When you watch drag racing, it jump-starts your own imagination. You see yourself sitting there, ready to push your car to its limits and see how much faster you can go than your opponent. It’s a great vision. But you find yourself asking – will drag racing damage the car?
The short answer to this question is: It depends.
Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance
You want to have a well-maintained car anyway, but it is extra critical to make sure that your drag racer is in tip-top condition. This includes:
Oil – You are going to be asking a lot of your engine when you are drag racing. That means you want it to be as well-lubricated as possible. Use high-quality oil.
Preventing Overheating – This is another thing that you have to be extra aware of. Use the proper engine coolant to avoid this. Check your thermostat, and make sure that both your radiator cap and engine are leak- and crack-free.
Some things can happen despite your best efforts in maintenance. They include a connecting rod punching a hole in the engine block, causing the oil to leak. A broken valve can damage a piston. You will likely need a new engine, which would not be the sort of news that you would want to hear.
What Kind of Fuel to Use?
You want to use fuel that will work with your car and not destroy the engine. Drag racing cars use fuel that is not found at the usual gas pumps. They use Motorsport 109 or VP’s street-legal 100 or 101. It is essential to know which fuel will work best in your car, or the engine will run in a way that can make it perform poorly or even be damaged. There is a type that is used in premium drag racing cars called Nitromethane. If you use it in the wrong engine, it could catch fire or just fail. Talk to professionals first.
What About Burnouts?
This is something that is mostly done in the drag racing community. If you were to do a burnout in your regular, unmodified car, you would damage many different parts of it – the tires, the rims, your engine, clutch, and transmission. That would add up to a hefty bill at the mechanic or even your needing a new car.
Using a modified drag racing car, you will do some short burnouts. That will get your tires ready to be both soft and sticky for the actual race. Do this under the guidance of your pit crew.
Ultimately, you will not be able to take your regular car and do a drag race. There has to be a lot of work done on the car to make it capable of even having any hope. You need to make sure that you are using the right equipment, fuel, and other considerations. Do not make any modifications yourself – unless you are an auto professional yourself. It is better to have a team of people who have done this for some time working on your car. Drag racing, while exciting, can be even more dangerous than it is if you are not using the right equipment.
If you do the above, you should enjoy drag racing without too much worrying about how your car will hold up.