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-   -   New Car Break-In Process... (https://www.s2ki.com/forums/car-talk-73/new-car-break-process-1192243/)

zeroptzero 03-03-2019 05:05 PM

New Car Break-In Process...
 
Having brought home a new vehicle this week, I read over my owner's manual and I find the new vehicle break in process a bit too tame. This is a Subaru but their recommendation is much like Honda's. Having owned some Fords and Fiat/Chrysler products in recent years I always found their break in procedures seem to make more sense.

The Subaru suggests easy driving for 1000 miles, keeping rpms under 4000 and light throttle (40-50 percent max ), and no highway cruise control operation. That just seems a bit overkill to me and 1000 miles is a long time to hold back. I would do it if it meant a longer engine life, but I don't think that is the case. The Fords and FAC vehicles suggested regular WOT throttle use in higher gears for short bursts of time when safe to do so, avoiding higher rpms. This makes more sense to me to get the piston rings to seat early on, and the only way to get adequate pressure on the rings is wide throttle IMO. I've been doing a fair bit of wide throttle acceleration between 2500-4000 rpms in higher gears only, and no jack-rabbit starts. I haven't exceeded 4000 rpms yet. I still think 1000 miles is a very long time to drive as easy as they want. I'll probably increase rpms after 600 miles in light duty situations to start varying engine speeds. I think getting pressure on the rings early will reduce the chance of oil burning later down the road.

What's everyone opinion on break-in procedures ?

VashTheStampede 03-03-2019 06:29 PM

I had an 05 STi I purchased new. The turbo flat four is an engine that can be very dependent on break-in to lessen oil consumption, and requires some self-control to make the most of. These motors are not a perfect design, and thus can have quite a few quirks... the need to properly break in the rings and seals without too many high-rpm runs being a big one. My 05 burnt off maybe a half quart every 5000 miles, and at that time Subaru considered a quart every 3000 to be acceptable. Subaru knows what it’s talking about, and they’ve spent the better part of the last decade figuring out how to keep some of their motors from going “pop”.

zeroptzero 03-03-2019 07:05 PM


Originally Posted by VashTheStampede (Post 24572980)
I had an 05 STi I purchased new. The turbo flat four is an engine that can be very dependent on break-in to lessen oil consumption, and requires some self-control to make the most of. These motors are not a perfect design, and thus can have quite a few quirks... the need to properly break in the rings and seals without too many high-rpm runs being a big one. My 05 burnt off maybe a half quart every 5000 miles, and at that time Subaru considered a quart every 3000 to be acceptable. Subaru knows what it’s talking about, and they’ve spent the better part of the last decade figuring out how to keep some of their motors from going “pop”.

Thanks for the great info and reply on this. I have not taken it over 4000 rpms, I will wait longer to do that based on your info. Hopefully the throttle application isn't an issue , it is pretty hard to keep throttle at such low opening for a long break in period. Do you recall your break in regimen ? Thanks again.

ealand0001 03-03-2019 09:15 PM

I’ve not followed one in my last 6 new cars. But, none of them went over 60k miles, for various reasons...haha. But, they all seemed smooth and powerful and I never had any engine trouble.

windhund116 03-03-2019 09:22 PM

Engines which I've rebuilt, I run straight 30W break-in mineral-based oil. Run motor at varied the RPMs (no cruising at set RPM range). Drain at 500 miles. Replace filter and use break-in oil for another 500 miles. Check to be sure compression is good. No funky oil leaks. Temp & pressure range is good.

Replace at 1000 miles to whatever oil the engine will be using for the rest of its life. Seems to work well. No problems with early mileage oil consumption. I've never rebuilt an S2000 engine. Mostly older BMW, MB, and 911.

Like this stuff:

https://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-produ...-oil-(sae-30)/

VashTheStampede 03-04-2019 03:40 AM


Originally Posted by zeroptzero (Post 24572993)
Thanks for the great info and reply on this. I have not taken it over 4000 rpms, I will wait longer to do that based on your info. Hopefully the throttle application isn't an issue , it is pretty hard to keep throttle at such low opening for a long break in period. Do you recall your break in regimen ? Thanks again.

