Things to Know About Breaking in a Brand New Vehicle - information from the the pros at Shingle Springs Subaru serving Sacramento, CA

A new pair of jeans isn't exactly comfortable at first, is it? The zipper is stiff, the material is scratchy and they fit a little bit tight through the legs at first -- but then you wear them for a few days and something magical happens. The fabric softens, the shape conforms to your body and suddenly you've got a new favorite pair in your closet! In much the same way, the engine in a new vehicle needs to be broken in before you can enjoy it to the fullest.

A new engine features smooth metal edges, fresh seals and dry moving parts. As the engine begins to run, these components will become coated with engine oil, allowing them to slide and rotate against one another without causing any damage. But at first, these parts are a little bit more vulnerable. Here are some tips for breaking in your new Subaru properly from the experts at Shingle Springs Subaru.

4-Cylinder Engine Cutaway

5. DON'T Floor It

When your engine is new, clean metal parts and fresh gaskets have only recently been assembled. Over time, the heat and friction of the engine will allow these parts to mate together and form perfect seals -- but for the first 1,000 miles, those seals haven't been worn in yet. Subjecting the engine to high load prematurely can prevent this wear-in process from taking place. This can lead to premature engine failure down the road.

For that reason, you should avoid high RPMs, high loads and wide-open throttle. For example, the manufacturer recommends 2019 Subaru models be kept under 4,000 RPMs for the first 1,000 miles. You can avoid high loads by easing onto the throttle, staying away from steep inclines and taking extra care when downshifting with a manual transmission.

Speedometer And Tachometer

4. DON'T Brake Hard

Much like the engine, your brakes, steering and suspension need a break-in period too. There's not much you can do to baby the suspension, but you can take it easy on your brakes. Give yourself ample following distance and time to come to a stop, and avoid hard braking whenever possible. Of course, if you need to make an emergency stop, you should do so. But hard braking during the break-in period can put added strain on the braking system and cause damage to the brake pads before they become fully worn in.

3. DO Vary The Engine Load

You don't want to overload the engine, but you also don't want to overcorrect and baby the engine too much. A car only driven in a circle around your cul-de-sac for 1,000 miles won't get broken in properly, either. To properly break in your car, you want to ease your car into the normal driving conditions it'll experience during a normal commute. This means allowing the engine to experience a wide variety of loads and speeds. So, just take your car on a normal drive, but don't overdo it with the acceleration in braking. Jump on the freeway occasionally, but be sure to mix in some side streets. This will naturally subject the engine to a wide variety of loads, RPMs and conditions, helping the engine to wear in correctly.

Draining Engine Oil Pan

2. DON'T Use Cruise Control

Using cruise control will keep the engine from experiencing a variety of loads. Cruise control allows you to maintain a set speed, and will usually cause the engine to operate at a consistent RPM assuming a consistent speed and relatively flat road. This is not ideal during the vehicle break-in period. Avoid using cruise control for the first 1,000 miles you own your vehicle, and consider waiting on that family road trip. It can be hard to vary engine load when traveling at cruising speeds on a flat, level highway.

1. DO Get Your First Oil Change On Time, Or Even Early

Once the engine break-in period has completed, the fresh metal parts will have worn in and will allow for smooth, consistent operation for hundreds of thousands of miles to come -- with regular maintenance, of course! And speaking of regular maintenance, many owners choose to have the oil changed in their engine as soon as the break-in period is over. This is a good idea as the metal components inside the engine are experiencing more friction and creating more metal filings during the break-in period than at any other time in the engine's life. Getting that debris out of the engine early is never a bad idea! Once your break-in period has ended, and you've perhaps even gotten an oil change, you're free to put the pedal to the metal to your heart's content -- well, as long as you're observing the rules of the road.

If you have any additional questions about your vehicle's break-in period, don't hesitate to give us a call and speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable Subaru technicians.

Shingle Springs Subaru

4045 Wild Chaparral Dr
Directions Shingle Springs, CA 95682

  • Sales: 530-677-8771
  • Service: 530-677-8771
  • Parts: 530-677-8771