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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have posted an online article pulling together all of my mechanical and engineering background and knowledge into a "How To" on breaking in your new car. It's posted on my server so that I could write it in html. If I say so myself, it's worth reading:

Best Practices for Breaking in a New Car

Enjoy!
 

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Thanks for posting this. One question though. It says in the first 50 miles, do not exceed 3000rpm, but you also say that varying rpm's is good in the first 50 miles, up and down the rpm range. Isn't that a bit contradictory? Or do you mean vary rpm's with a 3000rpm max?
 

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Really cool and detailled. But honnestly, each time I bought a new car, it's so difficult to apply the 1st 50 miles but it's worth it. For those who have real troubles with it, just go for a fun test drive with dealer's car just before driving your new toy home. It can help. LOL.
 

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Maaan, now ya tell me! I went over 3K last week and no oil change as of yet, I'd guess I'd better junk it! ;)
Well, I think I'll make an appointment for the first oil change this week (and for that recall thing)... maybe it will keep the blue book price up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not breaking in a car well will not cause it to up and die. It's like smoking vs. non-smoking--it shortens your life on the back end, and reduces your (puff, puff, wheeze) performance in the shorter term.

And yes, you want to run the RPM's up and down within the 50% limit of the redline for the first 50 miles. 50 miles of city miles while driving like grandma is perfect.

If you see a bunch of oil analyzes for engines at different points in the first 2,000 miles, you'll see that there's a lot of extra metal content in those first 500 miles. That first oil change is cheap insurance.

I'm all in favor of synthetic tranny and axle fluids (as long as it meets the manufacturer's oil weight requirements). Your trans and axle fluids live in harsh conditions and go far longer without changing than the engine oil.

I didn't mention that I routinely change my new car's diff fluids at about 5,000 miles. We're only talking about a couple of quarts of lube oil and again, it's cheap insurance.
 

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wish I saw this article when I got my car lol.

can you rate my break-in?

0-50miles: All city driving... revving 2.5-3k
50-300miles: All city driving... revving up to 4k w/ occasional 5k
300-600miles: 50/50 city highway... i shift anywhere between 2.5-4k w/ occasional 5-6k

around 550miles... i took my car on the highway late at night...drove it for a good 20mins to warm things up... then when road was empty... i redline the car on 2nd gear....then let it drop down to 2.5k... then rev up to redline (repeated 5x).

Since then i've been driving it normally.

I was planning to switch to synthetic at about 1200miles... should I be doing it earlier? I wanted to make sure all the metal particles are out and all the seals are good before switching. Also, is engine flush recommended before going synthetic?

thx
 

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Well, this may be closing the garage door after the cars been stolen, but taking your advice and just dropped my car off for first oil change (Synthentic 5w-30 @ 3400 miles). They are charging $69 for the synth oil. I'm also having them customize some of the electronic settings (you get a card with such options when you take delivery of the car), and the recall work. I wish I had asked you about such things about a month ago, but better late than never!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
JadeButterfly, wow, awesome job breaking your car in! Think of my break in protocol as a guide, not some iron fisted dogma. Where ever you learned to break in a car, you got good advice. And 1,200 miles should be great as a point to do the oil change. There is absolutely no need to flush your engine. What tiny amount of mineral oil doesn't drain out will mix and dilute into the synthetic oil with no problem of any kind. No worries. Enjoy your car!

One question, did you read about bedding in your brakes? You can do that at any time, and it will make them better. If you want more info on in, just Google "brake bedding" and you'll learn more detail than I posted.

marsdog, $69 is a good price, did that include the new filter? Where did you go? 3,000 on mineral oil will NOT harm your car in any way.

There's a great place for us SCV dwellers to bed in the brakes. I like to go up the 5 freeway just past Castiac to Templin Highway. Exit and turn right. It's a nice long empty stretch of road. You can accelerate up it and hit the brakes, turn around and come down, go up and down again--and when you're done, hit the 5 freeway and head south to cool the brakes down. You'll like how they feel after bedding.

We're going down to Galpin tomorrow to sign the paperwork and they're going to deliver the car to our house Saturday night. I'm excited.
 

