is "break-in" really necessary
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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; i have owned 2 new vehicles. a 06 Honda VFR 800 and a Acura RSX type-s. both say to break ...

  1. #1
    Registered User tonydig11's Avatar
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    is "break-in" really necessary

    i have owned 2 new vehicles. a 06 Honda VFR 800 and a Acura RSX type-s. both say to break them easy. after doing alot of reading i have come to the conclusion that its just to help out the company. if there's a flaw in the building your engine will break at lower rpm's rather than at the red line. that said i took both of my new vehicles and rung there neck straight away and have not had one engine/tranny issue with either. neither have a turbo. have any of you guys took your wrx/sti's to the max out of the box. just wondering because when i get my sti i dont know if ill be able to help myself unless you guys convince me other wise. when a company has a press release at a track the cars/bikes are brand new and the testers take them to the max.

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    Registered User kbrownmann's Avatar
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    i wouldnt say "to the max" but from what ive heard from some people its good to drive them pretty hard the first few miles. from some of the threads that ive read the people who drove their cars hard are the ones that dont burn oil between changes
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    Registered User lytlec's Avatar
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    Yeah, I would do as they say...that way if something does break on it there is no possibly way they can try to say it was because of abuse! Just makes sense...think about it. You are going to use the gas they say to use, you will most likely use the oil they say to use and adhere to the recommended maintenance on it. Why not do the break in period....I would....but that's just me!!
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    Registered User tonydig11's Avatar
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    thank for both of your quick replys. i know there is still a break in for it but to keep it below x,xxx rpm's i think is a waste. i have herd like stated above that you want to break in a engine like you will be running it once brea in is done. a hard pull to 1k before red line every so often. sounds fine to me. you need to get the carbon build up out of it.

    this link is for motorcycles but should apply to all engines
    (good read)
    http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    How many motors has the author of the linked article designed, built, and supported?

    How does this number compare to, say, Honda?
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    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    when an engine is first built, there are slight irregularities, causing potential issues with slight hangups or improper seals. If you're nice to an engine when it first starts out, these things will work themselves out.

    If you're not nice to a new engine, it'll probably be alright. However, if there is a slight hangup on the side of the piston making a bit of extra friction, instead of easily working itself down with easy use, it generates a lot of heat, and possibly metal breakdown... much moreso than easy use.

    So basically, give them the benefit of the doubt.. drive it easy - it's only 1000 miles.
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    Registered User whaleimpaler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonydig11 View Post
    thank for both of your quick replys. i know there is still a break in for it but to keep it below x,xxx rpm's i think is a waste. i have herd like stated above that you want to break in a engine like you will be running it once brea in is done. a hard pull to 1k before red line every so often. sounds fine to me. you need to get the carbon build up out of it.

    this link is for motorcycles but should apply to all engines
    (good read)
    http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm
    I broke my drz 400 in pretty hard using this method. Its not that you're abusing the engine. Break in periods are a way for dealerships to cover there butts. The way engine cylinders are honed these days, by the time you get the car it's probably already broke in. What do you think they were doing with those 30km that are already on your brand new vehicle.

    Once again, not a bad idea to take it easy for the first while, but to say it takes 1000 miles (which they pull out of their behinds) is nonsense (IMO).

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I have seen no evidence presented to even imply that a break-in is not necessary.

    I have seen no information given by anyone with experience even remotely resembling that of a major engine designer that states break in is not necessary.

    Given that, the real mystery is why anyone would begin to question break in.
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    Registered User Syncharmony's Avatar
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    I would say that you don't need to give the dealership any extra ammunition to use against you in case something does go wrong.

    9 times out of 10 you can probably run it hard out of the box and it will be fine or problems won't manifest until far down the line. However, when it comes to a $30k investment, I believe it's better safe than sorry. I'll drive like a grandmother the first 1000 miles and get used to the interior and all the quirks of the car. Then at 1001 miles I'll floor and and love it.
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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    I have seen no evidence presented to even imply that a break-in is not necessary.

