When to do the first oil change on a new engine?

Patman

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With all the new cars I have bought, I have always had a habit of changing the factory fill oil at around 300 to 500 miles, no later. But I'm now wondering, would the presence of more wear particles in this oil actually speed up the break in process? Would having super clean oil during this period actually make the break in time take a lot longer?
 

Jay

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What's wrong with following the car manufacturer's advice? The oil filter should take care of the wear metal big enough to cause any harm.
 

Patman

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In some cases the manufacturer's advice is pretty far off though. For instance, the new Corvette has a 15k/one year oil change interval. If you've ever seen the first oil analysis on the factory fill of oil on an LS1, it's FULL of copper. So I'd hate to leave that particular factory fill in there for 15,000 miles. The thing is, all engine builders will tell you that they recommend changing the oil at 500 miles. So they are possibly onto something there. But I still wonder if having some wear metals floating in the oil can actually speed up the break in process somewhat. Or am I far off and it's actually going to hinder it?
 
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Jay, since engine clearences are, I believe, between 3-5 microns and filters generally start filtering at 20, all the other manufacturing process "floaters" in between are still being circulated. Seems like those metal pieces would do more harm than regular injested dust. Pat, I'd hate to think of those particles being part of the "break-in". Seems like they'd do more damage than good. I think everything is "scuffed" in new engines where there is metal to metal contact. So particles being part of the process is sort of not necessary. Someone correct me please if I'm wrong on "engine scuffing".
 
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most engine builders use a thinner oil for break-in to speed up the process, so that is how they like to do it, not by having excessive particles in the oil. Most of the engine builders that I have known believe in a 500 mile first fill oil change for new or rebuilt motors. You aren't going to have a major manufacturer recommend a 500 mile oil change, as it adds to their reported maintenance costs which the industry is keen on lowering as much as possible for advertising benefits. I've always done mine around the 1000 mile mark, when the majority of break-in is completed.
 
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with my new Mitsubishi Lancer 2.0L, the car has tappets which seem sensitive to oil which has had most of the life sucked out of it. I've done a lot of short stop and go trips on the factory fill. At 1150 miles, I was having difficulty in getting the tappet noise to go away. Decided to toss the old for some 5w-30 Mobil Drive Clean (dino) and a fresh filter. She's whisper quiet again just like the first day I picked it up. Unless it specifically states not to change out the factory fill in the owners manual, I'll usually change around 1k with the new cars I've had.
 

Patman

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So it sounds to me like my oil change practices have been justified then. If I can ever afford a new car again, I will definitely continue with the 500 mile oil change. I didn't win the lottery last night so I won't be getting a new Corvette just yet! [Razz]
 
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first change at 500 second change at 1000 follow manufacturer's recommendation thereafter during the first 1000 miles of driving, take it EASY on the engine - just drive around like you were driving Ms Daisy. After the first 1000 - drive it like you stole it [Smile]
 
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Indiana
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: With all the new cars I have bought, I have always had a habit of changing the factory fill oil at around 300 to 500 miles, no later. But I'm now wondering, would the presence of more wear particles in this oil actually speed up the break in process? Would having super clean oil during this period actually make the break in time take a lot longer?
I'm not an engine expert so I will only pass on knowledge that was passed on to me by VW mechanics. It seems that there is anecdotal evidence that VW's, particularly the V6's, can become oil burners for a long time if oil is changed before 5000 miles. Some service advisors will even scoff at customers that change before 5k. There is an official VW bulletin that tells W8 honors that they should NOT change at 5k. However, the W8 uses synthetic from the factory. They say the metal particles story is over-exaggerated with a good oil filter. I'm thinking that a good sign of whether you should change oil early or not is whether the car keeps consuming oil even under normal driving conditions long after the normal break in period. So I'm interesting in hearing whether people have experienced abnormal oil consumption from changing early?
 
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Reno, NV
quote:
Originally posted by VeeDubb: So I'm interesting in hearing whether people have experienced abnormal oil consumption from changing early?[/QB]
I Purchased a new Jeep in 1998 and changed the oil at 1000 miles. It always remained full on the dipstick between 6k oil changes for the next three years. I have a 2001 Jeep that I bought new and changed the oil at 800 miles. It remains full on the dipstick with 5,000 - 6,000/ 6 month oil changes as does my wife's 2002 Jeep where I also changed the oil at 800 miles. So, in my last three new vehicles I have done an 800-1000 mile first oil change and all three have/do not consume any noticeable oil in 5,000 - 6,000 miles. Also, all three had a lot of metallic particles in the oil at that first change. I sure would not want to leave that in the engine for long.
 
