There still seems to be little unanimity amongst motor manufacturers on the subjects of running-in, warming-up and oil-changing. The motoring press still receives letters from readers citing cases of new cars being delivered at, what they consider, excessive speeds. In very few cases are these complaints groundless if the running-in instructions of most manufacturers are heeded, for only Auto Union, D.K.W., Daimler, Rolls-Royce, Volkswagen and Volvo, of those who answered our questions on the subject, state that their products require no running-in at all. There is no agreement on the advisability of warming-up, some manufacturers advising drivers to move off immediately the car is started while others deem it necessary to warm-up whilst stationary. The stereotyped wording in many handbooks seems to indicate that there has been little research on these two subjects in recent years and that the instructions are copied from the handbook on a preceding model.
Oil-changing is another subject on which there is little agreement, manufacturers’ recommendations varying from 1,500-mile intervals for various Fiat models and the Renault Dauphine, to 5,000 miles on the Ford Anglia, Consul and Zephyr. In between these limits comes B.M.C. who advise 3,000-mile oil changes, as do Vauxhall, Volvo and VW, while Citroen recommend 2,000-mile intervals for the Bijou, 2,500 miles for the DS19 and ID19 but 1,875 miles for the Panhard PL17! On the 2,000-mile mark come Peugeot and the Rootes Group.
These widely varying intervals, very often on engines which are basically similar, show that there is still a lot to be done in this field. Ford are to be congratulated on extending their oil changes to 5,000-mile intervals, for this is something which carries weight with the private motorist who wishes to cut his motoring costs. The following notes give the recommendations of a number of prominent manufacturers.
Cars fitted with A.C. engines : Engine should not exceed 2,500 r.p.m. for first 1,000 miles.
Cars fitted with Bristol engines : Engine speed should not exceed 3,000 r.p.m. for the first 1,000 miles.
Cars fitted with Ford Zephyr engines : Engine speed should not exceed 2,700 r.p.m. for first 1,000 miles.
No instructions on warming-up are given for these cars.
ASTON MARTIN and LAGONDA
Engines are run-in on the test-bed before fitting to cars but it is advised that the following rev, limits be adhered to :
Up to 1,000 miles 3,000 r.p.m.
Up to 2,000 miles 4,000 r.p.m.
Up to 2,500 miles 4,500 r.p.m.
Warming-up instructions are that the engine should be allowed to run at a fast idle (1,000 to 1,500 r.p.m.) for a minute or so before driving the car.
AUSTIN and AUSTIN-HEALEY
A speed of 45 m.p.h. should not be exceeded during the first 500 miles. The engine should not be allowed to labour and only light throttle should be used. On completion of the first 500 miles speed may be progressively increased but full power should not be used until 1,500 miles have been covered, and even then for only short periods. No engine can be considered fully run-in until 2,000 miles have been covered.
On the subject of warming-up B.M.C. state that allowing the engine to idle is harmful as is racing of the engine when cold. It is recommended that the engine be warmed up by running fairly fast (about 1,000 r.p.m.) or driving away immediately the engine will pull but avoiding heavy loads until the engine is warm.
AUTO UNION and D.K.W.
Running-in instructions are not laid down by the factory as they are not considered necessary for Auto Union cars.
Warming up whilst stationary is not recommended and the car should be driven off immediately it has been started.
BRISTOL 407 (with V8 Chrysler engine)
Avoid high engine r.p.m. and limit revs in any gear to 1,250 r.p.m. (approximately 30 m.p.h. in top gear) until the engine is warm. Maximum speed whilst running-in should be 50 m.p.h. but after 1,000 miles this can be gradually increased.
Full throttle and high speeds should be avoided until engine is thoroughly warmed up.
For maximum engine life the running-in period should be extended to 3,000 miles. During this period the following speeds should not be exceeded : 1st gear, 10 m.p.h.; 2nd gear, 22 m.p.h. 3rd gear, 34 m.p.h. For the first 300 miles speeds should be kept slightly below these figures.
