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I use my Cayman as my DD. I have two cars, but keep the Subaru at the ski house during the winter. I have read what seems like too many times that driving the car for short trips is, for lack of a fancy car term, not good. I guess I don't get it...it is a car for petes sake. Yes, it is a Porsche, but should it not still serve one of the purposes of a car, you know, transportation for the necessities of life. My office is only 4 miles away. My grocery stores and restaurants and most anything else is all within 2 miles - so most of my trips are less than 5-10 minutes. And I do frequent trips to the good ole 7-11 for Gatorades! Sooo, am I actually going to see the net effect of this several years down the road? Am I actually causing damage - and if so, why? Technical explanations would be appreciated! Thanks all - as Comic Book Guy would say, Best. Forum. Ever.
 

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I use my Cayman as my DD. I have two cars, but keep the Subaru at the ski house during the winter. I have read what seems like too many times that driving the car for short trips is, for lack of a fancy car term, not good. I guess I don't get it...it is a car for petes sake. Yes, it is a Porsche, but should it not still serve one of the purposes of a car, you know, transportation for the necessities of life. My office is only 4 miles away. My grocery stores and restaurants and most anything else is all within 2 miles - so most of my trips are less than 5-10 minutes. And I do frequent trips to the good ole 7-11 for Gatorades! Sooo, am I actually going to see the net effect of this several years down the road? Am I actually causing damage - and if so, why? Technical explanations would be appreciated! Thanks all - as Comic Book Guy would say, Best. Forum. Ever.
Short trips don't allow the car and it's components to reach full operating temperature. That means you may not burn off the condensation in the motor oil and/or in the exhaust system. If you must use your car for many short duration trips, change the oil frequently and be prepared for exhaust components that might fail prematurely.
 

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Gator Bite covered it.

With aluminized exhausts that doesn't seem to be much of a problem anymore.

Condensation in the oil is bad.

I suggest you take a longer drive at least once a week and get
the oil up to temp long enough to turn all the moisture into steam.

And like he said, change the oil more often.
 

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If you cant drive the car for pretty much any need, the car is poorly engineered. The end. Whether its 2 miles of 200. Nobody else on the planet jumping into their car even questions it when they need to run down to the Taco Bell two blocks over to get a bite and wonder if they are doing more harm than good in jumping into their car to do it. If Subaru or Honda or Lexus can manage to overcome this feat of engineering reliability, Porsche should be able to. Talk about any other make of automobile and group of automobile owners and theyll look at you with disbelief if you insist they too need to drive their cars specific distances to ensure it runs properly. I dont care if the car is a Porsche or Bentley. Its designed to transport people. Its not designed to transport people only over X distances.

My opinion: get in your car and drive it whenever the mood strikes you. Even if its down the block. Nobody should alter their destinations because of it. You didn't buy a $75,000 car to pamper it, you bought it so it would pamper you!

Does anyone in their Cayenne say, "you know, Id really like to pick up my prescriptions down at the corner pharmacy, but I just dont want to put undue stress on my SUV because its only 2 miles away." Of course not. They grab the keys and go.

So, grab the keys and go and never look back.
 

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Usually the people who admonish others for making short trips do so with a cigarette in the corner of their mouth and a cheeseburger in their non-typing hand.

Just drive.

There is no guarantee that you will last longer than your car.
 

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Short trips ARE more harmful to the engine than longer trips, but that is the case for ANY internal combustion engine. Porsche engines should be able to tolerate the consequences of short trips just as much as any other engine.

From page 207 of the 2007 Cayman's owner's manual. Obviously, having oil that is not diluted from fuel and moisture is better than oil with fuel and moisture in it.

"If the vehicle is used for repeated short trips, and
consumes a normal amount of oil, the engine oil
measurement may not show any drop in the oil
level at all, even after 600 miles (1000 km) or
more. This is because the oil is gradually becoming
diluted with fuel or moisture, making it appear
that the oil level has not changed. The diluting
ingredients evaporate out when the vehicle is
driven at high speeds, as on an expressway,
making it then appear that oil is excessively
consumed after driving at high speeds".

