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      03-11-2013, 10:23 PM   #1
Shoney41
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Update on Break-in Period

After having come across some inconsistencies within various official BMW documents as well as verbal guidance at the dealership, I thought it might be helpful to other members/owners of new M3's to share what I was able to decipher:

- The official "The BMW M3 Owner's Manual" that came with my car states that the engine should not be revved above 4,500 RPM during the initial 1,200 miles (page 140 if you are curious)
- The official "The BMW M3 Supplementary Owner's Manual" for the M3 that came with my car differs with the above by stating that the RPM level not to be exceeded is 5,500 for the same initial 1,200 miles (page 52 of that document)
- The day I picked up the car, the sales guy told me the RPM level not to be exceeded is 3,500-4,000, and that the break-in service could be completed as early as 900 miles. When I told him I had read in the manual that it was 4,500 RPM he said "just be careful." (Side note: the idea that I had read the manual in detail was a great surprise to him. I guess I am getting to be too old school!!)

After a nice weekend roadtrip of almost 450 miles, I now have 675 miles on the car and have been keeping the RPM's strictly below 4,000 RPM's and never fully floor it just to be on the safe side (I want to own this car for a very long time, hopefully forever). However, obviously I have been itching to give it a little more juice, so today I exchanged messages with a non-sales person at the dealership with whom I had been dealing with about the tire debacle. He in turn checked with a master technician who is the in-house expert/fanatic for M3's and the bottomg line is:

5,500 RPM is the appropriate RPM limit during the 1,200 mile break-in period.

Needless to say, on the way home I opened the car up a bit more to about 5,200 RPM and boy was it worth the time in tracking down the correct answer. Hopefully this will save even just one new owner from the same confusion I faced.

Last edited by Shoney41; 03-11-2013 at 10:30 PM.
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      03-11-2013, 10:26 PM   #2
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1200 mi / 5500 RPM
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      03-11-2013, 11:27 PM   #3
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we know all that
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      03-11-2013, 11:30 PM   #4
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Common knowledge. Also common knowledge that people who don't follow break-in have no more problems than those that do and actually the vast majority of oil consumption threads are by those who followed break in. I personally believe breaking the car in hard from the get go, meaning 8400 full WOt runs after a few hundred miles leads to less oil consumption and a stronger car. Mine is a champ at almost 50k and never consumed even an ounce of oil
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      03-11-2013, 11:39 PM   #5
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If the motor pops at 500 miles and they see WOT on the PUMA scan are you expected to pay for the repair?
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      03-12-2013, 12:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt2000 View Post
If the motor pops at 500 miles and they see WOT on the PUMA scan are you expected to pay for the repair?
ABSOLUTELY! When I had my engine replace both my CA and SA told me the first thing they pulled on my car was the engine data to see if I "Money Shifted." Fortunately I was 1500 RPMS under so I had nothing to worry about.
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      03-12-2013, 12:49 AM   #7
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There's nothing like wringing the S65 to 8,400 rpm for the first time after following the break-in period!
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      03-12-2013, 03:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3takesNYC
Common knowledge. Also common knowledge that people who don't follow break-in have no more problems than those that do and actually the vast majority of oil consumption threads are by those who followed break in. I personally believe breaking the car in hard from the get go, meaning 8400 full WOt runs after a few hundred miles leads to less oil consumption and a stronger car. Mine is a champ at almost 50k and never consumed even an ounce of oil
Common knowledge aswell that an engine consumes oil... If that doesn't happen, it is getting a fill up from what is apperntly no oil...
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      03-12-2013, 03:37 AM   #9
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PS I brake in hard all of my new cars aswell and did hat good experiences with it...
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      03-12-2013, 10:44 AM   #10
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Although WOT and surpassing the rev limit of 5500 are issues for the break-in, one point that has not been mentioned, and seems to be just as important if not more, is making sure you are changing your speed and RPMís as you drive. In other words; No cruise control. Technicians and experienced gear heads say that varying the engine loads at all times is just as important to have the rings seat correctly. I would follow this until the 1200 mile mark. Itís tempting to change it prior, but if you looking to keep the car until you die then you will have done everything on your end to ensure effective setting in of the pistons.
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      03-12-2013, 11:18 AM   #11
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I did a few WOT bursts before I hit 1000 miles in my 335i because I read on another forum that it's okay (I'm talking bursts - for a couple seconds - nothing crazy). Same rationale behind what thedge9 is talking about - creating enough heat/pressure for the rings to seat correctly.

I'm at almost 30,000 miles and the car is not burning through oil and has been trouble-free (knock on wood).

Good to know in the M3 I can go up to 5500. I look at it like breaking in anything - you want it to fit you and (in this case) your driving style.
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      03-12-2013, 11:43 AM   #12
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to date, there's still no evidence that improper break-in procedures cause any adverse affects. But then again, why risk it and not follow directions? At a minimum if something happens, BMW will pull the record on the computer, see you're in compliance, and follow through with their fix, no questions asked.

