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Is break-in unecessary on modern engines?

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Old 08-28-2008, 08:08 AM   #1
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Is break-in unecessary on modern engines?

I know that a lot has been made of this subject, but is it really necessary to "baby" your engine for the first 1000 miles (as the owner's manual states)? I don't think so.

I can see not doing any hard, heavy towing or pushing to the redline (which automatic trannys won't let you do anyway) for 500 miles or so, but beyond that what is really needed? Modern engine factory tolerances are very tight and I think the days of waiting 3,000 miles for the piston rings to "seat" are long gone. Modern machining translates into much less "wear" needed for break-in.

Keep in mind that John Lingenfelter modifies brand new corvettes, and runs them hard on a dyno and on a test track....and most these engines are straight from the showroom and have less virtually zero miles on them. Also, they come from the factory with Mobil 1.

I think the Toyota owner's manual is conservative....that's why it says "1000 miles" and not "721.5 miles." This is a rough estimate and will vary slightly engine to engine.

Please give me the other side of this argument. I would like to hear why, in your opinion, you need to keep the RPM's less than 3000 for the first 2000 miles.

Thanks, and great forum!
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:13 AM   #2
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hell, just drive kinda easy for the first 500 miles and then change your oil to get any break in metals out, then you're good to go. way i see it!
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehky View Post
I know that a lot has been made of this subject, but is it really necessary to "baby" your engine for the first 1000 miles (as the owner's manual states)? I don't think so
Why not? A 1000 miles will be gone in no time so why not just do what the manual says. However it's your truck so you can do whatever you want.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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why ask? Just do as the manual states.
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:36 AM   #5
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If you don't follow the manual and something gets screwed just do us all a favor and dont come on here crying that your truck is a POS. Otherwise it is your truck, do what you want when you want. We are not the ones who pay your repair bills

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Old 08-28-2008, 11:37 AM   #6
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Based on my knowledge of many different types of engines, I believe that running a properly warmed up engine at higher revs for brief periods of time is necessary for a proper engine break in. Whether it's a high-perf auto or aircraft engine, this is done to ensure proper wear pattern and heat transfer.

I would not run past 3500 rpm or so for the first 400-500 miles or 10 hours, though.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehky View Post
Based on my knowledge of many different types of engines, I believe that running a properly warmed up engine at higher revs for brief periods of time is necessary for a proper engine break in. Whether it's a high-perf auto or aircraft engine, this is done to ensure proper wear pattern and heat transfer.

I would not run past 3500 rpm or so for the first 400-500 miles or 10 hours, though.
Based on my knowledge of how high repair bills get I stick with the manual. But to each their own. As far as keeping the RPM's low, that is just something I do on a regular basis. I did that through the breakin and continue to keep them low. However the manual is really nothing more than recommendations, by the people that designed it, biult it and in general have a better idea on it than I do.

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Old 08-28-2008, 01:28 PM   #8
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i dont baby anything i own, i redlined mine out of the parking lot and went mudding with it the next night in the woods. its a toyota, it will last even if you abuse it. although it may last longer if you baby it, i dont plan on having mine forever anyway.
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:01 PM   #9
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nd,

You know, machinery is funny...every piece of equipment that I have "babied" and "worried about" - from a firearm to a lawn mower to a Toyota Tacoma - has always plagued me with little, annoying problems.

The machinery that I've simply used as a tool for its designated purpose and taken normal maitenance precautions to ensure its reliability has performed flawlessly.

I recently sold my 1999 Tacoma that (not on purpose) once drove through flood waters so deep the headlights were underwater...with about 16,000 miles on it. When I traded it in last month it had 108,500 miles on it and it was the best vehicle I have ever owned. I spent less than $150 in ten years for unscheduled maitenance on that truck.

I suppose that's why I came back and bought an '09...
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomaman06 View Post
hell, just drive kinda easy for the first 500 miles and then change your oil to get any break in metals out, then you're good to go. way i see it!
Thats what I always do and I get a new car every 6 months or so.
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehky View Post
nd,

You know, machinery is funny...every piece of equipment that I have "babied" and "worried about" - from a firearm to a lawn mower to a Toyota Tacoma - has always plagued me with little, annoying problems.

The machinery that I've simply used as a tool for its designated purpose and taken normal maitenance precautions to ensure its reliability has performed flawlessly.

