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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi!

I am recieving my Mazda CX-3 the second week of January, and I have therefore been reading a little about how to break in the new engine. This is my first new car, so after some heavy googling, I am a litle confused.

Some say that there is no need to break-in the engine, while others have different opinions.

Many say that you should the first 1000km:
Keep rpms between 2000-5000
Have variable speed
Avoid full throttle

How did you break-in your new engine?
 

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Hi Ovaku,

I was confused as well.

Allot of people say it is no longer necessary however I thought it was better to be safe, especially because a naturally aspirated Japanese motor is going to last a long time.

The Mazda Australia website recommended exactly what you mentioned to break-in the motor, which is what I did. Except I still babied the motor until the car's first oil change.

I'm sure Mazda Norway's website has a similar section, but here you go;
http://www.mazda.com.au/owners/vehicle-care/
 

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Modern vehicles are built to much finer tolerances than this of only the turn of the century.

The best advice is to treat it gently for maybe 500 miles then just drive it normally for another 500. The problem manufacturers have is that there are a few looneys about who drive like they are possessed most of the time and it's these galoots that they have to guard against and spell it out to them. Rest assured, rental cars don't get broken in and they rarely suffer for it. I'm not saying you can ignore the advice but don't thrash the thing at high revs, labour it at low revs or sustained heavy load. Mixed duty normal driving is best and don't forget the same applies to brakes and tyres (tires).

Over here, the first oil change isn't due until 12 months or 12500 miles whichever comes first. Again, due to fine tolerances and highly efficient filters, there shouldn't really be a need to do interim oil changes but I'm a bit old fashioned too and diesel engined vehicles can have big problems with the soot from oil getting into the exhaust. We have a very fine filters in the exhaust that can get blocked with soot so I may well do mine in the spring at 6 months for that reason and of course I will document it for the forum.

If any of you gas guys do an oil change and can take some good quality photos, I would be very grateful if you could do the same (it's the same process but the filter is in a different place). You can post up a tutorial or send them to me and I will do it credited to the sender. Eventually they will all get "stickied" into a "how to" section.
 

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Never in my life have I ever heard of any mechanical issues attributed to not "breaking in" a motor. I've had many new cars and I just drive normal like a normal person and have never had a problem.
 

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The last time I came across a warning about a proper break-in period was with a 2-cycle outboard engine for my little aluminum boat. That was over 15 years ago. It is very seldom that engines are built with tolerances that mandate a slow break-in period to get components to begin to wear properly. The proper tolerances are now well machined in because of modern computer robotics built in to the manufacturing process.
 

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the break in period is definitely something to be mindful of as its also the period when the car's computers are learning the cars driving condition and sets up a realistic parameters for the operations of ur car (differences in driving style, environment conditions, etc). I myself with my car followed the break in period somewhat to the T and after the first 500 miles i slowly started stressing it out more (higher revs and just working the car out). im at 1800ish miles on my CX3 and starting to open the car up a bit, pushing the sportiness of it to find its limits w/o voiding warranties of course. here in the US with my gas CX3 we do a 4 month 5000mi oil change interval. As i have shop and getting there with millage i could send photos of the oil change process as even at work i have yet gotten any CX3s to service yet. if i do get one in before mine i will definitely try to get pictures of the process and send it to anchorman to work some editing magic.
 

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^^So during the break in you're just driving like a normal person so business as usual. So what are you really breaking in?
 

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Hi!

I am recieving my Mazda CX-3 the second week of January, and I have therefore been reading a little about how to break in the new engine. This is my first new car, so after some heavy googling, I am a litle confused.

Some say that there is no need to break-in the engine, while others have different opinions.

Many say that you should the first 1000km:
Keep rpms between 2000-5000
Have variable speed
Avoid full throttle

How did you break-in your new engine?
My first 1000km involved driving it around the city with stop start driving for the first 300km and then I drove the CX3 over 700km in one day on the highway under all sorts of conditions. I didn't push the car overly hard but I did try out overtaking large trucks on sport mode and even kept the car at constant RPM for an hour or so on cruise control which I know is not recommended.

Then I took the car for the 1000km inspection at around 1100km and it checked out all okay. In my opinion no real break in is required but Mazda puts these rules to stop idiot drivers doing stupid things that could damage the engine components. Unless you work in the Mazda engineering department you will never know the real margin they build into the car until failure.
 

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Most engine break ins are done in house at the factory. Maybe there should be a new term used to describe the first 1000kms as stated as " car learning mode" almost every car states the same condition of use in the beginning
 

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Most engine break ins are done in house at the factory. Maybe there should be a new term used to describe the first 1000kms as stated as " car learning mode" almost every car states the same condition of use in the beginning
Not these days. They start it up and drive it over the brake tester to the outside world. The only use the engine gets is during delivery.
 

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I've always taken my new cars out as soon as possible (generally less than 50km on the odometer) and sealed the rings. After that I follow the manufacturers recommendations for the first 1000km or so.

As I'm more than a little OCD, I normally limit myself to around 3000RPM for the first 500km (except for the ring sealing) and then 4000RPM from 500-750km, and 5000RPM from 750-1000km. After that I drive the car normally.

I have no idea whether it's made any difference to the cars or not (as I've always done it), but I can't remember having to top up oil in any of them and I've had no engine problems.

