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      02-19-2011, 07:45 AM   #1
conradb
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I was told conflicting things about break-in period

When I test drove the M3 for the first time, the sales rep was saying the car really doesn't need a break-in. Maybe a few hundred miles to get seals and components used to temp changes, but otherwise just floor it to red line.

Then, I took it out a second time for a test drive, and this sale rep was telling me to baby the car till 1,200mi. Then, something like keep the revs down until 4k mi or something.

I'm doing ED March 14. I plan to drive from Munich, to Vienna, down to southern Austria, and then up to Frankfurt. I figure I might get 700mi on the car or so. I will gradually push the car harder and harder during that period. While in Frankfurt, I'm going to make my way to the Nurburgring and drive it like I stole it.

I'm leasing the car, so I'm not overly worried about long-term wear. However, I am interested in hearing from owners who've had the cars for a couple years and didn't follow the 1,200mi break-in recommendation. Any probs? Thanks!
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      02-19-2011, 07:52 AM   #2
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There are a bunch of threads on this, but to sum it up it is a bad idea to not follow the 1,200 mile break in. There are abrasives in some of the fluids that help break the engine in, and could cause lasting damage to your car if driven too hard before all the fluids have been changed at the 1,200 miles service.

I don't mean to scare you and it probably wouldn't hurt the car if you accidently broke the rev limit, but if you do it for extended periods it would be detrimental (possibly warranty voiding?)

Hope this helps
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      02-19-2011, 07:57 AM   #3
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I'd follow the BMW recommendations on this. The manual is very specific as to break-in. I wouldn't rely on anyone else's opinion, because they're not going to be the one you ask to honor the warranty.

I've also been told by people high up in BMW that it's particularly important to warm up the S65 completely before getting on it. Follow the redline on the tach to know when it's ready to play. (This applies after the break-in period. Try not to exceed the recommended break-in RPM before the 1200 mile service. )
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      02-19-2011, 07:59 AM   #4
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Let's get one thing straight. If it was necessary to treat the engine significantly different for the first 1200 miles, the engine would be electronically limited during that time. This would be very easy for BMW to do. It isn't electronically limited. Draw your own conclusions.
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      02-19-2011, 08:29 AM   #5
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I dont think the engineers who designed the car are just making this 1,200 mile break in period up. I would follow what BMW recommends.
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      02-19-2011, 09:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conradb View Post
When I test drove the M3 for the first time, the sales rep was saying the car really doesn't need a break-in. Maybe a few hundred miles to get seals and components used to temp changes, but otherwise just floor it to red line.
This is what makes me want to physically be there when the truck arrives from the VPC and also think hard about buying a car off the lot. Most dealers seem to be very selective on allowing M3 test drives, but I would be very nervous that the lead foot who test drove the car with an unknowledgeable sales rep could impact my future driving experience.
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      02-19-2011, 09:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiation Joe View Post
Let's get one thing straight. If it was necessary to treat the engine significantly different for the first 1200 miles, the engine would be electronically limited during that time. This would be very easy for BMW to do. It isn't electronically limited. Draw your own conclusions.
it is not neccesary, but its better for your engine.
is it really that hard to wait 1200 miles before you are bouncing off the rev limiter?
i mean if it was 5000k miles or 10k i'd understand
but 1200?
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      02-19-2011, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiation Joe View Post
Let's get one thing straight. If it was necessary to treat the engine significantly different for the first 1200 miles, the engine would be electronically limited during that time. This would be very easy for BMW to do. It isn't electronically limited. Draw your own conclusions.


I'll follow recommend procedure anyway though
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      02-19-2011, 10:03 AM   #9
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i was told by a high up, M tech that for a few hundred miles take it easy 350 to 500 after that a few red line runs wont kill it, he said 1,200 mile break in is designed for those few hundred cars that might break during this period if not treated properly. i mean they're a mass produced car so they're will be a few ones that will break and always have problems but at least if you take all the necessary procedures it helps your chances of not breaking anything. Regardless..do what you please, these motors are pre broken in i assure you but take it easy for a few hundred miles and then you can drive it like you stole it or not...
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      02-19-2011, 10:27 AM   #10
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^^^this^^^

The Most important thing is "heat cycles" Need a good dozen heat cycles to harden ALL the internals.
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      02-19-2011, 10:43 AM   #11
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I would take it easy for the first 400-500 miles. Be sure to vary the revs on the trip to Vienna. The worst thing you could do is get on the highway and set the cruise control so the motor hums along at 3,000 rpm for a couple hundred miles.

I would get the 1200 service done before you get on the ring and you should be all set.
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      02-19-2011, 11:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiation Joe View Post
Let's get one thing straight. If it was necessary to treat the engine significantly different for the first 1200 miles, the engine would be electronically limited during that time. This would be very easy for BMW to do. It isn't electronically limited. Draw your own conclusions.
They have to sell the cars, too. And maybe the odd hot-foot acceleration is not so bad, but doing it as a habit could still have consequences.

