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.


  1. 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.

      1. Is it a must or recommended for new hilux after running 600 to 1,000 miles to change engine oil?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


  4. ‘… 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.


  5. Hi!
    I’ve recently bought a new 2019 Toyota Prado. Great vehicle but some things are annoying. For example, after driving a car for more than 10 km there’s a noticeable clank or hit in the transmission when you shift from drive to reverse. The same behavior I noticed in other land cruisers. Could you please explain why it is so. Many thanks in advance!

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately we can’t provide information on models from other regions and we would recommend getting in touch with a Toyota centre from your region to advise you further.


  6. Hi, how does this differ on a Toyota Hybrid as the engine is not on all the time, does not rev counter and I understand engine speed is managed by software. Thanks.

    1. Hi Russy,

      Congratulations on your new car.

      It doesn’t differ. Try to avoid sudden/hard acceleration and sudden/hard braking, do not drive at a constant speed for extended periods and do not drive at extremely high speeds.



      1. Hi Craig,

        UK motorway speeds (70mph) are not classed as ‘extremely high speeds’.


  7. My Rav4 will be getting delivered from a dealership 5 hours drive from me.
    Do I need to advise them of this and how would I even know if they have used it…. :-/

    1. Hi Craig,

      Congratulations on your new car and thanks for choosing Toyota.

      A Toyota centre will be well aware of the running in period for the vehicle and will adhere to it if they are delivering the vehicle.


  8. What about running in for the Rav4 Phev? It can run on EV only – but is it recommended to choose the HV combustion engine mode for, say, first 1000 miles, even if there’s enough battery charge each day to drive in EV mide alone? The manual says nothing in this respect…

    1. Hi Ian,
      Thanks for your comment.
      All of the advice you should follow is in your Owner’s Manual as you mentioned.
      This includes not towing a trailer for the first 500 miles, not suddenly accelerating etc.
      The car should be okay to drive in EV only for these early miles.
      We hope this helps provide some clarity, please let us know if you have any further questions.

  9. Hi Toyota

    Just took delivery of 2022 Toyota Chr Hybrid 2.0 litre. I noted your comments about the breaking in process which I am adhering to. Just to advise you that I can find no mention of this process in the User Guide in the UK. Could you advise if I’m incorrect.

    I look forward to your reply.



    1. Hi Jonathan, thanks for your comment.

      Please see the ‘Driving Tips’ section in your Owner’s Manual for reference to economical and ecololgical driving.


  10. I am about to receive my new GR86, so no manual as yet. If it arrives on time, I will need to drive it 250 miles in one day although I could stage it over 2 days, but it would not be very convenient and cost a night in a hotel. The journey is usually almost all motorways and dual carriageways, buy I will use A roads. Would I be better off leaving my GR86 at home and using my old car as I plan to keep that Any advice will be gratefully received?

    1. Hi Peter, thanks for getting in touch.

      Congratulations on your Toyota purchase!

      The recommended general advice for driving new cars can be seen listed above.

      For more specific advise regarding your journey, we recommend contacting your nearest Toyota Centre.


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