How to Run-In your new car

How you treat your new car engine will directly affect its long-term performance, efficiency and longevity. Failing to properly run-in your engine will have serious negative effects down the road.

Although this is a controversial topic, we stand by the opinions of the manufacturers – after all, who knows your engine better than the company that made it? There are good reasons most manufacturers ask you to take it easy during the initial running period. Call us conservative, but we recommend the tried and tested method. The moving parts of your new engine need an adjustment period before reaching normal operating conditions, and these conditions are determined by how the engine has been run-in. The run-in involves settling the piston rings and ensuring that the bearings and cylinders wear evenly, but it’s not only the engine that needs a running-in. The transmission, tyres and brakes all benefit from it too.

  • We recommend that you warm up the engine before putting it under any load.
  • A 2,500 km running-in period is ideal. After this, you can high-rev her away to glory.
  • For a petrol engine, don't allow the RPMs to go over 2,500 for the first 1,000 km. After that, you can increase the limit to 3,000 RPMs until 1,500 km and then, gradually increase it to the maximum by 2,500 km.
  • For a diesel engine, restrict the RPMs to about 2,200 for the first 1,000 km. After that, you can increase the limit to 2,500 - 2,800 RPMs until 1,500 km. Then, gradually increase it to the maximum by 2,500 km.
  • Long highway trips or time spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic is bad for the run-in process. The key to the run-in is to subject the engine to a wide range of RPMs, so you will probably have to alter your driving style and make a point of driving under various conditions.
  • Team-BHP recommends that you change your engine oil after the first 1,000 km. As with all new engines, you will find that some metal slivers have found their way into the oil. From this point onward you can stick to the manufacturer recommended intervals.
  • Do not use synthetic oil for the first 10,000 km. The impressive lubrication properties of synthetic oil only slow the run-in process.

By following these simple steps you can help ensure that your engine reaches its maximum performance and endurance condition. This will maximize you car’s power, fuel economy and engine life. Many new cars are designed to minimize damage from a poor running-in, but even these engines benefit from the advantages of a proper run-in regime.

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