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Re: Break-in Methods

> Every German car I've broken in (a fair number) say to just drive it
> normally for 1000 miles. The worst thing to do is baby it, or drive
> it at a consistent speed/power level (e.g. go for 1000 mile highway
> drive). It is also bad to redline it a lot, or really push it to/past
> the limit.
> Go have fun. To quote the owner's manual on my last Golf:
Hi Andrew, and (author of Original Post),

Boy, when I first saw this, I thought I was going to pick-up some neat
ideas on how to break inTO German Cars; and as my stable is getting a bit
long in the tooth... Well, anyway, I've had my pill now, and I'm feeling
*SO* much better now...

<ahem...>  Conventional wisdom (yes, you *may* ask what I would know about
either; but so's yer old man...) holds that most important thing in
breaking in any piston engine is to seat the rings before applying any
*sustained load*; otherwise, you might break a ring (and cry a lot).

The way to accomplish this ring-seating is to apply loads briefly; starting
with light loads and increasing gradually going up to Full Power.  This is
one area where the owner's manuals don't follow the CW, as most of them use
MPH limits, when the loads are measured in RPM.  A conservative rule of
thumb is to use 60% of your redline during the first 500 miles, 80% during
the next 500, and then use the full range up to Redline for the next 500.
Change your oil after each 500 mile period.

It is equally important to *load* your engine, and to keep the load
*brief*, during the break-in.  It is *much* harder on your engine during
break-in to drive at *any* set speed for a long period than it is to start
using the redline on day one.  It is a *Pain* in the *ss to do a proper
break-in; but with the prices of repairing a German motor, you'd be a fool
not to grin and bear it...(and OBTW, since you asked, I always use full
redline from the get-go)  (Hmmmm, does that make me a "liberal" then?)


Bart Chambers
'77 Feline Varmint Felix, Gray Tabby
'86 Carrera Cabriolet, Indischrot
'87 Syncro (Stealth Quattro)