The joy of purchasing a new car is god-like especially if it a passion you have. The biggest temptation is putting the accelerator pedal to the floor and feeling that engine purr. The noises that come off the engine when revving hard are pure joy. This is almost universal. However, temporarily resisting the temptation might serve you two good that driving it hard off the dealership.
A good breaking-in gives you performance, reliability and excellent fuel consumption. Cars that were broken into properly tend to have longer life spans and have less visits to the mechanic. That’s probably the reason why cars that belong to slow, boring drivers tend to last longer that their lead footed counterparts. That being said, cars that are driven hard can last as long of done properly.
The first two hundred and fifty to five hundred kilometers are the crucial times that determine the future of your engine. Just like your primary school teacher blathered about how young years are crucial to your molding. I never got it then; now I do. Long before computers and precise machining processes this distance used to be a thousand to a thousand and five hundred or so kilometers.
Upon starting your brand new car; don’t let it sit at idle. Gently rev it to around two thousand and two hundred rounds per minute. On most modern vehicles, there is a meter counting from zero to eight thousand rounds per minute (RPM). If your car doesn’t have this, just have the car hum a bit higher that it would at idle. Do this till the temperature gauge (they all have) is almost at half which signifies the optimal operating temperatures. Driving out cold with a new car is just wrong for this process.
This is done so that the oil gently heats up as in its cold form doesn’t lubricate as efficiently. Talking of oil, use a good blend of synthetic and natural mineral oil. Good mineral oil would do the trick too just don’t start with fully synthetic oils. Synthetic oils are the best for performance but they will harm your engine if used for breaking in. This is because they are usually thinner and what we are after is an oil that is thick enough to ‘pressure’ parts so that they can gently grind and smoothen into perfection.
After that now you can drive. During the specified distance required, make sure that the engine load doesn’t exceed half. For a car that revs to eight thousand rpm, do not go beyond four thousand. For diesel engines that work much harder and commonly rev to six thousand rpm, do not exceed three thousand. Also make sure that you continuously vary the load. Sometimes switching to high gears and operating at low revs or going to lower gears to raise the revs. This gets the parts inside to ‘wiggle’ into place. Just like how during sanding surfaces to smooth requires random movements otherwise you would end up creating streaks and that is not smooth.
After this, drain the oil as it will most likely contain little chips of metal and rubber that came off the engine. Put in a fresh dose of oil, drive for a few journeys then drain it again to really make sure that your engine is pristine.
Now you can put in fully synthetic oil and let it rip. Drive your car like a stabbed rat and no harm will come from the engine. Some cars however already come ready for the track; the engineers broke into it from the factory. These are mostly performance oriented cars like the new Honda NSX or the Bugatti.
Old engines that were properly broken into are really hard to break. They can take unusual amounts of torture and still run like new. Take good care of your machine and the loyalty come back around.
Have patience and warm up your car like a caring human. We love the machines and seeing one hurt is just sad.