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View Poll Results: Which of the following best applies to you?
I bought my car new and properly followed break-in procedure. 124 65.61%
I leased my car new and properly followed break-in procedure. 37 19.58%
I bought my car new and completely disregarded break-in procedure. 19 10.05%
I leased my car new and completely disregarded break-in procedure. 9 4.76%
Voters: 189. You may not vote on this poll

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      07-20-2011, 01:17 PM   #1
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Did you ignore BMW's recommended Break-In Procedure on your E9X M3?

I'm getting a little confused by people continually scoffing at the break-in procedure and am curious to know how many have actually disregarded those instructions (completely - a random time or two past 5500 RPMs doesn't count).

I get the feeling it is more people than you'd think, and certainly more than people are willing to admit on here. For that reason, this is not a public poll. While this discussion has been had numerous times before, I don't believe we've had a poll that differentiates between lessees and purchasers. In my experience reading threads on this forum, it is the former that most often ignore the procedures.

Regardless of whether you bought or leased, why would you disregard a manufacturer's recommendations for break-in? Don't you think BMW is in the best position to set the proper procedure for breaking in a product that they've manufactured?? Is it impatience?? 1200 miles doesn't take that long to get to IMO...
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      07-20-2011, 01:21 PM   #2
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Other than the random overshoot, I have followed it. As painful as it has been. I have 200 miles to go before service then
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      07-20-2011, 01:25 PM   #3
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doesnt hurt to follow it. whats 1200 miles.
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      07-20-2011, 01:29 PM   #4
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These poll options are somewhat limiting, as I didn't COMPLETELY disregard the break-in procedures. For instance, while I didn't go past the imposed RPM limit, I did do multiple WOT runs up to the ceiling of the imposed RPM limit.

I broke my 2011 in hard and I swear it at least idles better than my 2008, which I followed break-in to the letter and it never saw over 4,000 RPM until after 1,200 mile break-in service.
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      07-20-2011, 01:33 PM   #5
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my first 1200 miles were over in 6 days so I didn't suffer much.
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      07-20-2011, 01:38 PM   #6
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I'd love to hear the rationale from those purchasers who disregarded it completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LateBraking View Post
These poll options are somewhat limiting, as I didn't COMPLETELY disregard the break-in procedures. For instance, while I didn't go past the imposed RPM limit, I did do multiple WOT runs up to the ceiling of the imposed RPM limit.

I broke my 2011 in hard and I swear it at least idles better than my 2008, which I followed break-in to the letter and it never saw over 4,000 RPM until after 1,200 mile break-in service.
Agreed. Too many variables to encompass in the limited poll options, but thanks for elaborating in the thread. Your 2011 might idle better because of improvements to the idle actuator? I thought i read somewhere that some 2008s had a bad idle valve or something.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sameh View Post
my first 1200 miles were over in 6 days so I didn't suffer much.
I like your style! Do it right, just do it quick!
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      07-20-2011, 02:07 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Call me the ripper ...

I've ripped tires and pushed cars, right off the showroom floor ...

2000 Acura Intergra Type R
2004 MB ML500
2007 e92 335i
2008 MB ML550

I feel that the break in periods are arbitrary (Just like Speed Limit Figures). I feel as if the more you baby a car the more they tend to always be accustomed to it. Again this is my opinion, not too sure on what is correct or not. My Acura had 230,000mi on it, 76 Oil Changes, 1 Water Pump, 1 Timing Belt, 1 Tune up, 1 Fuel Pump... Not one clutch replacement

2007 BMW - Just Regular Maintenance up to 30K miles
2004 MB - 78K miles and had to change 1 Crank Sensor and 1 Fuel Pump (this car is known for the problems on the pump) and Reg Maintenance.

Maybe I was just lucky, but I've never looked much into recommended break-in periods. I never ...
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      07-20-2011, 02:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAERD TEW View Post
I've ripped tires and pushed cars, right off the showroom floor ...

2000 Acura Intergra Type R
2004 MB ML500
2007 e92 335i
2008 MB ML550

I feel that the break in periods are arbitrary (Just like Speed Limit Figures). I feel as if the more you baby a car the more they tend to always be accustomed to it. Again this is my opinion, not too sure on what is correct or not. My Acura had 230,000mi on it, 76 Oil Changes, 1 Water Pump, 1 Timing Belt, 1 Tune up, 1 Fuel Pump... Not one clutch replacement

2007 BMW - Just Regular Maintenance up to 30K miles
2004 MB - 78K miles and had to change 1 Crank Sensor and 1 Fuel Pump (this car is known for the problems on the pump) and Reg Maintenance.