- Phil
 

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If you cant drive the car for pretty much any need, the car is poorly engineered. The end. Whether its 2 miles of 200. Nobody else on the planet jumping into their car even questions it when they need to run down to the Taco Bell two blocks over to get a bite and wonder if they are doing more harm than good in jumping into their car to do it. If Subaru or Honda or Lexus can manage to overcome this feat of engineering reliability, Porsche should be able to. Talk about any other make of automobile and group of automobile owners and theyll look at you with disbelief if you insist they too need to drive their cars specific distances to ensure it runs properly. I dont care if the car is a Porsche or Bentley. Its designed to transport people. Its not designed to transport people only over X distances.

My opinion: get in your car and drive it whenever the mood strikes you. Even if its down the block. Nobody should alter their destinations because of it. You didn't buy a $75,000 car to pamper it, you bought it so it would pamper you!

Does anyone in their Cayenne say, "you know, Id really like to pick up my prescriptions down at the corner pharmacy, but I just dont want to put undue stress on my SUV because its only 2 miles away." Of course not. They grab the keys and go.

So, grab the keys and go and never look back.
As PSM3 put it, it is as harmful to the Porsche as any other combustion engine, in any car. Its all about the mentality, I would think a lot of honda, lexus and even Cayenne owners do not have the mentality of "burning the oil condensation". Yes, I know I'm stereotyping, but it is the fact in many cases!
 

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My 08 CS is my daily driver. My commute is 11.5 miles each way and the car runs for at least 20 minutes and usually longer in the commute. That should mean it is up to full operating temperature. Even so, it is why I have my oil and filter changed about every 4,000 miles.
 

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With aluminized exhausts that doesn't seem to be much of a problem anymore.
Aluminized carbon steel is about a 2-3 year system at best. First the free aluminum sacrifices itself for the iron based base metal. This exposes the underlying iron/aluminum intermetallic. At that point the galvanic cell flips and the iron in the base metal tries to protect the intermetallic. That's why you see the high frequency welded seam in aluminized systems begin to unzip along the weld. However, aluminized 409 has not shown this tendency.

The main components of our exhaust systems are made from austenitic stainless. Type 304/316/309 (listed from good to better) are the primary choices from most vendors.So they are more resistant to exhaust gas condensates and the outside environment.

304 can be susceptible to Intergranular Corrosion Attack, IGA, in the Heat Affected Zone, HAZ, of a weld if the carbon level in the 304 is high enough. In this case short trips are bad because the exhaust gas condensate begins to attack the chrome depleted grain boundaries in the HAZ. The failure mode is most often observed to be what appears to be a failed weld. While in fact it is a crack in the HAZ.

A cat back system made from aluminized 409 would most likely outlast the majority of our interests in holding on to our cars at a better price point. But you would not get the polished look that many owners desire.
 

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It kills me that there are so many urban ledgends (UL) associated with the modern Porsche sports car.

The short trip UL is promulgated on every Porsche forum I have read. As with all ULs there is a speck of truth at the bottom of the steaming pile.

Yes, short trips are harder on your engine systems than longer drives for the reasons noted above.

But remember that this shortening of life is related to what?

I have been told dismissively that my 97k mile engine is "at the end of it's service life" by some reputable Porsche specialists.

It is a daily driver and some days gets started, driven two blocks, left to idle and then driven back two blocks and then turned off. Oh the humanity, oh the horror. From reading the forums it should have blown up by now.

So much for Wive's tales.

There are things on the internet that I pay careful attention to but "don't drive your car and enjoy it as you see fit" is not one of the common themes that I subscribe to.

It is a car!

In Germany they get driven in rain and snow and raced and abused and they seem to take it without too much fuss. In the US the Porsche is figuratively placed on an altar and worshiped for its potential to be used not for the actual use it provides.

It is similar with Land Rovers in the US. Most notably with the Defender models. Here they are coveted rarities that are preserved more than used as intended. In the UK the Defender has all the prestige of an old 82 chevy pick up truck.

With Porsche, I would offer that if we simply opened the cover and actually looked at the engine in the boxster/cayman more frequently to check for minor leaks, pending issues and top off the fuids, then it would do more to extend the life of our engines than by not driving them for less than fifteen minutes at a time.
 

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just please watch out for those proverbial buses and you'll last a little longer ;)
Every time someone grabs me by the shoulders and tries to throw me under a proverbial bus, they seem to stumble and fall into it's path.

