Ways to break in a new engine – the controversial way

Alright, got yourself a new car and the owner’s manual strictly says that keep the revs below the 3,000 rpm mark and don’t exceed the 60 kmph mark. If you are a new buyer or even so, the first time buyer of a car, you would follow this manufacturer’s criteria to the T. However if you are one old horse, who has just got a mean machine, then this would be like finding your way after a tortoise. The only motive that you would have brought this car would be to rip it apart and give it the beans. However bounded by manufacturer’s restrictions, eventually you would have to wait till the designated 1,200 kms or whatever is mentioned in the owners manual. The break in of an engine is always a complicated process. While I myself broke in both my car and bike engines the manufacturers way, I have seen many of my friends doing it the other way and that is ripping the motorcycle or car apart from the very moment it leaves the show room. Inspite of all these things, their car or bike never had as much as a small engine glitch.

For a new engine, most of the break in is done by the person who actually drives or rides it all the way from the factory to the show room. However if you are buying from an authorized show room, it is quite possible that the car may not have been driven at all. This is because authorized show rooms usually have their own facilities wherein they can actually store these cars however for the non – authorized ones, they have to get a car from their suppliers inventory, all the way to be delivered to a customer. You don’t expect the delivery guys to go soft on your new car, do you? It is a myth that the piston rings inside the engine do not seal the pressure coming from the combustion process by the use of spring tension. The latter actually only helps in preventing oil from entering the combustion chamber. 5 to 10 pounds pressure is what the spring exerts against the wall of the cylinder however the thinking point is how can a miniscule amount of pressure fare against the powerhouse of thousands pressure of combustion. The reason manufacturers ask you to go soft with your car is so that you actually allow the engine to settle in a humdrum from the onset. However many break in experts all across the world beg to differ. They say that whacking open the throttle from the onset or putting pedal to metal is the best way to break in a new engine. The pressure of the gas entering the engine chamber is much stronger in the first 50 kilometers of driving or riding the vehicle than later on. The combustion pressure would be completely sealed while the ring area wears across the surface of the cylinder.

By hitting pedal to metal once you get the new car or bike in your hand, not only would the engine run in smoother, compared to the ones which have been run in properly but it would also deliver far greater performance than the latter. Come to think of it and it is coming from a similar capacity engine. Haven’t you ever noticed that once you stretch your car till its redline, the next time you take out the car for a spin, even at lower revs, the engine is very smooth. There are usually three ways to break in a new engine by the race method I have discussed before. Those are getting the car or bike on a dyno machine, go to the race track directly after taking delivery of your vehicle and going off-road. The last method, I personally don’t subscribe to however the first two are the best and yield perfect results. Going straight to a dyno after taking delivery of the car would be a good idea. On a dyno, start the engine of the car and slot it into 4th gear. Use only about half of your car’s maximum power and stretch the engine. After doing it for about 20 minutes, let the car’s engine cool on its own accord (20 mins). Now use 3/4th of the engine’s power and then again, let the engine cool down for 20 minutes. After this, use 100 percent of the car’s engine power. You might notice smoke coming out from the tail pipes however this is a normal thing and happens due to the engine piston rings not being quite sealed and all. After the cooling down procedure of 20 minutes, your vehicle is ready and the engine has gone through its break in procedure.

When one goes off-roading with a new car, then he or she is actually giving the car’s engine a hard workout. This eventually seals the engine’s pistons and the run-in procedure is complete. As far as going on the race track is taken into factor, warm up the engine of your car or bike. Once done with it, take an easy lap of the race track and once you get adjusted to the handling and behavior of your vehicle, you can take 20 minute practice lap sessions. The benefits of going to a race track are that around the chicanes or corners, the combination of acceleration and deceleration are the perfect recipe for an engine break in. Most of the times, try to use engine braking for stopping the car or bike as this would allow the rings more flexibility to settle down.

This method of break in an engine is said to yield about 10-15 percent more power plus smoothness to that particular engine. A similar engine however broke into with the conventional method yields ten to fifteen percent less power and is a bit more gruffy as well. After the new method run in has been done, do ensure that you change your engine oil right away rather than wait for the first servicing. After all the hard work that your machine had to endure during the extreme break in period, all the loose metal as also carbon present in the oil should be flushed out. This would ensure that you have a race ready engine which would be equally at home both in the city routes as also on a race track. Do remember to use the oil recommended by the manufacturer though.

These methods may be a bit on the costlier side however do remember that you do get the end result as a great performing vehicle. Maybe throughout its life.

Note : Indiandrives personally doesn’t recommend the break in method prescribed in this article. It is just a knowledge factor that such a method exists. If any damage results in life or property by using this method, then Indiandrives wouldn’t be held responsible.

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