mpgmanmpgman Member Posts: 723
edited April 2014 in Ford
What's the feeling out there on breaking in a new car? If it is important, wouldn't that make buying any demo a real risk? Ditto for "new" cars with a 100 or so miles put on them by 25 test drivers seeing how fast it can accelerate off the line?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think some cars are more critical than others. For you basic American/import sedan, just a modicum of sanity should work for the first 1,000 miles or so. Stay out of any extremes and that's it.

    For higher performance cars, abuse at the outset could prove very costly later on. You mash the throttle on a Viper at 100 miles at you'll be installing another $15,000 engine real soon.
  • teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    The first 2000 miles on a new car will ultimately determine if the vehicle will be a 90,000 miler or a 190,000 miler. I have read different approaches as to the proper methodology to follow to properly break in a new car. Typically, for the first 500 miles it is not advisable to drive at either low or high speeds for long periods of time. Some people buy a new vehicle and head out immediately on a 2000 mile cross country trip. I cringe at that. or when someone claims that his/her car can go up to 85 or 90 MPH with just 200 or 300 miles on the odo....crazy!

    Also it is recommended to avoid hard braking during the first 300 miles. Some people perform their first oil change between 500 and 1500 miles. After 500 miles, you can head to the Expressway/Freeway/Interstate and gradually increase load in the engine.

    Indeed, how the car is treated during those first couple of thousands of miles is critical and very often overlooked by new car owners. If the car is new, why should I drive it so carefully? Some claim...

    IMO, this is the main justification to buy a new car. I like to keep my cars since new. An used car is a gamble. If the original owner broke in the car properly and observed the maintenance of the vehicle, welll you are in luck..but if the car was abused then don't rise your eyebrows at the sight of the first problems.

    When buying a new car I avoid cars with more than 20 miles on the odo. Anything above that requires an explanation from the selling dealer and a good discount to go along with it :)
  • fivespeedfivespeed Member Posts: 42
    It's difficult (if not impossible) to just baby it along. Us americans want "it" and we want "it" NOW! Right NOW!!!!
  • mikenkmikenk Member Posts: 281
    I have about 900 miles on my Subaru outback VDC, and am heading to Colorado (from Dallas ~2300 miles rt) this weekend. I am considering doing my first oil change before I go, which will be at about 1000 miles. Good idea or not?

    The recommended break in period is 1000 miles and 3000 for the first oil change.

  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    Unless you switch to syn oil. If it were me I'd get it in ASAP.
    I'd be more concerned about going that distance with high speed constant rpm miles on a new engine. I would still try to vary speeds as much as possible and not go long periods of time at one RPM.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think it's a good idea, Mike, I'd change the oil, why not?. Also, your Subie should be pretty well broken in by now. Those pistons have gone up and down a lot of times already!

    People are sometimes too overly concerned about break-in on a new engine. Modern engines are beautifully machined and don't need babying. Just stay out of redline for the first 1,000 miles and, as suggested, vary your speeds for a few weeks and stick to the manufacturer's schedule--if anything, go to the minimum mileages for oil changes rather than maximum. Presume "severe service" conditions.
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    step on it, drive it fast, but don't abuse it. If something is going to go wrong, you want it to bust during the warranty. I've learned if you initially drive them gentle, they will not be a performer, but if you start out with a heavy foot, it will be heavy duty. We drove a brand new car at first at highway plus speeds and to this day at 93,500 miles it runs smoother at those higher speeds. Mobil 1 since new plus regular maintenance as needed, not scheduled. Schedules don't consider driving conditions.
  • mikenkmikenk Member Posts: 281
    thanks for the quick responses; I will get the oil change. I do plan on switching to synthetic oil but am planning on waiting until about 10000 miles. Does that seem reasonable?

    Thanks and happy 4th (except for the English forumers, of course).

