011-2012. The same engine used in other models does not have the same issue or at least nobody has fessed up yet. It seems like the affected engines were assembled in a US plant. My 2015 Tucson has the same engine, but it is assembled in Korea.

As to the original question, all good comments, I will just add that you should probably use synthetic oil even though the car does not call for it.

Whether somebody has a GDI engine or not, if the daily “commute” is only ~5 minutes, in addition to scheduling more frequent oil changes, it is important to get the vehicle out on the highway for ~45 minutes on a weekend. In addition to getting the engine hot enough to “burn off” all of the water vapor that diluted the engine’s oil each day, that 45 minutes on the highway will help to keep the battery charged, and will help to increase the amount of elapsed time before the exhaust system rots out from accumulated moisture that is trapped inside the muffler.

Take the scenic route once a week.
Modern engines don’t have the carbon problem that carbed engines used to suffer from, but direct injection engines do have their own eccentricities. Direct injection engines do seem to be developing a reputation for carbon buildup on the valves, but it isn’t from the same source as our old engines did. Carbed engines burn very rich and produce a lot of carbon. Modern engines run very lean and don’t produce as much carbon, but the carbon introduced to the induction system via the EGR system isn’t continuously washed off the valves, since the fuel with its detergents is entered directly into the combustion chamber rather than behind the intake valve.

On all engines it’s a good idea to get the engine and exhaust system up to operating temperature once or twice a week to enable the PCV and exhaust systems to carry moisture generated by the combustion process out of the crankcase and exhaust system. Failure to do so could result in long term corrosion inside the engine. Remember that hot air can carry a lot more moisture than cool air. Cool surfaces allow moisture being carried by warmer air to be deposited as condensation.

Yes, the engines were built in a same plant, and they know WHEN they were built

In fact, some of those engines from the bad batch were installed in Kias, yet no Kias have been recalled

I’ve even read about Kia owners experiencing failure, but they were told to go pound sand . . . sounds like corporate BS to me

Really depends on your environment. During the summer here at 100F plus it only take two minutes to reach operating temperature on a late model engine with two thermostats. There would be no reason for additional driving. I think if I had to drive for 45 additional minutes each week I would prefer to change the oil twice as often. You have to assess you driving conditions and if you plan to keep this car for 40 years.