Most people dream about taking their new car on a road trip, and it’s easy to understand why.
Going for a road trip is a perfect way of knowing your new vehicle and experiencing the fun it comes with.
But, Should You Take Your Brand New Car on A Long Road Trip?
Yes. While older vehicles came with a mechanical break-in period, usually about 500 to 1000 miles, to enable the settlement of piston rings, manufacturers have optimized the process so that almost all cars can be immediately driven off into any adventure.
Some claim that new cars should not be taken for road trips or driven intensely until a supposed break-in period allows mechanical parts to settle in.
However, most car companies today complete the break-in process at the factory, meaning you can get straight into driving.
Also, while it’s good to break in your car well and give the engine a good start if you get an emergency or require to go on a long road trip when the vehicle is still new, it won’t hurt.
What Is The Break-In Period For A Brand New Car?
The break-in period is when the engine is still settling in the initial period after being manufactured.
In the older car models, automakers often recommended break-in periods and processes for their cars.
The older cars had break-in procedures that needed several days to complete.
The good news is that new, modern cars don’t need break-in periods because modern powertrains continually adapt to drivers’ driving styles and needs.
This means you may not require to accumulate the miles in short-distance driving before going for a road trip in a new car.
Today, any car you buy will mostly be broken in at the factory.
Some manufacturers still recommend steps to promote car safety and ensure it will run for years.
Such precautions include frequently varying your driving speeds and not towing other cars.
This said, with all the reliability checks and tests that car manufacturers have their vehicles undergo these days, you don’t have to worry about taking your new car on a road trip.
Additionally, mechanical guidelines should not break the warranty while operating a car outside its run-in period.
This will be unless there are clear signs you are misusing the vehicle.
Therefore, the break-in period nowadays is more of personal preference.
Settlement of Piston Rings
The primary issue most individuals worry about when it comes to mechanical run-in periods is the settlement of the piston rings.
Establishing the connection between the engine’s piston rings with the cylinder wall is essential as soon as possible.
Otherwise, it can cause several consequences. These include;
1. Deterioration Of The Cylinder Wall
When the piston rings don’t settle into the cylinder wall grooves, friction will be produced between the two each time you run the engine.
2. Excessive Oil Consumption
If the piston rings don’t settle properly, the oil may collect in the cylinder wall making the car use more oil than usual or necessary.
3. Engine Wear And Tear
This is more particular on older engines which might eventually cause the need to be replaced.
While the list may seem a bit scary, you should not assume if you actually have a new car.
While it’s recommendable to drive gently to make sure the pistons settle perfectly, most modern automobile manufacturers have optimized this engine, so you don’t need to worry.
There have been constant improvements to the cylinder wall surface finishes that ensure the pistons settle reliably even though you don’t follow the break-in instructions from the manufacturer to the core.
Is It Recommendable to Drive a Brand-New Car Fast?
Many car owners are concerned that a long road trip will deteriorate their new car because of driving at high speeds for long, particularly if they have a muscle car blower.
It is correct that you should avoid driving your car at extreme speeds for the first few hundred miles. This prevents working the engine to its highest RPM or redlining.
As long as you don’t exceed the speed limit, this should not be a problem for the break-in period of the car.
Another practice lots of drivers have that may not be ideal for your new car is cruise control.
Because cruise control locks your vehicle at one speed, it’s not recommendable to use it on your road trip if your new car is on its first few hundred miles.
Three Tips For Going with A New Car on A Road Trip
Road trips can be relatively demanding on a car, even when new. Here are a few tips to help keep your new vehicle safe on a road trip.
1. New Tires
Car components such as tires and brakes will accumulate more wear because of the extra friction on long road trips.
Therefore, it’s an excellent idea to look into tires when heading for long trips for extra safety.
2. Take Breaks
More so, driving for long-distance has a higher probability of engine taxing compared to short trips.
This can result in problems like overheating and even decrease the engine’s performance in the long term.
A 15-minute break at 2-hour intervals should be adequate and will help enhance the performance of your engine in the long run.
3. Avoid High Traffic Areas
Additionally, running into highway traffic and other roads after driving at high speeds means the engine will abruptly go idle. Doing so might take a toll on your engine.
You should consider planning your road trip ahead to avoid traffic as it will help decrease the strain on your new vehicle.
As insignificant as they might seem, these tips will help keep your car in the best condition throughout your road trip.
Generally, there is no reason you should not take your brand-new car on a road trip.
While there are a few necessary precautions you should consider if you are taking your new vehicle straight off from the dealer to your road trip, such as avoiding cruise control, it is mainly a myth that new cars can get damaged by going for a road trip.
So, relax and enjoy your road trip with your new car.