Growing numbers of people are buying cars and getting on the road each year. All these motorists expect their vehicles to work without any issues. And thanks to modern engine technology, that goal get achieved for the most part.

It’s no secret that cars these days are more reliable than ones built say twenty or thirty years ago. It’s also worth noting that oil firms make oils that can better withstand hotter temperatures.

But there is one problem with today’s cars that a lot of people don’t even realize is an issue. I am, of course, talking about people that use their cars only for short journeys. I’m talking about people that seldom drive outside of their local town or city.

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Photo Credits: markwoodbury

You might well be asking yourself why that is such a problem?

After all, shorter journeys are good for our wallets and the environment, right? Well, it turns out that only driving short journeys is a bad idea for car engines! Cars that only do local journeys tend to have a buildup of carbon inside their engines.

Carbon is a by-product of the combustion process, in case you were wondering. When car engines have a thick carbon buildup, engine performance gets degraded. And the carbon buildup can decrease fuel efficiency too.

It can also cause all sorts of problems like sticking or ticking valves, for example. Even doing an engine flush before putting in some fresh oil doesn’t solve the problem. At this point, most people think the only option is to pay for an expensive engine rebuild. But there is a little-known option that is cheaper and easier to do. That’s right – an Italian tune-up!

What is an Italian tune-up?

The origin of the Italian tune-up comes from the Italian supercar maker Ferrari. The story goes that Ferrari owners don’t drive their cars hard for most of the time. And so an excess buildup of carbon affects engine performance (this we already know, of course).

So what happens when a customer brings their car to Ferrari and reports such issues? The technicians would take the customer’s car to a racing track. They would then drive the car hard around it for several laps. Because the engine is working hard and is quite hot by this point, the excess carbon inside the engine gets burnt off.

According to the head technician at the Thames Motor Group, it’s a quicker and cheaper way to fix such problems. It’s much better than the alternative: stripping the engine down and “de-coking” the engine parts by hand.

Can an Italian tune-up damage my motor?

Is your engine otherwise healthy? Do you service and maintain it when you’re supposed to? If so, it is not likely that your car’s engine will get damaged from an Italian tune-up.

But if you drive an old clunker which is falling apart, there will always be a chance that you might cause engine damage. To be honest, you don’t need to have access to a racing circuit to perform an Italian tune-up.

Just take a drive down your local Interstate highway and drive using lower gears to make the engine rev higher. I know this will use more gas, but it’s only a temporary thing to fix your car. Good luck!