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The dealer told us that is advisable to change the oil after driving the first 1,000 kilometres in a new car, in order to get all the “gunk” and machining debris out of the works. Your thoughts? – Barb S.

Timely question as I have personally just brought home a new Volkswagen that passed 1,000 km this week. Historically, cars had break-in procedures with a number of steps that had to be followed. Those steps were different depending on the manufacturer and became almost folklore-like.

I’ve heard everything from not travelling above 80 km/h for the first 1,000 km to an opposite drive-it-like-you-stole it attitude. The break-in procedure from my owner’s manual states that for the first 1,600 kilometers one should avoid full throttle, not let the engine speed go above two-thirds and to not tow a trailer.

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It does not give a specific break-in oil change interval and my local dealer says to follow the normal schedule. No car company that I am aware of stipulates the first oil change to be done at 1,000.

Over all, engine manufacturing processes and lubricants have advanced dramatically and unwanted left over machining debris has been reduced to the point where it is rarely an issue.

However, I can’t ignore the recent issues with one auto manufacturer, making a production error and leaving metal debris in their engines.

Perhaps I am being overly cautious, but I will do my first oil change at the 50 per cent mark of the recommended interval.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

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