The Break-In Period: Part 2

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It doesn’t matter if you have a luxury sedan or a one-and-a-half-door hand-me-down, your car is a marvel of engineering. One may be a bit more dependable than the other, but that has less to do with its make and model than you might think. What all long-lived cars have in common is a knowledgeable driver that treats the vehicle with respect.

The best way to do that is to start the relationship off right, during the “break-in” period. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the importance of taking it easy on the gas (Step 1) and not idling for too long (Step 2).

Take It Easier (at First)

This may seem like a repeat of Step 1, and it does share the same principle. The first 15-20 minutes of your drive is when your car is warming up. Its juices have just started flowing and its tires are just getting acquainted with the road. Especially in cold weather, treat these first few minutes as leisurely as possible. You won’t believe how much difference this will make to your vehicle as the years go by.

Mind Your Tires and Steering Wheel

ACA has a whole section on tires for the curious, so we don’t need to go into too much detail here. However, it’s important to think about your tires when you speed up, slow down, stop or corner. And especially when you see potholes or debris in the road. The smoother you drive, the more smoothly and evenly your tires will wear down.

When you turn, don’t hold the steering wheel to the extreme right or left for too long. This can damage your power steering pump.

What a lot of these steps amount to is a lot of common sense and can be summed up as: Treat the car gently. You certainly don’t need to baby it, but you should always use it like an object that you respect.