Does driving a new engine at high speeds cause long term damage?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 2001

Dear Tom and Ray:

I recently bought a new 2001 Jetta GLX and drove it at 80 mph for the first 700 miles. I was told that this was not good for my new engine. Is this true? And if so, what damage have I done to my new car's engine? -- Oliver

TOM: I wouldn't give it a second thought, Oliver. Just forget all about it. It's not even worth worrying about.

RAY: I mean, if you're really interested, you can read the owner's manual, where it specifically warns you not to do this because it prevents the piston rings from seating correctly and leads to oil consumption.

TOM: In case you haven't run across it yet, the owner's manual is a little book about half an inch thick -- with large print -- and it's probably sitting at the bottom of your glove compartment. Lots of new cars come with them.

RAY: But don't go through any trouble to read it, Oliver. It's not really important. When your Jetta is burning a quart of oil every 400 miles and your dealer says he doesn't know why, you will.

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