Every engine needs to be broken in, including diesel engines. Once manufactured, engines are made to certain precise specifications. However, these specifications still do include some tolerances that may be just a little off. During the process of breaking in, the engine parts will wear against each other and begin to fit each other better. As a consequence, the engine will perform far more efficiently. Here's how to break in the engine in your new diesel pickup.
Start By Running Your Engine Lightly for a Few Hours
For the first few hours of running your engine, you should drive as lightly as possible. That means driving fairly slowly for a little while, though you can still do some easy highway driving. Ideally, you don't want to be in stop and go traffic; some gentle city roads may be preferred.
Avoid Idling Your Diesel Truck
You should always avoid idling a diesel truck, as it overworks the engine. Diesel trucks are not meant to idle; they are intended primarily to work. That means that when a diesel truck is pulling something or running at a high RPM, it's working more easily. While you don't want to work the pickup hard now, you still want to avoid idling it.
Continue to Gently Ramp Up Your Engine Use
Over the next ten to fifteen hours, you should gently begin to ramp up your engine use. At this point, you should be testing your new engine as you break it in, and trying your best to notice any strange sounds or performance issues as you go. You still don't want to press your vehicle to its limits, but you do want to push the boundaries a bit. If you do discover any irregularities, you might want to consider looking into servicing.
Don't Tow for at Least 500 Miles
New pickup trucks should not be used for towing or anything extremely intensive in the first 500 miles. The first 500 miles are going to make the most difference in terms of the parts conforming to each other, which makes this a critical time.
Begin Driving Hard After 15 Hours (or 1,000 Miles)
After approximately 15 hours or 1,000 miles (whichever comes last), you should be able to ride your truck a bit harder. By easing in over time, you'll be able to break in your engine and get its best performance without potentially damaging it. Breaking it in too quickly could cause problems or premature warping.
Have more questions about how to break in an engine? It's an important time. Contact us at Bodacious Diesel for more information about how to properly break in a diesel engine without any potential damage.