Maybe I was just lucky, but I've never looked much into recommended break-in periods. I never ...
Damn. That's gangsta!
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      07-20-2011, 04:20 PM   #9
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I have been following the break-in procedure for the most part. I had it up to 6500 rpm once but that's it.

Anyways my 1200 mile service is scheduled for this Monday! I can't wait to see what this car is really made of
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      07-20-2011, 04:29 PM   #10
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For the 5 of you who DIDN'T follow instructions, how is your car today? Any engine issues? Any transmission issues? Unexplained issues?? Just curious.. I don't think anyone should NOT properly break in something worth $55K+ but it is good to see some sample data from those who didn't, just to have more data points...
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      07-20-2011, 04:32 PM   #11
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Extrapolating from these poll results, we can estimate that roughly 13% of all E9X M3s out there have not been properly broken in (perhaps its even higher considering how disinterested some M3 (non-forum) owners might be). Keep that in mind if you're in the market for a used one...
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      07-20-2011, 04:32 PM   #12
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One of the reasons for me buying new was the break in. It's under my control. I think I snuck in a 6k rpm once by accident.
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      07-20-2011, 04:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
Agreed. Too many variables to encompass in the limited poll options, but thanks for elaborating in the thread. Your 2011 might idle better because of improvements to the idle actuator? I thought i read somewhere that some 2008s had a bad idle valve or something.
Yeah, it came with a bad idle valve. That was replaced at 1,1XX miles, so I ended up having my break-in service done early, since it was only like 75 miles off and the engine was being worked on anyways. After that, the car idled fine, I just feel that the car idles a bit better on the new one. Call it placebo if you want, just a gut feeling.

I also feel that my 2011 feels more eager to pull harder than my 2008, but I seriously attribute that to more of a placebo effect. It's not like I could really tell, as I babied the hell out of my 2008, rarely took it to within spitting distance of 8k RPM let alone redline within ~28k miles, so I don't really know much about how well that car pulled.

My current 2011 M3, with only 4.4k miles on the clock, has seen 6 or 7 track days. I took the 2011 all the way to red the moment I got it back after 1,200 mile service, and I've been driving it hard ever since. My 2008 never even got close to a track.

Feels great so far though, no issues. Too few miles to tell, but it doesn't see daily activities so it won't rack up miles that fast anyways. I think that it's best for these cars to be driven hard, so that, like MAERD TEW said, they don't become accustomed to being run poorly.

I may run it hard, but I do take care of the car aside from that. I purchased it after all, and I plan to have this car for many years. I fall into the "since it's the last N/A ///M car" camp.

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      07-20-2011, 05:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
I'm getting a little confused by people continually scoffing at the break-in procedure and am curious to know how many have actually disregarded those instructions (completely - a random time or two past 5500 RPMs doesn't count).

I get the feeling it is more people than you'd think, and certainly more than people are willing to admit on here. For that reason, this is not a public poll. While this discussion has been had numerous times before, I don't believe we've had a poll that differentiates between lessees and purchasers. In my experience reading threads on this forum, it is the former that most often ignore the procedures.

Regardless of whether you bought or leased, why would you disregard a manufacturer's recommendations for break-in? Don't you think BMW is in the best position to set the proper procedure for breaking in a product that they've manufactured?? Is it impatience?? 1200 miles doesn't take that long to get to IMO...
According to some government agencies, it is unsafe to drive over 65mph? Does that mean you never do it?

I have yet to find anyone be able to provide a proper scientific explanation for a 1200 mile break-in on this car. I have read a fair number of proper scientific explanations for why you shouldn't follow this protocol.

One thing I can say with a fair amount of certainty....BMW's decision to recommend this "break-in" has some kind of financial or legal implication to it. I doubt it has anything to do with science or engineering.

I would imagine that people's comfort with following or not following the recommendations has a lot to do with their knowledge of engines or physics or experience with prior highly tuned vehicles.
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      07-20-2011, 06:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVG View Post
According to some government agencies, it is unsafe to drive over 65mph? Does that mean you never do it?

I have yet to find anyone be able to provide a proper scientific explanation for a 1200 mile break-in on this car. I have read a fair number of proper scientific explanations for why you shouldn't follow this protocol.

One thing I can say with a fair amount of certainty....BMW's decision to recommend this "break-in" has some kind of financial or legal implication to it. I doubt it has anything to do with science or engineering.

