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Hey all,

I ordered my STi from a dealer in Delaware, before I found out that I would be moving to Texas. My question is, Is break in really necessary. If I dont break in the engine will I end up in trouble later on down the road? I also heard that break in at a constant speed like driving 1200 miles to Texas at freeway speed, won't break the engine in right. I hear that it takes a combination of city and freeway driving to break the engine in properly. I also heard that all engine's are run before being installed into the car. Now I don't know if the engine is run under load, or just ran to function check, but would that make a difference? Or is break in a myth? Any horror stories about people not breaking in their engine and having problems later on down the line? Either way I asked the dealer if I could fill out all the paperwork and buy the car here, and have it shipped to Texas from the port. But in case they can't I want to know if driving all the way to Texas at freeway speed will hurt the car. Any feedback?!?!?

Thanks guys
Jared
 

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good lord yes, a good break-in is necessary... but only if you want your piston rings to seal properly for maximum performance later on...

A long road trip right out of the box probably isn't a great idea, either. One reason that varying speeds & rpms is recommended is that all new automotive ECUs have "self-learn" features that adjust fuel & timing maps to suit driving style, to a certain degree. If all the ECU knows is 3000 rpm in 6th gear at 80 mph for 8 hours a day, I would think performance would suffer in any other driving condition, because it simply doesn't have it in its "repertoire".

Here's another thread:

http://www.imprezawrxsti.com/postnuke/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=633
 

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Agent Chobos said:
If all the ECU knows is 3000 rpm in 6th gear at 80 mph for 8 hours a day, I would think performance would suffer in any other driving condition, because it simply doesn't have it in its "repertoire".
ECU adaptation isn't static, though. While it will learn to the "3000 rpm in 6th gear at 80 mph for 8 hours a day", it will re-learn/adjust accordingly once you start driving the car harder (can take some time). Or, just reset the ECU once in TX...

About breaking in the motor, I'd advise to do it just to make sure the rings seat properly as stated before.

-Mike-
 

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I will break mine in, but I will also vary my revs...actually might hit the revs decently hard within the first few miles (only up to about 4-5K) to really sit the seals.

As far as your road trip..just make sure you vary the speed, revs, and driving style. It might be tough though since 8hrs + of driving can be mundane. You could also get a UHaul, pack your belongings in it, and then get an optional car trailer and put the car on it (covered up of course).
 

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Do you think it would be possible to find a kind soul who would be willing to break the car in for you? :) You could then fly back from Texas and pick it up.

Probably hard to find a least one volunteer in the Delaware Valley who would want to take a brand new WRX STI for a 3000 mile break-in. huh. :)

By the way.... what color is it. I'll check my schedule.

Speedlimit..... :D
 

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There is another solution...

i agree with the other posts; the trip may not be the best idea. but if you can't get around it, i'd just pull out the atlas and plan a few diversions. find some back roads here and there, and some cities to visit. plan on taking three days to go the 1200mi. and just try not to go more than maybe 150mi in one stretch of freeway driving. just my $.02
 

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Here's an article on breaking in aircraft engines, with a great description of the piston ring mating procedure:

http://www.mattituck.com/new/articles/engbrkin.htm

However, I believe that some newer motors use an artificial method of mating the rings and cylinder liners at the factory. I have heard BMW does this, but I cannot be sure. Also, the new Honda hybrid supposedly does not require this procedure.

The following page:

http://www.seansa4page.com/resource/breakin.html

also suggests that an early oil change is a good idea, as this will remove much of the particles that are worn down during the mating process.

-ch
 

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hyperion said:
I have heard BMW does this, but I cannot be sure. Also, the new Honda hybrid supposedly does not require this procedure.
yeah, i was about to ask about the select few cars that don't require a break-in period. (i don't remember which ones.) how do they do that without the odometer reading 3023.1? :) i guess they use the in-factory process you mention.
 

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Taken from the second website:

How is this all best accomplished?
Moderate, varying loading of the parts. RPM limits and varying speeds are approximations which work well. There are some ways to move beyond these approximations. It is a good idea to maintain higher rpms under high loads (such as two up on a motorcycle uphill). Low rpms and heavy throttle in these situations is likely to produce high local loads. Downshift a gear, even if it means exceeding the rpm limits, and use light throttle. In addition to varying speeds, getting somewhat on and off the throttle (accelerating and engine braking) will load different areas of the parts, particularly for gears. Sustained full throttle is something to avoid, regardless of rpm.


This is exactly what I've heard before. So, to answer the original question yes break-in needs to occur, but it usually is most important in the first hundred or so miles. In the first miles vary your rpms, even past the suggested level. Don't hit redline or close, but past a measley 3500 or so. Get the turbo broken-in too..a little bit. I figure after the first hundred miles and higher load conditions (not high speed or massive acceleration) then I will change the oil to dino for the remainder of the manufacturer's break-in period..or about 3000 miles. Then switch to full synthetic.. That is what I've found from many opinionated people and I will probably do myself.
 

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Don't forget the other stuff that needs break-in also, such as the brakes and the clutch. No speed shifting or hard braking for 500 miles. That is what was recommended when i installed my SPEC clutch/ fidanza flywheel and brembo x-drilled rotors in my car.
 

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I have a similar situation. I ordered my STi from a dealer in Pittsburgh and could be moving to Texas or some other state where engineers can get jobs. Knowing this, I explained it to the dealer. He said that they could probably have the car shipped directly to another subaru dealer where I am at rather than having it come to Pittsburgh.

I would talk to your dealer to see if you can do something similar.
 
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