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  1. #1

    New Car Speeding


    We have recently bought a new 2005 Prius. I have a question regarding 'breaking in' the new car. I have heard from people in the past that the new cars should not be sped. One of my neighbors who recently bought a Prius was pretty conservative about this matter and he said, he wouldn't drive over 55 MPH for the first 1000 miles. The car sales person tells me not to drive over 65 MPG for the first 500 miles.

    I really appreciate if someone can explain the science behind this (layman terms if possible) and suggest the 'right' manner of 'breaking in' the new car and also if there is anything special about a new Hybrid car.


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  3. #2

    New Car Speeding

    There is no magic vehicle speed that matters. For engine speed, you should try to drive such that you don't use more than about 50% throttle or exceed 4000rpm for the first 500 miles or so. Toyota has some of the best manufacturing tolerances in the world, so break-in doesn't matter nearly as much as it used to matter with old cars.

  4. #3

    New Car Speeding

    good question. i was distinctly told on my old 1995 chevy van to stay under 65 untill i passed 800 miles.

    i got no such direct info from the dealer or handbook for my honda civic hybrid.

    see ya

  5. #4

    New Car Speeding

    The break-in period has largely gone by the wayside, not only in cars, but in other things as well, most notably in rechargable batteries.

    For cars, as Photosmith said, it's not as much of an issue any more since manufacturing has evolved a lot (and not just Toyota's). Part of making engines more efficient/more powerful means that everything must be much more precise, and engine parts are well-seated from the start, and have better coatings, better lubrication, etc. It used to be that engine parts needed to be run a few thousand miles to seat themselves (basically they would have to rub together and wear matching grooves). Not so much any more.

    Many manufacturers don't recommend any specific break-in behavior... even with oil changes, where it used to be a good idea to change it at much shorter intervals during break-in. Now some manufacturers even recommend against this, stating that they use a special blend in the new engine that should be run through a full cycle (which is 10,000 miles on some of the hybrids).

    Even when break-in was required there was a school of thought that said it was best for the engine to break it in pretty much the way you would be driving it normally. So rather than pampering/babying the engine, drive normally (just without over-working it). This way the engine would break-in the way it would normally be driven. That's how I broke in my Toyota truck that I've had since 1988, and it's been running strong with no major problems since (but of course it IS a Toyota truck).

    Regarding batteries, pre-conditioning them isn't necessary any more with NiMH (though some argue to the contrary). I know that with my Ford Escape Hybrid, the vehicle goes through its own battery maintenance routine to keep the battery in top shape, so there's nothing the operator is required to do.

    I would just go with what your dealer says to do... the cars are smarter than we are now. ]

  6. #5

    New Car Speeding

    It's hard to regulate the RPM's of the Prius to keep them low anyway. The Synergy CVT system automatically determines the proper RPM's of the engine based on pedal demand and a myriad of other variables, so just drive your car normally and don't try to race any 'Vette's. You should be just fine.

  7. #6

    New Car Speeding

    You guys make a good case about break in. I buy mainly Ford cars and trucks and always expected them to get better gas mileage (about 2 MPG) after break in. Come to think of it, I can't say any I bought in the last ten years had much of a change.

    I feel a little disapointed in a way because I was looking forward to better gas mileage after break-in in my Escape Hybrid. At least I'm finding out more and more ways to operate this SUV to increase gas mileage. I'm also glad I got the Nav system so I can watch the battery level, charging system and gas consumption. This makes a big differance for me.

    One thing that also may have changed my mind about buying the FEH was test drives and articles written about the FEH. Average results were in the 27MPG range. I thought this was because the FEH wasn't broke in for a good test.

    One other point about tire presure. I've been getting such good gas mileage that I didn't check the presure until two days ago. On the door sticker, it stated 35psi on front and back tires. The tires say 44psi max. It came from the factory with 40psi cold here in Florida. Maybe its because it was filled in KY where it is colder in January when it was built. Any thought?

  8. #7

    New Car Speeding

    I bought my new Prius in another town 100 miles
    away in order to get sooner delivery and pay MSRP
    without a premium.
    Dealer knew that I was driving on the interstate to
    bring it home; said nothing about speeds.
    I did my usual 70 to 75 mph with no problems or
    hesitation, and the vehicle responded beautifully.
    Therefore, as others have indicated, I do not think
    it is that critical anymore.
    And, I have been driving since the forties, remembering those strict break-in rules.

  9. #8

    New Car Speeding

    All engine/wheel parts that go through friction are precision crafted accurate to the best possible engineering tolerances - no manufacturing by hand. Therefore, engine break-in seems to be a hypothetical concept. IMO a new car will improve it's mpg after 3-6-12 months, as soon as the driver has learned more efficient way of operating his/her foot on gas peddle and brakes.

  10. #9

    I think it's about the

    I think it's about the running-in of your car. I had a friend who had to donate car to charity . He told me that every piece of the vehicle must sustain each other and that's probably the period that Toyota Prius needed.

  11. #10

    Interesting stuff. I know a

    Interesting stuff. I know a friend who bought a car from a Subaru Philadelphia agency. He was driving with speed and he pushed the pedals too hard. I know it's wrong to exhaust your new car, but his vehicle didn't suffer any damage.

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