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How to properly break-in your new engine

mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
edited March 2014 in Honda
Anyone have any information in regards to breaking in a new honda engine. Such as when to change the oil, how fast to go and for how many miles, things such as that. Thanks


  • yrmacyrmac Posts: 134
    Read your owners manual. All the info you are seeking are in the owners manual.
  • per the manual is the normal service interval at 10K miles. I think changing @ 5K miles would be a better idea and then maybe every 7K miles after that.
    I think the 10K interval is to get the cost of ownership for maintaniance down for marketing reasons.

    For first 500 miles I'd take it easy on the engine, don't overrev past 3500 - 4K (assuming you have a 5 sp). Vary the speed, don't drive 12 hrs staight at 60 mph. Don't use cruise control.

    Don't eat McDonalds food in the nice new car :)
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
  • pj23pj23 Posts: 158
    Assuming you are referring to Hondas you have owned, why dump the factory oil after 500 miles when the manufacturer recommends leaving the oil in for the full first oil change interval?

    I can understand those who may want to change after 5,000 miles, where the recommended interval is 10,000 normal/5,000 severe. But changing the oil after only 500 miles seems extreme, especially given the fact that Honda makes a point to tell you explicitly not to do the same.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    I can't speak for OEM, but the engines I do, I generally tell the folks to drive them like they own them, above all, do not baby them (but don't trash them either). After about 2,000 miles, change the oil and filter and then run it to the 5,000 mile mark.
    After that, they can switch to synthetic if they choose.
    If they switch to synthetic before the 5,000 miles, I void any and all warranty on the engine.
  • 1997montez341997montez34 NJ, USAPosts: 202
    I have about 300 miles on my Accord. I am driving it like I normally would. New Jersey traffic during my commute usually dictates my driving style anyway. Either I'm sitting with the engine idling or I'm revving it to merge into 80mph traffic. Either way, that's not the "ideal" break-in situation. But given the fact that every Accord that comes off the Marysville assembly line is immediately put on a dyno and run to redline in every gear, I don't think I need to worry too much.

    The 10,000 miles oil-change intervals scare me though. I think I wouldn't let it go more than 5,000 max. I am used to changing oil every 3,000. Not sure why the interval is so long. Has there been an advance in engine tech in the last few years since I bought my last car?
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    OEM doesn't care how often you change your oil as long as you do the minimum required for warranty. At the end of the day--when the car is out of warranty--you'll be glad you changed it often. If you are a low mileage driver with lots of short trips, 3-4 mos. with dino is the way to go IMO. Another advantage of frequent oil changes is that you can check everything else while the poop is draining and spot problems while they are still minor, like a torn CV boot. Did you ever hear anyone complain that they changed their oil too often??
  • The manual only recommends changing the oil filter every 20k miles... dang, imagine being on your second oil filter when your warranty runs out... =oP ... Overall, when I was in the break-in period, the main thing I was concerned about were the brakes. The engine, I rarely worry about because it should be able to handle normal driving, I shouldn't have to "baby it". The brakes are another story, though... for the first tank or so, I will usually brake early, and allow for extra room since the pads and rotors are "seating" themselves and usually won't stop as well as when they have been worn in a bit. =o)
  • I need to drive a brand new Ody for 350 miles on high way, will this do damage to the van? I'm concerned about the required break-in. Thanks.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    For the first 500 miles I try to avoid panic stops and vary the speed, keeping it under 65MPH. My opinion.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    Uh, avoiding panic stops?
    You'll have to explain that one to me.
  • edwardn1edwardn1 Posts: 103
    Sure just run into the SOB that rudely pulled in front of you!
  • I would go ahead and take the trip. It won't damage the van, but drive it like normal. I would avoid "flooring" it or in general "straining" the engine although it shouldn't damage it. You will definitely want to change the speeds... you probably will anyways...

    As for the panic stops, I think the intention of that was that you should give yourself more than enough time to stop. Try not to put yourself in a position (tailgating, speeding, etc) where you would have to slam on the brakes. The brakes need time to "seat" themselves properly, and until they do, you may not have the optimum braking power.

  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Suggest you pick out a CDL driver on the expressway and observe him or her. Chances are you will not see them make a panic stop. It is rather simple if you drive a 3 ton vehicle instead of a 20 ton tractor trailer.

    Don't tailgate him though, since they run the trailer tires down to bald and they sometimes fly off in pieces which can be disconcerting if you're not expecting it.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    Suggest you pick out a CDL driver on the expressway and observe him or her.
    I am a CDL driver. I drive a 33,000 lb service truck which requires a CDL. Often have to drive 105,000 lb truck/low boy with machine combinations. I know all about truck driving.

