A new car arriving on your driveway for the first time can be an exciting moment, but there are a few things to keep in mind when driving a freshly-built motor says IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman.
Advances in lubrication and increasingly small tolerances in engineering have all contributed to the modern day vehicle avoiding lengthy running in times – the process by which a vehicle is run gently until a number of miles have been travelled – yet that’s not to say they shouldn’t be treated with respect and a little bit of mechanical sympathy can go a long way. Treating a vehicle with this respect will help ensure the best fuel economy is attained over the life of the vehicle, and therefore can help keep running costs down as well as improve reliability.
Richard said: “Buying a new car is exciting, but it is also a substantial investment. Treating it with a little restraint to begin with will help all the parts to perform at their best for longer and more reliably. This will also help you get the feel of the car before you fully exploit the performance.”
- Allow the brakes to bed in. Start driving gently and avoid harsh accelerating and heavy braking. It’s good to remember that the tyres will last longer if they’re treated gently for the first few hundred miles.
- Check the coolant levels and oil frequently. The oil consumption may be relatively high for the first 5,000 miles as the engine parts gradually loosen up, but it should then settle down.
- If possible, avoid long runs at constant engine speed for the first 1,000 miles or so. Varying the engine speed helps the parts to start working together over the full speed range.
- Fuel consumption will also gradually improve as the moving parts wear in, so don’t be too disappointed if your first tankful doesn’t take you as far as you hoped. It is quite normal for mpg to increase gradually over several thousand miles.