New WRX and wondering if there is "break in" period for the car?
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This is a discussion on New WRX and wondering if there is "break in" period for the car? within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; This is actually our second Subaru (we have a Tribeca B9). My question is whether or not the 4 cylinder, ...

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    New WRX and wondering if there is "break in" period for the car?

    This is actually our second Subaru (we have a Tribeca B9). My question is whether or not the 4 cylinder, turbo has a break in period. As I recall, my previous Toyota and Scion (not turbo of course) both had a 2000 mile break in period where you could not go over 40 miles an hour. Thanks for your response.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Yes it does. The specifics are in the owner's manual. For my 2002, it was 1000 miles not above 4000 rpm and not at a steady rpm for extended periods of time. Yours may vary, so check the manual.
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    Thanks for the quick response! Hopefully, I haven't done too much damage. I've already put more than 190 miles on it in three days and I'm certain I may have gone over 4000 rpms a few times. I guess I'd better calm down and go slow. : (

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    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    Actually, maybe not.

    The "ideal" break-in is to drive the car REALLY HARD (both accelerating hard and engine braking) for the first 20 miles or so, and do an oil change right after (and continue until the oil changes come out clear).

    What you did probably wasn't hard enough to require an oil change now, but you definitely should do one soon. And who knows, maybe some of your fun driving did make the ringlands seat just a little better.

    I'd say continue for the rest of the 1k to drive like you're "supposed to" - it can't hurt, and a dealership is less likely to get mad at you.
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    I have had several new cars and honestly, each has a 'break-in' period that I followed more or less. My latest is my '11 STI and it has about 750 miles on it. Although I am trying hard to follow the break-in listed in the owner's manual I haven't been perfect. I would say use common sense and you'll be fine. I have never heard of anyone ever having a problem not following the break in guidelines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pixiedriver View Post
    This is actually our second Subaru (we have a Tribeca B9). My question is whether or not the 4 cylinder, turbo has a break in period. As I recall, my previous Toyota and Scion (not turbo of course) both had a 2000 mile break in period where you could not go over 40 miles an hour. Thanks for your response.
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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Subaru tells you exactly what they want you to do for break-in; so as others have said, it's in the manual, read it
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    Quote Originally Posted by poly_poly-man View Post
    Actually, maybe not.

    The "ideal" break-in is to drive the car REALLY HARD (both accelerating hard and engine braking) for the first 20 miles or so, and do an oil change right after (and continue until the oil changes come out clear).
    Where is the evidence to support this? Sorry but there are no data. Here, for example, is the previous discussion we had. Since there are no data, it borders on philosophy at best. I am not saying the "run it hard... rings... I build motors this way..." premise is inherently incorrect, since after all the lack of data doesn't support that either way. I am saying it seems to be unfounded:
    Break in?

    I'd say continue for the rest of the 1k to drive like you're "supposed to" - it can't hurt, and a dealership is less likely to get mad at you.
    Quote Originally Posted by jd92677 View Post
    Subaru tells you exactly what they want you to do for break-in; so as others have said, it's in the manual, read it
    I agree.
    Last edited by SD_GR; 03-20-2011 at 11:07 AM.
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    I have about 30 miles to go myself. I've been following what the manual states. Basically:

    1. Keep below 4k RPM
    2. Vary engine speeds
    3. No hard starts/stops

    It did not mention keeping it below a certain speed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asharus View Post
    I have about 30 miles to go myself. I've been following what the manual states. Basically:

    1. Keep below 4k RPM
    2. Vary engine speeds
    3. No hard starts/stops

    It did not mention keeping it below a certain speed
    Yeah, you could presume to keep it under 100 mph since thats where you hit 4000rpm in 5th gear

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    Yeah, I think I've only taken her to 90 tops so far. Can't wait to see what she's got tomorrow. I should hit 30 miles before I get to work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by poly_poly-man View Post
    Actually, maybe not.

    The "ideal" break-in is to drive the car REALLY HARD (both accelerating hard and engine braking) for the first 20 miles or so, and do an oil change right after (and continue until the oil changes come out clear).
    Ummm, no... why the hell would you beat on a brand new engine like that? Oil change after 20 miles is a complete waste of oil... That makes as much sense as drag racing right after a cold start... there is no documentation to prove that hard engine break in is "better" for the engine... The people who have reached over 180K miles in their wrx's have followed the manufacturers' recommend break in as well as maintenance...
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    Thanks for all the feed back. I drove a few miles today and am now certain I've taken it over 4000 rpms a few times (I drive by sound and feel, but am keeping my eye on tachometer now). I've taken it on the tollway a few times and only gotten it up to 80 mph. I'm over 40, female and have no plans to drive this car hard (except maybe on a track for fun). LOVE the car and just want to keep her working well. Will do as suggested in the User Manual for the rest of the 1000 miles. Thanks y'all!
    PixieDriver

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    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06scoobyrex View Post
    Ummm, no... why the hell would you beat on a brand new engine like that? Oil change after 20 miles is a complete waste of oil... That makes as much sense as drag racing right after a cold start... there is no documentation to prove that hard engine break in is "better" for the engine... The people who have reached over 180K miles in their wrx's have followed the manufacturers' recommend break in as well as maintenance...
    I read a very convincing article once - the link to which I don't have on hand.

    I'm not saying it's necessarily right, but there was a lot of evidence to support that method.

    Basically, the idea behind the manufacturer's break-in is that the little imperfections in the engine will be able to wear off harmlessly in that time, whereas they'd make huge scratches in your engine otherwise. While it's true that all the surfaces are not perfect, they are very good, certainly much better nowadays than ever. The imperfections do wear away (and that's why, no matter who you ask, the first oil change comes sooner than the rest), but they'll do that no matter what - there's no danger in running it hard. The other reason behind the manufacturer's break-in is in case there are engine problems. If there's a building mistake in the engine, it's a lot less likely to catastrophically fail if you're in a lower rpm range - thus if there is a problem, it's either detectable before there's a problem, or failures take out less parts. Of course, the counter-argument is that, if it'll fail, it'll fail regardless.

    The supposed benefit to the method I described had something to do with the ringlands - I don't remember exactly, but basically the hard acceleration and deceleration were very good at making the piston's seal good, and that engines broken in like that would burn less oil later on. The reason the interval is so soon (it was somewhere in the 2-figures) is because there's really nothing happening afterwards in terms of bits of engine imperfections falling off. It's better to get that crap out of your oil pan before it gets sucked up and potentially scratches something. If you do an OA after the 20-mile hard break-in, you will see very high numbers in the "stuff that's really not supposed to be there" column.

    Anyway, the link I'm describing had some great information and solid data supporting this method. If I ever buy a new car, I'll be sure to follow it.
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    Registered User Welzar's Avatar
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    Just got a 2011 last Wed. Dealer had me read the paragraph in the manual that states keep it under 4000 for the first 1000 miles and vary the speed, no quick stops. No fun driving it that way but 1000 miles will come quickly.

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