    My point was, pluto wrote;
    [quote]For the first 500 miles I try to avoid panic stops and vary the speed, keeping it under 65MPH. My opinion.[endquote]

    What does panic stiops have to do with breaking in an engine?????
    Other than safe driving practices, it has little impact on the engine. Myabe sloshing the oil forward, but not enough to make a great difference.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Part of breaking in a new car is to start the brake pads and rotors wearing evenly. Avoid panic stops the first 500 miles to help your rotors last. When you get new pads, avoid panic stops for the first 50-100 miles.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    Not sure I follow that philosophy. Panic stops causing uneven wear.
    Rotors are not going to wear unevenly. Only if they are warped. Warping is caused by heat or improper torquing of the wheels.
    Uneven weat of pads is caused by calipers binding or the pads moving improperly in the guides.
    Panic stops are not going to create heat, it won't bind the guides and it isn't going to wear the rotors unevenly.
  • "flooring" ? Opatience?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    is that you don't want to run over the speed limit, I think the max speed the mentioned for the first 500 miles was 65 mph, and to vary your speed slightly as you get those early highway miles on. in other words, do 60 for a few miles, then 65, then maybe 60 again, etc. they say leave the oil in there for the first scheduled oil change, no quickie changes. Ford says that's to insure that the rings get a good cut on the cylinders while they are tight, and don't stay in the same position all the way through, which could glaze the cylinder walls and contribute to excessive oil consumption over the life of the engine.

    now, what I did with the last two I bought and intended to keep until 150,000 or thereabouts, was to follow the speed rules and dumped the factory oil and filter at 1000 miles. all well and good to let the foundry sand do the fine machining, excellent Soviet technique, but I want the damn iron filings and foundry sand and leftover cheese bread scraps and all that slap-em-together slop in a pit out behind the oil recycling place, not eating on my engine block.

    I got my miles and no blue clouds. YMMV. moderation in all things tends to keep you out of the pokey on Christmas eve, and so forth.
  • I'm not sure if "panic stops" will cause unnecessary wear, but I still wouldn't do it. You have two friction materials rubbing on each other. They are not "milled" or made to the exact same specifications, and even if they were, there is always some "slop". Usually, the rotors will have a coating on them when they come from the maker to prevent from corrosion. They will also use oil when doing the initial surfacing. Some of this oil seeps into the metal, I would assume.

    I am no expert in brake systems, but it does not seem like a good idea to constantly strain a brand new system such as the brakes. I am not saying to endanger yourself should the situation arise, but by all means, give yourself the extra space in case you need it. Just like you wouldn't "floor it" because of the cylindar sleeves/pistons, etc, right? I mean, they are meant to work together for the life of the engine, and they even have oil, but they still need time to "break in".

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,241
    avoiding hard braking with new pads. In order to seat properly they should be used moderately rather than jammed or feathered. See Technical Correspondence in the Jan 2003 issue for more.

    Makes sense to me.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    You want to avoid lugging the engine (manual trans) and excessive rpms.

    In order to seat properly they should be used moderately rather than jammed or feathered.
    How long do you think it takes to seat the pads?

    Now that this subject has gotten totally off the subject. I am curious. How does one avoid "panic stops"???
    I am curious how you go about doing that. Seems to me that it isn't something you just arbitrarily avoid.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    and if anybody gets in your way, blow 'em to the side. alas, my dealer didn't have a thing on the lot with this option when I was shopping.

    I think the put that line in there to have an out in case somebody sued. probably cost 'em a few dollars in court once.
  • did you see the new james bond movie die another day? the aston martin had rocket launchers on the sides of the car built in. wouldn't that be a nice mod to have, eh? LOL
  • jimbo65jimbo65 South Central IllinoisPosts: 65
    I don't expect you folks to believe this, but, on our 1996 Accord LX Auto. it still has the original brakes at 91000 miles. It is true. The secret is 'anticipation' of known stops and keeping enough room between you and the next car to avoid hard stops. I just put on new factory wheel covers on this car and the pads still look like new. Maybe the factory goofed and gave me 'lifetime' brakes!
    2015 CR-V EX-L 2WD = One Sweet Ride :p
  • I read in a post somewhere about a recomendation from some car professional (can't remember exactly what he did) but it said to use moderate breaking for the first 50 or so stops. This causes the brakes to glaze the rotors and will make both brakes and rotors last much longer. The post also said to avoid very hard breaking and riding the break pedal while lightly breaking when trying to get your stoppers to seat. Will try and find the post I read and put a link to it..
  • Why do you have to break in, into a new car? A car is a car. You buy it so you can drive it how ever you want.
  • neon99neon99 Posts: 15
    Yes, you can drive it as however you want, but how long are you planning on driving it? Even with modern engines, manufacturers still recommend at least 500 miles of no jack-rabbit starts, vary speed, and try to avoid panic stops.

    Doing these simple steps will improve the longevity of the motor and rotor/pads.
  • neon99neon99 Posts: 15
    I always follow the "severe" maintenance schedule. I live in SoCal, so even highway driving is stop-n-go. Whatever I can do to improve engine efficiency will help in the long and short run.
  • Follow the severe maintainance schedule, and you'll be happy. Cheap insurance.

    As for break in, keep it under 5000 RPM and don't slam on the breaks for the first 1000 miles. After that, have fun.
This discussion has been closed.