Is a million kilometres possible?

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, May 14, 2017 | 578 views

Cars like everything else have a lifespan and like everything else, the lifespan also depends on how much care they receive but can a car run for a million kilometres? Well, there are cars that have run for a million kilometres and more, the goal is too far if you want to achieve it.

Every time there’s a motoring event I watch in awe as people ruthless rev their engines to the limit for fun. A lot of us love it when the engine starts bouncing off the rev limiter. That sound from those aftermarket exhaust systems is pure bliss for most of us auto enthusiasts. But what does that do to the engine?

First of all, these are mechanical devices and if one decides to abuse them then they will not last that long. Take it this way, the higher you rev the shorter the engine life. The hype that comes with all forms of motorsport bring some kind of competition — much to say “my car can do that too”. Remember that the cars you see racing are on that track because of sponsors. It costs a lot of money to race cars and if you compete from the spectator stands with your pocket as your sponsor, you might be applying to be a pedestrian soon. It’s wise to always keep within a good rev range, a reasonable range. Your engine will last longer and you will enjoy it.

Some people drive their cars way past 500 000km and you will still find them driving with no problems. You would wonder why. There are cars that are well known for long term reliability then there are some that have lost touch or have never had the touch anyway. Choose a reliable car with a reliable engine. Just do some research before you buy, it will go a long way.

Whenever we talk of engine life, we can never overlook engine oil — the quality and the oil change intervals. This point can never be stressed enough, engine oil makes everything work, it reduces friction and heat. You need to get it right every time.

Change oil at the right time which is an average of 10 000km for most manufacturers.

By so doing you reduce the amount of dirt and particles that hurt your engine. If you keep old oil for too long, sludge will build up in your engine. Most of the engine problems emanate from that sludge build up and too much dirt or particles inside the engine. Every time you change oil you also need to change the filter as well or the new oil will be contaminated. There is no point changing the oil and keeping old oil filter. A small percentage of contaminated oil will contaminate the rest.

Car maintenance has been reduced to just oil change for most people as the economy continues to bite. Keeping your car for longer however, also entails taking care of it as a whole, especially all the moving parts. Lubricating the bearings, drive shafts, steering components is equally important.

It increases the life of all these components and the car as a whole. Remember strained suspension puts more load on the engine to provide movement and more load means less life. Dust boots also need replacing as well when they are worn out, if they are not replaced other earthly components like water, mud, sand etc will find their way in and shorten the life of the driveshafts, C.V joints, steering racks and ball-joints.

There’s always other ways of prolonging your vehicle’s life like steering while car is in motion. Newer cars have power steering and it’s easy to steer even when the car is not in motion but the engine is running.

With older cars that do not have power steering, it’s harder to steer a stationary vehicle such that it becomes a reflex to steer when car is in motion simply because it’s easier.

Like what they say, trust the lazy man to find an easier way to do the job. It is wise however, to always steer when the car is in motion to reduce stress on the steering components.

Lastly, once in a while check your cooling system for leaks blockages etc. Do a flash and make sure everything is working fine.

When you change your timing belt, change your water pump as well to avoid failure at the most inconvenient of times. A valuable asset would be to find a vehicle handbook that details service intervals for your specific car and religiously stick to those intervals.

Above all, take time to understand your vehicle. It’s like a baby, attend to every whine and darker days will be few. Slowly you will find that it’s not that hard to reach that million mark. Till next time — Happy Motoring. Feedback —

Disclaimer: This material has been prepared with the intent to provide reliable information; no warranty either expressed or implied is made to its accuracy or completeness.

No liability is assumed for any loss, injury to persons, property or other damage resulting from either the use of or reliance on the material presented. Always consult the professionals.


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