New Car Running-in Tips

New Car Running-in Tips

Give your new car the best start to life with these running-in tips.

Making sure your car gets the correction treatment during its first month or so of daily use is absolutely vital.

Components like your engine, transmission and brakes are just starting out in life and you want to make sure you do your best to protect them during their first weeks of operation. A good running-in process will help protect your car in the long run.

You especially need to make sure your engine is run-in correctly.

The Automobile Association of the U.K. offer these tips; all show that it’s all about being gentle with your new car.

  • Start with careful town/suburban driving so all the major components, including brakes can bed-in.
  • New tyres have a thin oily coating – a mixture of oils from the rubber and a release agent to prevent the tyre sticking to the manufacturing mould. Until this wears off the handling will feel different, especially in the wet. In practice this will wear off within around 10km so most new car buyers are unlikely to experience it.
  • Try to avoid harsh acceleration and heavy braking.
  • For diesel engines, keep the engine speed below 3000 rpm, but make sure the revs regularly reach this limit.
  • For petrol engines stick to a 3000 rpm limit for the first 800-1000km and then increase the limit to around 4000 rpm. Again, revs should regularly reach this limit.
  • Avoid labouring the engine – by changing up too early for example
  • Check oil and coolant levels at least once a week – this is a new car so you don’t know how much oil it will use. Oil consumption can be high for the first 10,000km or so but should slow, particularly if the car has been treated gently in the early days.

Got any other tips on how cars and trucks can more safety share the roads? Email us via [email protected] or use the Contact page.

About the author

Joel Helmes

Joel is the founder, editor and managing director of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director. Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.