How to Break in a New Truck Engine

by Leonardo R. Grabkowski

Break-in periods for vehicles used to be much longer than they are today, often exceeding 1,000 miles. Today, the recommended break-in period for many cars and trucks is 500 miles. Following proper break-in procedures can extend the life of your truck's engine. The following recommendations apply to new Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet trucks.

Step 1

Do not tow a trailer or any other cargo carrier during the first 500 miles. Your internal engine components are not properly lubricated to handle the stress of towing. You should also avoid carrying heavy loads of cargo in the bed.

Step 2

Do not exceed 50 mph during your first 500 miles of towing. This should be observed whether you truck has 2,000 miles on it or 20,000. Stay at speeds between 40 and 50 mph to prevent long-term damage.

Step 3

Go easy on the accelerator during the first 500 miles. Take extra precautions not to spin your tires or make full-throttle starts after you come to a stop. Stay at a variable speed while on the highway or interstate. Adjust your speed by 10 to 15 mph every 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 4

Avoid hard braking if possible during the first 200 miles. Not only will this reduce wear and tear on your engine, it will prevent damage to your brake pads. This should also be observed after new brake pads are installed.

Step 5

Do not exceed a top speed of 55 mph for the first 500 miles to prevent excessive wear and tear on your engine.

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