WRX Break-In

Discussion in 'General Subaru Discussion' started by JACKRBT, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. JACKRBT
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    JACKRBT Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully picking up my new WRX this week and I've of course read the recommended break-in procedure in the manual. It seems this is the same procedure that's been printed in every manual for every car for the past 30+ years. I'm sure it's anitquated but is probably a good CYA for the manufacturer. One of the salespersons at the dealership has told me on more than one occasion that the WRX engines are "already broken in" and that nothing special needs to be done. I've never asked him for the source of that information and just dismissed it. I doubt SOA would condone one of their reps advocating for something that directly contradicts their printed documents. Anyway, I'm assuming that it is still recommended to do the written 1K miles routine. Any thoughts to the contrary?
     
  2. Curry
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    Curry Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the new purchase!!

    Keep it under 5k rpm for the first 1k miles. I would also recommend changing your oil at 1k. After that you should be good to go.
     
  3. Nuke
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    Nuke Well-Known Member

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    Just drive it. Don't granny that ish
     
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  4. webcrawlr
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    webcrawlr Well-Known Member

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  5. Curry
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    Curry Well-Known Member

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    I am not saying granny it, just dont run it up to redline until you've got a few miles under its belt.
     
  6. Nuke
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    Nuke Well-Known Member

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    why not
     
  7. Curry
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    Curry Well-Known Member

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    Partially its to make sure contaminants are washed down and give the engine parts some wear-in time. Engine manufacturers give break in regiments to give some liability protection but also because of legacy issues with parts expansion from when there was larger variances in their parts tolerances.

    I am not saying its necessary but there is really no harm in running it under 5k, which isn't really that big of a deal on these engines because the better part of the power band is under 5k.
     
  8. webcrawlr
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    webcrawlr Well-Known Member

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  9. SubieFinest
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    SubieFinest Member

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    you want them rings to settle in! now run that ****! ya mean? lol what Nuke said.
     
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  10. xluben
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    xluben Well-Known Member

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    You're really good at posting things from the internet, lol.

    That post says pretty much exactly what Nuke is saying. His post says that high RPM's are only bad until the oil goes through the filter. It says to avoid high RPM's for the first few miles (~25miles). Most cars come off the truck with nearly that many. He's essentially saying that by the time you get it off the lot and onto the freeway you can and should start high load / high RPM cycling. Sustained high RPM's are not good, but there's no need to drive it like a granny for 1,000 miles.
     
  11. idget
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    idget Want to pokéman? PM ShortytheFirefighter Staff Member

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    This is another one of those topics that can and has been argued to death with both quantitative and anecdotal evidence for every perspective.

    Some argue to follow an easy break-in, others say to run it hard, others say high revs are preferred but without boost (increased cylinder pressure), while still others say to drive it normally.

    imho, if you plan to retain your warranty, might as well follow the factory break-in procedure. Nothing to lose, right? fwiw, I believe a lot of the break-in procedure has to do with liability as well as accounting for different driving conditions and break-in of other components (bedding in the brakes and running off the mold release compound from the tires for example). 1000miles on 2 of my new 2.5l turbo Subarus took me nearly 2 months and several hundred run cycles. You think that's more or less broken in than a new car run for 1 run cycle of 1000miles run in any manner? How about one that was idled and revved for a few hours?
     
  12. ofspunk7
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    ofspunk7 Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you do, if it is different than what is printed on your documentation DO NOT POST ABOUT IT ONLINE. That goes for anything with the warranty. You don't want the dealership to find your posts if something goes bad.

    1. Engines are started @ the factory to make sure they work..... And to get on the truck for delivery...... and to get off the truck... and to drive around the dealership lot....

    2. Listen to Nuke. He is a Doctor.

    3. Enjoy your new car


    (a google search on this subject will bring up a million WRX/STI threads about this subject)
     
  13. Nuke
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    Nuke Well-Known Member

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    Lol i just said to not drive it like a granny
    Should've bought a Buick for that
     
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  14. Curry
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    Curry Well-Known Member

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    Idget, you're absolutely right. This, which oil to use and many others have been debated for years and there is not a definitive swing in either direction. Conservative break-in procedures are really there so the manufacturer can control as many variables as possible so they can give accurate performance/reliability results.

    I think the manufacturer recommended break-in regiment is significantly more conservative than my suggestion in terms of operating speed. My suggestion was to stay out of the top 25% of the rpm range for 1000 miles. You can mash on these cars pretty good in that spectrum but its really a very cautious step in insuring that the contaminants fully wash down and that some of the tolerance issues have run time to wear in. The oil delivery systems performance doesn't function as well in that top 25%.

    I am not sure what Subaru's exact number is but they will randomly pull engines off the line, stress test dyno them and tear them down to check for wear issues. It's usually 1/100 or so.

    In the end, any of these suggestions will probably result in your engine being fine, I just prefer to air on the side of caution.
     
  15. pillboy
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    pillboy Well-Known Member

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    I may be old fashioned, but I tend to believe the manufacturer's engineers (I presume they had SOME input to the owner's manual) before I would believe anyone on an Internet forum. Granted, there are some smart and experienced people out there, but I doubt they will provide any warranty coverage on your new ride.
     
  16. xluben
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    xluben Well-Known Member

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    Key point in bold. If a manufacturer tells you to take it easy for 1,000 miles, it is easier for them to claim "abuse" and deny a claim if something does fail. Manufacturer's don't always recommend things based on what is "best" for the car, there are many, many other factors that dictate how a large company (like a car manufacturer) makes decisions. In the end it comes down to money. If they think this recommendation will save them money in the long run, then that is what they'll print in the manual, regardless of whether or not it is better for the car's health or performance.
     
