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Engine Break in guidance

3189 Views 118 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  Montanan
1st post here - be gentle ;)

I have a 2024 Limited due to arrive in 4 weeks. Right about that time I want to go on roughly a 1000-mile trip. This is my 3rd Subaru with CVT and in the past, I've tried to vary speed during the first 1000 miles or so. That's been difficult to do with a CVT. The RPMs will drift a bit but regardless of speed, they are usually pretty consistent. My question is about the proper break-in. Besides not driving like a knucklehead, is there anything to really avoid? I plan to do an oil change right after the trip, but anything else? Thank you!
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I know everyone is sure that their way of breaking in an engine is the best way.
Just one way to break a Subaru In!

Hope everyone enjoys!

:)
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From the owner's manual:
New vehicle break-in driving 鈥搕he first 1,000 miles (1,600 km)
The performance and long life of your vehicle are dependent on how you handle and care for your vehicle while it is new.
Follow these instructions during the first 1,000 miles (1,600 km):
. Do not race the engine. And do not allow engine speed to exceed 4,000 rpm except in an emergency.
. Do not drive at one constant engine or vehicle speed for a long time, either fast or slow.
. Avoid starting suddenly and rapid acceleration, except in an emergency.
. Avoid hard braking, except in an emergency.
I would add to this: Avoid wide open throttle.
Must be the voodoo, LOL!

I don't understand why so many purported experts disagree with what the car manufacturer tells you to do. It may be that CAFE requirement are saving some emissions but engines are dying sooner.
If anything, engines are lasting longer.
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Based on the tire marks on the roads there were a LOT of retakes... ;)
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Based on the tire marks on the roads there were a LOT of retakes... ;)
After watching the "Making of Gymkhana" I lost all interest in ever seeing the actual shows. There are soo many retakes, practices, and setups it's not that impressive anymore.
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Coming from the IT world I learned that engineers are great at engineering things and real-time users are where users get the answers of how to use things.
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When I got my 2022 Crosstrek last year, I went on about a 1000 mile roundtrip drive within 2 days, from Omaha out to the mountains around Denver, and really I just took it easy (and I did try to not stay at a constant speed for too long on the highway), and my car is still running great. Best of luck!
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I tend to follow a more aggressive break-in procedure. Varying the speed as much as possible the first couple of hundred miles. And it has always worked for me. My wife, on the other hand, just drives normally and doesn't do anything different as far as break-in. Neither one of us has ever had an engine use any appreciable amount of oil or any other engine problems. So whatever you decide to do, it will likely be fine.
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Lots of differing opinions here. Is anyone aware of any long term tests comparing an engine that was broken in according to the manufacturers advice and one that wasn't?
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Lots of differing opinions here. Is anyone aware of any long term tests comparing an engine that was broken in according to the manufacturers advice and one that wasn't?
That is a good question that should be asked on most forum posts: maintenance, oil, break-in, CVT fluid change, etc.
That is a good question that should be asked on most forum posts: maintenance, oil, break-in, CVT fluid change, etc.
We've had lots of oil and CVT fluid posts here so let's stick to the original topic.

Is anyone aware of any long term tests comparing an engine that was broken in according to the manufacturers advice and one that wasn't?
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I tend to follow a more aggressive break-in procedure. Varying the speed as much as possible the first couple of hundred miles. And it has always worked for me. My wife, on the other hand, just drives normally and doesn't do anything different as far as break-in. Neither one of us has ever had an engine use any appreciable amount of oil or any other engine problems. So whatever you decide to do, it will likely be fine.
i don't do anything special. i just drive the damn car
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i don't do anything special. i just drive the damn car
It's a pity Wolverine is no longer posting. I wonder what he's driving now?
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It's understandable owners being cautious. What's the best way of break-in or is it even needed? The manual IMHO is sort of being proactive. Also, I've never heard or read cars breaking down for improper break-in. Cars that breakdown are usually not up to standards, and there really isn't anything any owner can do about it. Cars varies even in the same model year, from oil consumption, MPGs, even in road/wind noise. I had a 2004 S2K AP2, in Dyno runs it was putting slight power to the wheels than other S2K in my club. My point is, there will be slight differences in ownership experiences. Apologies for going a bit off topic