No prob. I've actually owned a few "performance" Subies... owned an 00 2.5RS, traded that for the 02 WRX, traded that for the 05 STi. Subaru was so fun back in 00-05.... people would wave, and NASIOC had actual info. lol. Anyway, I remember following exactly what Subaru said to the letter. It drove me nuts. In fact, I believe that my dealership was suggesting even stricter rules to avoid oil consumption. What a lot of people forget, was that before the 07+ STIs decided to blow ringlands out, these EJ257 motors were running very rich and gobbled oil. Subaru hadn't ever made a 2.5 motor at this power level before, and they were overcompensating a bit; it's why the 04-06 motors tend to last a lot longer than the newer ones. My 05 was one of the very first at the dealer, and if I recall, the dealer was concerned with Subaru making little suspension/drivetrain changes (the wider rear track was a big one for them) over the 04 and not really explaining them very well to the techs. They didn't know if my motor was different at all to the 04s, and could only really guess... I mean, one werido tech was concerned with the sodium-filled valves, for goodness sake. So, with that said, they made me swear to bring it in for everything possible under warranty, and I was to watch oil consumption strictly at 3000 miles, keep track of how much oil I put in, etc. My Subie dealer also sold Porsche and VW, so I'm wondering if some flat-4 flat-6 experience in their shop didn't influence them in some way. I followed the rules, it drove me absolutely bonkers, but the dealer was very impressed with the lack of oil consumption compared to their other customers. I don't know if my car was unique, but I followed their orders specifically and it worked out well. After break-in, I ended up working with COBB on one of "their" very early downpipes (still branded with 'Stromung', lol) and was one of the first with a Stage 2 map. That car was a really cool ownership experience, and I miss it. I ended up selling about 3 years into ownership because I'd had 2 break-in attempts, and the "Dude-Bro" culture that now surrounds Subaru really bugged me.

tl;dr - I followed the owner's manual to a "T" and may have even gone a bit overboard. I should really look up that VIN to see if it's still out there somewhere.

The King 03-04-2019 04:13 AM

Making sure you are up to operating temps before increasing revs is even more important on a new engine. The one thing the folks in the know at Honda always stressed was, not buying a new car and immediately going on a long drive at a constant, unchanging speed. It is wise to change up the type of driving you do on a new car. A bit around town, some out on the open road etc. All Hondas are redlined at the factory, so I wouldn't worry about treating them like a piece of china. I've driven hundreds of new Hondas over several decades, and treated none of them like priceless family heirlooms, but also did not go out of my way to abuse them just because I could.

Chuck S 03-04-2019 06:23 AM


What's everyone opinion on break-in procedures ?
Follow the factory procedures.

They're no doubt conservative and fail-safe but I naively trust the collective knowledge of the engineers who design and build these engines and cars over random guys on the Internet (like us) who deal in samples of one or two or even a dozen.

-- Chuck

windhund116 03-04-2019 06:28 AM


Originally Posted by Chuck S (Post 24573125)
Follow the factory procedures.

They're no doubt conservative and fail-safe but I naively trust the collective knowledge of the engineers who design and build these engines and cars over random guys on the Internet (like us) who deal in samples of one or two or even a dozen.

-- Chuck

Yup. There are more than a few Hondas (of all types) with mega-miles out there, as proof. Cars that had only dealer or mechanics following owner manual's maintenance guidelines.