  17. ofspunk7
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    ofspunk7 Well-Known Member

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    Yes! It comes down to money and lawyers.

    Just don't post about anything that may void your warranty. You don't want to leave a trail until you are outside the warranty.
     
  18. idget
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    idget Want to pokéman? PM ShortytheFirefighter Staff Member

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    I did the exact opposite and it turned out fine. Of course, ymmv.

    Instead of hiding anything I was 100% up front and honest with my sales rep and their service manager with both my wrx and sti. I developed a good relationship with both dealerships (wrx was purchased out of state) and they were both willing to bat for me in the event of a warranty claim. Sure enough, my modded engine (on the sti) popped and they still were willing to file a warranty claim for me. Maybe it's because I had referred 4 new owners and purchased 2 new cars from them in a 2 year stretch, or maybe it was my honesty, or maybe it was a little of both... either way they showed that they wanted to retain me as a customer and that gesture went a long way (I still refer people to that dealership and that salesman even though he's moved on). Anyway, that approach worked for me. In the end I didn't want a new oem motor with the same crap pistons so I paid for RS to rebuild it out of pocket.

    So long story short, OP, there are many ways to skin a cat. Glean what you will from the responses but be wary of anyone who gives you a black and white response to a subject with so much grey area.
     
  19. WRX1
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    WRX1 _ Staff Member

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    Well, at the end of the day, you want your rings to seat in. By time you have your car in your hands it a done deal, either they seated fine and you won't have any issues, or the didn't seat, won't seat, and you will have issues. The worst thing anyone ever did to cars was put a odometer in them. Miles has nothing to do with anything. It is all based off of run time. Within the first 30 minutes of your motor running, you will determine if it is a runner or a problem child, and that run time is all done before you ever even get to see your car.

    My advice, just drive it and have fun. Don't worry about taking it over 5k, 3k, 4k, or whatever else someone reads on the internet. Nothing changes between mile 1000 and 1001, or any other number combo in between. You car probably sat and idled for over a hour between the factory floor, getting on the truck, getting off the truck, getting on the boat, getting off the boat, getting on the truck, getting off the truck, and the dealer doing its inspection.

    Russ
     
  20. ofspunk7
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    ofspunk7 Well-Known Member

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    You are the 1%. 99% of people will get turned away if they do this. Do a search .... there are hundreds of posts about this. Also, my advice is what i was told by an employee at the dealership. I'll take their advice on the subject.
     
  21. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    I'd drive it like i stole it.../thread.:D
     
  22. xluben
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    xluben Well-Known Member

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    I would absolutely not feel right knowingly trying to defraud someone (by hiding modifications).
     
  23. idget
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    idget Want to pokéman? PM ShortytheFirefighter Staff Member

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    Derek, I can think of 3 other people locally with similar stories. Your science and statistics suck.
    This
     
  24. ofspunk7
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    ofspunk7 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry man... but more people are turned away than helped. I never said be dishonest, I never said lie to anyone. I just said don't post about it online. For the same reason that you don't post about speeding or doing illegal activities. It is fantastic that it worked out for you. However, large corporations deal with the bottom dollar. They have very little interest in warranting something that you break because of modifications. To say otherwise is just ridiculous.... but if you really believe otherwise, good for you. I won't kill that dream. However, if you want to look at the facts or "science" there are more posts/threads that support what I am saying. There are 3 people that you know, who may have received special treatment.

    Be safe. Don't post.
     
  25. idget
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    idget Want to pokéman? PM ShortytheFirefighter Staff Member

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    What you're implying is to hide something. If the car isn't modded then who cares?

    My point is, if you don't plan to mod the car, then following the manufacturers break-in procedure (as well as the maintenance schedule, etc...) is your best course of action.

    If you do plan to mod your car you're either going to have your claim dismissed (I agree with you here, chances are you will be denied) or you might get lucky. IME you can increase your chances by building a good relationship with your dealership. In my mind there is no option 3 to mod your car, watch it pop, put it back to stock and fraudulently file a warranty claim. If you do, you're just adding to the problem.

    Yes, soa has the final say but the dealership has some leeway as well. Believe it or not, some dealerships do believe in retaining loyal customers. I will admit that I've seen this less with subaru as a brand. But I don't blame them. There are a ton of kiddies running around with boost controllers and untuned turbo upgrades who come crying when their motor pops.

     
  26. Starkall
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    Starkall Active Member

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    Drive it easy for a 100 miles or so then let it rip and drive it how you normally would.
     
  27. Nuke
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    Nuke Well-Known Member

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    i would agree if...
    factory tune didn't suck so bad
    probably why stock motors goes bye bye too

    sometimes the internet > *
     
  28. webcrawlr
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    webcrawlr Well-Known Member

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    When it comes to things outside of my area of expertise, yes. Most people will just offer an opinion. I choose to research the topic and listen to experts, or at least people with vastly more knowledge then the run of the mill know-it-alls.

    lol.
     
  29. sneefy
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    sneefy Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. No doubt there are some knowledgeable and talented self-styled engine builders/tuners around here, but I'm more inclined to follow the directions of the engineers that designed the car.
     
  30. JACKRBT
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    JACKRBT Well-Known Member

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    The posts in the link from the GM engineer are certainly enlightening, and the comments about how much idling, etc. the engine has done before I'll even see it are certainly true and valid. Being an engineer myself, I can appreciate the manufacturer's conservative CYA stance. That said, I can also appreciate the mechanics of an engine "breaking in" and that ring seating, etc. will happen long before 1K miles. Since this will be my DD for likely many years to come, I plan on playing the conservative route, if for no other reason than preserving warranty coverage.