How to break in your new car's engine
How to break in your new car's engine
3:46

How to break in your new car's engine

Cars
[MUSIC] Hey folks Cooley here got another one new emails about Hitech cars and modern driving this one from [UNKNOWN] who I think has a new car or is about to get one. He's asking is a break-in period still needed in new vehicles? I know that some manufacturers disable some launch/performance feature untill the vehicle has driven 500 miles But with all the modern tech inside engines, he asks, if any of that is still necessary? Certainly, on the car as most of us drive. Well, Scott break in is one of those things where I just hand off and say, read whatever the manual says. Cuz the manufacturer knows the dimensions of their engine The metallurgy, all the machining techniques that were used to put part against part. And that friction is why you do a break in to get things to seat or to mate together. So they basically seal really well or have very low friction as they rotate against each other. That's the basic idea behind break in. I took a look at the break-in period for you on a number of different cars, the Mercedes GLC SUV, a Hyundai Elantra, and the best selling car out there, Toyota RAV4. So these are all very popular but very different vehicles from different factories. And here's a chart of how they kind of become very similar on break-in The break-in period varies quite a bit, actually, between them, and Toyota's got a variable break-in period. There's not just one mileage there. But notice a few things bubble up that I think are kinda your chestnuts about breaking in any car if you gotta keep this in the back of your mind. First of all, no top speed. And that also means no top load. No wide open One throttle and know really fast speeds. The engine's not ready for that in the estimation of most manufacturers. When you are driving vary your RPM. Don't get out on the freeway and go on a road trip in a brand new car and sit there at like 3000 RPM on cruise control for mile after mile. That's not good either. You want to vary your speed to hone those surfaces better for the long run. Avoid hard stops, this applies to brakes. You gotta break in your brakes as well. It's not as important as your engine, cuz they're more easily replaced. But don't jump on the brakes and do panic stops while you're still trying to bed the pads to the rotors. That's what you're trying to do there, to get the best wear and also probably the lowest amount of squeak. And don't lug the engine. This is not really a big deal in automatics, they always find the right RPM and gear position, but if you're manual shifting automatic or have a manual Don't lug that poor engine where it's down there at 1500 RPM or less and struggling to drag the car around. All of these are extreme load conditions or extreme RPM conditions you wanna avoid. Basically, stay in a nice, moderate sweet spot and vary the engine's operation. Also don't tow anything, I wouldn't think, during your break in period. Just not a good idea. Here's one more that isn't in anybody's manual, but it's an old classic over many years of ownership of cars, and that is to change your oil when the braking period ends, whether it's 5, 6, 100, 1000 miles. Again, none of the manufacturers say that. They stick with their traditional oil intervals, but it's pretty cheap insurance And the idea is that a new engine is at the point where it's throwing off more particles of ground up metal that it ever will later in its life, and that's a good time to sweep those out by dumping that oil that collected all that. Again, not necessary but Feels pretty good to me to be honest. So remember, breaking in your engine now is key. Because a little bit of hesitation and holding back for 500 or 1,000 miles could buy you 10 or 20,000 miles on the backend of the cars life. Keep those emails coming. I'm here to answer your questions about high tech cars and modern driving. It's cooley@theroadshow.com.

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