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"During the first 1000 miles of driving, take it EASY on the engine - just drive around like you were driving Miss Daisy." If she was riding in MY car, the old bat would've had a heart attack after just a couple miles and the movie woulda been a LOT shorter. [Burnout] Seriously, if you hear that a car uses a break in oil and the dealership tells you NOT to go back to them for early oil changes, I'd pay a LOT of attention to this. They aren't making any money from you while you stay away and so I'd give that recommendation a LOT of weight. I know many (all?) Hondas use a special break-in oil and my father was told not to change the oil within the first 5,000 miles when he bought his 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis. As for driving during that time, keep the RPMs varying in the bottom 2/3 of the rev range. Don't do a great deal of sustained freeway/expressway driving during that time. --- Bror Jace
 
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This topic can be debated for weeks on end,but putt-assing around for the first 1K miles is BS. Drop the plug at 500 and run the dog pee out of it.*Drive it like you plan on running it*If any weak links break let warrenty cover it. Run a motor in hard and she`ll stand the test of time as good or better then Miss Daisy`s ride. You can run a motor hard without abusing it,stuff like cold run and poor maintence and city driving is far worse then a hard run in. SS/LS
quote:
Originally posted by metroplex: during the first 1000 miles of driving, take it EASY on the engine - just drive around like you were driving Ms Daisy.
 

Patman

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When I bought my 98 Formula new, I changed it's oil at 400 miles for the first time, I put in dino oil. Changed it again at 1400 and put in Mobil 1. I drove that car HARD from day one. With 50 miles on it, I was racing a Mustang on the highway, and redlining 4th gear at 130mph plus! I went to the track a week later and made 16 quarter mile runs. Despite LS1 engines being notorious oil burners, mine didn't burn oil at all while I owned it. (I had it for 2.5 years and 27k)
 
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I've always shortened the break in period using a technique that was posted in Hot Rod which was identical to that recommended by Perfect Circle. Now granted I learned this in the mid 70's ..but it's served me well. This is in regard to ring seating ..which is generally considered the main cause of oil consumption. (this is paraphrased so bear with me and read into it a bit) Warm engine via normal low load driving. Find stretch of road that you can have pretty much to yourself or do it where traffic will be sparse enough to allow you a decent (range) for you to vary your speed a good bit. If you have a 5 speed ..place in third ..if you have an auto place in second. With a fairly heavy throttle - cycle the engine from accelleration to coast through the upper rpm band from the bottom of the range for the gear. Continue as long as practical. This was colloqueally described as the "shine 'em up and oil 'em down" technique where you would flex the rings under load/vacuum. It's never failed me. It is not always an easy technique to use with some contemporary automatics, however, where at times, even with manual gear selection, the auto will downshift to first (plug in whatever gear it may be). I usually do this for a couple of 5 to 10 mile stretches and repeat it over a few days. This is considered overkill by many that use this technique (which aren't that many - mainly small engine builders). They seem to believe that a few miles will surfice. Now after I've completed my "break in" I change the oil with dino (only due to the "economy" of dino that I'm going to ditch in short time) for a shortened interval (I consider 3m/3k short with a vehicle that does a 50+ mile per day commute) ..and then switch to synthetic (Mobil 1 0w-30 being my oil of choice when available). I've never, with the expection of my 3.0 Mitsubishi in my Caravan ever had any oil consumption of a quart (less than a quart) between bi-annual changes. The Mistsu appeared to reach a certain level of "oil fatigue" since it gave 0% consumption ...until a certain mileage/hours ..at which time it would consume it regularly. This I credit to some inherant design characteristic of the engine ..and not the break in technique.
 
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having owned VWs all my life, I wouldn't trust any service advice by VW. As about the VR6 and V6 engines burning oil because of shorter oil changes, it's BS. There is a oil burning problem with the 2.0 VW engine which consumes 1qt every 1K miles when new. Word is they were fitted with defective piston rings but VW is trying to avoid recalling them, thus the BS excuse. there are owners that follow VWs reccomendations and their 2.0 engines still burn oil. Why the TDI doesn't consume any oil? I own one and that engine never needed top off. BTW, i dropped the oil pan in my 1987 VW and found soft metal particles "welded" on the oil pan, and silicone gasket material impedded in the pump screen, they were there since the engine was broken in. and the antifreeze plastic tank in my TDI has metal shavings on the bottom. can you imagine what's in the oil pan? drop that oil pan after 500 miles, clean it, and change the oil. Changing the oil early is meant to rid your engine from the metal bits and not from the oil. for good measure stick a strong magnet on the plug couple of days before you take the oil out.
 
