The Institute of Advanced Motorists’ RoadSmart division recommends four things in particular that new car owners should do:
- Allow the brakes to bed in. Start driving gently and avoid harsh accelerating and heavy braking. Tyres will last longer if they’re treated gently for the first few hundred miles.
- Check the coolant levels and oil frequently. Oil consumption may be relatively high for the first 5,000 miles as the engine parts gradually loosen up, but should then settle down.
- If possible, avoid long runs at constant engine speed for the first 1,000 miles or so. Varying the engine speed helps the parts to start working together over the full speed range.
- Fuel consumption will also gradually improve as the moving parts wear in, so don’t be too disappointed if your first tankful doesn’t take you as far as you hoped. It is quite normal for mpg to increase gradually over several thousand miles.
“Buying a new car is exciting, but it is also a substantial investment,” said Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s Head of Driving & Riding Standards. “Treating it with a little restraint to begin with will help all the parts to perform at their best for longer and more reliably. This will also help you get the feel of the car before you fully exploit the performance.”