Are jack-rabbit starts doing damage to my car?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Apr 01, 1995

Dear Tom and Ray:

I am a teenager, and I love exercising my driving permit whenever and wherever I can. My question is what harm is done, if any, when I accelerate rapidly from a stop? It's not the speed I enjoy, it's the sound of the engine. In fact, I never continue accelerating fast past 40 or 45 mph, I just like to get there quickly. Gas mileage is the only thing I know of that suffers. Am I harming anything else on the car?

TOM: The car is the least of your problems, Cory. When you accelerate full throttle like that, the car is basically out of control. At the very least, you're scaring the daylights out of pedestrians. And at worst, you could kill somebody, because you never know when a dog or a kid is going to run out of a driveway. And killing someone's child will change your life a lot more than a little decrease in gas mileage.

RAY: Having said that, we should add that you ARE also doing damage to the car. We wrote a pamphlet called "Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without Even Knowing It." (you can order a copy by sending $3...) And guess what's number one on our list? Jack-rabbit starts!

TOM: When you step on the gas, you start a chain reaction. The crankshaft turns, that turns the transmission, that turns the drive shaft and the differential gears....and on down the line until the wheels are turning. Each of these parts (which are collectively called the drive train) are connected mechanically. And when you slam your foot on the accelerator, each one of these pieces slams into the next one. And guess what all that slamming does? It wears out everything sooner!

RAY: So if the sound of the car is what turns you on, keep driving like this. Pretty soon, there will be even more sounds for you to enjoy.

TOM: There will be the rapping of your engine bearings, the clacking of your CV joints, and the sound of a judge saying "license revoked."

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