I was planning on taking my soon to take possession X5 on a trip which
will consist mostly of highway driving of about 3000mile drive and
been told that that's not such a good idea because you don't want to
drive a brand new car on the highway for any extended amount if you
can help before the car's properly broken in.
The seals, rings and the machine just needs to set in properly, which
happens during the break in period and before that, I was told you
should avoid any long highway trip.
What do you guys think? If this was your car, would you do it or put
off the trip until after the car's broken in properly? Thanks.
So you're spending thousands of $$$$$ on a new BMW car and you think it might
break down? Shame on you!
Basically this is already done unless the factory robots are made in China and
speak Burmese or something! Modern engineering is not infallible but it is
dammed good. I took delivery of my new 730d SE car and drove it from the UK to
Alicante in Spain and back only putting fuel in it. Running - in is a thing of
the past. You do not drive for 3000 miles with your foot on the floor at
breakneck speeds. You drive on a fairly flat surface at speeds around the 60 -
80 mph mark. Varying the speed occasionally might be useful as when the engine
is on the overrun the bores get cooled by extra crankcase vacuum and inlet
vacuum draws cooler air into the engine - not much as it did when machining
tolerances were measured in fractions of an inch instead of fractions of a
Drive sedately, not too much load for the first 200 miles and vary the driving
style occasionally and - take a list of BMW phone numbers for dealers en-route
incase you need to call the service guys out - remember its still under warranty
and they should collect if all goes pear shape.
Sir Hugh of Bognor
The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.
On Sat, 10 May 2008 08:25:06 +0100, email@example.com wrote:
If the OP is in the US, he is referring to putting it on the highway
on cruise control for hours on end at the same speed. That's not the
same thing as you driving from the UK to Alicante, unless they just
built a straight highway right across the channel into Spain.
Your last piece of advice is good. If his car is brand new he should
drive variable speed/style initially, but I suggest he talks to his
dealer and/or read the manual to find out howmany miles he needs to do
that. When I broke mine in I took it past 200 miles before considering
And BMW recommends a 1200 mile break-in during which 4,500 rpm and 100 mph
should not be exceeded. Since as Vern & Hugh said, you should vary your
speed and throttle load, maybe the first leg of your trip can be done on
back roads - much more interesting that way as well.
Enjoy your new X5.
As posted here way back then, we picked up my wife's E46 325i at the factory in
Munich on December 22, 2001, and ten minutes later were doing 100 mph on the
autobahn headed for Vienna. We put 2600 miles on it in three weeks before
dropping it off for shipment home. Even on the autobahns, these days there are
enough construction and urban zones with lower speed limits that I never worried
about cruising too long at a constant speed.
The only beat it's missed since was when the battery died in '05. Other than
that glitch, it's like new.
Well, sort of. For the break-in period, you should vary your speed a good
bit. Don't just drop the cruise control on and go to sleep. And you
should not exceed 90 mph or so.
On most US highways, following these two rules is not difficult.
Also, in spite of what BMW claims, you should probably do an early
oil change maybe 1500 miles in. This means finding a place to do
an oil change halfway along your trip. Or picking up oil and a filter
at the dealer when you buy the car and doing it on the curb in the hotel
This is true, but you should know that modern engines are machined pretty
precisely and don't need the elaborate break-in that was needed in the
sixties and the seventies. You used to keep below 50 mph, vary your speed
all over to get the rings to seat, and change your oil at 500 miles (and
you would see LOTS of metal shavings in that first oil change). Engines
aren't like that any more.
But you DO need to treat your engine extra careful in the break-in period,
and that means no jackrabbit starts, no racing the engine, no high speed
driving. The good news is that "high speed" on a BMW product is a lot
higher than you can legally drive in the US anyway. And you do still need
to vary your speed to seat the rings, but it's not as elaborate a procedure
as it was years ago.
I'd take the trip, but I'd take it along the black roads on the map as
much as possible and take my time about the whole thing. But then, I
like to do that anyway... I drove from Richmond to New York on Route 1
last year and it had a lot of stoplights but it was lots of fun to see
the remnants of the old road city from the fifties. And I was driving
a BMW whose engine was broken in around 420,000 miles ago.
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
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