I would imagine that people's comfort with following or not following the recommendations has a lot to do with their knowledge of engines or physics or experience with prior highly tuned vehicles.

If I follow speed limits, I am being prudent. By ignoring those rules, I would indisputably be increasing my risk of an accident or serious injury, correct? I think the same is true here. If you ignore the break-in procedure, you might be just fine, but you're increasing your risk of some form of mechanical problem. Otherwise why would BMW be so strict about it?

It was actually your quote below from the other thread, in combination with previous discussions about this topic, that prompted this poll:

Quote:
Originally Posted by VVG View Post
What you "can" and "can't" do is all written in the manual. I put these words in quotes, because I have been unable to find any engineering based, or sceintific reason for these arbitrary rpm and throttle limitations.
I would love to see a link or reference to the "proper scientific explanations for why you shouldn't follow this protocol."
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      07-20-2011, 06:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denk View Post
One of the reasons for me buying new was the break in. It's under my control. I think I snuck in a 6k rpm once by accident.
What about those guys who buy "new" off the dealer lot? It is technically new but u know customers redlined the hell out of em on test drives...
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      07-20-2011, 06:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
I would love to see a link or reference to the "proper scientific explanations for why you shouldn't follow this protocol."


Ask and ye shall receive.

Taken from here:

http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm


Warning:

This is a very controversial topic !!

I wrote "Break-In Secrets" after successfully applying this method
to approximately 300 new engines, all without any problems whatsoever.

Links to this article now appear on hundreds of motorsports discussion forums from all over the world. The reason is that over time, large numbers of people have done a direct comparison between my method and the owner's manual method, and the news of their success is spreading rapidly.

The results are always the same... a dramatic increase in power at all RPMs. In addition, many professional mechanics have disassembled engines that have used this method, to find that the condition of the engine is much better than when the owner's manual break-in method has been used.

The thing that makes this page so controversial is that there have been many other break-in articles
written in the past which will contradict what has been written here.

Several factors make the older information on break-in obsolete.

The biggest factor is that engine manufacturers now use a much finer honing pattern in the cylinders than they once did. This in turn changes the break-in requirements, because as you're about to learn, the window of opportunity for achieving an exceptional ring seal is much smaller with
newer engines than it was with the older "rough honed" engines.

In addition, there is a lot less heat build up in the cylinders from ring friction
due to the finer honing pattern used in modern engines.

The other factors that have changed are the vastly improved metal casting and machining
technologies which are now used. This means that the "wearing in" of the new parts
involves significantly less friction and actual wear than it did in the distant past.

With that in mind ...

Welcome to one of the most controversial motorsports pages on the internet !!

How To Break In Your Engine For
More Power & Less Wear !

One of the most critical parts of the engine building process is the break in !!
No matter how well an engine is assembled, it's final power output is all up to you !!

Although the examples shown here are motorcycle engines,
these principles apply to all 4 stroke engines:

Street or Race Motorcycles, Cars, Snowmobiles, Airplanes & yes ...
even Lawn Mowers !!
( regardless of brand, cooling type, or number of cylinders. )

These same break in techniques apply to both steel cylinders and Nikasil, as well as the ceramic
composite cylinders that Yamaha uses in it's motorcycles and snowmobiles.
What's The Best Way To Break-In A New Engine ??
The Short Answer: Run it Hard !

Why ??
Nowadays, the piston ring seal is really what the break in process is all about. Contrary to popular belief, piston rings don't seal the combustion pressure by spring tension. Ring tension is necessary only to "scrape" the oil to prevent it from entering the combustion chamber.

If you think about it, the ring exerts maybe 5-10 lbs of spring tension against the cylinder wall ...
How can such a small amount of spring tension seal against thousands of
PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) of combustion pressure ??
Of course it can't.

How Do Rings Seal Against Tremendous Combustion Pressure ??

From the actual gas pressure itself !! It passes over the top of the ring, and gets behind it to force it outward against the cylinder wall. The problem is that new rings are far from perfect and they must be worn in quite a bit in order to completely seal all the way around the bore. If the gas pressure is strong enough during the engine's first miles of operation (open that throttle !!!), then the entire ring will wear into
the cylinder surface, to seal the combustion pressure as well as possible.


The Problem With "Easy Break In" ...
The honed crosshatch pattern in the cylinder bore acts like a file to allow the rings to wear. The rings quickly wear down the "peaks" of this roughness, regardless of how hard the engine is run.