Just because you're not nannied into a behavior doesn't mean it's not a good idea.
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      02-19-2011, 12:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiation Joe View Post
Let's get one thing straight. If it was necessary to treat the engine significantly different for the first 1200 miles, the engine would be electronically limited during that time. This would be very easy for BMW to do. It isn't electronically limited. Draw your own conclusions.
I don't disagree necessarily, but what if you were in a situation where full power was needed? Say you made a mistake in trying to overtake on a two lane road and you need the extra power or it's game over with the semi coming at you? I think it's these types of liability concerns that prevent the mfr from limiting anything regarding the powertrain. Beyond that, you'll have numerous people complain that they paid BMW $70K for a car yet they can't use it to it's full potential, so I can only see legal issues preventing BMW frm doing this.
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      02-19-2011, 01:16 PM   #14
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The engine alone costs $25k, be patient and break it in properly and vary RPM's constantly. The M engineers know what they are talking about. You'll appreciate that much more after the 1200 service

Last edited by mike33176; 02-19-2011 at 01:23 PM.
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      02-19-2011, 01:22 PM   #15
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IMO, follow the recc'd break in mileage and rev limit, BUT do vary the speeds and rev ranges throughout the initial break in period...like one said, don't just cruise at 3000 revs for 1200 miles.....don't be timid to take it to 4k or 5K rpm's....

at least that what I've done with previous cars and doing with my current M3...I'm barely at 250 miles
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      02-19-2011, 01:31 PM   #16
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haha, There's a break in period?? oops
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      02-19-2011, 01:52 PM   #17
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Folks, not everything recommended by manufacturers are best for your car, like 15K-mile oil changes and 5/20 oil (not the case with the M3), to name a few. And no, there're no 'abrasives' in factory oil .

There're many reasons behind the break-in interval, and I suspect the main one is to avoid many Andretti wannabes wading themselves on a tree before getting used to their new cars. And on the mechanical side, there're many other components besides the engine that need break-in, like brakes, tranny, and differential. More than engine damage, I'd worry more about developing a whiny differential if driving the car at sustained high speeds too early. But yes, you can drive the car flat out right off the bat, like most demos experience, without apparent consequences... other than shortening the life of mechanical components. By how much? That's anybody's guess. And my other guess is original owners will never find out; that's why it's so important to buy a used car (NOT LEASED) from as few owners as possible (from original owner is best), and with as few miles as possible. Good day gang.
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      02-19-2011, 01:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conradb View Post
When I test drove the M3 for the first time, the sales rep was saying the car really doesn't need a break-in. Maybe a few hundred miles to get seals and components used to temp changes, but otherwise just floor it to red line.

Then, I took it out a second time for a test drive, and this sale rep was telling me to baby the car till 1,200mi. Then, something like keep the revs down until 4k mi or something.

I'm doing ED March 14. I plan to drive from Munich, to Vienna, down to southern Austria, and then up to Frankfurt. I figure I might get 700mi on the car or so. I will gradually push the car harder and harder during that period. While in Frankfurt, I'm going to make my way to the Nurburgring and drive it like I stole it.

I'm leasing the car, so I'm not overly worried about long-term wear. However, I am interested in hearing from owners who've had the cars for a couple years and didn't follow the 1,200mi break-in recommendation. Any probs? Thanks!
Just so you know the manufacturer break in proceedure is primarily designed to keep you from messing up your car. It's one of the worst break in proceedures you can do, and by the first few dozen miles the engine is utterly broken in for all intents and purposes.

I've worked in and around high end open wheel racing and the engineers on racing teams unanimously laugh at the manufacturer suggdested ultra long break in proceedures for cars. I've seen both engineers from the top schools with the latest knowlege and guys with 40 years of experience with engines laughing at manufacturer break in proceedures.

Basically the main purpose of keeping the engine at low RPM for 1200 miles is because the oil is filled with solids from the first few miles of break in. Following the manufacturer proceedure will protect the engine if you don't change the oil repeatedly within the first few miles which is something that nobody does and therefore the manufacturer proceedure is born. The manufacturer break in proceedure, while being safe and not as technical as a proper break in, both takes a long time and significantly reduces power output.

If you want to know how to properly break in your car and enjoy the engine sooner, read this:

http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm
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      02-19-2011, 02:48 PM   #19
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      02-19-2011, 04:50 PM   #20
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^^^ LOL! ^^^
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      02-20-2011, 02:51 AM   #21
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I had leased an E36 M3 new off the lot back in '97. Car had something like 15 miles on it. I never followed the break-in procedures which was pretty much the same as they are now. Had the car for 39 months and never had a problem with the car mechanically. Now mind you I am not easy on any of the vehicles I have owned.
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      02-20-2011, 11:50 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Just so you know the manufacturer break in proceedure is primarily designed to keep you from messing up your car. It's one of the worst break in proceedures you can do, and by the first few dozen miles the engine is utterly broken in for all intents and purposes.

I've worked in and around high end open wheel racing and the engineers on racing teams unanimously laugh at the manufacturer suggdested ultra long break in proceedures for cars. I've seen both engineers from the top schools with the latest knowlege and guys with 40 years of experience with engines laughing at manufacturer break in proceedures.

Basically the main purpose of keeping the engine at low RPM for 1200 miles is because the oil is filled with solids from the first few miles of break in. Following the manufacturer proceedure will protect the engine if you don't change the oil repeatedly within the first few miles which is something that nobody does and therefore the manufacturer proceedure is born. The manufacturer break in proceedure, while being safe and not as technical as a proper break in, both takes a long time and significantly reduces power output.

If you want to know how to properly break in your car and enjoy the engine sooner, read this:

http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm
That is a great article, and one I have used to break in my Corvettes. My first Z06 I broke in similarly to what BMW recommends. The second one - same exact engine - I stood on after I turned out of the dealer's lot (it was fully warmed up), and did several hard blasts that day. The second one got better mileage, and put down 14RWHP more on the dyno than the first one.

I've heard mixed reports from various BMW mechanics on this, so like everyone else you have to make up your own mind what is best. IMO 1200 miles is too long on any new engine to wait for an oil change (I do it no later than 500), and if one is inclined to follow the drive it like you stole it method, I would certainly get the first oil change done sooner, even if I had to pay for it out of pocket.
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