The temptation is always there to floor your car, especially if you have just bought a new car or currently own one designed to get down the road, Rapido!
It isn’t bad to floor your car. In fact, it can be encouraged to clear all the carbon that is amassed inside the engine in diesel and petrol cars. You may have heard that diesel cars need to be driven hard, and clearing this out is one of the reasons it is recommended.
Flooring your car is good fun, and it’s done occasionally will clear out the engine of carbon from the fuel injectors on petrol vehicles.
As ever, there are a few things to consider before doing this:
Can I Floor A Car When It’s Cold?
Don’t be tempted to floor your car when you have just started it. The engine and other components need to get up to temperature to protect themselves from the excesses you are looking to put the car through.
Oil and Flooring Your Car
Engine oil takes 5 minutes to warm up.
When it is cold, it can’t protect the engine as intended, so flooring your car when cold may cause the engine not to be lubricated enough by the oil.
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Before flooring your car, it’s best to ensure that you have enough engine oil by checking the dipstick and ensuring the viscosity is also correct.
Bad oil is one of the major concerns when you use your car to its maximum as at this increased work rate, the oil needs to be doing its job thoroughly, or damage can occur to pistons and valves.
Other Car Parts Affected By Flooring A Car
Unless you have a muscle car or a high-powered sports car is unlikely your tires will be badly affected by the acceleration your car can produce.
High performance car acceleration can cause the rubber to burn and cut tire life short. If you are already driving the car and put the pedal to the floor, this is unlikely to affect them as badly. It’s the standing starts that cause them damage.
The Clutch on Manual Cars
If you are looking to floor your car from stationary, it’s tempting to have the clutch pedal slightly depressed while finding the bite point with the accelerator pedal.
Don’t be tempted to hold this for too long if you are revving the car into the red line. Doing this puts great pressure on the clutch plates and can burn them out, resulting in an expensive replacement.
If you smell burning when you are riding the clutch, this is a sure sign it is being damaged, and you should take the car out of gear and wait for the clutch to cool down.
Brake Pads and Rotors
When you’ve hit the speed you want, you have to slow the car down. The cheapest and best way to do this is via the brakes and not gears!
If you need to slow down rapidly, flooring the brake pedal will eventually – if you continually do this – wear out the brake pads and rotors sooner than if you were driving more normally.
Breaking fast also can damage your tires. If you have abs engaged, this is less likely to happen, but if you don’t have abs and press the brake pedal hard, you may skid and flat spot the tires.
Advantages of Flooring the Car
One advantage of driving faster is that you are more likely to hear noises or feel vibrations that you may not at lower speeds. This can give an early indication of potential problems you can address before they become too big.
A repair is always cheaper than a replacement, so hearing noises or feeling vibrations sooner can save you money.
Many tire balancing and wheel alignment issues are more easily detected at higher speeds. You’ll more easily feel the car wander slightly to one side along a straight highway if you have an alignment issue. Vibration will be more common, too, indicating potential tire or suspension problems.
Alternatives To Flooring The Car
Flooring your car shouldn’t affect a car that has been well maintained. An alternative would be to drive your car at higher revs for a longer period rather than hitting the red line from stationary or low speeds for a short period.
A long steady drive will ensure that the alternator has fully charged the battery. If you have a diesel car with a DPF, it will encourage a cleaning cycle and generally allow the engine to clear itself from carbon more naturally than flooring it will ever do.
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If you are going to floor your car, ensure the engine has warmed up sufficiently. Allow 5 minutes to do this.
Do not floor it from a standing start to put less strain on your car. Instead, travel at a constant lower speed and then floor it when it’s safe.
Always ensure your brakes are in good condition as you may need to stop quickly.
If you don’t have ABS, you will need to replace your tires sooner than normal as you may flat spot them.
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