There's a very small window of opportunity to get the rings to seal really well ... the first 20 miles !!

If the rings aren't forced against the walls soon enough, they'll use up the roughness before they fully seat. Once that happens there is no solution but to re hone the cylinders, install new rings and start over again.

Fortunately, most new sportbike owners can't resist the urge to "open it up" once or twice,
which is why more engines don't have this problem !!

An additional factor that you may not have realized, is that the person at the dealership who set up your bike probably blasted your brand new bike pretty hard on the "test run". So, without realizing it, that adrenaline crazed set - up mechanic actually did you a huge favor !!


Here's How To Do It:
There are 3 ways you can break in an engine:

1) on a dyno
2) on the street, or off road (Motocross or Snowmobile.)
3) on the racetrack

On a Dyno:
Warm the engine up
completely !!

Then, using 4th gear:

Do Three 1/2 Throttle dyno runs from
40% - 60% of your engine's max rpm
Let it Cool Down For About 15 Minutes

Do Three 3/4 Throttle dyno runs from
40% - 80% of your engine's max rpm
Let it Cool Down For About 15 Minutes

Do Three Full Throttle dyno runs from
30% - 100% of your engine's max rpm
Let it Cool Down For About 15 Minutes
Go For It !!

Frequently asked Question:

What's a dyno ??

A dyno is a machine in which the bike is strapped on and power is measured.

It can also be used to break in an engine.

NOTE: If you use a dyno with a brake, it's critical during break - in that you allow the engine to decelerate fully on it's own. (Don't use the dyno brake.) The engine vacuum created during closed throttle deceleration sucks the excess oil and metal off the cylinder walls.

The point of this is to remove the very small (micro) particles of ring and cylinder material which are part of the normal wear during this process. During deceleration, the particles suspended in the oil blow out the exhaust, rather than accumulating in the ring grooves between
the piston and rings. This keeps the rings from wearing too much.

You'll notice that at first the engine "smokes" on decel, this is normal, as the rings haven't sealed yet. When you're doing it right, you'll notice that the smoke goes away after about 7-8 runs.


Important Note:
Many readers have e-mailed to ask about the cool down, and if it
means "heat cycling" the engine.

No, the above "cool down" instructions only apply if you are using a dyno machine to break in your engine. The reason for cool down on a dyno has nothing to do with
"Heat Cycles" !!!

Cool Down on a dyno is important since the cooling fans used at most dyno facilities are too small to equal the amount of air coming into the radiator at actual riding speeds. On a dyno, the water temperature will become high enough to cause it to boil out of the radiator after
about 4 dyno runs. This will happen to a brand new engine just as it will
happen to a very old engine.

(Always allow the engine to cool down after 3 runs whenever you use a dyno.)

If you're breaking your engine in on the street or racetrack, the high speed incoming air will keep the engine temperature in the normal range.
(In other words, you don't have to stop by the side of the road to let your bike cool down.)

What about "heat cycling" the engine ??
There is no need to "heat cycle" a new engine. The term "heat cycle" comes from the idea that the new engine components are being "heat treated" as the engine is run. Heat treating the metal parts is a very different process, and it's already done at the factory before the engines are assembled. The temperatures required for heat treating are much higher than an engine will ever reach during operation.

The idea of breaking the engine in using "heat cycles" is a myth that came from the misunderstanding of the concept of "heat treating".

On the Street:
Warm the engine up completely:
Because of the wind resistance, you don't need to use higher gears like you would on a dyno machine. The main thing is to load the engine by opening the throttle hard in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear.

Realistically, you won't be able to do full throttle runs even in 2nd gear on most bikes without exceeding 65 mph / 104 kph. The best method is to alternate between short bursts of hard acceleration and deceleration. You don't have to go over 65 mph / 104 kph to properly load the rings. Also, make sure that you're not being followed by another bike or car when you decelerate, most drivers won't expect that you'll suddenly slow down, and we don't want
anyone to get hit from behind !!

The biggest problem with breaking your engine in on the street (besides police) is if you ride the bike on the freeway (too little throttle = not enough pressure on the rings) or if you get stuck in slow city traffic. For the first 200 miles or so, get out into the country where you can vary the speed more
and run it through the gears !

Be Safe On The Street !
Watch your speed ! When you're not used to the handling of a new vehicle, you should accelerate only on the straightaways, then slow down extra early for the turns. Remember that both hard acceleration and hard engine braking (deceleration) are equally important during the break in process.

