1 2
8/24/19 8:44 a.m.

So I picked up a 2019 accord sport 2.0 w/ an auto transmission this past weekend. They told me to drive it easy for the first 1k miles. I have just hit around 580 miles and I somewhat baby it, I drive it smoothly. Issue is, most miles are on the freeway and I used cruise control for a decent chunk. I wasnt told not to use cruise control and this is my first new car. I have also put it in sport a few times after 450 miles and added some throttle but never full throttle. Am I okay? I just dont think I varied the rpms much on the free way since I was cruising at 70-80 mph. Should I be worried?

Slippery SuperDork
8/24/19 8:52 a.m.

I think this is one of those questions like what brand of oil is best. 

I think nowadays, cars are pretty much good to go from the getgo. I would not sweat it. 

When I purchased my S2000 brand new, people used to say that Honda used a different oil from the factory in order to help with the break-in, not to change it right away. I flushed it out at about 2500 miles and switched to synthetic. I drove it mostly highway and never had a problem. 

It has 60k miles now, and it will not use a drop of oil. 

Ranger50 UltimaDork
8/24/19 9:30 a.m.

Old wives tale that persists.

If it has/had the power, I would have done a smokey burnout out of the dealership parking lot the day I had the keys in hand.

Curtis UltimaDork
8/24/19 9:43 a.m.

When engine builders put together a brand new 500 hp Hemi, what's the first thing they do?  Strap it to a dyno and do 15 full-throttle, full load pulls.

What's the first thing I did when I bought my brand new 96 Impala SS?  Smoky burnouts.

What's the first thing I did to Dad's brand new Duramax truck?  Hitched a 10,000 lb trailer to it and towed it across the Rocky Mountains.

You're fine.

Old school engines used cast iron rings, pistons made of less stable material, and cams that required a break-in period.  Newer stuff is made from much better, more stable materials and have the benefit of 5-axis CNC machining for much more control over dimensions and blueprinting.  Drive it like you want to.  I will say, it is wise to do your first few oil changes on a more frequent schedule.  Brand new engines may have casting sand, machining shavings, or other things in them.  Don't worry... they get washed into the pan and trapped by the filter before they do damage, but there is a chance that there is more junk at the beginning.  Also, the first several thousand miles are when the "break in" period shows the most wear on parts.  New cars, I suggest changing oil at 1000, then at 3000, then at your regular intervals.

Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
8/24/19 10:04 a.m.

I broke in my Volvo by driving from picking it up in Gothenburg then driving to the Nurburgring to thrash it for a few laps. 11 yeas and pushing 130k miles I’m convinced that’s the perfect way to run in an engine. 

Rodan Dork
8/24/19 11:39 a.m.

I'm in the 'work it hard' camp, with an early oil change to flush out any wear in particulates.  Never had a reason to regret it.

When I was racing bikes, I broke in several on the dyno...  

iceracer UltimaDork
8/24/19 6:54 p.m.

Here's an odd suggestion.     What does the owners manual say ?   

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/24/19 7:45 p.m.

We'll do some variations in cylinder pressure to seat the rings, then have at it. Heavy throttle, closed throttle decel, heavy throttle, closed throttle decel. It's the first few miles that matter.

 When we used to baby freshly built engines for break-in, we'd have trouble with oil consumption.

Cotton PowerDork
8/24/19 8:03 p.m.

I usually hammer down right off the lot.

alfadriver MegaDork
8/24/19 8:28 p.m.

Given that companies have known about what break in really means, it's highly likely that the car is broken in already.

So no reason to baby it, no reason to abuse it, just drive it.  

Wally MegaDork
8/24/19 8:33 p.m.

None of the new cars I’ve bought have had any special break in procedures done to them and they’ve gone hundreds of thousands of miles without issue.  It seems car makers have engine building pretty well figured out. 

sergio Reader
8/24/19 8:54 p.m.

The brakes require a bit of a break in for the first few hundred miles

ultraclyde PowerDork
8/24/19 8:57 p.m.
iceracer said:

Here's an odd suggestion.     What does the owners manual say ?   

