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      03-13-2008, 02:26 AM   #1
zacktown
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official word on "break in"

After reading many discussions and seeing much disagreement, here is the official word from the manual, typed out word for word:

Break-in period

Moving parts need breaking-in time to adjust to each other. Please follow the instructions below in order to achieve the optimal service life and economy of operation for your vehicle.

Engine and differential

Always obey all official speed limits.

Up to 1,200 miles/2,000 km

Drive at varying engine and road speeds, but do not exceed an engine speed of 5,500 rpm or a road speed of 105 mph/170 km/h.

Do not depress the accelerator all the way.

From 1,200 miles/2,000 km to 3,000 miles/5,000 km

Engine and road speeds can be increased gradually up to a traveling speed of 135 mph/220 km/h. Use the maximum speed only for brief intervals, e.g. when passing.

Transmission

The transmission begins functioning at an optimal level only after a distance of approx. 300 miles/500 km. Do not exceed engine speeds of 5,500 rpm during this period.

Tires

Due to technical factors associated with their manufacture, tires do not achieve their full traction potential until after an initial break-in period. Therefore, drive cautiously during the first 200 miles/300 km.

Brake system

Brakes require an initial break-in period of approx 300 miles/500 km to achieve optimized contact and wear patterns between brake pads and rotors. Drive cautiously during this break-in period.

Clutch

The function of the clutch reaches its optimal level only after a distance driven of approx. 300 miles/500 km. During this break-in period, engage the clutch gently.

Following part replacement

The same break-in procedures should be observed if any of the components mentioned above have to be renewed in the course of the vehicle's operating life.
--------------------end of manual snippet------------------------

I like what what already posted by GT3 Tim (I think that was his handle, but anyway), he said...

Many things can happen. One guy I knew hammered on his new car and proceeded to break some piston rings. Result, massive oil consumption and a new motor to fix it!

You can break or chip/damage the piston rings. Thus, scoring the cylinder walls...ouch! New motor time!

You can damage the valves and valve seats.

You can spin a bearing...

You can do all sorts of nasty crap to it!

You could also damage the tranny, but this is less likely.

New motors are build to some fairly tight tolerances. Typically, the higher performance the car, the tighter the tolerances. Thus, things need to "seat" and wear-in. By taking it easy on the car, and altering rpms (no long cruises at 65mph!), everything will seat nicely. Then you can hammer on it.

As for symptoms...your original question...the guy I spoke of had massive il consumption. If the problem were in the valve seat, you prolly wouldn't notice anything until down the road, when you end up burning a valve. Other than that, I dunno. Just take it easy on the car for a while. All sorts of stuff is breaking in...and there WILL be tiny metal shavings as a result.

I highly recommend changed in the oil at about 500 miles too. I would also recommend changing the gear oil, etc. at that time. Reason being, that this is the worst time for wear. Every rotaing or reciprocating part is going to be shaving off a little material. Best to flush it out ASAP. That's how I see it and thats what I will be doing. I have done it with every car I have owned in the last 20 years or so...you would be amazed at how much metal you will find on the magnetic drain plug...after you see that, you will be glad you changed all the fluids!

To each his own though...I am a bit more "careful" with the fluids than others. But to me, it is a small investment for some peace of mind
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      03-13-2008, 07:02 AM   #2
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      03-13-2008, 07:26 AM   #3
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As Zacktown mentioned, I will be dropping all drivetrain fluids at 500 miles then afterwards following BMW's schedule.
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      03-13-2008, 08:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacktown View Post
After reading many discussions and seeing much disagreement, here is the official word from the manual, typed out word for word:...
Everybody's got a story about how to break in a car (including me), and the fact is it doesn't seem to matter a bunch how you break it in.

However, you absolutely won't go wrong by reading the fm and acting appropriately.

I only mention the fact that it doesn't seem to matter a bunch to assure new owners that if they somehow stray a bit from the book from time to time, no harm, no foul.

