Getting a new car is exciting and is considered by many to be a milestone, particularly if it is their first one. But what a lot of first time car owners don’t know is that there is a thing called the break-in period.
The hassle of car repair is universal; muffler replacement and even oil changes consume so much of your time and money. In order to make sure that you skip these problems, you need to break-in your car properly.
Like a new shoe—for your car to ensure efficient travel—there are things you must practice doing during the first months of using it. However, nowadays this break-in period is often overlooked since multiple car companies market that their products are already broken in for you.
Unfortunately, there is no proof that this is true and you may unknowingly cause your car to break. But don’t worry because you can follow these simple and easy tips:
Piston rings enable the combustion process to happen which is basically what allows your engine to run. These rings will wear out because it constantly rubs against the cylinder bores.
Ideally, you should keep the RPM below 4000 and avoid flooring the pedal so that the rings will wear down gradually instead of suddenly. Gradual wear will round out any imperfections the rings have and eventually lead to a snug fit between the bores and rings. Meanwhile, sudden wear will worsen the imperfections which will lead to a shorter engine life and excessive use of oil.
The inside coats of metal in your engine easily shave off. This is normal and it eventually stops after the break-in period. However, you don’t want these metal shavings dropping into your oil and affecting the performance of your engine. You can avoid this by doing your first oil changes after you reach the 20 and 1000-mile marks on your odometer.
Your brand new car will probably have paint that contains solvents, which need to escape over time. Wait 90 days from the day you purchase your car to allow all of them to do so. After this period, you should apply wax to prevent water, pollutants, and dead bugs from sticking to your paint. Then, apply paint protection film to the leading edge (where the wind breaks in your car) to minimize chipping.
Using protectants to keep the plastic parts of your interior shiny is really tempting but you shouldn’t do this at all. Doing so will remove the plasticizer, which prevents these parts from cracking.
For the fabric parts of the interior, you can immediately add stain and water repellents to the upholstery to prevent dirt, pollen, and mildew from sticking.
For your engine to run properly in the long run, the piston rings need to learn how to adapt to different intensities of work. While you don’t run it on RPMs over 4000, you do want to subject it to different RPMs and speeds so it gets used to the variation. Long road trips and the use of cruise control should be avoided because they will make the engine work at the same RPM for a long period of time.
Really short travels for your new car aren’t ideal as well. This is because the engine won’t get to operating temperatures on these trips. Failure to constantly achieve this temperature when you use your new car means that proper oil flow won’t be achieved and hardware in the engine won’t expand properly; this will hinder efficiency. Joy-riding around a city is a good practice to run your car at varying RPMs while achieving operating temperatures consistently.
New brakes and tires have their own break-in periods. This is because they usually have an initial layer of moulding or padding when they come fresh from the factory. This initial layer doesn’t have the friction needed to stop your vehicle at high speeds. You must wait for these layers to be worn off first for your brakes to be effective. Before this happens, avoid sudden stops and towing; the latter will also tend to make you floor the pedal and reach over 4000 RPM.
Your new car is an achievement and it should always feel that way. Take the time and effort to apply these tips for the first few months and your car will always feel like all your hard work paid off.