Quick Acceleration

Can you please settle a dispute between my husband and me? He insists that quickly accelerating every now and then is good for the car engine. (I.E. After he comes to a complete stop at a stop sign, he will will get a lead foot on the gas pedal for a about 10 feet). It’s not all the time and it’s not for any great amount of distance, but it is something that his dad told him to do. I argue that moderate acceleration at all times causes less wear and tear overall. (Note: I have a 2009 KIA Optima and I cringe every time he insists on driving.)

Its a trick to help the rings seat in a new vehicle, but I’d guess by now, the rings are well seated. Other than safety considerations, he isn’t doing any significant harm.

Yep, not much harm, except gas use, but no good, either. He is stressing the transmission more than needed.

Stressing things is never helpful, but an '09 Kia Optima doesn’t have sufficent power to break the drivetrain, so I think what he’s doing is a harmless momentary visit to his youth.

His dad was right…when he learned to drive in the '60s. His dad’s theory is now obsolete.

Carb fed engines ran rich and “dirty”, putting out lots of carbon, some of which built up in the cylinders. Spiking the pressures and temperatures in the combustion chambers by “flooring it” could blow out some of the carbon deposits. A hard run on the highway used to be called an “Italian tuneup”.

In today’s engines the fuel is so well metered, everything so well measured, that carbon deposits are no longer an issue. They’re a thing of the past. Flooring an engine today does nothing useful.

You need cringe no longer. My guess is that since he’s refused to listen to you, he probably won’t change his ways based on what we say. He’s doing on good, but also doing no damage.

10 feet?? Probably more like 100 feet…The end result is he is wasting a LOT of gasoline and stressing some expensive parts…

Have your hubby read

I do remember reading (it was a while ago, though), that you get your engine to the power band (which varies from engine to engine), and then get through the gears to top gear as quickly as possible, while keeping in that band. Once in top gear, you’d realize your best mileage. Which has nothing to do with your question, but oh, well. He’s just wasting gas.

Even back in the days of carbs gunning the engine for a few seconds did no good.
It takes a sustained high speed run to heat things up enough to burn off deposits.

A few seconds? My interpretation of the post was that it was longer than a few seconds.

However, my basic point was that when his dad was learning to drive “blowing the carbon out” whether with a few hard runs occasionally or by an Italian Tuneup was considered helpful to blow out carbon buildup, but the theory no longer applies.

But I’d still argue that her hubby is unlikely to listen to our recommendations anyway, so it’s better just to console oneself with realizing that a Kia Optima hasn’t the power to damage anything with an occasional flooring. I stand by that statement.

I think it is necessary to give the engine some exercise once in a while. You don’t necessarily have to floor it from a stoplight, but I have noticed that engines that are babied all the time seem to end up burning oil. You do have to give an engine a good highway run and get it good and hot once in a while if you want it to stay clean. True, a lot of this is just my opinion, but I’ve never babied any of my cars and have never had an engine that burns oil.

It doesn’t do anything to help the engine these days, as others have already said. However, there’s really no reason to cringe. If this is done only occasionally, then any extra wear is negligible. Keep in mind that some people drive this way all the time and those cars still hold up pretty well (but with more measurable wear).

I’ll add that one benefit of this is knowing that the car can accelerate hard if needed in an emergency situation (and knowing how much torque steer to expect). He might discover a fuel delivery issue or a broken motor mount before it caused any real problems. In fact, I had a Jeep many years ago that would hesitate badly if floored while cold, so it was definitely good to keep that in mind while driving.

He is just looking for a reason to justify aggressive driving.

“A few seconds? My interpretation of the post was that it was longer than a few seconds.”

How long does it take for a person to “get a lead foot on the gas pedal for a about 10 feet”?

Your husband is wrong. There is an old adage that states: “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing”.

Tell your husband that the only good that comes from him accelerating the car in the manner it does is with his enjoyment of driving.

Tell him that if he insists on enjoying the act of driving, that you will forever harass him about it, and bitch and moan to other people on the internet in order for them to come up with reasons for you to relay to him in order for you to get him to stop enjoying driving.

Tell him that you think he’s a horrible human being for enjoying being a driver, and that you will divorce him if he doesn’t stop, and will take the car in the divorce, just so that you can be sure he doesn’t drive this car again, and enjoy it.

You and just about everyone else who posted above this one hate it when people enjoy driving their cars.
You are married to the wrong person.

Oh, and he’s driving the wrong car, too.
He needs something a bit more fun, like a Miata, or a Honda S2000.


I never said I hate it when people enjoy driving their cars. I enjoy it, and I respect the people who actually know how to drive their cars, and do. The problem, as I see it, so many think they know how to drive, and do it on the wrong roads. Were they to get out and shoot around the Nurnburg Ring, this would be a different story. However, I think, if this guy actually got his car there, he’d end up, after one lap, walking away in shame, with his held held low, possibly crying.

Part 1: youtube.com/watch?v=BQJKQjXpGQA
The first 2:50 are the history of the Transit
Part 2: youtube.com/watch?v=5KiC03_wVjc

Honda S2000? I dunno…M5, maybe. M3, maybe. Mercedes Brabus SL, hell yeah…

of course, I’m not saying I could actually afford either of the 3… :slight_smile:

I could be wrong, Circuitsmith, but my impression was that she was underexaggerating the “10 feet”. The tone of the post suggests it was a bit more than that.

The bottom line is that I don;t believe he’s doing any damage and I believe that his dad’s recommendation comes from blowing the carbon out of the ol’ pre-emissions carbed cars.

Heavy Acceleration stresses all the mechanics involved. It absolutely does not do motor any good. If hubby feels it’s better to occasionally run the motor at a higher rpm at a sustained safe speed, fine, downshift. Otherwise, jackrabbit starts are for seat of the pants thrills that irritate those around them and makes any elderly pedestrian near by a “Depends” candidate.

My wife, the cook, would inform me I was preparing my own meal that day if I persisted in doing such a thing.

Dump your husband. You can always get another man, but cars cost money.

Mrs. Triedaq

As usual, he’s heard the end of the rumor chain and taken it to heart. It was a long story about driving the car hard so as to cause the computer to remember the adjustment parameters (or words to that effect). This would cause a temporary boost in performance. It’s a long story, made up by people who can really tell stories. Is it true? Maybe to some degree, maybe not. He has the tail, but the salamander got away.

TSM, my point is that even in the old days flooring it for 10 feet or even 1000 feet wouldn’t blow the carbon out.
It takes several miles cruising at highway speed.