So what are others' thoughts on how best to run in the third generation MCS?
The manual is likely to say to take it easy for the first 1,000 miles, but how relevant is that today as engines are bed in at the factory?
I've always take some care during the first 1,000 miles, but I've still red lined cars during this period and have always been very pleased with rolling road hp results, fuel economy and oil consumption:
R50 Cooper, manufacturer claimed 115hp, rolling road tested at 126hp standard, 50 UK mpg achieved if driven very gently.
R56 Cooper S, manufacturer claimed 175hp, rolling road tested at 191hp standard, 50 UK mpg achieved if driven very gently.
I've also read references on the internet about pushing an engine hard (using specific methods) during the first 20 miles to ensure the rings are completely sealed.
Yes I agree about taking it softly for the first few hundred miles to bed in the brakes, tyres etc., and similarly on the load issue too. Between 500 and 1,000 miles I've often red lined cars a couple of times. After that I'm happy to push beyond 6,000rpm on a daily basis. I tend to run all new cars to 60,000 - 70,000 miles within three years, and engines always feel new at this point.
I don't think a new engine would blow under these conditions within 1,000 miles unless it had something chronically wrong with it in the first place.
Dealer demonstrator cars etc. get a much harder time as staff and customers inevitably want to test performance. I think that proper warming up and cooling down (turbo) is probably more of an issue.
I guess I'm interested in views on pushing an engine hard on the first day (high rpm not load) to seal the rings. Presumably engines are run enough at the factory that this wouldn't make sense at the point of delivery?!
Do not drive your new car like it's stolen. Constant high rev's from cold will wreck the engine long term. The most important thing is to warm up the engine first. This applies to a new car or your trusty steed that you've had for a while.
With a new car ensure you drive it 'normally', but make sure you do not drive it at constant rev's. The engine needs to bed in and seal the piston rings so it's important to generate heat through the engine to ensure the rings bed properly and don't leak fluids past them.
In general, and after the engine has warmed up properly, drive the car 60%-70% of it's rev limit for the first 1500-2000 kms and make sure you use most of the rev range - varying low and high revs. Some people have said that you should take the car to high rev's in one gear and then slow the car down in the same gear. I'm not sure that is totally practical when you're driving along public roads but it would certainly help with sealing the piston rings as it puts moderate load on the engine while accelerating and while decelerating. Moderate loading helps to seal the piston rings.
Brakes also need "bedding-in". You will need to clean the brake discs of all the protective flim that they are delivered with. One of the best ways to do this is to find a quiet stretch of road and drive up to 80 kph (or 100 kph if you can) and brake moderately hard down to around 20-40 kph. Do not come to standstill as it will adversely heat up the brake pads and discs and can in some cases glaze them.
Repeat the acceleration and braking procedures 4 to 6 times.
Then it is important to let the brakes cool down gradually.
You can continue with this process for a few times without hurting your brakes.
You will notice that the discs appear shinier (as all the protective coating should have been burnt off) and should you not hear any brake squeal.
2009 R56 Mini Cooper S: Chili Red, Black Roof, Black Wheels, ASC+T, SatNav, Very Cute!
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