    I have seen no information given by anyone with experience even remotely resembling that of a major engine designer that states break in is not necessary.

    Given that, the real mystery is why anyone would begin to question break in.
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    That being said, I am not in the slightest bit disagreeing recognizing that a single engineer at AMG did not build my motor. I broke it in as closely as possible to the recommendation.
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  12. #11
    Buzzz Wannabe's Avatar
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    Break-in began back in the day when we had flat tapped cams and the like. And yes, you MUST break in a flat tappet cam. They will go flat and destroy the engine. When everything went roller, the break in became very different. Rings need to seat on the cylinder walls and that does take a quick bit of time, but WAY less than a cam.
    When any big engine builder has a new mill on the dyno, they do even but lighter break in pulls until the torque numbers hit where they want it to be, then they know the rings are seating, the clearances are happy the pressures are nice are ready to ring it's neck. Also, at that point, the oil filter is pretty full of metal shavings from rocker arms, any two metals touching, rings getting cut, etc.
    In a car we don't have that freedom of 80 seonsors reading back at us at 100 times a second to keep perfect eyes on the lifeline of the engine, with full digital playback. And because we don't, and we have people driving these cars that don't have any clue what to look for and how, then the car companies give this blanket statement to cover their butts, and to make sure they take the break in period out of the uneducated owners hands.
    If you knew exactly what to look for, had all the sensors and the data aquisition units, a perfect break in would be a set of runs in different conditions for 30-50 miles, a good oil change, inspection of the oil and filter after cutting it open, and let the big fish eat!
    So, if you don't have the data aquisition, the knoledge of what to look for, etc. Just take it easy for a while. Don't baby it too much in the rpm area, but just not huge rpms with big cylinder pressures, etc.

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonydig11 View Post
    thank for both of your quick replys. i know there is still a break in for it but to keep it below x,xxx rpm's i think is a waste. i have herd like stated above that you want to break in a engine like you will be running it once brea in is done. a hard pull to 1k before red line every so often. sounds fine to me. you need to get the carbon build up out of it.

    this link is for motorcycles but should apply to all engines
    (good read)
    http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm
    I read this link and see all kinds of problems with it. First of all I've seen first hand with motorcycles that if you don't break them in properly, they burn oil. It's usually the difference between a motorcycle engine lasting 20k miles and 100k miles. Second, and most importantly, would you buy a used WRX if the seller told you they didn't believe in break in and ran it to redline from the time they bought it? I wouldn't

  14. #13
    Registered User cutter311's Avatar
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    Obviously there are a few posts regarding the break in period (1000 mi @ sub 4000 rpms), but is there something out there posted by Subaru, or by someone w/ experience that is considered the definitive WRX break in guide?

    I saw some info that said alternate speeds, stopping, starting, allow for cooling, warm up again, then cool again, etc...

    I ask because within a week of getting my WRX (which is due to be delivered 10/11) I will be taking a 500-700 mile trip (it was already planned, turns out getting the WRX on 10/11 is a pleasant coincidence). I don't want to (and this sounds stupid in my head as I'm about to type it) put too many early miles driven at a hwy speed if it's going to be detrimental to the break in...

    If it won't be detrimental to have 700 miles put on it early in it's life, and I can keep it sub 4k rpm's while driving on the hwy, I'll be pretty happy that I was able to knock out a big chunk of the break in over the course of 3 days

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    Buzzz Wannabe's Avatar
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    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.)

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    Registered User dbya rx's Avatar
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    if it read in the subaru manual "during the first 1000 miles, make sure you dont hit the crap out of your turbo with a hammer" would you feel the need to do it b/c the company is just covering their rear?

    i dont understand why this debate keeps coming up over and over again. if there was no reason to break the motor/turbo in, subaru (and almost every other car manufactuer) would recommend a break-in period.

    oh and by the way, they RECOMMEND it. that doesnt mean you have to do it, but unless you build engines like the dude below with the funny avatar, you have no way to know if they are full of it or not. just take it easy for 1000 miles. its not that bad.
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