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I thought we all agreed that this whole "hoopla" about break-in was a thing of the past. Meaning, unless you put the engine together in your garage with different parts, tolerances, etc., with major manufacturers these days the engine is pretty much "broken-in" as it's driven off the assembly line as soon thereafter. As far as metal particles...that what the filter's for (I would hope). Unless a manufacturer suggests NOT to change an oil until x mi., I would assume you could change it any time you like eg. the day after you buy it - synthetic or otherwise. As far as my experience with European cars, they generally recommend to change the oil at the first 1-2k mi. mark. Not because you're NOT permitted to change it earlier, but because this IS earlier than the 7-8k normal recommended change interval since it can be assumed that the oil will be 'dirtier' at this shorter change interval as the engine is new. Likewise, such an engine should be driven at gradual speeds because "sudden" break-in doesn't occur...breakage does. So again, unless otherwise stated, the speeds during this time should be in the "lower" rev. ranges at speeds below 100mph.
 
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I still read a lot of break-in advice collected over the years, with seemingly no input on how engines are made these days by the major manufacturers. So a lot of the advice may or may not still apply, but they certainly haven't been based on information obtained from engineers directly involved in the process of manufacturing Honda engines, Toyota engines, etc. So I just follow the advice in my car's owner manual, which in the first line states "There is no break-in routine for your new car". But does go on to have some general recommendations for the first 1000 miles.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by scirocco16V: having owned VWs all my life, I wouldn't trust any service advice by VW. As about the VR6 and V6 engines burning oil because of shorter oil changes, it's BS. There is a oil burning problem with the 2.0 VW engine which consumes 1qt every 1K miles when new. Word is they were fitted with defective piston rings but VW is trying to avoid recalling them, thus the BS excuse. there are owners that follow VWs reccomendations and their 2.0 engines still burn oil. Why the TDI doesn't consume any oil? I own one and that engine never needed top off. BTW, i dropped the oil pan in my 1987 VW and found soft metal particles "welded" on the oil pan, and silicone gasket material impedded in the pump screen, they were there since the engine was broken in. and the antifreeze plastic tank in my TDI has metal shavings on the bottom. can you imagine what's in the oil pan? drop that oil pan after 500 miles, clean it, and change the oil. Changing the oil early is meant to rid your engine from the metal bits and not from the oil. for good measure stick a strong magnet on the plug couple of days before you take the oil out.
Scirocco, good to hear from another vw owner. And what you say about the metal shavings in the oil pan is definitely something I'll consider when I get my next new car. I do think though that the 2.0 is not the only VW oil burner. I know that many new Passat V6 owners complain about some pretty heavy oil consumption even after 10k. Not uncommon for their cars to burn 1 qt per 1000 miles even at 5k. I've heard of cases where, even at 20k, they consumer 1/2 quart per 1000 miles. That doesn't seem right to me, although I don't know the cause. But I can't imagine going to synthetics early or changing oil early could help that.
 
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Everyone seems to miss what I wrote: after the first 1000 miles, drive it like you stole it. For the first 1000 miles, you want to seat your piston rings and wear in some of the rotating parts very carefully. Lots of police cars use the technique I listed and do not burn oil for 250k miles. They're run 24/7 for 365 days and they're fine (using NON SYNTHETIC 10W-40). Old people with Crown Vics/Grand Marqs that do NOT follow this technique start to burn oil at 70-80k miles. Why is that a Crown Vic that is used for police duty (SAME engine as a civilian Vic, NOTHING different about it) that gets broken in differently and worked harder than a civilian engine can last much much longer w/o burning oil? You have to seat the rings properly. That's why manufacturers recommend varying your engine speeds during the first 1000 miles or so. You need to get the rings to wear properly and seat. Your LS-1s and fancy VWs aren't run nearly as hard as cop cars. Do you run your VW Jetta for 24/7 for 365 days?????? I rest my case. THE Technique: 0-500 miles: drive it like you were taking a girl on a first date - take it easy, get her to know you, show her the ropes. cHange oil + filter at 500 miles. 500 - 1000 miles: its your second date. Show her that you're interested but willing to work to earn her affection and love. change oil + filter at 1000 miles. 1000 miles and beyond: Now show her your true self!!!! :evil: 0-60 WOT runs, WOT forced downshifts through turns, etc....... drive it like you stole it!! follow whatever procedure you want to change the oil.
 
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