Trust me on this. The factory engineers aren't going to trust the proles (that means you and I) to adhere to a strict schedule that, if strayed from, will cause a disaster.

Bruce
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      03-13-2008, 09:28 AM   #5
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The break in on these cars is not a big deal at all.By the time you get the car it probally has been started & moved over a 100 times from production to arrival at your dealer.The modern engines that have the micro-finished cylinder walls seat the rings within the 1st couple of minutes of running and the biggest danger in shipping are the morons that insist on reving a cold motor.But this is out of our control,so just accept the fact that how you drive it for the 1st couple of thousand kms makes very little real difference in the long term performance of your new car.
However that being said I will "break in: my new M3 the way that I have with every new motor or vehicle for the last 30 years which is ,low load till fully warmed up(oil Temp) and then drive it normally with the odd run to redline.It has allways worked for me in the past.
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      03-13-2008, 09:28 AM   #6
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seems like break in period is 300 miles only for clutch, breaks, and tranny.... everything else
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      03-13-2008, 10:36 AM   #7
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Everyone does have an opinion, but I dare say that high mileage engines will likely fare far better if they were broken in with some kind of patience and adherence to manual guidelines, frequently changed fluids, etc... Driving it like you stole it only works if you stole it, imo.
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      03-13-2008, 11:05 AM   #8
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Hoooo Hummm, another break in thread. Two thoughts: Its your car and your business adhere to the manual and BMW guidelines. Its the forums and youll get different opnions based on different experiences.
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      03-13-2008, 12:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Driving it like you stole it only works if you stole it, imo.
and +1.


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      03-13-2008, 01:12 PM   #10
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Well I am following the books for break-in. not going over 5500 rpm and not going over 110 mph. I have done a few quick accelerations. Maybe 5 or 6.

Personally if breaking it in like you stole it was all that bad and if hard break-ins were truly that bad for the car I seriously doubt BMW would trust a driver to do it considering they back the warrantee. If in fact a hard break in lead to say 5 out of 100 engine replacements compared to 1 out of 100, BMW would defiantly not allow us to break in the car. If in fact break in has a significant engine impact then I am sure BMW wouldn’t give us the privilege of giving them more work in the long run.

Reason why I run my car to the manual is because I don’t want any of the metal shavings that may/may not still be in the engine to screw anything up.

I'm pritty sure BMW flushed the system pritty good at the factory to the point where there is Very minimal metal shavings left if any at all. Would be interesting to ask the dealer to save your oil on the side so you can see what comes out for your first service. Or do it your self.
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      03-13-2008, 10:00 PM   #11
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Some opinions differ. http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm
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      03-14-2008, 01:29 AM   #12
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it's not too long to get to 1200
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      03-14-2008, 01:39 AM   #13
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Ive seen and heard of that guy before, but im not going to trust some guy on his random internet site just because he says its good and has a few pictures.
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      03-14-2008, 10:14 AM   #14
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FWIW, I went through break-in twice on my E46 M3 (second one after bearing recall). I stayed within the 5500 rpm guidelines and varied the speed. But within those parameters I flogged it. That is, I accelerated hard, braked hard, and turned corners hard all before the 1200 mile break-in period. I never had problems with the engine, even before the recall. I did the recall so the warranty could be extended. But the older the engine got, the better it got. Or at least it felt that way on the old butt dyno.

I'm not recommending anyone do this. It's your call. But it worked for me.
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      03-14-2008, 08:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacktown View Post
Always obey all official speed limits.

Do not depress the accelerator all the way.

Due to technical factors associated with their manufacture, tires do not achieve their full traction potential until after an initial break-in period. Therefore, drive cautiously during the first 200 miles/300 km.

Brakes require an initial break-in period of approx 300 miles/500 km to achieve optimized contact and wear patterns between brake pads and rotors. Drive cautiously during this break-in period.
Oops

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and I'm afraid to say

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