CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Short Trips

My fiance drives her 07 toyota yaris to work, which is less than a mile away. Obviously this is less than ideal for wear and tear on a vehicle. She works long hours however and Im not going to want her walking, especially late at night.

Would it be beneficial to atleast let the car warm up a few minutes in the morning to get up to full operating temp?

Letting it warm up for a couple of minutes will help–to only a very small extent.
The best thing that she (or you) can do is to take the car out on the highway every weekend for at least 45 minutes. That way, you can evaporate the condensation that is collecting in the crankcase and in the exhaust system, and give the battery a decent charge.

However, since her driving is the epitome of “severe service”, IMHO she really needs to do oil changes every 3 months or so.

Yeah, I do the oil myself and stick to the 3k as best I can, although I admit having been reminded by the change oil light, which might be a 5k interval?

Luckily the car gets driven good long distances for any trip that is far away because its so good on gas. Thats usually about once a month.

If the car is parked overnight in a cold area, I would recommend a block heater. Used for 1.5 hours and on a timer, it warms up the engine, reduces engine wear and saves fuel to boot. Extended idling to warm up the car is not recommended by any expert.

I agree that this is “severe” service and the more frequent oil change interval should be observed.

I’d have to agree with VDCdriver on this. Taking it out on the highway for at least twenty miles and at least once a week would go a long way in “cleaning up” the oil. Also, do the frequent oil changes.

I suggest she drive the Caddy, since that’s as far as it can go (OUCH!). ;-]

We were in the same position. I guess I just wouldn’t worry much about it unless it is 10 or 20 below out, then you want to get it fully warmed up and the battery charged. Plan on more frequent oil changes and possibly more frequent exhaust system changes due to rust. Also I would pop a battery charger on it once in a while to keep the battery up since it most likely will not charge completely in one mile. Never hurts to run it longer once a week but the water will still have been in the muffler for the rest of the week.

I lost my exhaust system when I was in the USAF. Short drives to the shop left water in the exhaust and it rusted from the inside out.