:)

zeroptzero 03-04-2019 08:26 AM


Originally Posted by VashTheStampede (Post 24573074)
No prob. I've actually owned a few "performance" Subies... owned an 00 2.5RS, traded that for the 02 WRX, traded that for the 05 STi. Subaru was so fun back in 00-05.... people would wave, and NASIOC had actual info. lol. Anyway, I remember following exactly what Subaru said to the letter. It drove me nuts. In fact, I believe that my dealership was suggesting even stricter rules to avoid oil consumption. What a lot of people forget, was that before the 07+ STIs decided to blow ringlands out, these EJ257 motors were running very rich and gobbled oil. Subaru hadn't ever made a 2.5 motor at this power level before, and they were overcompensating a bit; it's why the 04-06 motors tend to last a lot longer than the newer ones. My 05 was one of the very first at the dealer, and if I recall, the dealer was concerned with Subaru making little suspension/drivetrain changes (the wider rear track was a big one for them) over the 04 and not really explaining them very well to the techs. They didn't know if my motor was different at all to the 04s, and could only really guess... I mean, one werido tech was concerned with the sodium-filled valves, for goodness sake. So, with that said, they made me swear to bring it in for everything possible under warranty, and I was to watch oil consumption strictly at 3000 miles, keep track of how much oil I put in, etc. My Subie dealer also sold Porsche and VW, so I'm wondering if some flat-4 flat-6 experience in their shop didn't influence them in some way. I followed the rules, it drove me absolutely bonkers, but the dealer was very impressed with the lack of oil consumption compared to their other customers. I don't know if my car was unique, but I followed their orders specifically and it worked out well. After break-in, I ended up working with COBB on one of "their" very early downpipes (still branded with 'Stromung', lol) and was one of the first with a Stage 2 map. That car was a really cool ownership experience, and I miss it. I ended up selling about 3 years into ownership because I'd had 2 break-in attempts, and the "Dude-Bro" culture that now surrounds Subaru really bugged me.

tl;dr - I followed the owner's manual to a "T" and may have even gone a bit overboard. I should really look up that VIN to see if it's still out there somewhere.

wow very cool experience, nice reading all of your info. I was wondering if WRX owners wave at eachother ? I thought that I heard that somewhere but maybe with the new models they stopped doing that ?

rob-2 03-04-2019 09:07 AM

Maybe the difference here is because of boost and design. I've always followed a more aggressive process with good results.

vader1 03-04-2019 09:39 AM

I take it easy for about 200-300 miles then drive normally. But I have heard of a ton of Subaru engine failures and know a couple people personally who have gone through them. One blew up at 60,000 on a sedately driven NA car so YRMV.

TommyDeVito 03-04-2019 11:59 AM

Vary the RPM's, never let it sit at the same RPM for more than a few seconds, no using cruise control. Start with a rev limit of say 4000 RPM's, do not exceed that for 300-400 miles. The next 300-400 miles start going up to 5k. Final 300 miles start taking it up a little higher, close to 6k RPM's. 1000 miles, change oil/filter, and start going to redline. I got this advice from an ex AMA tuner/chief and followed it rigorously on all my bikes/cars and they've always dyno'd on the upper end of the scale, and haven't burned oil. No reliability issues either. Some people think you can just drive normal from mile 1. But I still do this technique. Also you are driving a turbo, do not punch it at low RPM's in a high gear. Downshift prior. DIT motors do not like saying flooring it at 2k rpm's in 6th gear.

zeroptzero 03-04-2019 02:25 PM

^ more great info, and thanks to everyone who replied, some good tips from all of the replies.

ealand0001 03-04-2019 07:13 PM


Originally Posted by zeroptzero (Post 24573410)
^ more great info, and thanks to everyone who replied, some good tips from all of the replies.

zero.zero...big ETM fan?

zeroptzero 03-04-2019 07:47 PM


Originally Posted by ealand0001 (Post 24573538)

zero.zero...big ETM fan?





My screen name is a reference to the movie Animal House...…John Belushi's grade point average. I am a huge Howard Stern show fan and all of the whackpackers (poor ETM RIP) , but I was an Animal House fan many moons before the Stern Show. Plus I once got a 0.0 on an English test in high school , on English literature lol. So it all fits...


zeroptzero 03-06-2019 02:44 AM

I just got through the break-in period, I went through it quite quickly despite it being a lengthy 1000 mile interval. So far no noticeable change in oil level, and the oil is still golden and clear on the dipstick, looks good.

robb 03-06-2019 04:32 AM


Originally Posted by zeroptzero (Post 24573200)
wow very cool experience, nice reading all of your info. I was wondering if WRX owners wave at eachother ? I thought that I heard that somewhere but maybe with the new models they stopped doing that ?

