New car break-in period


Old 08-27-12, 10:45 AM
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New car break-in period

I'm buying a new Lexus tomorrow and was planning to go on a trip to Toronto the next day. Obviously, hundreds of miles of driving on freeways. The break-in period for Lexus is 1000km, says the usual stuff about not driving at constant speed for a long time, etc. The dealer says that it really doesn't matter, and I can safely drive it to Toronto -- it won't affect the car at all. Is that true? How important is it to follow the break-in recommendations?

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Old 08-27-12, 10:57 AM
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I would simply not use the cruise control for the trip and not worry about it.
Old 08-27-12, 11:32 AM
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Breaking periods are somewhat subjective. I've heard and read most say vary the speeds, no hard driving. I've also heard others say drive it hard.

I think you would have no issues with a 1000km drive. I'd stay off the cruise control and avoid going WOT.
My dad has broken in his last two motor cycles, his car and his truck (not intensionally) while on the hwy travelling. He's had no issues as result.
Old 08-27-12, 12:59 PM
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First thing you do, as soon as you get the keys - is oil change. Factory oil is said to be filled with metal residue, from piston rings setting into cylinder walls.
2nd thing you do, after you changed oil, with good synthetic, of course, is to drive her like you mean it. It's said, that higher resulting combustion pressure spreads and sets ring tighter into the cylinder walls, thus sealing them better.
3rd thing you do, is to change that oil ahead of normal maintenance schedule, at about 2 000 miles.
Thereafter - you broken in.
Old 08-27-12, 01:17 PM
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A suggestion to look in the manual. I just got a new car a month ago and there was a page in the manual about what not to do and for how long, during the break in period.
Old 08-27-12, 01:51 PM
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I bought a 1999 Jimmy (4.3l) that my local dealer got for me from GM corporate (driven by an executive apparently) that was picked up in Detroit with transfer plates (24,000 miles on it) and driven over 200 miles from Detroit and transferred directly to me with with 24,250 miles on it.

I found the original maintenance records from GM (not a dealer, but corporate garage) that showed some interesting things. The original oil was Mobil 1. It was changed at 2,000 and 3,000 miles with Mobil 1. At 5,000 miles it was changed again using Mobil 1 and then every 5,000 miles until the 24,000 mile mark where it was changed just before transferring to the dealer. It apparently was looked at quite closely and had some unusual replacements of parts at strange times, apparently for study. - Upper and lower ball joints at 10,000 miles, catalytic converter at 15,000 miles and few of some other non-maintenance parts and constant checking and realignment (not surprising for a small SUV with a car-like front end.). At 150,000 miles, I had the converter replaced when it started to "rattle", but my mechanic could not find a replacement that fitted for 3 weeks after contacting GM.

Bottom line is, the vehicle was driven under typical conditions (maybe executive's wife) initially without excessive mileage (24,000 miles in 24 months), but has been outstanding. I have no idea if it was was due to the driving habits, the close early service or the Mobil 1, but I was not about to change the oil type since my Corvette came with it, but I hate to change oil sooner than 7500 miles or at the change of seasons. - So far it has only 175,000 miles on it without a problem and my mechanic asks "why do you want to change out the clean oil after 7500 miles", but I guess the idea of getting the shavings out soon seems to be sensible.

It is not a great vehicle for mileage unless you get on the freeway for a trip and keep it under 65 (>22 mpg then) because of the gearing and trailer package (17 in traffic), but it is a great vehicle, and the only option missed was the heated seats under the leather(which might be good in MN).

Old 08-27-12, 08:48 PM
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yes, new car manuals say "drive moderately for the first 500 miles". or 600. everyone's call.
Old 08-28-12, 04:28 AM
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2nd thing you do, after you changed oil, with good synthetic, of course, is to drive her like you mean it.
Only use synthetic if it specifies to use it. Otherwise you are wasting your money.

That being said, almost all forced induction (turbo) and luxsery cars state synthetic, so it's probably an accurate statement.
I always run what is specified in the manual and keep receipts for all oil changes (99% of the time I'll bite the bullet and pay for an oil change while under warranty).
Should you ever have internal engine issues, they can (and often do) test the oil. If it's the brand and grade they specify done by a licensed shop, it's hard for them to dispute owner neglects.

Anyway, this is off topic now.

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