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marsdog, $69 is a good price, did that include the new filter? Where did you go? 3,000 on mineral oil will NOT harm your car in any way.

There's a great place for us SCV dwellers to bed in the brakes. I like to go up the 5 freeway just past Castiac to Templin Highway. Exit and turn right. It's a nice long empty stretch of road. You can accelerate up it and hit the brakes, turn around and come down, go up and down again--and when you're done, hit the 5 freeway and head south to cool the brakes down. You'll like how they feel after bedding.

We're going down to Galpin tomorrow to sign the paperwork and they're going to deliver the car to our house Saturday night. I'm excited.

Ya, $69 for oil and filter and inspections. Glad to have the customization too, now I can open all doors with just one button push (good when three kids are all trying doors at the same time). I also set the lock to automatically lock when I step away from the car). I plan on doing the brake bedding, I'll let you know how it goes, thanks so much for all the info!!

I didn't buy or service at Galpin. I thought I would, had a nice salesman there named Ray, but when I pressed him to negotiate with me by phone, he resfused and it got kinda heated after that. I later contacted their Fleet Manager (along with a score of others) and he couldn't/wouldn't match the price I got elseware. As far as service, Westlake Neftin Mazda is about a mile from my work, so very convenient and very friendly. I may try out Galpin as well, then I'd most likely have to make weekend arrangements.

Congrats on the new car! BTW, did I mention Gunmetal is my 2nd fav color?!! :)
 

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JadeButterfly, wow, awesome job breaking your car in! Think of my break in protocol as a guide, not some iron fisted dogma. Where ever you learned to break in a car, you got good advice. And 1,200 miles should be great as a point to do the oil change. There is absolutely no need to flush your engine. What tiny amount of mineral oil doesn't drain out will mix and dilute into the synthetic oil with no problem of any kind. No worries. Enjoy your car!

One question, did you read about bedding in your brakes? You can do that at any time, and it will make them better. If you want more info on in, just Google "brake bedding" and you'll learn more detail than I posted.
i kinda just came up with my own break-in method by combining various thoughts from different ppl... i dont have any mechanical background at all...

my car is only at 700miles now, and the reason why i chose 1200 (or ~2000km) is because that's what I've been told before reading your article. Also, it gives me some time to decide which and where to buy my syn oil.

I was initially going to go with Amsoil 5W-20 XL (AMSOIL - Extended Life 5W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil (XLM)) but after reading your response in the Oil Weight thread, i'm contemplating whether I should go Amsoil 5W-30 (AMSOIL - 100% Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil (ASL)) I'm just afraid of warranty issues since its a brand new car.

ntechnic - have you perform tests on different brands of syn oil over the years? It doesn't seem there is a common brand that ppl use... and that any "group IV" syn oil is best.

edit: tried to bed my brakes on the way home tonight....no luck. went from 100mph to 10 on a freeway then saw traffic coming. tough to do it in urban city.... gotta make a trip out around 4am this weekend lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
JadeButterfly, where do you live? What is your climate like? If you're up north where it actually gets cold, then 0w-30 might be better for you. Some people who drive a lot of miles change their oil with different weights for different times of the year, but 0w-30 makes it easy to use just one oil.

You will not have any warranty issues. First of all, as long as your oil meets the manufacturer's minimum spec (and they all do) there's no problem. 5w-30 or 0w-30 will be excellent.

All of the major brands have their proponents. My favorites are Mobil1 and Amsoil, top notch stuff. I have a few minor issues with Castrol Synthetic, but it's fine and not worth worrying about.

Were you bedding at 100 Mph or 100 Kph? 100 miles an hour is a little high, you might generate too much heat too quickly. 60'ish is better. And you really do need to do it 4,5 or 6 times in a row to do it right. You will feel the difference.

zoom-zoom!
 

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oops sorry. 100kph or 60mph, as recommended.

I live in Toronto.

Over the years, we've had wamer climate than cold. Winter months are usually Dec-Feb where avg temp is about -10C; summers are usually avg 20C
 

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oops sorry. 100kph or 60mph, as recommended.

I live in Toronto.

