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Hi Guys,

Can someone help me??!! I have a 2.5 mile drive into work everyday on normal roads (no fast roads).

The engine heats up but I'm worried that doing short journeys could harm it in some way.

BUT, I'm also worried that if I don't use the car and leave it all week without being used that will harm it too.

Can someone let me know what the best thing to do is. I don't mind walking the 2.5 miles to work (I need the excercise!!) but if leaving it does more harm than driving it...

Thanks for the help people.

Richard.
 

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In my perfect MINI world
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371 Posts
Until just this summer my commute was even shorter, just 1.5 miles each way. I often took the "long-cut" to increase the drive to 5, 6, 10 miles. Those first couple of miles are the worst on a car. I am certain that the communte was at least partially responsible for all of the problems I had with the car (2000 Beetle GLX).

Now I commute 40 miles each way, and in a MINI :D . Life is good.
 

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If you're on "normal" roads, with little chance of giving it a good thrashing then you should be OK if you take it gently. I'd simply drive it as recommended for the run-in period (keep it below 4000 RPM for example). I seriously doubt that the oil will be up to operating temp. within 2.5 miles. I would also recommend changing your oil more regularly for this type of driving.
 

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Drive at the lowest RPMs practicable while the engine is cold. It takes about 10 minutes of low-speed driving to get the oil near normal op temps.

Other than that, drive it and don't worry about the short trips.
 

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racing is in my blood
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seeing as you're in the UK and it's winter then use the car.

let it idle for at least 30 seconds before you move off and keep the revs nice and low on your journey and it'll be fine.

by letting it idle, the oil (cold and thick) will get a chance to reach the top end properly before you put any load on the engine. chances are, if the car's outside, you'll need to let it run for a while while you defrost it anyway. mini oil is fully synthetic anyway and will be pretty much fully effective from cold so as long as you're careful and cautious it'll be fine.

the only problem with short running, is the head gasket. short runs all the time can lead to the lovely 'mayonnaise' appearing in the filler cap. a good run at weekends will cure this.

remember to give it a good clean-out at the weekend. minimum 35 miles, warm up then a good thrash!

be worth checking the anti-freeze too, generally i add a little dash of undiluted antifreeze (about 15ml) in winter then siphon out about 15ml and replace it with water in summer. more for peace of miind than anything
 
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