OK, time for the ultimate noob questions, and this looks like the perfect noob thread; a subject that is quite germane for yours truly. All the comments here have given me plenty of things to consider, and if anyone out here has any strong suggestions of advice, I’m all ears.
Forgive me for being long-winded, but I won't be getting my ’10 GTI for another week, gotta kill some time somehow.
So without further ado…
Brief backstory: I am currently the owner of a ’96 Accord with 215,000+ miles on it. While I’m not trying to boast (you’d have to work to get a Japanese four-banger to NOT make it to 200k) I would like to think of myself as capable of taking care of a car’s drive train for an extended period of time. I also understand that the seeds planted in the first couple-k will bare fruit for the rest of the engine life. As you can probably tell by now, I’m a cheap bastard, as well as someone who can recognize value. Hence the road leading me to the GTI.
So, I live in NC. Test drove a 2-door manual down the street and fell in love. DSG interested me, but it puts the price-point a little higher than I care to go to. I like the manual, it has some nicer throws than the auto press led me to believe. Plus, girlfriend can’t drive stick, and this will keep her on the right side of the front seat (don’t tell her I said that.)
Problem is, she’s looking at her uterus, looking at her watch, looking at the two door, and shaking her head at me when I say we could get a car seat in and out of there no problem. But that’s OK, while I prefer the visibility of the 2 door window, I can live with a B-pillar sitting adjacent to my face. Craning my neck when merging left is a small price to pay for a $#!+ eating grin.
Problem #2: I’ve done an online inventory search of every dealer from DC to SC, and all the options down here are 2-door auto/manual or 4 door automatic. Remember, I’m a cheap bastard.
So here comes the solution, one that keeps my post on the topic of this thread. My favorite uncle happens to work on a VW lot in New Jersey. While he doesn’t have a 4 door manual sitting in his lot, he’s going to scoop one up for me at a dealership two hours away (which I read: 80-150 miles away.) So the plan is, I fly up there next week, presumably as my car rolls from point A-to-B, hang out with family for a couple days, drive home in my new sweet sweet ride.
Uncle gets a sale, I get a vacation at the Shore with some awesome people, and I get to break in what will likely be the only brand-new high-performance internal combustion engine I will ever own in my life.
So big question number 1:
- The Sunday after next, I can take I-95 all the way home, keeping my thumbs off cruise control, and keep the RPMs cycling moderately in 5th/6th gear for ~500 miles of superhighway blandness.
- I can take I-95 for ~200 miles, take a detour around DC, and head west to the finest piece of asphalt east of the El Camino Real; a road that the wise call the Blue Ridge Parkway, and fools and Virginians call the Skyline Drive.
I’m thinking, depending on my departure time, I can make ~200 miles down those magnificent curves before it gets too dark, and pop back on the superhighway for the last 250 miles home.
Which route is better to break this motor in? Is there a compelling reason to keep to the straight and narrow of I-95?
Additionally, if I initially go down the Blue Ridge Parkway, I’ll be breaking in myself as much as the car. I intend to assess the handling and braking of my new vessel for a couple dozen twisty miles, and keep eggshells under my right foot. I think I can satisfy myself keeping the RPMs on the moderate side while the organs gradually drop from my abdominal cavity
Once familiarity and its cousin, confidence, wash over me, should I commence the throttling? Is there any utility to low-gearing it and opening it up, or should I keep her quiet as we break ourselves in?
Big question number 2:
Since this will likely be driven from one lot to another, the keys will probably be dropped in my hand with perhaps as much as 250 miles on the odometer. Given that I’m going to tootle around NJ for a couple days, and then drive between 500 and 700 miles after that, should I consider having the oil changed:
(a) at the dealership the day I get it (mileage, between 50-250 miles)
(b) after tootling around for a couple days, before taking her on the big trip home (mileage between 100-300)
(c) immediately after my road trip concludes (mileage probably around 1k at this point)
or (d) when the manual suggests
Big question number 3:
Is it next Friday yet?
Even though I’m not in your tribe yet, I’d like to thank y’all for your advice in advance.