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How do you break in a new car?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Lee, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

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    Ted,

    Proper engine break-in is important. Think of this as an athlete trying to become more limber: stretching muscles slowly to allow them move in the maximum range of travel. What you are after is getting parts to seat, but more impportantly, getting them "loose" so they can move freely to their maximum limit. An athlete does not limber up by wrenching his muscles to limit with one violent motion. Rather, he gradually over time, stretches his muscles farther and farther until he's very limber.

    Hence, do not do full throttle stop light burn out hard acceleration. Do, however, take the engine up to high rpms gradually. If you only go to 4k rpm (out of say 6k redline) the valve train will never loosen completely and the engine (when pushed to redline later) will have to work harder (developing less power) to overcome a valve train that is not "broken in". This is very evident in an A/B comparison of two identical cars. One broken in properly and one driven by your Grandmother to church (no offense to anyone's grandmother implied.) The car broken in properly will be noticeably faster.

    Also, varying your speed when driving for long distances during the first 1k miles will help. I.E.-10 miles at 60mph, 10 miles at 70mph, 10 miles back at 60mph, etc. The gist of this is to get the valve train (springs) used to moving freely (just like loosening muscles). If the moving parts are used to moving at full speed, the engine won't have to overcome a tight valvetrain.

    Early oil changes are really not needed anymore. With computers and robots controlling the machining of parts and assembly, casting debris is greatly reduced and parts simply fit together better. There is very little metal debris in new motors now because of such tight and precise machining. Do oil changes as recommended by the manufacturer.

    New brakes on a brand new car will seat in about 50-100 miles. Normal driving will see to that. Replacement brakes (especially with new rotors) will need about 100 miles to mate the surfaces. The dealer, when replacing the rotors, should clean off the anti-rust coating during installation and this helps speed the process. No hard stops on new brakes is more of a warning than anything else. Since the new brakes surfaces have not completly mated to each other they do not have 100% surface contact. Once broken in, they acheive 100% contact and maximum braking efficiency can be had.

    Hope this helps,
    MM
     
  2. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    great info guys...thx! looks like varing the rpms (including gentle revs up to the high rpms) and sensible breaking are the words of the day.
    btw todd - i can't believe you still have the original brake pads on your 95 accord. [​IMG] i've got a 94ex and i'm sure i've replaced those pads at least 4-5 times by now. of course, maybe it's just the dealer juicing me! [​IMG]
     
  3. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  4. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

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    Todd,
    Never said no load or light load. I said take engine to near redline gradually. No drag racing at stop lights. Don't just sit in neutral and rev the engine. Just like the analogy: an athlete does not get limber muscles by wrenching the muscle in one hard violent stretch. Over the course of the first 1000 miles, take the car close to redline at times. Not every take off from a stop! This will get the valvetrain (rocker springs) used to moving through their whole range of movement.
    Grandma's car getting carboned up? Fuel is the main source of carbon build up in an engine. Use a good grade, from a major refiner and that will go a long ways towards preventing build up of carbon on the intake valves and injector tips. (Yeah, slow, 2 mile trips will load up the plugs, but fuel is the major factor in long term carbon build.)-see most major manufacturer's EPA test data to see what fuel they test cars for CAFE certification. Chevron Supreme is the #1 fuel for the last 10+ years. Their Techron clean valves and injectors better than the rest. Over time, that same fuel keeps the engine from building up carbon. It also helps remove it. (i.e.-BMW's late 80's dealer engine campaign. Process including carbon blast of intake valves (w/ ground walnut shells fired at the tops of the valves) followed by fuel treatment w/ Chevron's Techron and the recommendation of using Chevron for everyday gas.)
    Don't remember the post from "Jared" about BMW not recommending this. Can't comment on that. What's Jared's background w/ BMW?
    FYI: the basis for my opinions (and, yes, this is my opinion arrived at after some relevant (I think) experience):
    16 years work as service advisor for strictly high line European car lines (8 years BMW, 3 years Ferrari/Rolls Royce, 3 years Mercedes Benz, 2 years Range Rover)
    5 years work with US Pro Rally teams (Audi/Mazda)
    3 years with race teams campaigned by dealers I worked for (cars included open wheel Formula Ford, vintage foreign and production/stock imports.)
    and input from some racing customers through the years (Sammy Swindell-world outlaw sprint car champion and Mark Blundell-formula 1 driver)
    What is published by maufacturers and what is "the best" thing to do, may not be one and the same. Manufactures may be/are limited by the legal department as to what they can recommend. Advising to take a car close to redline gradually at times would problably be taken by an owner to mean "nail the throttle at every chance". (Believe me, if an owner actually reads their manual, they still will misinteperet (sp?) it.) Again, my opinion is based on a lot of personal experience, not just what you read in a manual. And...it's IMHO.
    MM
    p.s.- in regards to the question asked in your website: as far as I know, the Silver State Classic is still being run. And, FYI, your car wouldn't stand a chance. (Please, no offense intended.) I've been a part of teams that have run Silver State. When I was with BMW, our store ran 2 M5's and an M6. Starting 21-23rd, we finished 3rd, 4th, and 6th. That was against twin turbo Porsches, a 700hp Camaro, modified Panteras and the requisite Ferraris. Your Z28 appears well done, but Silver State has become the territory of big,big buck cars with decent caliber drivers. Of course, even if you don't win, it's a hell of a lot of fun to run 91 miles of Nevada freeway as fast as you can go!!!
     
  5. Ken Garrison

    Ken Garrison Supporting Actor

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    I always use Chevron with Techron in my van. But sometimes when my dad gets me gas, he makes me put that shit from Shell in there. Just because it's 1 cent cheaper. I know he's paying for it. But I care about my engine and I want GOOD GAS in it. Chevron with Techron is the best. [​IMG] I put Chevron with techron in my lawn mower and I noticed it was doing some cleaning. I hadda few sparks spitting outta my muffler. Techron doing its job cleaning it.
     
  6. Bruce Chang

    Bruce Chang Second Unit

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    Here's my family rule of breaking in cars

    No hard throttling or Open wide throttle for 2000miles

    Stay under 3000rpms for smaller engines, 2000rpms for larger engines

    Change the oil at 2000 miles and switch to synthetic if you haven't already

    Even though many cars tell you to change oil at 12k for example is for regular conditions. Most people drive in extreme conditions, i.e. stop and go driving.

    So far all of our cars never gave us problems at all. My Jeep Cherokee 92 has over 204,000 miles on it with no problems. My theory is that if you take care of American cars, they'll last along time. For Japanese cars, they're reliable even if you don't take care of them.

    For fluids every
    3000 miles or 3 months, change oil (for syth change only the filter at 3k, top off the oil and change it every 6k, grease zerk fittings, inspect brakes, tire pressure, tire rotation and balance, top off all fluids.

    30,000 miles or a year, tranny even when it's sythetic, differentials, etc.

    Follow this and you're car or truck will take care of you.
     
  7. Chris Smith

    Chris Smith Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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