Part III of the Auto Saving Series. If you missed a segment, start at the beginning.
Shiny. Clean. And new car smell. Your new car is a massive investment. Want to save money by not having to repair it next year? Treat it right.
Is your truck your best friend? Already been a quarter million miles together? Did you just put in a replacement engine? Protect it.
Break the engine in gently.
Most drivers need their cars to last more than two years. Over the first 1,000 miles, break the engine in gently. These simple tips are from professional drivers and manufacturers.
Seal it up.
Except the piston rings, most engine parts operate on a thin cushion of oil. The piston rings scrape oil in the cylinders. While you break in your new engine, the final seal of the rings is occurring.
The best methods of sealing the piston rings are gentle acceleration and moderate speeds (under 65 mph). Auto manufacturers warn of engine danger when new owners tow a trailer during the first 600 miles and use full-throttle starts and hard-braking stops.
Professional race engine builders are even more cautious (They are not selling new cars.). They suggest varied speeds during your break-in period and not letting your engine idle for more than 2 minutes.
Gentlemen, start your engines!
Do not rev the engine when you start it. Instead, drive gently until the engine reaches operating temperature. Check your owner’s manual. Avoid trips too short to bring your engine to the correct operating temperature.
No “lugging”. Lugging is driving in too high a gear for your speed. It is even harder on a cold engine.
When all else fails,…
Read your owner’s manual for additional instructions. If you find more, follow those as well.
Change the Oil
Engines are precision constructed to within thousandths of an inch. The final machining occurs during the break-in period. Tiny metal shavings and particles are left suspended in the oil.
Do not forget the filter.
The oil filter traps these particles, so changing the filter is mandatory. The first oil change is the most important one for a new engine. Change the oil in your new engine at 1,000 miles.
Do not overlook the delicacy of a replacement engine. Your replacement engine in your faithful truck needs a break-in period just like when you got it new. Even rebuilt engines fare better after a gentle break-in period.
Your vehicle is the sum of its parts. Take care of the individual parts during the break-in is crucial to years of money-saving performance before you need a mechanic.
NEXT: Arm & a Leg
Which one of your “Old Faithful”s got a new engine?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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