As an aside, I will be making a proper and formal intro with pics soon with my 2023 xtrek limited 馃槈馃檪.
This is a short article but to the point. I think I trust JD Power more than some of the armchair quarterbacks here. If anyone has some reputable articles about why it's NOT a good idea to break in an engine I'd like to see them. And not for racing cars as their engines are not expected to last that long between rebuilds or replacement.

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I trust that Subaru has an incentive to not have me make a visit for a warranty repair. Not to mention that their reputation is at stake if too many people have too many problems. Unlike behemoths like GM and Toyota, Subaru has a smaller number of customers, some very loyal to the brand.

And then there are different kinds of car owners. Some buy a new car with the intention of keeping it forever. Others lease or trade in cars after only 3-5 years. The latter type of owner isn't very concerned with break-in guidelines.....if they even open the manual at all.

I for one, am pretty careful how I break in an engine. That being said, one exception was when I bought my new 1998 Acura Integra GSR. That was the closest I ever came to a mid-life crisis purchase. During that time period, I was very stressed out and I opened it up to 120mph at only 900 miles. The engine has an 8000rpm redline and I was humming along at 6000rpms. Because I used public transit for work, I didn't drive that much and I couldn't help myself once I found a strip of highway with hardly anybody on it. Fast forward 25 years and only 86K miles and the engine still does not burn any oil or show any other signs of premature wear. Granted I only did that stunt twice and don't make a habit out of it.
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I trust that Subaru has an incentive to not have me make a visit for a warranty repair. Not to mention that their reputation is at stake if too many people have too many problems. Unlike behemoths like GM and Toyota, Subaru has a smaller number of customers, some very loyal to the brand.

And then there are different kinds of car owners. Some buy a new car with the intention of keeping it forever. Others lease or trade in cars after only 3-5 years. The latter type of owner isn't very concerned with break-in guidelines.....if they even open the manual at all.

I for one, am pretty careful how I break in an engine. That being said, one exception was when I bought my new 1998 Acura Integra GSR. That was the closest I ever came to a mid-life crisis purchase. During that time period, I was very stressed out and I opened it up to 120mph at only 900 miles. The engine has an 8000rpm redline and I was humming along at 6000rpms. Because I used public transit for work, I didn't drive that much and I couldn't help myself once I found a strip of highway with hardly anybody on it. Fast forward 25 years and only 86K miles and the engine still does not burn any oil or show any other signs of premature wear. Granted I only did that stunt twice and don't make a habit out of it.
I'm guessing most brand new car buyers are not expecting to keep the car beyond the lease or finance period and don't care too much about break-in.

I'll meet you at a light one day in your Acura... ;)
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I'll meet you at a light one day in your Acura... ;)
Ha! I doubt I could beat your L-car. Back in the day, 170hp and 7.1sec 0-60 was something to brag about. Nowadays, most vehicles are capable of that. I've taken many trips in the Integra and it's still a blast to drive, but my aging back can't deal with it for more than about an hour at a time anymore. It's my local car while the Crosstrek is my trip car now.
Ha! I doubt I could beat your L-car. Back in the day, 170hp and 7.1sec 0-60 was something to brag about. Nowadays, most vehicles are capable of that. I've taken many trips in the Integra and it's still a blast to drive, but my aging back can't deal with it for more than about an hour at a time anymore. It's my local car while the Crosstrek is my trip car now.
I know what you mean. On the L-car forum there was a thread about the biggest challenge we were facing. My reply was getting in and out of it, LOL.

Back to the topic, the JD Power article is very recent (6 months) so it clearly applies to new cars, not just what we learned decades ago.
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