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This is a discussion on is "break-in" really necessary within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Originally Posted by Wannabe A nice long highway drive is PERFECT for break in on a new car. You could ...

  1. #16
    Registered User cutter311's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabe View Post
    A nice long highway drive is PERFECT for break in on a new car. You could not design it any more perfect. Just change the oil when you get home.

    RPM's are O.K. Sepecially when on a long drive. It is RPM's with a lot of cylinder pressure that could cause issues.

    (Not to pull rank, but I build race engines for a living. I know a little about what I am speaking of.)
    Well that makes me pretty damn happy to hear...I will be sure to change oil when we return.

    Thanks for the info. Now I'm even more anxious for it to get here...

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabe View Post
    A nice long highway drive is PERFECT for break in on a new car. You could not design it any more perfect. Just change the oil when you get home.

    RPM's are O.K. Sepecially when on a long drive. It is RPM's with a lot of cylinder pressure that could cause issues.

    (Not to pull rank, but I build race engines for a living. I know a little about what I am speaking of.)
    Not to be arguementative, but Subaru and other manufacturers recommend varying engine RPM through the break-in period, not a constant speed as on the highway. It also says use the engine to slow down as much as possible instead of using the brakes. Not to dis-credit your profession, I was a technician for a living for ten years, but how many race engines last 200k plus miles. Longevity is not what race engine are about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jd92677 View Post
    Not to be arguementative, but Subaru and other manufacturers recommend varying engine RPM through the break-in period, not a constant speed as on the highway. It also says use the engine to slow down as much as possible instead of using the brakes. Not to dis-credit your profession, I was a technician for a living for ten years, but how many race engines last 200k plus miles. Longevity is not what race engine are about.
    I think that is possibly more important for the other components that are being broken in.
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    Registered User cutter311's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd92677 View Post
    Not to be arguementative, but Subaru and other manufacturers recommend varying engine RPM through the break-in period, not a constant speed as on the highway. It also says use the engine to slow down as much as possible instead of using the brakes. Not to dis-credit your profession, I was a technician for a living for ten years, but how many race engines last 200k plus miles. Longevity is not what race engine are about.
    I'm hoping my trip lands me someplace in the middle here. It'll be over (& down) some mountain passes, thru some small towns. There will be stopping for food, RR breaks, etc...then over the course of the next few days, trips into town, et al...I've downshifted to assist braking for as long as I've been driving a manual, and I will be more aware of it now that it's been mentioned as something that's recommended.

    I'll be respectful of the 4k rpm limit as well...Also, my salesman is an STI owner (purchased it new I believe). He said he would fill me in on his break in procedure as well.

    So I should have plenty of info to confuse me by the time I get the car

  6. #20
    Buzzz Wannabe's Avatar
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    Right you are JD. And valid points, for sure.
    As for me, my long drives are very rarely on a huge interstate where the mph and rpm's stay the same for hundreds of miles. Engines like to be broken in in long stretches where the oil and water temperature is stable for long periods of time and the engine is not heating up for three miles and being shut off, then back up and shutting off, etc, etc. Piston swell, block growth, head growth, etc. That is where the long trip comes in handy. But you are right, varying rpm's is great to the break in. (For the engine and the other parts of the drivetrain.)
    And true, longevity in the way of miles is not what race engines are about. But engines don't know miles. They only know cycles. And 650 miles at 9800 rpm may only be a weekend in a cup car, but a lifetime of revolutions for a stocker. And it really doesn't matter how long the valvesprings live, breaking in an engine properly is important to performance no matter if it is together for one drag race pass, or ten years.
    Cutter, you will be fine. The one thing to make sure of is that when you do stop, (especially the first few on the car) try and be real easy on the car for a few miles right before a stop and shut off. Let the water and oil temp cool down before turning the thing off. Having the engine being close to overheating ( initial breaking in of engines causes more heat than normal) and shutting it right off can cause issues.
    And make sure you know that this engine package is not my expertise. Just using fundamental knowledge of internal combustion. I am sure there are intricacies that I am not fully aware.

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    Registered User Syncharmony's Avatar
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    Personally, what I'm interested in is if it is wise to change the oil right after the 1000 mile break-in before you start to play with it, or if it is fine to go a full 3000 before you do a change.

    I've heard conflicting reports but right now I'm leaning towards just being safe and changing early.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabe View Post
    Let the water and oil temp cool down before turning the thing off. Having the engine being close to overheating ( initial breaking in of engines causes more heat than normal) and shutting it right off can cause issues.
    First of all, thanks for the great and detailed post, it really helped!

