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A lot of people say that a car engine gets accustomed to the driver style and in particular to specific RPM gear changing and it will perform into those "learned" parameters.

I must mention that I am NOT speaking of the first 1000 km of car, the grinding period (called "rodaj" in Romanian).

In my opinion this is a myth, as an engine and the gearbox are designed and build to stand specific RPMs and to make internal combustion at specific rates per minute and there is no AI component to it, that can learn and adapt in any way. Is just a machine and a pretty plain one.

What the experts are saying on the matter?

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1 Answer 1

In older cars with carburettors driving a car gently and never exceeding certain revs could cause some jets to become clogged causing the car to run poorly at speed.

Wear and friction will also be different at different RPM due to the forces involved. A piston is pushed down with a weaker force at lower revs and therefore wears differently from one that is driven at higher revs.

Newer cars can actually "learn" how you drive and adapt the ECU parameters to that. VAG DSG gearboxes now have a controller that "Learns" the way you are driving and changes the way the gears should change - i.e. faster more aggressive driving will change the revs at which the gear change would happen..

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how much wear of a piston shaft is needed in order to affect the actual force of the engine? Anybody did an experiment or is everything based on feelings? In my opinion is more of a psychological thing. Think about a locomotive engine that did 30 years on a slow route and after is changed on a faster route. Nobody will say is "slowish". The cars on the other hand are antropomorphised. –  Elzo Valugi May 14 '12 at 8:22
I didnt mean to say that it will definitely but driving a car slowly can have negative effects in certain situations (see the carb jets clogging bit). –  Mauro May 14 '12 at 9:08
I saw that part, and I think it makes sense. Thanks –  Elzo Valugi May 14 '12 at 9:17
Indeed, this then leads to the concept of the 'Italian tune-up' - giving an under-used car a good blast to clear out all the deposits that have built up. This is especially true of a car that does lots of short journeys, as deposits build up more if the engine does not have a chance to warm up properly. –  Nick C May 14 '12 at 9:19
Being Italian I resemble that remark, you'd be amazed at what it can achieve come MOT time in the UK - lol –  Mauro May 14 '12 at 9:22

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