Driving Speed of New Car--first 1,000 miles


We’re buying a new car (2007 Honda Pilot) and a few days after we buy it, we have to take a long trip–500 miles round trip. My father-in-law says we’ll ruin the engine if we go on a long trip at highway speed, without putting the first 1000 miles on the car, driving around town, and alternating the speed of the car. Is this really true and does it impact the long-term condition of the engine?


His advice is applicable maybe to 60’s and possibly 70’s when engines had poor build tolerances.

Check the owners manual for specifics if any (likely none).


Take it on as long a trip as you desire. The advice you’re given is wrong.
The speed should be varied a bit at times (60 mph for a while, 70, 65, and so on) but the engine will actually be broken in within 25 miles.

And as usual, I respectfully disagree that older/newer tolerances have much to do with it.


Dad’s advice is too severe. You will NOT ruin your car’s engine by sustained highway speeds.

The car’s engine is run in rather quickly, and is quite anxious to take you on a long trip. Read the owner’s manual for further advice on the break-in period.


Definitely read your owner’s manual for break-in instructions.

Your father-in-law’s advice matches the instructions for many cars. For the first few hundred to a couple thousand miles, drive at varying speeds and never at full throttle or maximum engine speed.

We are about to buy a new car, ourselves. If we decide to take it on a long trip before the end of the break-in period, we will use secondary highways instead of interstates.


Read your owner’s manual. It is probably best to vary the speed. The institution where I work has a large fleet of vehicles. These vehicles go out on the highway from the day they are put in service. I’ve been out on the road with vehicles less than 300 miles on the odometer and vehicles that have 80,000 on the odometer. I’ve never had problems on either end. The fleet consists of Ford Tauruses, Chevrolet Malibus and just recently some Honda Civic Hybrids have been added to the mix. Have a great trip.


Pretty much agree with the others. Read and follow the owners manual. 500 miles is really not a very long trip but you wouldn’t want to drive all day at a sustained speed. Just vary the speed some and pull off the interstate once in a while. Mine were broken in on the freeway on 100 mile commutes and they all did several hundred thousand miles.