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How to run-in your new car

You have just collected the keys to your new car that cost you a bomb in Singapore. After the long wait, you just want to floor the petal and experience the power of the car. Is it something you should do?

Different people will give you different advise on how to run in a car. Some tell you to take it to the limit, some tell you to drive at a constant speed while other tell you to go easy.

This article talks about the proper way to run in your car without risking damage to it in the initial run in period where the car is fresh out of the oven.

Why is there a need to "run in" new cars?

Cars like all machines have moving parts. Time and mileage on the road is needed for it to adjust and perform optimally. There are piston rings, bearings and cylinders that require wearing out evenly before the car starts running the way it is supposed to. This is the same for tyres, transmissions and brakes where they need time to settle in.

So what should you actually do?

1. Stick to the speed limits and RPM prescribed in the user manual

Petrol cars usually require you to keep revs in the 2500 - 2700 rpm range and not going above 80km/hr in the initial 1000km. After you have crossed the 1,200km mark on the odometer, then you can rev up to 3,000-3,200rpm and reach 100-110 km/hr.

For car with diesel engines, you need to keep your revs even lower for the first 2,000 rpm. After that you can rev your car till 2,800rpm for the next 500-700km. Try and keep your speed in check by not going beyond 100kmph at least for the first 2,000km.

2. Accelerate and brake smoothly and do smooth gearshifts

Avoid accelerating too quickly and braking too hard, till the time it is possible. Shift gears as smoothly as possible, in the recommended rev band. It is suggested that you do not take long distance trips in the run in period and avoid using cruise control. This will help your car learn your driving patterns and use its range of transmissions.

Most manufacturers also suggest that you change the oil of your vehicle after 1,000-1,200 km as metal shavings might find their way in the oil reservoir. So then there are chances of engine damage too.

What should you avoid doing during the run in period?

  • Do not rev the car unnecessarily

  • Do not make the engine work harder than necessary . For e.g. shifting too early

  • Hard acceleration and heavy braking. To be avoided at all costs

  • Keep the car free of unnecessary load

Now know the trick for running in your new vehicle, it's time to plan for one!

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