ID19 and DS19
During the first 300 miles the following speeds should not be exceeded : 1st gear, 10 m.p.h.; 2nd gear, 30 m.p.h.; 3rd gear : 45 m.p.h.; 4th gear, 6o m.p.h. From 300 to 1,500 miles the car should be driven carefully, making sure that the engine is not allowed to labour. After 1,500 miles the following speeds are advised : 1st gear, 25 m.p.h.; 2nd gear, 50 m.p.h.; 3rd gear, 70 m.p.h.; 4th gear, 85 m.p.h.
When starting it is advised to warm up, pushing the choke in gradually and allowing three or four minutes to let the car take up its normal running height.
The engine and transmission of all Daimler models are bench and road-tested prior to delivery and running-in is neither necessary nor desirable. Continuous full throttle should be avoided for the first 1,000 miles.
The engine should be started on the manual choke, releasing the choke knob as soon as practicable. Light throttle openings should be used until the engine reaches normal running temperature.
All Ferrari engines, gearboxes and final-drive units are benchrun before fitting and the engine is run for at least 18 hours on the bench. Nevertheless, it is recommended that 4,000 r.p.m. should not be exceeded for 625 miles (1,000 kilometres), and 5,000 r.p.m. from this mileage to approximately 1,300 miles. It is further advised that these r.p.m. be maintained Only for short periods and that the car is run on a light throttle.
In warm weather the engine should be run for one minute at 2,000 r.p.m. before driving off, and in cold weather for two or three minutes at the same r.p.m.
Each Fiat car has a windscreen sticker giving speeds not to be exceeded in each gear. The running-in period is split into three phases, usually up to 300 miles, from 300 to 900 miles and from 900 to 1,800 miles. Additionally, all Fiat engines are filled with a special running-in oil which is replaced by normal oil at 900 miles.
It is strongly recommended that the engine should be warmed up gradually without racing the engine.
Ford owners are given careful running-in instructions, typical instructions being those for the Anglia. It is advised not to exceed the following speeds during the first 500 miles : 1st gear, 10 m.p.h.; 2nd gear, 20 m.p.h.; 3rd gear, 30 m.p.h.; 4th gear, 45 m.p.h. No instructions are given for mileages above 5oo miles.
Fords advise drivers to move away as soon as the engine is running as fuel will be wasted and no advantage gained by allowing it to idle. It is not, on the other hand, advisable to let the engine race immediately after starting front cold and time should be allowed for the oil to circulate.
HILLMAN, HUMBER, SINGER and SUNBEAM
Although running-in instructions differ in detail on Rootes Group cars the basic information is similar. On the Sunbeam Alpine it is recommended that the following speeds be adhered to during the first 500 miles : 1st gear, to m.p.h.; 2nd gear, 15 m.p.h.; 3rd gear, 25 m.p.h.; 4th gear, 40 m.p.h. On completion of the first 500 miles speed in top gear can be increased to 55 m.p.h., with corresponding increases in the intermediate gears, these speeds being maintained until 1,000 miles have been reached. The point is made that the engine should not be allowed to labour.
No specific recommendations are made on the subject of warming up except that the choke should be pushed home as soon as the engine will run smoothly without it.
The engine must not be allowed to labour and the following speeds should not be exceeded. During the first 1,000 miles, 2,500 r.p.m.; from 1,000 to 2,000 miles, 3,000 r.p.m. On the 2.4 model the shorter stroke allows slightly higher r.p.m. to be used.
On the 3.4, 3.8 and Mk. X models which use automatic chokes allow time for the oil to circulate, then drive off, using light throttle openings until normal running temperature is reached. In very cold weather run the engine at 1,5oo r.p.m. until a rise in temperature is recorded on the gauge. On the E-type and 2.4 models with manual chokes the car should be driven away as soon as possible, pushing the choke home as soon as practicable.
