Highway or city mile - Which one is more friendly to your car components?

By Oluwaseun Adeniji
Publish on July 17, 2019

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Two cars with the same mileage don't necessarily perform just as impressively as each other. The key probably lies in the highway or city miles. See further explanations below!

It shouldn’t be strange to you when you see a car in a very good shape but at an alarmingly high mileage. The first thing that comes to mind is that probably those miles might have been from the highway drive.

Many people still hold the belief those highway miles from driving is easier when compared to city miles. How true is this? We will find out here on Naijauto.

Designed for cruising speed

Many automobile engines are engineered for 50 to 70mph cruising speed. The speed is found in the mid-range capabilities. When you see cars that are off factory floor, they can easily achieve 100 to 130 mph in speed and such range usually drops at the peak end of their designed capabilities. So, if you always cruise at 100mph on consistent basis, you will be putting hell lot of workload on the engine as it has to work harder each day. This would lead to higher chance of it getting worn out. The engine would be working in its comfort zone if you are engaging in mid-range cruising.


Because of the heavy traffic in Nigeria cities, you might consider buying highway-plying cars

>>> Some seem easy but actually hard to follow: How to extend your car lifespan beyond 150,000 miles

Steady over speedy!!!

You might find it a bit difficult to get the perfect speed for any car. While some cars will comfortably cruise at 80mph for hours, some will find it somehow challenging if kept being driving steadily at over 50mph. The bottom line here is that it is really the speed steadiness that affect the engine, causing it to wear. When you steadily maintain an optimal speed, the pressure of the oil stays higher so as to protect the parts of the engine and stabilize the temperatures of the engine.

However, the perk is it improves the lifespan of the transmission since they do not shift often. When you engage in frequent shifting, it places most wears on the transmission linkage and gear. Also, there is also an improved lifespan of the brake discs and brake pads - those components not frequently used during highway drives.

Video: Highway Miles vs. City Miles

When you put all these together, it puts your car in a perfect spot. Car enthusiasts are often concerned about the feel of smoothness and fast drive rather than speed alone. This put the entire system working together very well.

>>> These are two different terms: Car mileage or Gas mileage? Differences & top fuel economy cars

City driving issues

When you engage in city drives, you find yourself in a situation whereby you accelerate and decelerate constantly, hereby there is a constant shifting which increases chance of wear of components. The engine would idle at low RPMs, oil reduction pressure and the internal engine parts being susceptible to wear. Ultimately, you will engage the brakes a lot, which quickens the brake maintenance compared to highway drives.

You can minimize the city-drive possible wear if you can engage in consistent maintenance cycle. Part of this is rescheduling the recommended oil change of a car from the regular 7500 miles to 5000 miles or less especially if you generally involve in a lot of stop-and-go in heavy traffic. There is higher tendency for brake pad to last longer if you only engage in highway driving. However, if the scheduled lifespan is 70000 miles, make sure you check it every 25,000 miles or so.


With highway driving, the car tends to have a lower maintenance or repair cost and usually lasts longer!


A car that is exposed to steady use of highway cruising speed will definitely have a better lifespan and less maintenance when compared to a routine city driving. The amount you are willing to pay would differ depending on whether the car is city car or freeway car is totally on you.

Choose wisely!

>>> Visit Naijauto.com for great buying and selling advice and car prices lists.

Oluwaseun Adeniji is a passionate writer and a poet with special interest in writing about cars. He is a master degree holder in international conflict and management. He enjoys feeding the public with the latest auto gist and well researched car reviews. He is also a strong football lover. So, if Oluwaseun is not writing, expect him to be reading about sports.




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