New Engine "Break In" Period?

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I will be getting an 07 Saturn Vue in a few weeks and I'm just wondering if anyone has any opinions about "breaking in" new engines. I've heard from some people that it's a good idea to drive only on city streets for short distances for the first 500 km or so until the engine "breaks in". Is this accurate or not? I'm just curious because my wife and I were going to take it on a trip that would require at least 5 hours of consistent driving. Is this a bad idea? Any thoughts and comments are welcome.


posted by  MrM.

Well when I rebuild a motor including new cam bearings and or camshaft I drive it forcefully and refrain from taking it above the peak torque revs and below 1200 rpm for about 200 km. Initially I drive the car up some hills and make the engine lug around peak torque revs about five or so times to bed the rings, let the engine cool down, retension the head, manifold bolts, change the oil and oil filter.

If I have only changed bigened bearings and rings, I carry out the same procedure for the inital drive, then I drive it like I stole it.

In your situation I would just drive it like you have had it for a couple of years.

posted by  Wally

Just don't thrash the shit out of it, drive it like a sane person. keep the revs to a minimum for about 1000km.

posted by  GreekWarrior

I agree (for once, lol) if ya just drive it 'normally' you should be fine, I'm not sure if a brand new motor requires further running in than a recon motor, but you should be okay, I think it's probably the same though!

posted by  Cliffy

Well Cliffy, unfortunately that's not what he said. People "normally" use most of the RPM range of their engine, say the lower 80%. What he said to do is "keep the revs to a minimum for about 1000km". Substantially different. The minimum RPM of the engine is idle (tick over). Perhaps you're supposed to idle around for the first 1000km. His advice is that of someone who doesn't know, but just had the need to type something.

To break in the new View, the simplest thing to do is follow the manufacturers recommendation. It'll be in the owners manual, probably right near the front. Many (most) new vehicles sold today no longer need any special handling for engine break-in. Just jump in and drive it as you normally would.

posted by  vwhobo

Oh, my mistake.....I misread his post :banghead:

Oh, and idling's not good for 1,000km's lol

posted by  Cliffy

oh come on hobo you know I didn't mean keep it at idol for 1000km.

posted by  GreekWarrior

Exactly. Modern manufacturing has almost eliminated the need for a "new engine break in period." And modern computerized electonic engine management systems often use the first few miles to "learn" the driving habits of the owner and manage the engine accordingly. In a number of cases, if you drive the car gently for the first few hundred miles, the engine management computer will never give you full power after that.

An example is the case of my PT. For the first 300 miles, the computer won't allow the engine to make it's full power at all. But if you drive it gently, you'll never GET full power. If you drive it a little aggressively, you'll notice a power increase at 300 miles, and again at 3000 miles.

I've seen this behavior in a number of GM cars, as well, so it's possible that the Vue may need to be treated this way.

posted by  ChrisV

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