Highway Miles vs. City Miles: The Differences Explained

 

As the owner of a vehicle, you might be tempted to think that miles are just miles, no matter how they are accumulated. Putting 50k miles on your engine means the same thing regardless of where you drive, correct? Not so fast. City miles tend to be harder on the vehicle than highway miles, despite the fact that they are driven at a slower speed. If you’d like to understand this concept a little better, please read on. And, when the time comes to swap out your vehicle for a new model, Green Lincoln is one of the best new car dealers Greensboro, NC has to offer.? 


Start with Road Conditions 

Think about what the roads look like in your city. Depending on where you live, the city roads may be filled with potholes, have bumps all over the place, etc. Simply put, city roads are not typically a smooth surface for your vehicle to roll over cleanly. On the other hand, highways and freeways tend to be in better condition. This is for a good reason, of course – with higher speeds at play, these roadways need to be maintained to a higher standard for safety concerns.? 


What does this mean for your vehicle? When highway miles are racked up and city miles are kept to a minimum, the vehicle will have had a chance to spend more of its life on smooth roads. That means less jarring on the suspension and the various components that make up the vehicle. This isn’t a guarantee that the car will remain in good condition, but it is a good start.? 


Stop and Start 

The other big piece of this equation is the stop and start nature of driving on city roads. You might think that an engine would be working harder when it is propelling the vehicle down the road at 60 or 70 miles-per-hour, but that isn’t actually true. Instead, it’s more work for the engine to continually accelerate up to speed after having to come to a stop. Settling in at a constant speed is easier work for the engine, which puts another check on the side of highway driving.? 


Aside from the engine, the stop and start nature of city driving can be difficult on the other components of the vehicle. The brakes, of course, bear the majority of this burden, but so too does the many other pieces of the puzzle that allow your vehicle to ride comfortably down the road day after day.? 

When you add it all up, it’s pretty clear that highway miles are less taxing on a vehicle than city miles. So, does that mean a vehicle with most of its miles recorded on the highway will be in better shape than a vehicle with the majority of its miles in the city? Maybe, but not necessarily. There are so many factors that go into vehicle health, it would be a mistake to assume that this one measure is the final word. If you are getting ready to buy a used vehicle, take the entire picture into account before making your selection.? 

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