On the Flavia model 3,900 r.p.m. should not be exceeded during the first 1,000 miles and 4,500 r.p.m. during the second 1,000 miles. On the Flaminia model 3,500 r.p.m. should not be exceeded in the first 1,000 miles and 4,200 r.p.m. during the second 1,000 miles.
Before driving the car let the engine run at about 1,500 r.p.m. for 30 seconds in summer and two minutes in winter. Avoid hard aceeleration during the first few minutes of running.
On the 300SL Roadster 4,000 r.p.m. should not be exceeded during the first 900 miles. On the other models in the range fixed speeds are given for each phase of running-in, a typical example being those for the 220SE, which limits speeds in the first 300 miles to : 1st gear, 15 m.p.h.; 2nd gear, 25 m.p.h.; 3rd gear, 35 m.p.h.; 4th gear, 50 m.p.h. From 300 to 900 miles these speeds can be increased by 5 m.p.h. in each gear, and from 900 to 1,200 miles speed can be gradually increased to maximum.
Starting and warming-up instructions vary between models, especially those fitted with fuel injection. On the 180, 190 and 220 models the choke should be released to about half-way when the car has started, then it should be driven off, releasing the choke when the engine warms up.
N.S.U. recommend that the engine should not be allowed to labour during the first 800 miles, gradually increasing speeds throughout this period.
Warming-up whilst stationary is not recommended by N.S.U. and the car should be driven immediately it has been started.
Up to 50 miles speed should not exceed 40 m.p.h. in top gear, up to 300 miles the maximum is 45 m.p.h.„ and up to 1,200 miles 55 m.p.h. should not be exceeded.
Full throttle should be avoided during warming-up period and the car should be driven slowly until normal running temperature is reached.
During the first 600 miles the 1600 model should not exceed 3.500 r.p.m. and the Super 90 should not exceed 4,500 r.p.m. During the next 300 miles the rev limits can be increased by 500 r.p.m., but full throttle for long periods is not recommended.
Warming up whilst stationary is not recommended and the car should be driven off as soon as possible without using high revs.
On the 3-Speed Dauphine maximum recommended speeds in the gears for the first 600 miles are 12 m.p.h., 28 m.p.h. and 43 m.p.h., and on the 4-speed model are 12 m.p.h., 20 m.p.h., 30 m.p.h. and 47 m.p.h. Speed should be gradually increased to about the 1,200-mile mark, at which point peak performance can be expected.
All engines are run-in on test-beds before installation and the only precaution suggested to owners is that high-speed driving should be avoided in the first 100 miles to give time for the walls of the new tyres to become fully flexed.
The car can be driven immediately it has been started but high speeds should be avoided until normal running temperature is reached.
Up to 300 miles the maximum recommended speeds in the gears are 10 m.p.h., 20 m.p.h., 25 m.p.h. and 40 m.p.h. From 300 to 1,000 miles these can be increased by 5 m.p.h., and from 1,000 to 2,000 miles by a further 5 m.p.h. in 1st and 2nd gears, by 10 m.p.h. in 3rd, and 15 m.p.h. in top.
Warming up is obtained more quickly by driving away as soon as the engine is running, avoiding high speeds while the engine is cold.
During the first 2,000 miles the suggested maximum speed is 45 m.p.h. to give the chromium-plated piston rings time to bed down. The oil content should be 4% instead of 3% during this period.
No warming up is required on the Saab.
During the first 5oo miles on the Victor the following speeds should be adhered to in the gears : 15 m.p.h., 25 m.p.h., 35 m.p.h. and 56 m.p.h. Speeds can then be gradually increased until the 1,000-mile mark is reached. The same procedure applies to the VX 4/90 model.
The car should be driven off as soon as the engine is running.
No running-in is considered necessary on any VW models.
The car can be driven as soon as the engine starts hut do not race tile engine while it is cold.
No running-in procedure is laid down for Volvo cars. The only recommendation is that full throttle is not used for the first 2,000
Warming up whilst stationary is not advised, the car should be driven away, the choke being released gradually as the engine warms. A radiator blind is recommended during cold weather.