I just sold my car and will soon purchase a new one (probably a used one with 1-2 years on it). I decided on a Volkswagen up! with an EA211 1.0 TSI engine.
I have heard from many different people (at least here in Brazil) that Volkswagen’s engines invariably call for rebuilds around the 100,000 km mark, and sometimes even sooner.
I’d like to avoid this fate if at all possible, which I imagine would be possible with the proper maintenance. Playing against me is the fact that I live very, very close to work (a round trip is about 3 km), so the bulk of my trips are extremely short, which appears to be detrimental to engine wear. On the other hand, the climate is fairly warm here, maybe a couple of months of 10-15 ºC weather per year.
Since my car knowledge is practically non-existent, I did some research, which I’d like to summarize here, calling both for critique to the points I’ve listed, as well as other tips that I missed.
- Follow the maintenance schedule on the owner’s manual — that’s obviously the very least I can do.
- Periodically checking fluids (oil, coolant, etc.) and top up if necessary — I suppose a weekly schedule should be fine?
- Oil changes every 6 months, or perhaps even more frequently?
- What about oil filters? I’ve seen recommendations that I should change filters with every oil change, but is this really necessary, considering I may run as little as 1,500 km between oil changes?
- Idling the car for a minute before leaving the driveway — is this really helpful? Is it necessary on warm days?
- I’ve also read that turbocharged engines (as present in the car I intend to buy) should be allowed to idle for 30 seconds to a minute before turning them off, to allow the turbine to cool off. Should I include this in my routine?
- Since the engine is direct injected, I’ve heard tales of carbon buildup on the backs of valves, which doesn’t happen in regular port injected cars.
- Can I do anything to prevent or reduce this buildup?
- Should I schedule a periodic cleaning service for this?
- Some places claim that a weekly extended driving bout (say 15 km) may help mitigate some of the ill effects caused by short trips. Is this indeed recommended? Are the suggested parameters (15 km every week) reasonable?
- Regarding additives, anything I should periodically add to my fuel tank, especially in light of the turbocharged, direct injected nature of my target engine?
I also welcome any other suggestions to ensure my engine can live well beyond 100,000 km without a rebuild.