Over the years, we've had wamer climate than cold. Winter months are usually Dec-Feb where avg temp is about -10C; summers are usually avg 20C
LOL, you've got to come visit the Santa Clarita Valley in California in the summer or early fall. We'll show you what a "warmer" climate is! ;)
In recent years, it has not been too uncommon for temps to reach to 45 to 49C!
 

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dude WOT this car from day 1. first day i had the car i was racing ******** and going buck shoot even shot a flame ;)
 

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LOL. I actually do want to visit cali some time!

Excuse my lack of knowledge on oil, but let me try to get some things straight. btw these questions are not consistent, just trying to understand...

1) xW is the thickness when cold; the 20,30,etc. is thickness when running.
2) ppl say use 20weight in winter cuz it's easier to start. This is false because thickness when cold is determine by beginning #. But 20weight will probably warm up faster than 30...but does that matter?
3) the milage saved on thinner oil (20weight) is not worth the protection loss by switching from 30?
4) other than $, isn't 0w30 better than 5w30 regardless of climate? It's easier to start up since it's thinner when cold and provides same level of protection when running.
5) if 30weight > 20 weight, why not go 40?
6) for normal commute driving, why not use 20weight? Assuming you won't own the car for more than 15yrs...is 20weight that bad for a normal mazda3? The mazdaspeed3 recommends 5w30...

thx.
 

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ntechnic:

Outstanding article! Down to earth for us non-engineering types. You should consider technical writing (as a 2nd career) for the everyman.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
LOL, you've got to come visit the Santa Clarita Valley in California
marsdog is right. Today was 42 (C) here at my house--and it's only May!

JadeButterfly, by your numbers:

1) yes, Xw, X=viscosity at 0 degrees F (-18 C), second number is viscosity at 212 F (100 C)
2) correct, when cold it's the first number (Xw) that counts. The lower the number, the more easily the oil flows at 0 F. Xw-20 doesn't really warm up quicker than Xw-30, but it is thinner at 212 F.
3) absolutely. By being thinner at 212 F, -20 oil has less resistance to flow and requires less power to pump, increasing mpg slightly. However, -20 is much more likely to suffer film breakdown (in other words, allow metal to metal contact between lubed parts) at high temps than -30 oil. Under severe use in high temp (extended canyon carving in 100+ F heat) I've seen oil temps of 260 F. I would NOT want -20 in my car at those kinds of temps.
4) basically, yes. 0w-30 is just as good at high temps as 5w-30, and is better at cold temperatures, especially below 32 F (0 C). Since I have a big, high horsepower V8, I run 0w-40 in my own car. But for a Mazda3 without a turbo, 0w-30 is all you'll ever need.
5) I do indeed run 0w-40 in my cars. You may lose a half of an mpg, but I'm willing to give that up for the extra protection. Especially since it's hot where I live.
6) the problem is, commuting is hard on oil if you have traffic. In bumper to bumper on a hot day, your oil temps can really climb. With -20 oil, you just have such a razor thin safety margin that it's hard to justify the risk. oil film break down damages engine internals, period. How long until you pay for that damage depends on many variables.

trkuehn: actually, I've been doing tech writing for over 14 years and my company specializes in web development and instructional design/multimedia. So I thank you for your compliment!
 

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wow thanks for your thorough input ntechnic... i think what differs your from many posts i've read is that you have a strong industry and years of experiences....

i'm looking at getting Amsoil 0W-30, but its not API-certified. do you what implications there would be if I use non-API oil (the manual specifies that you must?). based on my research, only their XL line (group III) are API certified, and there is no 0w-30, only 5w-30.

btw, i found a sweet place to bed my brakes the other night... did 7 runs of 60mph to 5mph... I applied the brakes pretty firmly...not sure if it is as hard as you recommend... but definitely hard for normal driving.
 

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ntechnic I had a quick question:

You mentioned you like Mobil 1 for a synthetic oil, do you use Mobil 1 Extended Performance or just the standard Mobil 1? The "Extended Performance" is quoted for 15k miles but this seems a bit high between oil changes.. why risk it? Is there really a difference between the two?

Thanks!
 
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