The Best Break-In Procedure For Your New Engine

Got a brand new engine for your vehicle? Congratulations! When you drop it into your vehicle, you need to break it in. This guide will walk you through the process of breaking in your new engine.

Why It’s Important To Break In Your Engine

Even though car engine technology has come a long way, new engines still need to be broken in. Breaking in an engine basically means driving around at various RPMs without putting a strain on the engine.

If you have a pick up truck with a new engine, for example, the proper way to break it in is to drive it like a passenger car. That means refraining from towing anything or hauling anything in the truck bed until the break-in period is over.

Breaking in an engine is important because it “eases” the engine into its role. It gives the engine time to adjust. Breaking in an engine ensures that:

  • Engine wear is kept at a minimum
  • The pistons rings seat properly
  • The valves seat properly

Breaking in an engine brings several benefits:

  • Longer engine life
  • Better fuel economy
  • Better engine performance

Always Use Conventional Oil During The Break In Period

When filling up your new engine for the first time, always use conventional oil.

If you use synthetic oil, it’s going to keep the engine’s seats and rings from properly cutting into the new engine. It’s also going to extend the oil consumption during the break in period.

You want to use conventional oil during the entire break in period.

The Break In Process

To break in your new engine, drive the vehicle for 500 miles with conventional oil.

Next, bring your vehicle into a shop for a routine checkup. This includes an oil and oil filter change. Don’t switch to synthetic oil at this point. You want to keep using conventional oil until about 2,500-3,000 miles.

Once your engine hits 2,500-3,000 miles, bring your vehicle in for another routine checkup. Have the oil and oil filter changed again. It’s OK to switch to synthetic oil at this point.

During the break in period, it’s ideal to drive your vehicle with varying RPMs. That includes city and highway driving. Avoid putting a strain on your engine by:

  • Towing something
  • Hauling heavy loads
  • Hard driving
  • Doing burnouts

Check out the graphic below for a quick review:

Pay Attention To The Engine’s Oil Consumption

Check the oil level frequently. It’s normal to see higher oil consumption during the break in process. If the oil levels get too low, top off the engine with some fresh oil. This bears repeating: use conventional oil during the break in period.

After the break in period (2,500-3,000 miles), your engine should start consuming a normal amount of oil. It’s unusual for your engine to keep consuming a high amount of oil after the break in process. If you notice this, bring your vehicle to a shop and they’ll help you figure out why your engine is still consuming a high amount of oil.

If you have any questions about breaking in your new engine, you’re welcome to contact us.

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