Yes you will find that other wrx drivers wave I always do.
One consideration with your oil and the first oil change is to check on when your car was built and then you will know how old the factory fill oil in your car is.

sam_spider 03-06-2019 05:53 AM

I've never followed the break-in procedure of any car I've bought, and never encountered an issue with any either. :shrug:

zeroptzero 03-11-2019 05:15 PM


Originally Posted by robb (Post 24574032)

Yes you will find that other wrx drivers wave I always do.
One consideration with your oil and the first oil change is to check on when your car was built and then you will know how old the factory fill oil in your car is.

ah very cool. Thanks for the info, I will check on the build date, good to know :thumbup:

zeroptzero 03-11-2019 05:17 PM


Originally Posted by sam_spider (Post 24574079)
I've never followed the break-in procedure of any car I've bought, and never encountered an issue with any either. :shrug:

Thanks Sam, yeah I have already broken a few of the general rules on break-in and it all seems to be running fine. I can't restrain myself for 1000 miles that is just far too long and I do a lot of driving including highway miles for work purposes so I need to drive it rather than taking it easy for far too long. lol

Orjinal 03-11-2019 05:23 PM

The only new car I had was a Dodge Neon srt-4. I went WOT right out of the dealership the moment paperwork was completed. By that weekend I had an adjustable wastegate to increase the boost and catless downpipe. Later on I went big turbo and roll raced it countless times. And up until 47k miles when I sold it there wasn't a single problem with the engine.

zeroptzero 03-12-2019 01:33 AM


Originally Posted by Orjinal (Post 24576500)
The only new car I had was a Dodge Neon srt-4. I went WOT right out of the dealership the moment paperwork was completed. By that weekend I had an adjustable wastegate to increase the boost and catless downpipe. Later on I went big turbo and roll raced it countless times. And up until 47k miles when I sold it there wasn't a single problem with the engine.

I had an SRT-4 as well, I actually had the NEON first and then switched to the Caliber. I loved those cars, and I did not have a single defect or complaint with either of them, they were very reliable for me, and I had lots of fun with both of them. They were actually more reliable than the Hondas I owned at the same time (in terms of factory defects) so no complaints on my part. I still remember rolling out the dealer with my shiny new blue Neon srt-4, it had the best sounding factory exhaust for any 4 banger I know.

At that time Dodge/Chrysler actually recommended running high throttle position as soon as possible in higher gears to promote good ring seating for the first 200 miles or something like that. To me that is a proper break-in procedure.

vader1 03-12-2019 01:25 PM


Originally Posted by zeroptzero (Post 24576568)
I had an SRT-4 as well, I actually had the NEON first and then switched to the Caliber.


Had a Caliber once as a rental car. The only thing I remember about that cars was the dashboard was high enough to be used as a South Texas border wall.

yamahaSHO 03-12-2019 04:59 PM

I've broken in all my Subaru's like I do with any motor. Varied load, some boost, and engine braking. Never had an issue with ringlands or oil consumption. I also tune a lot of Subaru's and I give the same advice..

zeroptzero 03-12-2019 05:16 PM


Originally Posted by yamahaSHO (Post 24576971)
I've broken in all my Subaru's like I do with any motor. Varied load, some boost, and engine braking. Never had an issue with ringlands or oil consumption. I also tune a lot of Subaru's and I give the same advice..

that's what we need a very simple process that makes sense, the more I read the factory recommendation the less I believe it. I sometimes think they suggest that type of a break-in process so they can keep accurate statistics when engines happen to fail, and if they can have a large number of owners following the same spec it eliminates some of the variation when it comes time to diagnose failures.


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