Running-in a new car

Just as an athlete needs a little time to warm-up before competing, Toyota advises buyers of all new cars to observe a short running-in period. The purpose of running-in a new car is to give mechanical components a chance to bed-in before putting them under stress, in so doing extending the overall life of a factory-fresh vehicle.

Modern precision engineering has transformed this traditional running-in period. It used to be a procedure that required a visible explanation (see opening image) for patience-testing behaviour on the road. But it is now more of a precaution that is undemanding and unlikely to require any change in a person’s normal driving style.

What does Toyota recommend in this regard? The following bullet points outline the general running-in procedure, which will help drivers of new Toyota models optimise their vehicles for a long, reliable and rewarding life on the road.

Running-in: the first 200 miles

  • Avoid sudden stops

Running-in: the first 500 miles

  • Do not tow a trailer (model dependent)

Running-in: the first 600-1,000 miles

  • Avoid sudden acceleration
  • Do not drive continuously in low gears (manual transmissions)
  • Do not drive slowly in high gears (manual transmissions)
  • Do not drive at a constant speed for extended periods
  • Do not drive at extremely high speeds

Running-in a new car: summary

Our advice on running-in a new car  covers the engine, transmission and brake system, and allows these new mechanical components to bed-in under a variety of low- to medium-stress conditions for up to 1,000 miles. During that period, extremes should be avoided, which includes pushing the engine to sustain high revolutions or forcing it to struggle along at unnecessarily low revs.

Specific information on running-in any new Toyota model can be found in Chapter 4 of the owner’s manual.

Comments (8)

  1. ‘… page 193 of ths handbook.’
    I suggest that this helpful summary be made available to new car buyers on a card, at point of handover.
    PS: I have just bought a 2019 Prius and had a 150-mile first drive from the dealer into a strong headwind. I drove on speed control varying between an indicated 67, 68, 69 mph. What speed will the engine have been doing?
    PPS: The stability of the Prius was astonishing – I didn’t realise the wind was so strong.

    1. Hi Jack,

      Thanks for getting in touch, it’s great to hear that you’ve recently bought a new Prius and are enjoying driving it.

      In regards to your question, there is no set speed that the engine will be doing. This changes depending on factors such as temperature, wind and battery charge.


  2. Hello,
    At the dealership, where I’ve bought my new Corolla, the saleswoman said, that these new cars don’t need a run in at all. One hour later I made a 400 miles trip on a constant 90 miles per hour speed with cruise control on mountainous highway. Couple days later I did the same thing back again. Do you consider this an extremely high speed? Shoud I sue the sales lady tomorrow?
    Thanks and regards

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you are concerned about your vehicle or believe there is something that needs to be inspected, we would recommend for you to contact your local Toyota Centre or Toyota in your region.


  3. Hi,

    Unfortunately in the handbook of Toyota Auris (model 2018) nothing is written about the running-in process, and I drove the first 1000 miles in the highway. Why is it ignored in this handbook (but not in the handbook of Corolla 2018, which I assume both models should have comparable motors)? Should I be worried about ignoring this process?

    Thanks and regards

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you turn to page 193 of the Auris Hybrid Owner’s Manual, there is a section called ‘Breaking in your new Toyota’. Provided that you haven’t driven the vehicle at extremely high speeds and that you haven’t driven at a constant speed for extended periods of time, you shouldn’t be worried about this. By constant speed we mean continuously the same speed, for example, if using the cruise control system. Any small fluctuations in the vehicle speed would suffice for good running-in.

      If you do come across anything that you’re concerned about, we would recommend for you to contact your local Toyota Centre.

      We hope this helps.

  4. I just took delivery of a Toyota CHR fleet vehicle. It is already returning 59mpg, which I think is stunning, I cant wait to hit 70+. The car is so aerodynamic that it accelerates briskly without a lot of throttle, and holds the road extremely well on the motorway and in dense urban environments.

    1. Hi James,
      Thank you for you’re kind words. We wish you many more happy miles ahead in your C-HR. Thanks.

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