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Picking up a new car, 20 miles on the clock how to treat it on a 300 mile trip home?

I am buying a new higher performance vehicle tomorrow morning with 20 miles on the clock. It is a V8 manual trans car. I have had a few manual trans vehicles before so I can drive a stick pretty well and feel I did OK on a test drive here locally. How do I need to drive this vehicle for the 300 miles trip home? Unknown how it was driven for those 20 miles what would you do?

  1. Is bedding in the brakes necessary or already done? What is the procedure you would do?
  2. I have been told to be as easy as possibly on clutch engagement until I get some miles on the clutch, around 500 but the first trip will have a lot of engaged time for the clutch instead of being actuated, should this extend the time required to seat/break-in the clutch?
  3. Increase and decrease the RPMs to help seat the rings has been suggested on this 300 mile trip, drive some in 6th gear and then some in 5th and back and forth that way or physically speed up and slow down, I guess same outcome happens.

Any other thoughts?

Follow the instructions in the Owner’s Manual.

Truthfully, I ignore my own advice. I just drive the vehicle exactly like I plan to use it, except I refrain from flooring it. And I keep my vehicles for sometimes hundreds of thousands of miles.

Well, the brakes are a touchy subject that I don’t want to repeat what we did on the wife’s Magnum and hope that maybe a bed in procedure could keep the brakes from developing a squealing habit later in the brake life.
The clutch, I have heard low mileage claims because it was not driven properly when the clutch was new.
Engine, this was just suggested and I followed it on my last new vehicle purchased for me. Just wasn’t sure how important it would be with today’s manufacturing processes.

I would just drive normally. Avoid hard stops and rapid (performance type) acceleration for the next 100 - 200 miles. No need to do anything “special” for the clutch, just no performance driving initially.

Avoid driving at a steady speed for a long period, which means don’t use the cruise control on the trip home. You can test the cruise to make sure it works, but don’t leave the cruise engaged after a short test for function.

The brakes are already bedded in. Whatever happened with your wife’s Magnum, and whatever you were told, if the brakes sqealed later in life than they were destined to. With newly installed brakes on an existing car there are things that can minimize squeal, but there is no bedding procedure that can prevent it from developing, but with a new car everything should have been done already.

“Avoid driving at a steady speed for a long period, which means don’t use the cruise control on the trip home.”

This, I think, is the most important thing.
Take the back roads instead of the interstate if possible.

Agree with all the above, but don’t be afraid to wind it out every now and again, it will help the rings seat… Honestly, the day of “break in” is over, just drive the car like you would normally !

The original comments that I was asking about were theories given by a Dodge Technician for my first ride home.

Follow your owner’s manual. Opinions vary.

A lot of these ideas come from the past when engine parts were a lot less accurate than they are now and and far greater variation. It truly was important to honor a “break in period”. Engines to day, manufacturing processes today, are so accurate, and factory break ins so common, that much of it is obsolete.

Brakes and clutches haven’t changed much (drum brakes are still common on the rear, although becoming less so), and it’s true that improper use of a clutch can kill it quickly, but that was always true. I’ve never worried about “bedding on” a clutch, and the only one I ever had to change had 295,000 miles on it. I’ve never had a problem with new brakes either.

Break in periods are subject to many variables. But you can’t go wrong following the owner’s manual.

Yeah just drive normally and vary the speed a little on the highway. No big deal anymore.

The engine is already broken in at 20 miles but it’s not a bad idea to vary the speed a bit and no wide open throttle bit anyway.
If it’s a higher performance V-8 car with a manual transmission then that could possibly bring up the issue of how it was driven in those 20 existing miles.

There was a news story the other day about a newer model Camaro SS owner who had left his car at a Chevy dealer with a complaint and who had also left an audio recorder in the door pocket.
Two mechanics were caught on tape apparently joyriding the car, smoking the tires, doing hard launches, etc. and knocked the clutch out of it. They were also heard devising ways to either hit the customer up for a sudden failure or to palm it off on a bogus warranty claim. This is still being hashed out according to the story.

These 2 morons are the exception not the rule and one would hope they became unemployed the moment the dealer found out about this.

The last three vehicles I bought new had manuals that said to not drive at a ‘high speed’ (which they didn’t define) my 2002 truck for the first 1000 and the other two newer vehicles for the first 500 miles. The manuals also said to not drive at one speed for a long period and to take it easy on the brakes during those first miles.

I doubled their recommendation and still have all three running very well with no oil leaks, engine or brake problems.

Just drive it. There’s no point driving it like you stole it, in case this particular car has manufacturing issues, but I don’t think new cars have break in periods anymore.

@ok4450 I read the same story about the Camaro. I too have curiosity about how those 20 miles were clocked. Can’t do a dang thing about that now.

I will see what the new car delivery says about it and/or read the manual before bailing off the lot for the ride home.

Vary your speed and don’t go too fast.

I agree with most of the above with two exceptions, avoid going to the red line until its broken in, keep the RPM’s down and DO go wide open throttle, but do that in high gear. Loading up the engine at low RPM helps seat the rings, but you only need to do that a couple of times, a couple of WOT from 30 to 60 MPH in 6th gear is good for the engine in the long run.

If you have to go over mountains on the way home, then you can maintain a constant speed if you want, its not the constant speed that causes the problem, its the constant load. If the trip is flat and level, then vary your speed. If traffic is light, you could do some pulse and coast to not only break it in, but get real good gas mileage on the trip.

@keith and everyone else.
I did all of this on the way home. Varying the load mostly in the mountains, running the car in 5th and 6th at different times. A couple bursts of heavy load in higher gears to help on ring seating. Factory manual talked specifically about that one stating to do some full throttle activations in higher gears will help during break0in after the first 60 miles. Specifically do not do this in 1st gear and I have not even tried that. We will have a lot of time for those shenanigans.

Off topic but still cool, I let my 16 year old son drive me the 340 miles to pick the car up and then drive the chase car back home in front of me. Good bonding time and good trust builder in him. I am sure he will remember this ride for a long time. Only 2 small incidents but that is great for the little time he has had behind the wheel and first time on the interstate.

Thanks for ever comment on here guys. I just wasn’t sure how to get past the early miles on this new car, knowing if it was different than an auto car.