It's well known that city driving is harder on your car than highway driving (and definitely less enjoyable). You see it in your mileage, and car technicians are quick to agree. But what about it makes it so hard on your car? And can you do anything to minimize the stress you put on the car?

Here are some reasons city driving is tough on your car, and some possible solutions.

  • Too much stopping and starting.

This one seems pretty obvious. Frequent stops and starts put strain on your brakes, which can cause them to wear out much more quickly. Stopping and starting can also put strain on your transmission, and even your tires may wear out more quickly because of the stop and go nature of city driving.

What can you do? A tech I talked to recommended getting your tires rotated more often than the manufacturer may recommend, and to have the brakes and transmission inspected more often as well. He also says he tells city drivers to increase their distance from the car ahead of them as much as possible, to avoid hard stops as much as possible.

  • Poor roads.

It's not a hard and fast rule, but city roads can be rougher when it comes to potholes and uneven paving. This can damage suspension much more quickly than highway driving.

What do you do here? First off, drive slower when the roads aren't smooth, and try, to the best of your ability, to avoid the worst patches. 

  • Frequent idling.

If you're spending a lot of time idling at lights, or in heavy traffic, your engine may have trouble getting the right amount of ventilation, which can cause overheating.

What can you do? Well, no one WANTS to sit in traffic, so a simple "try to avoid it", isn't helpful. But when you're getting your brakes and transmission inspected and your tires rotated, it's worth having the cooling system looked at too.

Overall, the main takeaway I had from this conversation was that city drivers, even if their mileage is lower, need to take a more proactive approach in car maintenance. He said that many drivers wait until the recommended mileage markers to bring the car in for service, which for city driving may be far too long. Talk to your dealer about what they recommend for service if you know most of your driving will be this style!


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Charlie's Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram

725 Illinois Avenue
Directions Maumee, OH 43537-1711

  • Sales: (419) 210-8091
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