I recently sold my 1999 Tacoma that (not on purpose) once drove through flood waters so deep the headlights were underwater...with about 16,000 miles on it. When I traded it in last month it had 108,500 miles on it and it was the best vehicle I have ever owned. I spent less than $150 in ten years for unscheduled maitenance on that truck.

I suppose that's why I came back and bought an '09...
i've experienced the same thing. if you buy a quality product it can stand abuse. i abused the hell out of myold beamer and it lasted around 250k before my brother totalled it. i bought a glock and refused to clean it till i jammed. after countless rounds i finally broke down and cleaned it cause it refused to jam. if you buy a RX 8, you're gonna have to baby it. if you buy a porche, even though its badass, you'll have to baby it. but a toyota should be able to take moderate abuse with no problems and heavy abuse with very few problems. that why i paid what i did for my truck. i could have gotten a nicely equiped full size american truck for the same price but i'd rather have worry free quality
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RememberMorrison View Post
Thats what I always do and I get a new car every 6 months or so.
the way motors are built these days....especially toyota, honda and nissan.........break in periods, as long as you dont go into driving extremes, are relatively short. 500 miles to me is plenty.....but thats just my opinion anyway.
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd View Post
i dont baby anything i own, i redlined mine out of the parking lot and went mudding with it the next night in the woods. its a toyota, it will last even if you abuse it. although it may last longer if you baby it, i dont plan on having mine forever anyway.
that's exactly why I'll never buy another used vehicle
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:54 PM   #14
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New engines MUST to be broken in. The break in process is tedious. Engines are broken in at the factory, as the general public doesnt know how to break in a "fresh" engine. The "1000 mile break in" that Toyota recomends is mostly so you get used to the handleing of the new vehicle, and so the breaks and suspension settle in.
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd View Post
i dont baby anything i own, i redlined mine out of the parking lot and went mudding with it the next night in the woods. its a toyota, it will last even if you abuse it. although it may last longer if you baby it, i dont plan on having mine forever anyway.
I had considered buying used but in the end I though I might end up with a truck from somebody like you. My first truck was used but I new the guy I bought it from. However, I will never buy another used truck again.
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by glk21c View Post
that's exactly why I'll never buy another used vehicle
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Originally Posted by CometKat View Post
I had considered buying used but in the end I though I might end up with a truck from somebody like you. My first truck was used but I new the guy I bought it from. However, I will never buy another used truck again.
i'd buy a used vehicle but i'd have it proffesionally inspected first and steer clear of any vehicle with mods. i'm not worried about people like me. a good vehicle will stand torture. thats why i'm so dissapointed in bmw. their old cars were invincible no matter how terrible you treated them, but their new cars might was well be made of glass. as long as its a good product i dont worry about it
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehky View Post
The machinery that I've simply used as a tool for its designated purpose and taken normal maitenance precautions to ensure its reliability has performed flawlessly.
Normal maintenance precaution on a new Tacoma; go easy for the first 1000 miles.

Is it really that hard to go easy on a new truck for the first 1000 miles? For most people that would be about 1 month.
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by nd View Post
i bought a glock and refused to clean it till i jammed. after countless rounds i finally broke down and cleaned it cause it refused to jam.
If there is one thing you can abuse it’s a Glock. However, a new Tacoma is not a Glock.
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:18 PM   #19
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What I have heard is that the main thing you don't want to do is drive at a constant RPM for the first 1000 miles or so as you may risk causing a small "wear-in" bead in the cylinder and if you drive at a very low rpm all of the time, this "wear-in" bead will be set in at that low level. That is why the break-in requires you to drive with various RPM's.
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:24 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by CometKat View Post
Normal maintenance precaution on a new Tacoma; go easy for the first 1000 miles.

Is it really that hard to go easy on a new truck for the first 1000 miles? For most people that would be about 1 month.

No, not at all. However, I think that keeping the truck below 3000 rpm with slow accelerations will hinder a correct engine break-in. As I said before, I think brief periods of high revs with a well warmed-up engine is necessary for break-in (no sooner than 500 miles or 10 hours, though.) Those six cylinder/piston units must experience the heat and speed of very brief 5500 rpm encounters, with a cool down period immediately following...otherwise, wear in that range will not occur. Talk to any high end engine shop or aircraft engine shop and they will tell you the same thing.

Can you imagine the liablility of Toyota suggesting that consumers go from a dead stop to 109 mph, reaching 5500 rpm in first through fourth gear? Even if that would promote a perfect "break-in" in the engineers' eyes, they could never suggest this. However, this is done on test tracks everyday with engines that have 2-5 total hours on them.
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