Standing on the edge of the curb has worked well for me. The guys in the covered shelter keep getting run over with a severance package. Weird in a metaphorical kind of way. :hilarious:
 

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Aluminized carbon steel is about a 2-3 year system at best.
Maybe in Ohio.:)

Seriously, though, I would submit that the climate where you live has more of an effect on the longevity of your car's usable life than the average trip length.

There is a reason why "Little old lady from Manitoba" was not a chart topper.

I should go take a picture of my shiny 11 year old exhaust system on my Mercedes SUV. The AIRBAG will reach the end of it's service life before anything exposed to the elements will. :eek:
 

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I no longer drive my car to work since it's less than a mile each way. I just think it would be lazy not to walk. :hilarious:
 

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It kills me that there are so many urban ledgends (UL) associated with the modern Porsche sports car.

The short trip UL is promulgated on every Porsche forum I have read. As with all ULs there is a speck of truth at the bottom of the steaming pile.

Yes, short trips are harder on your engine systems than longer drives for the reasons noted above.

But remember that this shortening of life is related to what?

I have been told dismissively that my 97k mile engine is "at the end of it's service life" by some reputable Porsche specialists.

It is a daily driver and some days gets started, driven two blocks, left to idle and then driven back two blocks and then turned off. Oh the humanity, oh the horror. From reading the forums it should have blown up by now.

So much for Wive's tales.

There are things on the internet that I pay careful attention to but "don't drive your car and enjoy it as you see fit" is not one of the common themes that I subscribe to.

It is a car!

In Germany they get driven in rain and snow and raced and abused and they seem to take it without too much fuss. In the US the Porsche is figuratively placed on an altar and worshiped for its potential to be used not for the actual use it provides.

It is similar with Land Rovers in the US. Most notably with the Defender models. Here they are coveted rarities that are preserved more than used as intended. In the UK the Defender has all the prestige of an old 82 chevy pick up truck.

With Porsche, I would offer that if we simply opened the cover and actually looked at the engine in the boxster/cayman more frequently to check for minor leaks, pending issues and top off the fuids, then it would do more to extend the life of our engines than by not driving them for less than fifteen minutes at a time.
LRover:

No one here is saying that "sometimes" you can't drive your Porsche or any other car a couple blocks if you want. Of course it's your car and you can do what you want with it. Run it into a wall if you like. You wouldn't be the first and probably won't be the last.

The original post, however, was written by a guy who seems to ONLY drive short distances. Sounds to me like he needs a bike or an electric golf cart instead of a car, but I'm not judging.

It is a fact that shutting any internal combustion engined car off before it warms up will cause water to collect in the exhaust and in the engine block. When it sits in the exhaust too long, it's going to start working on the metal in the exhaust bits. Usually the CAT or one of the mufflers starts decomposing prematurely. When it collects in the engine, it combines with the oil to form acids that can really do a number on bearings and other bits. THIS IS NOT to say that the occasional short hop will destroy your Porsche. Porsche engines are no more prone to these issues than other cars, but they are usually more expensive to fix or replace.

The advice I'm reading here is to take your car out for a good run at least once each week if you're running short trips all the time. That's good advice! Getting the car completely up to temperature boils off the water and gets things back the way they should be.

The other bit of advice here is to increase oil changes if you drive short trips. This is also very good advice because acid formation from condensation is real, not an urban legend, and it will do bad things. This goes for short trip cars and cars in storage a long time if they are exposed to up and down temperatures. Kept in a climate controlled garage, you can ignore this advice, but if it gets hot then cold then hot etc without ever starting the car and warming it up fully, you're going to get water inside and it's going to combine with the oil and form acids that are rough on the equipment.

Just knowing this stuff is enough for a person to follow his instincts and find a convenient and pleasant routine for running the car once a week. The key is not to leave this water in the car for very long periods. I've personally replaced bearing races on a 1.6L BMW motor that had been completely perforated by oil-water acid formed from the car sitting outside under a cover for several years without starting. That was a severe situation, but it showed me that it really happens and is not an urban legend.

Synthetic oil is a bit less prone to acid formation, but it still happens. Aluminized steel is better than plain carbon steel, but it still rusts. SS is better than aluminized, but it isn't perfect either. The good news here is that so many Planet members buy aftermarket exhausts, you can buy a good used exhaust for peanuts here.

