Drove a New Car in 4th Gear for 200 Miles

I recently purchased my first brand new car ever, a 2015 Tacoma with 4x4 and the dealer said new cars today don’t need to be broken in. Regardless I’ve been trying to not push it but what I didn’t realize I was doing for the first 200 miles or so after purchasing the car (it has 189 miles on it already) was driving it in 4 instead of D because naively given my previous vehicle didn’t have an optional gear that high I thought the 4th was the Drive gear. I consistently maintained the RPMs below 3000 though. Is my truck going to be OK.

Have you driven it in proper top gear yet ? Have you noticed how little difference in rpm there is between 4 and 5 ?
Relax !

I wouldn’t worry at all. Actually better to vary the rpms and not lug it, so I don’t think any harm was done.

You can check the rpm difference between the two gears. 5 th gear or OD is a significant drop in rpm. With it, you are barely turning 2k at 70 mph. In forth, it’s an increase of hundreds of rpm. My guess is that if you were just less then 3 k, you were still around 60 to 65 mph.

This 6 cylinder motor will give you many miles of service. The extra wear added is really insignificant. The big effect will be on the mileage. I have done this before in mine and the motor is quiet when it is pushed so it’s easy to do. If you were towing, you probably wouldn’t use OD anyway. So it’s no big deal… But, above 3000, it starts to get noisy. What I have done is run it in different gears at different speeds so if I made the mistake, the noise might tip me off.

If I anticipate the speed limit to be less then 40 mph, I always drop it into 4 th. Above 40, just leave it in D. If it were a 6 speed, Toyota makes both the two top gears OD…but with the 5 speed isn’t and only 5 th is.

You’re fine. The engine was broken in within the first 5 miles.

The last few new vehicles we bought either the salesman or someone from the service dept. gave us a complete rundown of the features and options and what they did. If your dealer did not do that go back and have them do so, even the things you already know about.

Fourth is 1:1 on this transmission (no gears used), so you actually saved some wear and tear on the overdrive gears.

There is absolutely no problem whatsoever with what you did. I’ve done it myself.

This is also the recommended way to drive it when pulling a trailer, I bet, so it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

I agree that this situation was not a problem.
Just to show how an even more extreme example of driving in a lower gear wasn’t problematic, many years ago I accidentally drove from Cincinnati to Dayton in 2nd gear while enjoying the…talents…of a sweet young thing.

No, I didn’t downshift to 2nd, but when your passenger drapes herself over the console and its floor shift, these things can happen…
Yes, I should have noticed the increased engine noise, but I was…let’s just say…distracted.

Despite driving at Interstate highway speeds for about 50 miles in 2nd gear, there was no damage to the engine and it continued to run fine–with no oil burning or other problems–for the remainder of the time that I owned the car.

Yes, you’ve ruined your truck and it will never work properly again. I’ll take it off your hands for $500 just so you don’t have to deal with it anymore.

Just kidding…mine is another vote for no harm, no foul. Drive on and enjoy!

If you start looking for a new truck, I suggest that you wait until 2025 to 2030. Your new Tacoma should easily last that long. Enjoy your new truck.

My wife drove our Acura off the lot in 2nd for about 20 miles on the freeway and never had any problems. She thought it was a little noisy though.

I pulled a travel trailer from southern Indiana to Fairbanks, AK in third gear…all the way. I turned off the OD when I hitched up the trailer for a total distance of about 3700 miles. You caused no damage whatsoever.

Good comments above.

I know most dealers say it 's not necessary to do anything special to break-in new cars these days. But is that really true? Aren’t there some driving styles best avoided for the first few hundred miles? Like stomping hard on the brakes? Rapid accelerations? Aggressive shifting or clutch work (with manual transmissions). Not towing trailers? Staying well below the rpm red-line?

Not knowing otherwise, I’d tend to avoid those kinds of driving for a few hundred miles or so, maybe even a couple thousand miles. Just to error on the safe side.

The dealer did not have the car I wanted. They found one in Puyallup, WA and did a dealer trade. I didn’t have to worry about break-in since it had 224 miles on the clock when I drove it off the lot. The mileage was noted so I could have driven 50,0220 miles under warranty but since I barely broke 32,000 in five years it was a moot point.