What To Consider Before Taking New Car On A Road Trip

You just bought a brand-new car and you are excited to take it on a spin. Naturally, you would want to drive it on the road to test out how well it holds up to your standards. But how far should you take your new car if you want to test it out or if you want to get yourself adjusted to it? Should you take a brand-new car on a road trip?

It is perfectly alright for you to take your brand-new car out on a road trip. In fact, taking a road trip might be one of the best ideas for you if you want to break your car in. But it is better for you to consult your car’s manual first because it might have instructions on how to break it in during a road trip.

One of the major reasons why you would want to take your brand-new car on a road trip is to make sure that it gets broken in and that it is ready for some more long-distance driving in the future. After all, cars are made of moving parts that need to be settled in. So, if you want to know more about whether or not you should take your new car on a trip, it is best for you to read on.

Do Newer Cars Still Have A break In Period?

You may have heard about the “break-in” period that is required when you buy new things. In most cases, this is very common in shoes because you have to break into those shoes first by using them constantly. The reason for the break-in period is for you to get those shoes adjusted to your movements and to the shape of your feet while also improving the flexibility of the rubber and the leather components found on that shoe.

The same thing applies to a car. When you look at what cars are made of, these are complex machines that are made up of simpler machines that each work well with one another to allow the vehicle to function precisely and efficiently. 

But when these parts are still brand-new after you had just bought the car, it is expected that they are not yet adjusted to the constant grinding and moving that is happening whenever the car is operating. Because of that, you need to break the car in so that these different moving parts can get adjusted to the constant moving and grinding that will be happening on a regular basis regardless of whether you are driving short distances in the city or long distances on a cross-country trip.

Breaking in a car is not usually the same as driving it regularly because there might be some instructions that you need to follow depending on the car and on the manufacturer. That’s why it still is better for you to consult your car’s manual if you want to get to know more about how to properly break your car in.

How Many Miles You Should Drive To Break In a New Car

Similar to how you need to constantly walk in your new shoes to break them in, the same concept applies to your car because you have to drive it as frequently as you can so that you can break it in. And, just like your shoes, the miles you have consumed using that car might be the best indicator of whether or not it has been broken in instead of basing it on how long you have had the car.

That is why, in most circles, they recommend that you look at your car’s mileage to know if it has already been sufficiently broken in. But you might be asking yourself right now how many miles would it take for you to break your car in. Well, that really depends on several factors.

First off, let us go back to the Holy Grail of your car—it’s manual. You always have to check the car’s manual if you want to know how many miles it requires during its break-in period. It really depends on the manufacturer and the model of the car. There are some that may take 1,000 miles or even more than that but others might only need a few hundred miles.

But if you can’t consult your manual for one reason or another, you may want to consider 500 miles as the regular break-in period for most cars. In most cases and even for cars with manuals that tell it differently, 500 miles should be sufficient enough to break your car in.

Keep in mind though that some cars do come broken in by the car manufacturers themselves so that you no longer have to break them in yourself. These are usually the high-performance cars that are at the top of the line because, let’s face it, the high-profile people who could afford such cars don’t have the time to break them in and would most likely want to step on the gas and drive at high speeds right off the bat.

Can You Drive a New Car At High Speeds?

Speaking of high speeds, one of the reasons why cars come with a break-in period is for you to be able to drive them at high speeds later on. That only follows that, during the break-in period, you should avoid driving your car at high speeds. 

The reason is that new cars have parts that are not yet used to moving so much and might not have adjusted to the constant powerful and high-speed moving and grinding that is happening when you are driving the car at high speeds. Doing so might damage the car or, at the very least, decrease its lifespan.

Tip: Generally during the break-in period you shouldn’t drive over 55-60 mph.

Considering Interstate speed limits can be up to 80 mph you might want to plan your road trip accordingly.

While Interstates do have a minimum speed limit usually at 40 mph. Driving under 60 mph on a Interstate can be dangerous and I wouldn’t recommend it.

Is It Bad To Drive a Brand-New Car Long Distance?

Going back to the meat of this article and with all things said and considered, should you drive your brand-new car long-distance? Is it really okay for you to take your brand-new car on a long road trip?

Well, considering that you need to break your car in, taking it for a road trip would be a good idea to crank up those miles and decrease the break-in period it needs. Still, though, there are some considerations that you need to take note of first before you take that machine out for a long cross-country drive.

First of all, do not drive your car at high speeds because of how it hasn’t been thoroughly been broken in and the moving parts are still adjusting and getting used to the movements happening whenever you are driving the car. 

Second, it is best to vary engine speeds during the road trip instead of driving it at constant speeds so that the different gears of your cars are used thoroughly throughout the entire road trip. In connection to that, it might be best for you to split time between the freeway and the side streets because using the freeway would require you to drive the car at constant speeds. Meanwhile, you might also want to turn off cruise control so that you can vary the speeds of the car.

What You Should Not Do With A Brand-New Car

Aside from all that has already been mentioned, here are some of the things that you should not do with your brand-new car:

  1. Don’t push the pedal right off the bat as if you are racing with someone else. Ease into it by stepping on the gas slowly instead of putting your foot down with force. This is a common mistake the people make whenever they are in front of a traffic light and they would suddenly step hard on the gas the moment the light turns green.
  2. Try to control your RPMs and keep them at a steady pace instead of maxing them. Don’t push past the red line and make sure you stay between 3,500 to 4,500 RPMs before the car has been broken in.
  3. Avoid doing plenty of short-distance travels in a single day. The reason why you shouldn’t do this is that new engines need some time to warm up whenever they are used. However, short trips usually don’t give the engine a lot of time to warm up before you turn them off again. 
  4. Keep the gas above a quarter every single time. Do not wait for the gas to be empty or to fall somewhere below the quarter line before you fill the tank up again. The reason is that the fuel gauge on a new car won’t be the most accurate because it too needs to be broken in at the start.
  5. Never ignore what the manual tells you. Always listen to what the manual has to say or, at the very least, keep in mind whatever the manual tells you to do. The manufacturers of your car know more about it than you do because, after all, they were the ones who put it together.

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