  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    The quicker-the better. High performance vehicles come with Mobil 1 right out of the chute. Some will say not to do it-but there is no factual reasons that have been cited. I changed at 30 miles and the there is zero oil consumption after 5500 miles. To each his own.
  • redsilveradoredsilverado Member Posts: 1,000
    the basic rule of thumb to switch to synthetic on a new engine that is now using dino oil, is when the engine achieves best mpg recording. this is an indication of the rings having seated fully. some have been lucky when switching to syn at an early mileage, but there are many cases where owners have switched before the rings are fully seated, and still use oil. there's nothing wrong with dino oil, but syn gives you added protection and possibly better mpg. some engines like the one in the vettes are shipped with syn already installed, but keep in mind that these engines are honed in such a way as to insure quick ring seating and also utilize different ring material. take your time and keep track of the mpg's, and when you see a steady recording, then switch. BTW, changing oil at the first 500 miles does nothing but good for the life of the engine.
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    I'm comfortable with it because I went one level deeper with Mobil engineering department when I worked for a living. There is no reason why rings will not "seat" with Mobil 1. Mercedes, Chrysler (Viper), GM ('vette), AMG also don't see a problem. Old habbits die hard. Also, my milage never increased on new cars (9) that I have purchased, even in the old days. Thats just my observation. I'm real careful with milage records and have never seen it.

    However having said all of this, I wouldn't expect anyone to either use or not use syn on startup on the basis of what they read here. I have documented nothing and neither have you. Second hand anecdotal evidence is all we have cited.
  • slickracerslickracer Member Posts: 38
    I changed my 99 S-10 to Mobil 1 5w-30 at 1,100 miles and it has not burned a drop since (23,000 presently).
  • mikenkmikenk Member Posts: 281
    I went to the Subie dealer to get the oil change and get their opinion. This dealership is strongly pro-synthetics, but the service guys recommended for my car to wait until 15000 miles to switch for the engine, but recommended to change the transmission to synthetics (redline) as soon as possible for my transmission (Subaru's new stability control AWD tranny).

    Just thought I would pass that along for what it's worth.

    Thanks for all the inputs. This is really a nice civil forum.

  • rcarbonircarboni Member Posts: 290
    Many drag racers rebuild engines and break them in at the track. Running the engine for 10-20 minutes at a higher RPM is good enough to break in the cam, and the rings don't need much more. However, these engines typically have much stronger components and are better balanced than stock engines.

    Many newer engines are being built with lower ring tension to achieve higher efficiencies, and don't require break in as did older engines to seat properly.

    Having said all this, I still would never by a demo or a dealer's car. Too much potential for trouble.
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    I'm with 'ya.
  • redsilveradoredsilverado Member Posts: 1,000
    rcarboni- "engines don't need the break-in as in the old days"-"having said all this, i still won't buy a car that has been demo time". sorta contradicts what you are saying don't ya think.
    racing engines are built to last what, a whole 500 miles? engines built for the consumer are built to last how long? sorry, but your theory is just that, theory.
  • lake5lake5 Member Posts: 56
    you haven't got a clue ace. Red is spot on with his recommendation on waiting till the engine is fully seated. even though new and modern technology allows for shorter break-in, the newer engines of today still don't completly seal up right away. racing engines are honed to allow almost instant ring seating, but since the rings are softer, this is to be expected. if continued to run for a few thousand miles, they would also begin to leak, and burn oil. the engines in our cars are designed to run for a lot longer and therefore DO take more time to seat in. if running syn oil before it's time makes you happy then fine. but please know what you are talking about before passing on some wive's tale to someone who is trying to get the most from their vehicle. on another note though, i'm sure mechanics love ya.
  • redsilveradoredsilverado Member Posts: 1,000
    adc knows all, just ask him. LOL
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    Still no documentable evidence.
  • lake5lake5 Member Posts: 56
    you are embarrassing yourself..........
  • rcarbonircarboni Member Posts: 290
    Please explain your positions rather than just bashing people here - ok? - thanks.

    In regard to autos that arrive with synth: Are you saying that the Corvette engine is manufactured differently than the Z28 engine, and therefore can run synthetic immediately, but the Z28 cannot? I thought they were the same block. Do you have some manufacturer's info that states that the block is different - honed or otherwise?

    Have you ever heard or seen someone who ran synth immediately that failed to seat their rings properly? I myself have never heard of anyone that had that problem, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. I'd like to see some proof of your theory though. I always switch to long-drain synth at 5K - no point in using good synth right away when you're just going to drain it anyway.
  • rcarbonircarboni Member Posts: 290
    That's not enough. ;)
This discussion has been closed.