Niagara Gazette — Do you still have to “break in” a vehicle today? — In a word, no. Lubricants and engine oil have come a long way compared to the products of old; they protect metal parts much better than their predecessors. In addition, the steel and aluminum used for engine parts come from the factory already conditioned and treated and ready to run. The only caveat is: Change the oil and filter for the first time at 1500 miles because some metal has worn off when mating surfaces were establish during the first 1500 miles. The oil filter should be changed as well, because it will contain more wear material at this time than at any other time in the life of the engine (assuming you don’t go for the world record between oil changes down the road).
How often should I change my oil? — Another excellent question. Your carmaker publishes a maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. The outline for recommended oil and filter change mileage intervals are in that manual. Please read it! You will note that there are two service schedules for your car: Normal and severe. These terms (normal and severe) are defined and described by the carmaker. Determine what service description fits your driving habits and the environment in which you drive your car, and follow the appropriate maintenance schedule. Consider changing over to synthetic oil at the time of the first oil and filter change to maximize engine life and decrease internal wear (check your owner’s manual first before changing over just to make sure there are no caveats from the carmaker). I recommend AMSOIL or Mobil One because they are the best synthetic motor oils on the market.
Gasoline, octane ratings, and your car’s performance ...
IRENE FROM BROOKLYN: My car calls for regular gasoline, but I want to use premium grade. Will this harm the engine? I’ve heard you can’t do it the other way around. However, I always thought using premium gasoline would help my car run better, even though the manual says to use regular. Is this true?