It does not matter how good a car looks from outside, the heart of the vehicle is its engine. The life and performance of an engine always depends on how well do you treat the vehicle during its initial days just like how you raise your kid to become better!
Even though there are many arguments on the Internet over how to run-in your engine and how it is not important for a modern engine to get the first few hundred kilometer of love and care, almost every manufacturer recommends a proper running-in before you let your foot loose on the gas pedal! Every new engine minted in a factory needs to settle down a bit, get the grind right and as each component of engine is manufactured differently, it is very important for a new engine to get settled and match the groves for long-term benefits.
The main purpose of running-in is to set the piston rings properly and ensuring the cylinder walls get proper wear over a period of time. Even parts like the brakes, tyres and transmission gets properly settled with proper running-in and every new car, until and unless it is a Koenigsegg or Pagani, is recommended to do a proper running-in. A proper running-in period consists of several stages – which can be divided
All metals and alloys expand upon heating them and engines are made-up solely of these materials. A proper warm-up is highly recommend before playing with a new car. Leave the engine on at idling for at least 3minutes during summers and 5-7 minutes during winters. If your car is blessed with a tachometer, you can look at it for reference and refrain from going beyond 2,500 rpm in petrol engines till first 1,000 km at least and then gradually increase it as it gains more kilometers on the odo meter. A petrol engine can reach its maximum limit by 2,500 rpm. If the tachometer is missing for the vehicle, never cross 65km/h on speedometer in tallest/last gear and be smooth and careful on how to reach that speed.
For diesel engines, the first 1,000 km should not see the rpm moving above 2,200 and the rpm can gradually grow over the period of time until the odo reached 2,500 km. The speed should be maintained in the same manner for the diesel engine as it is maintained for the petrol engine.
- Smooth Drives
Start-Stopping traffic puts a lot of stress on new engines. It is always better to find open highways for the running-in. Maybe that weekend trip you have been planning to go on should be done with the new addition to the family, but taking care of the speed limit, of course. Also, a lot of heat can damage the engine. It is better to get a new car during winters, but it does not matter much, just the small things!
- Engine Oil
It is better to use company recommended grade mineral oil during the running-in period. Use of mineral oil with regular change interval of 1000 km till it shows 5,000 km on ODO meter helps the engine a lot, after which you can follow the recommended oil change period by the manufacturer. A lot of metal particles gives away when the engine is new due to grinding and settling in, these metal particles can scratch the piston head of the cylinder, changing the oil will remove the particles and will also keep the engine well lubricated.
For the folks who are too rich to think about synthetic oils, please stay from them till the car reaches 10,000 km. Synthetic oils lubricate too well to let the pistons and cylinder settle in. They only delay the process of running-in!
- Fuel Quality
As much as fuel quality can damage any engine, it is most destructive in a new engine. Make sure that you get fuel filled from a trusted fuel station. Pilferage fuels can carbonize the engine and make them less efficient.
Over a time of period, the results of a proper running-in engine starts showing. Engine which goes through a running-in process results in higher efficiency and better performance than the engines which do not follow running-in.
We hope that you get the best out of your car before revving it to glory. Patience always pays off and by following these steps, you will give the best to your vehicle.