What he said.

Knurled. MegaDork
8/25/19 7:59 a.m.
Curtis said:

When engine builders put together a brand new 500 hp Hemi, what's the first thing they do?  Strap it to a dyno and do 15 full-throttle, full load pulls.

Not really 15, not really WOT, and the goal is to watch the torque come up and blowby drop with successive pulls.  When the torque and blowby stop changing, the rings are seated.  If torque decreases with successive pulls, something is not right and it gets pulled back off.


OTOH machine shops also do not have the manufacturing tolerances that the OEMs can afford thanks to mass production.  Generally speaking, new engines are "pre broken in" on the assembly line.  


Me, I'd be more concerned about bedding in the brakes properly than anything with the engine...

Curtis UltimaDork
8/25/19 8:06 a.m.
iceracer said:

Here's an odd suggestion.     What does the owners manual say ?   

Image result for dismissive gif

docwyte UltraDork
8/25/19 8:41 a.m.

I drove my Golf R fairly normally. I commute in it, so lots of different throttle openings.  I gave it the beans fairly hard getting on on ramps and I took it to Steamboat where I had to do a bunch of WOT 2 lane road passes with it.

It did loosen up significantly at around 700 miles.  I changed the oil at 800 miles and kept driving, at 1000 miles I basically did what I want.  I just passed 2000 miles in it and it seems like its loosening up a little bit more even...

akylekoz SuperDork
8/25/19 8:43 a.m.

I always let the PO break them in for me for the first 100k or so.  None of my current cars use any oil and run great, 140k, 165k and 28k miles on them.  I have no idea how they were broken in.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/25/19 10:34 a.m.
sergio said:

The brakes require a bit of a break in for the first few hundred miles

They require bedding. A simple, short procedure. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
8/25/19 10:57 a.m.

The cars that we see in the press fleets get hammered like rented nails from the moment they come off the assembly line. Mechanically we never see issues.

If it was me, I'd give the engine 1-2 temperature cycles of normal but no too gentle driving to make sure everything was put together okay, then let it rip. 

bentwrench SuperDork
8/25/19 11:39 a.m.

Drive it like you stole it!

Maintain it like it is a baby. Lots of Clean oil and never run it if it is not happy, it will love you long time.



TJL Reader
8/25/19 12:47 p.m.

When your vehicle is new, before it hits the lot its going to get a “pre delivery inspection” by a mechanic(at least that was it at the 4-5 dealerships i was familiar with). This is usually putting the antenna on, hubcaps or whatever little stuff and then road testing. The road test is pretty much to hammer on the vehicle and see if it breaks.  They aren't giving a crap about break in. 


z31maniac MegaDork
8/25/19 1:54 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
sergio said:

The brakes require a bit of a break in for the first few hundred miles

They require bedding. A simple, short procedure. 

Thanks for beating me to it. Brakes don't require hundreds of miles break in. Which of course this doesn't even say, if it's hundreds of miles just driving, hundreds of miles on the brakes, etc. 


The "be safe for 1k miles" is just a poor CYA put in the manual by the company. 

iceracer UltimaDork
8/25/19 6:04 p.m.

In reply to Curtis :

Good one.   Made me chuckle.  

glueguy Dork
8/25/19 7:03 p.m.

Agree with all above. Break-in was generally the past. Modern tolerances and techniques are awesome. Remember with EPA you can’t pollute in the first 100 miles or 100k miles. It’ll be fine. Having said that, for a new car I try to do a gentle acceleration to redline every couple hundred miles for the first thousand, just to make sure it sees the rev range. 

LanEvo Dork
8/25/19 7:39 p.m.

I’ve always done a staged break-in ... not just for the engine, but for the trans, clutch, transfer case, diff(s), etc.

Not sure it makes a difference. Having said that, the few cars I’ve bought new all had excellent compression and zero oil consumption at the time of sale. Probably makes no difference either way. 

1 2
Our Preferred Partners