I've read that getting a good seal on the rings can decrease blow-by and improve power. In fact, years ago I took my Honda Civic in for a service and the mechanic who worked on it asked me if I had modified the engine as it apparently had notibly more power than the norm. Again, I may have just got lucky in the engine lottery as identical engines can have slightly different power outputs.

The following article from Flyin' Miata describes their recommended method for engine break in, and it's the method that I use. (The section from "Do not let the car sit and idle for a long time...")

https://www.flyinmiata.com/tech/breakin.php
 

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I took a more aggressive approach - full throttle to max RPMs. I got a car with just 6 miles on the ODO, so I took the opportunity to seat the rings. I realize this is a controversial approach, so do this at your own risk.

Basically, make sure the car is fully warmed up. Then, do the following:
Remain in 1st gear
Run the car to redline using ~half throttle
Release throttle (remain in gear) and coast back to idle
Repeat at full throttle.

That's it. Drive the car like normal here on out.

The goal of this technique is to get an excellent seal from the piston rings with heat and pressure at high throttle, resulting in more power and less long term wear. You can only achieve this perfect seal early on, as wear on the rings over normal/light driving will prevent them from seating with a tight seal.
 

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I've bought 3 cars brand new over the years, never "broken in" the engine, never had problems. Cars are much smarter and better now than they used to be. There's no reason to treat modern cars like cars from the 80's and older.
 

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I'm curious how you know whether or not there is an opportunity better seal your rings and what the before and after difference is. Does an engine produced in this day have that sloppy of tolerances from the factory that you need manually expand and seat rings? This is all counter to what a friend of mine who does QA at Honda's Alabama plant. He notes that all modern engines are broken in at the factory. I can't imagine that Mazda is that far behind?

I do agree with the other members comments about letting the computers learn your driving style etc. so they adapt accordingly.

I'm also curious how one can tell you have more power. Specifically, AlexMC, how the Honda tech knew one car made notably more power than its counterparts.
 

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It's entirely possible that engines get broken in at the factory, but I'm skeptical until I see hard statement from the manufacturer or some other proof.

There is no such thing as a car learning mode. It does not learn and adjust to your driving habits.

Proof of power can be found with experience from racing and engine enthusiasts. There's a few articles and links out there that have dyno charts. Nothing at the peer-reviewed journal level of credibility, but enough evidence and mechanical expertise to demonstrate high validity.
 

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There is no such thing as a car learning mode. It does not learn and adjust to your driving habits.
One great thing about modern cars is their adaptive style. They are always in a "learning mode" so to speak. The ECU learns driving habits and driving conditions, adapting to the experience.

This was also noted by Snoogie who's a Mazda tech.

You're right that you would need a dyno to compare power outputs. Something I've never seen any dealership do to any vehicle. I certainly wouldn't want them to dyno my car. Therefore, I'm skeptical that a dealer can tell someone their vehicle produces more power than its counterparts.
 

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It's entirely possible that engines get broken in at the factory, but I'm skeptical until I see hard statement from the manufacturer or some other proof.

There is no such thing as a car learning mode. It does not learn and adjust to your driving habits.

Proof of power can be found with experience from racing and engine enthusiasts. There's a few articles and links out there that have dyno charts. Nothing at the peer-reviewed journal level of credibility, but enough evidence and mechanical expertise to demonstrate high validity.
There are quite a few VW owners that might argue with this.
 

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I'm also curious how one can tell you have more power. Specifically, AlexMC, how the Honda tech knew one car made notably more power than its counterparts.
I doubt there's anyway that you could tell whether any method of engine break in would make any difference at all. At least, not without running an accurate study across a large number of the same vehicle.

I did own the Honda back in 1996, so perhaps 20 years ago there was more variance in the power output of same model engines. However, I remember the incident because the mechanic asked me if the car had been modified, and I thought he would have probably driven enough of the same model cars to know what the normal range of performance would be. I have never driven another Civic so I can't say if it's a difference I would have noticed.

However, I have experienced the opposite. The first car I ever bought was a Toyota. It was purchased from a friend of my mums, and I think it would be the type of vehicle most people would hope to find (one owner, middle aged lady driver). As it turns out, it was also my most problematic car. When I took it to Toyota to get it sorted out, I was told the engine was "lazy". The mechanic guessed that it had seen all its mileage as short trips, and that it may have never seen motorway speeds, or the redline. I think that's probably what prompted me to break in all the cars I have owned since, and as I mentioned in my original post I've never had any problems with them, so I will continue to use the same approach.

While engine tolerances and assembly may have improved over the 20+ years I've been buying cars, I think the manufacturers break in recommendations in the owners manuals have remained the same. If those change dramatically at some point, so will my engine break in technique. Perhaps for my first electric car or rotary!. That can't be too far away! :)
 

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This is the section on "Running-In" in the UK manual (3-46):

No special running-in is necessary, but
a few precautions int the frist 1,000 km
(600 miles) may add to the perfomence,
economy, and life of the vehicle.

  • Do not race the engine.
  • Do not maintain one constant speed, either slow or fast, for a long period of time.
  • Do not drive constantly at full-throttle or high rpm for extended periods of time.
  • Avoid unnecessary hard stops.
  • Avoid full-throttle starts.
  • Do not tow trailer.
 
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