So why take additional risk, when you don't have to?
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      03-12-2013, 12:05 PM   #13
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Well, the dealer says there is a black box so you can't lie to them.
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      03-12-2013, 12:27 PM   #14
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What about not to go over 105 MPH?
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      03-12-2013, 12:36 PM   #15
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I drove the sh*t out of mine as soon as I picked it up...probably did 20 WOT runs before strapping it on the dyno and making 365 RWHP with only 200 miles on ODO. Strapped a 625 supercharger on it at 900 miles and have tracked the snot out of the car a bunch of times. I've even raised the redline to 8,600 RPM. At 7,000 miles now the oil is still perfect. During the break in period I tried very hard to "break" it. lol

I don't recommend this...but thought you guys would enjoy another perspective.
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      03-12-2013, 12:38 PM   #16
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My M3 has 600 miles on it currently.I have kept it between 4500 and 5500 rpms.

Cant wait till my 1200 mile service.
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      03-12-2013, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
to date, there's still no evidence that improper break-in procedures cause any adverse affects. But then again, why risk it and not follow directions? At a minimum if something happens, BMW will pull the record on the computer, see you're in compliance, and follow through with their fix, no questions asked.

So why take additional risk, when you don't have to?
While itís true that "how to break-in" and "the amount of break-in" needed are controversial, even if the engine is high performance and high tolerance some level of seating is required prior to fully loading the system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboarder View Post
I drove the sh*t out of mine as soon as I picked it up...probably did 20 WOT runs before strapping it on the dyno and making 365 RWHP with only 200 miles on ODO. Strapped a 625 supercharger on it at 900 miles and have tracked the snot out of the car a bunch of times. I've even raised the redline to 8,600 RPM. At 7,000 miles now the oil is still perfect. During the break in period I tried very hard to "break" it. lol

I don't recommend this...but thought you guys would enjoy another perspective.
Glad to hear, I think that wil allow those that are OCD about this kind of thing take a breather

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerrittM3 View Post
My M3 has 600 miles on it currently.I have kept it between 4500 and 5500 rpms.

Cant wait till my 1200 mile service.
I had to endure that pain while in Germany, on the Autobahn
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      03-12-2013, 01:46 PM   #18
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I don't think breaking in the engine properly is about being "OCD"

With that said you always have those that will howl at the moon and say what is recommended is not necessary..just like people who run different oils, fluids etc

IMO its hubris to think one knows more than the engineers who built the car..but thats just me...
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      03-12-2013, 01:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedge9 View Post
While itís true that "how to break-in" and "the amount of break-in" needed are controversial, even if the engine is high performance and high tolerance some level of seating is required prior to fully loading the system.


Glad to hear, I think that wil allow those that are OCD about this kind of thing take a breather


I had to endure that pain while in Germany, on the Autobahn


yes agreed, I'm 100% in the camp of breaking in the car per instructions. I'm just saying there's higher risks, mostly unknown, for not properly following break-in instructions.
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      03-12-2013, 02:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3takesNYC View Post
Common knowledge. Also common knowledge that people who don't follow break-in have no more problems than those that do and actually the vast majority of oil consumption threads are by those who followed break in. I personally believe breaking the car in hard from the get go, meaning 8400 full WOt runs after a few hundred miles leads to less oil consumption and a stronger car. Mine is a champ at almost 50k and never consumed even an ounce of oil
This

Both my E92s were broken in this way and very rarely have ever needed oil between changes even though I do track about 20 days per year.

Last edited by Gearhead999s; 03-12-2013 at 03:12 PM.
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      03-12-2013, 02:32 PM   #21
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If you want to open her up and forget about the 1200 mile break-in, I suggest making sure the engine oil is always up to temp before going past 5500 rpm. Damage can happen to a cold engine when beat on with high loads and revs. However, there is no evidence that a hard break in does any damage when done properly.

I don't see anything wrong with hard engine break ins since many engine builders have seen great results doing it. Look at all the forum members with strong cars that do hard break ins. But remember that the engine isn't the only thing new on your car. Tires need a few hundred miles to break in to remove the releasing agent that makes your tires feel greasy. Your clutch needs to break in if you have a 6mt. So does your gear box and diff. You need to warm those up too, but they warm up quicker than your engine. The M differential bearings need to lube up in the first 1200 miles according to Dan from diffsonline.com or they can have problems down the road.

Just be smart about it.
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      03-12-2013, 03:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjw2331 View Post
If you want to open her up and forget about the 1200 mile break-in, I suggest making sure the engine oil is always up to temp before going past 5500 rpm. Damage can happen to a cold engine when beat on with high loads and revs. However, there is no evidence that a hard break in does any damage when done properly.

I don't see anything wrong with hard engine break ins since many engine builders have seen great results doing it. Look at all the forum members with strong cars that do hard break ins. But remember that the engine isn't the only thing new on your car. Tires need a few hundred miles to break in to remove the releasing agent that makes your tires feel greasy. Your clutch needs to break in if you have a 6mt. So does your gear box and diff. You need to warm those up too, but they warm up quicker than your engine. The M differential bearings need to lube up in the first 1200 miles according to Dan from diffsonline.com or they can have problems down the road.



Just be smart about it.
+1 though I use 3000 rpm till I reach about 80c oil temp.
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