How Do You Break In A New Car Properly - Capitol Toyota Service

You may not realize that a new car needs time to be broken in. Once you break it in correctly, your Toyota can reach its full potential for a truly enjoyable drive. When you first drive your new vehicle, it comes to life as the oil lubricates and the parts start to work against each other properly. You want this wearing process to take place in a controlled environment. If you take a look in your owner's manual you'll find guidelines for how to break in your vehicle. We will explore these guidelines as well as explain why they are important. If you have any questions about your new Toyota, don't hesitate to reach out to our service center at Capitol Toyota.

The brake pad shown here has properly bedded in with the rotor for smooth, quiet stopping power

5. Avoid Hard Braking For The First 186 Miles

This may come as a surprise, but the friction material on your brakes is softest when the brake pads are brand new. When you start driving your new Toyota, the soft layer of the brakes will begin to wear, bringing the harder material to the surface. If you brake too hard before this process has happened, the soft material may wear unevenly across the surface of the rotator leading to warping. This may cause damage to the brake system and you may need to replace your brake pads sooner than necessary.

This goes without saying, but you should still hit the brakes as hard as you can to avoid an accident. When possible, take it easy on your brakes for the first 186 miles. Doing this will allow your brake pads and rotors to wear properly.

With this cutaway image, we can see many of this engine's complex moving parts, which all need to mate together properly during the break-in period

4. Avoid Towing For The First 500 Miles

It is important to avoid towing for the first 500 miles because the strain of towing could cause a fresh engine to break in poorly. The first 500 miles should focus on exposing your new vehicle to the typical driving conditions you would face in your daily commute. When towing, it puts an added strain on your vehicle as the engine has to work harder to provide the correct amount of acceleration and speed. This also puts a strain on the brakes, as the brake system will work harder to stop both the vehicle and whatever is being towed. This is why we recommend waiting until your new Toyota has at least 500 miles before pulling your camper out to the campsite.

3. Avoid High RPMs For The First 621 Miles

According to the Toyota owner's manual, it suggests avoiding sudden high speeds and accelerations due to the added stain it can add to the engine. At Capitol Toyota our service center offers a more specific guideline you can follow: Do not let the engine exceed 4,000 RPMs. Higher RPMs mean a greater strain on the internal engine parts. Once the internal components have worn in perfectly, you can push your Toyota, but take it easy for the first 620 miles or so. Keeping this in mind when driving will ensure your engine is ready to perform at its max capacity later on.

You should always avoid the red area on your vehicle's tachometer, and keep the RPMs below 4,000 when your vehicle is in its break-in period

2. Vary Engine Speeds For The First 621 Miles

When breaking in your new Toyota, you will want to avoid extended periods of a consistent load. In order for the engine to break in correctly, it needs to experience a variety of speeds and loads. If you are driving for a long distance and your engine has been at the same RPMs for a long period of time, consider adjusting your speed if you have an automatic transmission. If you have a manual transmission, upshifting will work. Doing this will allow the engine to experience various driving conditions.

1. Do Not Use Cruise Control For The First 621 Miles

As stated above, you want an engine to experience a variety of RPMs. In the Toyota owner's manual it recommends not using cruise control for at least the first 621 miles. Cruise control allows your vehicle to maintain a set speed without pressing down on the gas pedal, but this also means that the engine will stay around the same RPMs during the use of cruise control. This is why it is not recommended to use cruise control right away. Driving without cruise control creates a natural variation in the drive experience, allowing the engine to break in properly.

2018 and newer Toyota models include the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is a part of the Toyota Safety Sense trade; suite of driver assist technology. It can adjust your speed to match the flow of traffic, so it can be used in the break-in period without affecting the engine. If using the Dynamic Radar Cruise, be sure to adjust your speed on your own every now and then, so the system is not acting completely on its own.

Similar Articles

Schedule service online at Capitol Toyota
Order parts online at Capitol Toyota