You’ve just collected your new car and are raring to take it for a spin.
That new car smell is intoxicating, and the promise of personal freedom is something you’re already relishing.
But before you start revving the engine and taking off, you need to keep a few things in mind.
Your new car’s running in (or break-in) period has just begun.
Depending on the manufacturer, you may have to take it easy for the first 1000 or 1500km.
Here are three things you have to remember during this time.
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1) AVOID HARD ACCELERATION
During the running in period, engine components such as the valves and pistons need time to “seat” themselves properly.
Putting the pedal to the metal is a no-no, as it will only cause unnecessary engine wear.
Obviously, redlining the engine is forbidden. In fact, you should keep the revs below 3000rpm.
If the valves and pistons don’t seat properly, it might require expensive repairs down the road.
2) BE GENTLE WITH YOUR BRAKES AND TYRES
When you’re breaking in your car, the brakes and tyres need some TLC as well.
It takes 400-500km for the brakes and tyres to be “bedded in”.
Before you’ve finished the running in period, the brakes may not deliver 100% of their stopping power.
And the tyres, being fresh, may not exert 100% of their grip.
As a general rule, your brakes and tyres will only be “seasoned” after the first 500km, or a tankful of fuel.
3) AVOID DRIVING AT A CONSTANT SPEED FOR LONG PERIODS
It may seem like the safe thing to do while running in your car, but driving at a constant speed for long stretches is bad.
Again, this has to do with letting the engine components seat themselves properly.
Driving at a constant speed deprives them of the chance to settle in by working at different rev ranges.
So, do not use the cruise control function until you’ve completed breaking in your car.