An Engineer Explains Five Things You Shouldn’t Do With a New Car
New cars must be run in. If you are not careful during break-in, you can reduce the performance and life of your vehicle’s engine, or even damage it. Here are five things to avoid if you’ve just bought a new car.
In this video from the Engineering Explained YouTube channel , Mechanical Engineer Jason Fenske explains the actions that put the most stress on your vehicle during break-in. Here’s what to avoid:
- Don’t insist : your shiny new car may be fast, but stepping on the accelerator and running the engine at full throttle isn’t a good idea unless an emergency arises.
- Do not shift on the red line: upshifting is usually optimal at or near the red line or maximum revs. Shift down to a lower speed during break-in.
- Do not use cruise control: you want to change the engine speed while driving during the break-in period. Cruise control is going to set the engine to one revolution.
- Don’t travel extra short distances: During the break-in period, you want your car’s engine to warm up to operating temperature every time you drive it. Short trips don’t always allow this.
- Do not tow anything: towing increases engine load. In order to tow something, your car has to move more weight, and for that it needs more gas. See number one.
The length of the break-in period depends on the vehicle. Some may be shorter than a few hundred miles, some may be as long as several thousand, and some cars may even be shipped broken. To find out, refer to your vehicle’s manual.