    Here's a question for your: isn't the cooling system going to run for a few more minutes when the engine is hot even if you shut it down completely?
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    Cooling after shutdown is passive, not active, as the pump is not engaged.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Cooling after shutdown is passive, not active, as the pump is not engaged.
    Got it!! See, I'll never figure this out (being a musician, I'm excused!).
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  11. #25
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    At first- change it early, and change it often.
    This I do know. Take your first oil filter off at 1000, and cut it open and inspect it. All those metal shavings are IN YOUR OIL! Get it out of there! It is also plugging portions of your filter, causing less than perfect flow. Change it!
    The only thing I have heard contrary to this is people changing over to full synthetics very early in the break-in. Many engine manufacturers like to run conventional oil till the 3000 mark just to be safe. I have never heard people saying don't change the oil during the first 3000. I will have to ask around.
    We change after 3 dyno pulls. You would not believe the amount of metal in those first filters. Usually after the third, the oil stays clean and free of metal.

  12. #26
    Registered User cutter311's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabe View Post
    At first- change it early, and change it often.
    This I do know. Take your first oil filter off at 1000, and cut it open and inspect it. All those metal shavings are IN YOUR OIL! Get it out of there! It is also plugging portions of your filter, causing less than perfect flow. Change it!
    The only thing I have heard contrary to this is people changing over to full synthetics very early in the break-in. Many engine manufacturers like to run conventional oil till the 3000 mark just to be safe. I have never heard people saying don't change the oil during the first 3000. I will have to ask around.
    We change after 3 dyno pulls. You would not believe the amount of metal in those first filters. Usually after the third, the oil stays clean and free of metal.
    Once again, thanks Wannabe...this has been a very informative thread. As I intend to keep this car 8-10 yrs (kept my 99 Audi for 8), I want to make sure it's treated right from day one. That's why I didn't buy used again.

    26 days until it arrives...oy

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    So, subaru recommends to change the oil at 6000. From owning numerous motorcycles I know that the first oil change needs to be early on a car. Why does subaru fail to acknowledge this???!!!!

    This first oil change on my last bike had tonnes of metal in it....don't know that I'd want to be running my 11 wrx with all that metal in the oil......

  14. #28
    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whaleimpaler View Post
    So, subaru recommends to change the oil at 6000. From owning numerous motorcycles I know that the first oil change needs to be early on a car. Why does subaru fail to acknowledge this???!!!!

    This first oil change on my last bike had tonnes of metal in it....don't know that I'd want to be running my 11 wrx with all that metal in the oil......
    My mom's odyssey is due for it's first oil change soon; it has an oil life gauge, and it's down to 10% (and it's saying "service soon"). It's been over 6.8k miles...

    dunno how those oil gauges work, but I'd assume they're accurate.
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    Registered User dbya rx's Avatar
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    subaru recommends the first oil change on all turbo-charged vehicles at 3000 miles, then every 3750 miles after that

    from my manual for my 2010 rex
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  16. #30
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    The Honda's use a Maintenance Minder that takes into account time, distance, and driving conditions. I have a similar motor (the 3.5L V6) and the Maintenance Minder typically calls for an oil change (5W-20, as "thin" oils are in vogue for a variety of reasons - not relevant to EJ motors!) roughly every 6,500 miles, and an oil filter change every 13,000 miles! The car runs great, has never had any problems, and the plugs I recently replaced looked great after being in the motor for... 105,000 miles.

    Modern oils and modern motors should have put the "frequent oil change" thing to rest by now, and Subaru were doing great initially (my 02 called for 3,750 under harsh use, but 7,500 under normal use - perfectly acceptable 21st century thinking!) but they messed up and instead of fixing the issue, they decided to make money instead and shortened the drain interval to 3,750 retroactively a few years back.

    They are thus a laughing stock, literally a dinosaur from the 70s.

    A few years ago I did an oil analysis after having used a factory Subaru filter (the fat one that they wanted to replace with a thinner one) and Mobil 1 "Turbodiesel Truck" formula 5W-40 for roughly 6,000 miles in my WRX. Results were great. The lab said I could run out to 7,500 no problem but at the time I settled for a shorter, 5,000 mile interval instead because the numbers are easier to remember (5, 10, 15, etc.).

    As to why leave factory oil in, some makers still (?) use a break-in oil. Subaru apparently do not; there are rumours Honda do at least in the US. I've never changed the first oil early in any of my cars but I do see the point in doing so - or at least the filter.
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