On the Racetrack:
Warm the engine up completely:
Do one easy lap to warm up your tires. Pit, turn off the bike & check for leaks or
any safety problems. Take a normal 15 minute practice session
and check the water temperature occasionally. The racetrack is the perfect environment to break in an engine !! The combination of acceleration and deceleration is just the ticket for sealing the rings.
Go For It !!

Yeah - But ...
the owner's manual says to break it in easy ...

Notice that this technique isn't "beating" on the engine, but rather taking a purposeful, methodical approach to sealing the rings. The logic to this method is sound. However, some will have a hard time with this approach, since it seems to "go against the grain".

The argument for an easy break-in is usually: "that's what the manual says" ....

Or more specifically: "there are tight parts in the engine and you might do damage or even seize it if you run it hard."

Consider this:
Due to the vastly improved metal casting and machining technologies which are now used, tight parts in new engines are not normal. A manufacturing mistake causing a tight clearance is an extremely rare occurrence these days. But, if there is something wrong with the engine clearances from the factory, no amount of gentle running will fix the problem.

The real reason ???
So why do all the owner's manuals say to take it easy for the first
thousand miles ???

This is a good question ...

Q: What is the most common cause of engine problems ???
A: Failure to:
Warm the engine up completely before running it hard !!!

Q: What is the second most common cause of engine problems ???
A: An easy break in !!!

Because, when the rings don't seal well, the blow-by gasses contaminate the oil with acids and other harmful combustion by-products !!

Ironically, an "easy break in" is not at all what it seems. By trying to "protect" the engine, the exact opposite happens, as leaky rings continue to contaminate your engine oil for the rest of the life of your engine !!
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      07-20-2011, 06:25 PM   #18
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hahaha ^^^

Come on, HB. You've posted that before. Would you like me to start [yet another] public poll that says "Are you dumb enough to break your car in according to this." You will be able to count on one hand how many people will say "Yes."

I'm willing to bet BMW engineers would have a counter argument for every method listed above. Who would you rather listen to?
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      07-20-2011, 06:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by LateBraking View Post
These poll options are somewhat limiting, as I didn't COMPLETELY disregard the break-in procedures. For instance, while I didn't go past the imposed RPM limit, I did do multiple WOT runs up to the ceiling of the imposed RPM limit.
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      07-20-2011, 06:45 PM   #20
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I will break in my car according to manual, just as I have done with my previous two cars that were mechanically flawless.

On a side note though, I didn't break in my Marlin .357 I fired and cleaned it probably 3 times, then I just decided to go for broke.
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Use the stick like u would a manual. If that doesn't work, put it in D mode and put both hands at 10 and 2. If that doesn't work, just sit on your right hand.
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      07-20-2011, 06:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle S65B40 View Post
hahaha ^^^

Come on, HB. You've posted that before. Would you like me to start [yet another] public poll that says "Are you dumb enough to break your car in according to this." You will be able to count on one hand how many people will say "Yes."

I'm willing to bet BMW engineers would have a counter argument for every method listed above. Who would you rather listen to?

While I am not saying I necessarily agree with the opinion I posted the link to, you have to consider that possibility of what is said. Also just like VVG said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by VVG View Post
One thing I can say with a fair amount of certainty....BMW's decision to recommend this "break-in" has some kind of financial or legal implication to it. I doubt it has anything to do with science or engineering.
We do not know for sure that the recommended 1,200 mile break in period is for mechanical reasons and not to prevent dumb new owners from pushing their car to the limit right off the lot and wrapping it around a tree.

The "break in period" could translate more accurately to a familiarization period to get owners to baby their new M and learn it better before they start driving it in its maximum horsepower range. There may also be some legal benefit to it, as stating formally that the car should not be used in its peak performance range from day one can potentially provide BMW protection from a reckless new owner hurting himself and suing BMW for god knows what stupid reason.

We have to consider all possibilities, and not just blindly assume what a large corporation tells us is 100% as would appear on the surface. So until we have a decent sample size of M3's where one group was broken in to BMW's guidelines and the other broken in hard ala the link I posted; and then subsequently all dynoed on the same dyno, on the same day, by the same operator, etc... we will never truly know.
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      07-20-2011, 06:57 PM   #22
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I followed a hybrid approach. I made sure that I put plenty of load on the engine and varied RPMs. I also used engine braking as well.

I burn very little oil. It would be an interesting study to see how those cars that burn the most oil were broken in. Anyway I think it probably has less to do with the engine and probably more for the tranny, etc.
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