Sep 20, 2010

How to break in a new car

A Popular Mechanics report at the link below tells how to break in a new car. From the report:

It's a thing of beauty: a brand new car, shiny and crisp. It makes you want to spend the whole evening walking around it. Pretty soon, the neighbors wander over to congratulate you—and to render advice.

The advice is varied. Some say no more than 30 miles per hour for the first 1,000 miles. Others say drive it fast if you want it to be fast.

Others recommend synthetic oil, or nitrogen in the tires, or a mouse-milk oil additive, guaranteed to double fuel economy.

I have always followed the owners manual instructions when breaking in a new car but I don't remember the details - we haven't had a new car in over 20 years.

The last of our eight new cars was a 1989 Pontiac that ended up in a Kansas junkyard less than two years after it left the showroom. No, it didn't fall apart. It was demolished while parked on a street in Abilene, Kansas. No one was hurt but the rear third of the car was unrecognizable.

We knew a man who had a very unorthodox method of breaking in a new car. He bought a new Plymouth every year and after 2,000 miles he changed the oil and replaced the oil filter with Kotex and never changed the oil again. When the year was up the car would have about 12,000 miles since the one and only oil change.

Needless to say he didn't read that in the break-in instructions of his owner's manual.