How short journeys could be affecting your vehicle


We often rely on our cars for short trips, whether it’s a quick run to the grocery store or a brief commute to work, but have you ever wondered how these short journeys could affect your car’s health and performance? In this blog, we’ll explore the potential consequences of frequent short trips.

How could short journeys be damaging your vehicle?

  • Today, shorter journeys don’t do as much damage to our vehicles as they did in the past, but there are still areas that could wear down. These consist of:
  • Short journeys can lead to reduced battery life as the battery may not have enough time to fully recharge during these trips.
  • The alternator may not have sufficient time to recharge the battery, potentially causing strain and impacting its overall lifespan.
  • Engine temperature may not reach optimal levels during short journeys, leading to incomplete combustion and carbon build-
  • Oil may not reach optimal operating temperature during short journeys, reducing its effectiveness in lubricating and protecting engine components.
  • Short journeys often involve frequent engine starts, putting additional strain on the starter motor and ignition system.
  • The emission control systems, such as catalytic converters, may not reach proper operating temperatures during short journeys, leading to decreased efficiency.
  • Brakes may experience increased wear and tear due to frequent stops and starts associated with short journeys.

Is there a difference if you drive a diesel vehicle?

It is important to know that there can be differences between petrol and diesel engines. Diesel engines have a specialised filter that aims to minimise emissions released into the atmosphere with each engine operation. However, this filter requires periodic cleaning or regeneration to maintain optimal efficiency. To achieve this, it is recommended to take on those longer journeys every once in a while. This journey can help to maintain the aspects of your diesel engine and ensure that the filter functions effectively.

Do these journeys affect the environment too?

The media often highlights the decline of air quality in and around London, especially with the recent expansion of the ULEZ zone. Truth be told, any journey by car can have a negative an effect on the environment, no matter the length of the journey. If possible, it will always be beneficial to car share or use a method of public transport where possible.

At Bromley Vehicle Test Centre, we care about the health of your car, and provide specialist services to keep it at its optimum. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you keep safe on the road.