: Long road trips good for the Northstar?

07-10-09, 12:11 AM
I used to always hear people say that a long trip on the highway is good for a car, because it cleans out the carbon deposits in the engine. Does this same thinking apply to a modern engine like the Northstar? Do long extended road trips at 70-80 mph (1,000 miles plus) help the northstar the same as WOT's do?

07-10-09, 09:06 AM
Of course a long trip helps. You incur less engine and transmission wear during a round trip from New York to Florida than you incur in two weeks of city driving. The engine heats up, temperatures stabilize, deposits burn out of the combustion chambers, manifolds and exhaust system. The cat passes off most contaminants. The oil circulates rapidly, cleaning the entire inside of the lubricated engine areas while moisture and acids vaporize and get eaten by the PCV system. The spark plugs get squeaky clean. The coolant circulates rapidly, scouring the cooled surfaces. Lots of good things.

The absolute best thing you could do, especially if the car is used for city driving, would be to return from the trip and immediately drive it into a dealer for oil/filter, transmission fluid change, and coolant change while everything nasty is still in suspension in the fluids. $550.

Check the engine oil and coolant each morning before you start again and maintain each at halfway up the dipstick hashmark and the same for the surge tank. For your first tank of gas use a 20 oz. bottle of TECHRON, nothing else. Run the tires at about 33 psi, COLD, and do not bleed them hot. Carry a quart of your favorite engine oil, a mixed gallon of coolant, fuses, and rags in the trunk. Maybe a brake light bulb or two.