Is it bad to drive a brand new engine at really high rpms

Got a brand-new car. It’s got 13 miles on it. I thought I’d do a 0-60 test, but then it occurred to me that driving a brand new engine at high rpms under a lot of load might be bad. Is it bad to drive a new engine hard, should I wait until it’s broken in?

There are performance cars where the owners manual says to stay below 4000 rpm for the first 2000 miles. A real test of self control for many.
What does your manual say?

If the motor is fully warmed up, one 0 to 60 run will not do harm. Taking it racing, not a good idea. Steady high rpm’s aren’t good either. Best to vary rpm’s and load levels for the 1st few hundred miles.

You can’t wait even just a little bit? 200 miles?
You have a 0-60 measurement app on your phone, don’t you?
If it has a clutch, I wouldn’t do it because the clutch just isn’t bedded-in yet. Wait 200 miles of city-suburban driving, not just highway.

If you just can’t wait a week or 2, be sure and warm it up good before you try.

See @UncleTurbo. Very bad idea; wait a while and do varied driving. Driving across Nebraska at 50 mph on cruise control is also very bad for a new engine.

It’s important to get the rings seated properly to avoid oil consumption later on. Our 9 year old Toyota still does not use any oil; we can’t add any between changes at 5000 miles.

I’d give it couple hundred miles. With that said, I’ve heard that giving the engine some high revs briefly whilst not under a high load (towing, or going uphill) isn’t a bad thing, and helps with the running-in process.

I do not recommend doing a “zero-to-sixty” speed test on a brand new engine. My experience has been that new engines seem to be at their prime between 5,000 and 10,000 miles. I’d at least wait until you get 5,000 miles on it.

The machined surfaces on the internal parts are not perfect. Give them a change to “break in”.

Look up road tests online of this mystery vehicle and you will have an answer. I don’t understand why you would want to abuse a new car anyway.

Docnick: Very good advise. In the old days up through the 1970s you kept it below 4,000 RPM and varied speed to seat the rings for the first 1,000 miles then changed the oil and filter. As far as 0-60 times I just looked them up for my last two new cars. 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS 2.4L 5 speed M/T. Car and Driver: 9.1 seconds. 2010 Kia Forte SX 2.4L 6 speed M/T. Road and Track 6.9 seconds. Both of those cars have never used a drop of oil between 5,000 mile services.

Me, I’d defer on that until the engine had 500-1000 miles. But it is your car, you’ll be paying the repair and maintenance bills, so you should feel free – within legal traffic limits – to do with it as you like.

I thought that the original poster sounded familiar . On Sept 24 they claimed to be a 16 year old looking for a cool car for cheap money, on Nov 15 they wanted to know where to find an inexpensive classic car and now they claim to have a new car. I suspect someone playing games.

My experience with fleet owned vehicles with adult drivers would seem to indicate that normal driving from mile ONE is OK even considering widely varied driving styles. And often the drivers who pushed hard on the limits to make schedules had fewer problems than the more timid drivers. I could write a long and entertaining book on that subject… But who would buy it?

Rod’s statement I agree with emphatically. I’ve always driven my cars from day one the way I expected to be driving them for all time. And I’ve put hundreds of thousands of miles on some and have never worn out an engine. My current car is over 232,000 miles and runs great. My ol’ pickup had 338,000 miles on it when it got hit and totaled, and it still only burned about a quart of oil every 1200 miles.

However, my statement must be put into context; I don’t try to set new quarter mile records with my cars, and I maintain them rigorously… some would say obsessively. I do, however, accelerate with gusto once off the line and cruise a bit over the speed limit… and when I pass, I do so with gusto. In short, I don’t beat the car up, but I don’t baby it either, except when it comes to maintenance.

Quoting @Docnick

Driving across Nebraska at 50 mph on cruise control is also very bad for a new engine.

I just looked at the Nebraska radar. It looks like it would be a bad idea at ANY speed due to snow and freezing rain tonight.

I agree that the best way to break in a car’s engine is varied speeds for at least the first few hundred miles.

I recall the first brand new car my folks bought, a '65 Rambler Ambassador. It had a column shifted automatic transmission. The earlier Rambler had a push-button controller. My older sister pulled the handle all the way down to low and drove it six of the ten miles home at the prescribed 50 MPH break in speed. Of course there was no tach. It might have had 40 miles on it at that point. I was only a kid, but I knew something was not right, so I leaned over and bumped the shifter up a notch. The engine immediately came down several hundred RPM. She was adamant that she had done it correctly, but I knew better. They drove that car to 126K miles without any major issues. I was still seeing it in the area three years later, but I don’t know how far it went before it dropped from sight.

I have a feeling that what @“VOLVO V70” hit on something.

The OP posts questions, but never responds.

I think it may just be someone wanting to hear themselves talk.

But then maybe they are just testing out the site, and will come up with more substantial questions in the future.


Slow day in toy-land…

It’s probably a smart alec kid who will brag to his buddies about all the car stuff he knows from asking us. I don’t think any adult is stupid enough to drive a brand new car at high rpms.

I don't think any adult is stupid enough to drive a brand new car at high rpms.

You are now one of the most optimistic people I have ever talked to. :wink:

I had a neighbor years ago. Every morning he’d go out to his car, start it, and immediately floor the throttle and rev it all the way up as high as it would go, then let off the throttle and putt (slowly) off to work.

I was around 7, and asked my dad why he did that, and wouldn’t it hurt the car if he kept doing that? Dad told me I was right, and some grownups are just dumb with cars.

I haven’t seen much in the intervening years to prove dad wrong.

Shadow, you dad was a smart man.

I want to clarify something to the OP. You asked whether it was bad to operate a new engine at high RPMs, then explained that you wanted to do 0-to-60 rums.

You really have not one but TWO potentially problematic issues here: maxing out the RPMs AND high pressures and loads being placed on the internal components by the maximum acceleration attempts. Maxing out the RPMs on an engine not yet broken in is in itself not advisable. However, perhaps more problematic, maximum acceleration places very high loads on critical internal components, including the compression rings (which, since they press harder against the cylinder walls under max acceleration contributes to abuse of the not-yet-broken-in rings/walls), the wrist pins, and the rod and crankshaft bearings.

But, it’s your dime…

Bought a new chainsaw. Manual said to go thru three tanks of fuel before opening her up. Broke out in hives and bright purple rashes that vanished the moment the third tank emptied.