What a terrible sacrifice, having to take your Porsche out and actually drive it for 20 minutes a week! Oh, the humanity!

"Never take it on short trips" isn't right, but "Drive it any way you want" isn't right either if you want it to last. If you're leasing and you have no conscience, then drive it any way you want and dump it on the dealer. No one will ever know.

Oh yeah, then there's the dead battery issue. If you don't put a few miles on it periodically, the battery will go flat...unless you have it on a charger. I'd rather drive it!

In Germany.... Well some of the guys in Germany beat their cars up and then trade them in after a couple years and let someone else worry about the high mileage and high wear problems. They are "just cars", and just like other cars, they wear out if you treat them badly. You can pay to get them put back right, but the cost is high for Porsche compared to "just cars", so people who plan to keep their Porsches for a long time treat their cars right and do the extra oil changes etc. to maximize longevity. It saves in the long run IF you are keeping your car.

Driving in all kinds of weather is done by a lot of list members here and some that have answered this post. The corrosion we're talking about here isn't from weather or from the outside, it's from the inside. The water comes from the combustion process and from condensation inside the engine block.

There are also some guys are into the concourse scene or are just fussy and want their car kept pristine. Some of these guys work on their own cars and just don't like to work on dirty ones. I sympathize, but I enjoy my car too much for that. Mine gets dirty but also gets very good cleaning and maintenance...and I rarely use it for short trips, but that doesn't mean never, it means not often.

Who told you 97K is "past the end of service life"? What a crock! (get it?:cheers:)
 

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I was told by a high profile Porsche shop that has a large internet presence and that is all I have to say about that. Don't want to start a pissing contest here but I agree it was a total crock.

The point is that Porsche is not as fragile as we treat them sometimes.

I take very good care of my cars. I spent all day yesterday cleaning brake calipers and wheels. Not because I am vain but because I hate to work on dirty stuff as well. To many eyes full of dirt working on my 4x4s. I like clean metal. Easier to see what is leaking and how much.

My wife drives her 98 everyday that weather permits. It is a good runner and in many ways is in better shape than my 01.

My 01 is a weekend/trackday car. It is kept in more of a state of suspended animation waiting to get out and play.

What I was getting at is the way we in the US put brands up on a pedestal. Like Mercedes here is a luxury only vehicle, in europe they are taxis. We have a tendency to idolize brands and once they achieve holy status then they are no longer enjoyed as much.

I like the old saying "drive it like you stole it" and in my case then it is "wrench on it until it is perfect" after you get back.
 

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I certainly hope that if I spend three times more for a cayman than I did for my $19,000 saturn sports coupe I'll be able to drive it as I want without ruining it. I have 221,000 miles on the 1995 saturn and never really worried about short trips, medium trips or long trips. Work is 10 miles away, lunchtime trips to the food store are less than one mile away, once every week or two I drive a bit longer. The saturn has been totally reliable despite its age and mileage. I do keep it in the garage and have always changed the oil and filter every 3,000 miles. Maybe this offsets the effect of the short trips or perhaps the saturn is simply well engineered and doesn't require pampering. Come to think of it, since it lacks heated seats, I also let it run for a few minutes before taking of in the morning which I've read is also bad to do.
 

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I don't think anyone is trying to imply that if you take short trips with a Porsche you'll ruin the car. Remember, this is an enthusiasts site. German engineering can be a marvel. I think we all just appreciate our precision-built cars.

All my daily drivers make short trips and if I take the oil fill cap off of any of them I know there will be that gunky, yellow sludge - a result of moisture in the oil. Having said that, one of my DDs has 185K miles on it and shows no signs of signing off anytime soon.

I'm just trying to keep my car running at it's best for as long as possible. I suspect I could better the 185K I have on my SUV even if I didn't take care of the P but I also suspect it wouldn't run as well at that point as it would if I spoil it a little along the way.
 

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I drive mine short distances. I don't worry about it given that we've had more than one Honda make it up into the 150-200K+ mile range without needing any major drive train work. I suppose my Porsche's higher performance engine needs a bit more care, but I really do expect a modern car to be able to handle some short trips.

Winter OTOH... is brutal on cars here for multiple reasons.
 
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