Does driving a car gently extend its life?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Mar 01, 1999

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have an '84 Cadillac. It has never been a really good-running car, but it's the best I have. I'm always telling my husband to drive it as if it were an old lady, not a young chick. His contention is that if it's running, it's running. He says it doesn't matter if you push it to 75 mph, that it's not hurting the car at all. I say "not so." I'm nearly 60 years old and I'm still running, but I sure can't be pushed like I'm 30. I might be able to do it for a while, but it sure wouldn't last. What's your opinion? -- Kathleen

TOM: We're with you, Kathleen. The kinder and gentler you are to your car, the longer it'll last.

RAY: And, in fact, we have a theory that if you don't drive it at all, it'll last forever. My brother's trying that with his Fiat (not by choice, it just hasn't started since

TOM: The worst thing for an old car is hard acceleration. But driving at 75 can be hard on a car, too, particularly if you drive it that fast over a long period of time.
The wind resistance is tremendous at that speed, and you're really making the engine and transmission work hard and run hot.

RAY: So keep your husband away from your car, Kathleen, and make this deal with him: As soon as he buys you a brand-new Cadillac, he can drive it 75 mph as often
as he wants.

Changing your oil is the cheapest insurance you can buy for your car, but how often should you change it? Find out by ordering Tom and Ray's pamphlet "Ten Ways
You May Be Ruining Your Car Without Even Knowing It!" Send $3 and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed, No. 10 envelope to Ruin, PO Box 6420, Riverton, NJ

?(C) 1999 by Tom and Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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