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    Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Mr Anderson, The Technical Guru at EXCELLENCE has spoken in April's issue.

    At last, for most of us the issue can be laid to rest. Funny why USA cars have different break-in "hints."


    Here's what he said (sorry for ugly scan).

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Sweet. My plan exactly. Moderate driving for 200-400 miles followed by its first track weekend.

    Now, I'm just waiting on the damn thing to get on a ship.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    I took mine to its first autocross while it still had the dealer temporary tag on it. That's what they're built for.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    I'm a strong stickler for break-in procedures as specified in the owner's manual regardless of what the "experts" supposedly say. I followed my 2000 mile break-in procedure to the letter before letting her rip when I finally made it past the magic barrier. Never had any engine issues with any of my past cars. My last car, a BMW M5 after breaking her in properly had one of the most powerful engines out of the other M5s I've encountered so I must be doing something right.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Quote:
    atomic80 said:
    I'm a strong stickler for break-in procedures as specified in the owner's manual regardless of what the "experts" supposedly say. I followed my 2000 mile break-in procedure to the letter before letting her rip when I finally made it past the magic barrier. Never had any engine issues with any of my past cars. My last car, a BMW M5 after breaking her in properly had one of the most powerful engines out of the other M5s I've encountered so I must be doing something right.



    Agreed. Ditto with my engines.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    While it is hard to argue with past performance (like atomic80 and devo's), this post is begging us to consider that however your engine perfoms occurs despite (rather than because of) whatever you did in break-in.

    I'm not sure this will settle what I think is a truly endless debate with reasonable arguments on either side.

    I still think it's just a good idea to let moving parts wear together rather gently at first, and given the quality of today's lubruicants, that may take a while.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    The technical experts at Excellence magazine and Porsche engineers concur. The matter is settled for me (BTW, I'm also a stickler for procedures) since the BS of the arbitrary 2000 mile "hint" for usa cars has been explained away.


    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Quote:
    MMD said:
    The matter is settled for me since the BS of the arbitrary 2000 mile "hint" for usa cars has been explained away.

    All doubt would be removed it someone from Porsche's legal dept would admit the 2,000 mi break-in was to protect them from newbies that got their cars backwards before they learned about 'weight transfer'.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    I guess I appreciate the "safety margin" that the boys at Porsche has instilled for US buyers. Anyone know what the recommended break-in mileage is for you folks in EU?

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    In Japan it is 3,000km but I had a new Carrera 4 Cab (that did not belong to me) and was to do whatever the hell I wanted. I drove it like a lunatic from 200KM onwards and recently had it again from 7,000 onwards - drove perfectly not a thing wrong with it! However, I wouldn't do that with my own car

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    In the EU it's 3000km (that's about 1875 miles).

    FWIW my own 2 cents: whilst it is arguable that 300-500 miles is more than enough for break-in, I always prefer to follow the manufacturer's break-in procedure. Why? Because if I do get a problem, at least I can say I followed their guidance.

    So it's more of a legal/bargaining power point than a strictly engineering/mechanical necessity IMO.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    I remember reading something about Euro cars last year that it was 2000 KM for "break in"

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Quote:
    atomic80 said:
    I'm a strong stickler for break-in procedures as specified in the owner's manual regardless of what the "experts" supposedly say. I followed my 2000 mile break-in procedure to the letter before letting her rip when I finally made it past the magic barrier. Never had any engine issues with any of my past cars. My last car, a BMW M5 after breaking her in properly had one of the most powerful engines out of the other M5s I've encountered so I must be doing something right.



    I agree. Until the gods at Excellence are willing to underwrite any warranty issues denied by Porsche because of failure to follow their breakin in procedure, it's not going to bother me one bit to take the car on a bunch of nice long drives varying the speed/revs, etc, etc until I hit Porsche's failsafe number.

    As I see it, for me it comes down to a matter of patience. And where my 100K car is concerned, I've got the patience of an oyster.

    Not flaming anyone, just my 2 cents.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    You guys have always discussed this particular question at length many times, and though the information shared is very interesting I've always come back to one nagging thought. All mechanical specifics aside, if something goes wrong with the car later in life but while still under warranty, couldn't a Porsche dealer read the ECU and potentially determine that the reason for a failure may be attributed to not following the breaking guidelines?

    I've always thought that it's a good idea to somewhat baby the car (no matter how enticing an "open-flat-multilane-This is what my car was made for" road appears) and upon reaching the prescribed mileage for letting it rip, follow the same procedure of varying RPM, and length at WOT, etc. but now within the higher end of the rev band.

    Has anyone ever found themselves in this situation, or are you prepared with a counter argument if the situation ever comes up? And since resale is something of importance, couldn't this be a reason for a potential buyer to shy away from a car?

    Just wondering since both sides of the argument makes sense to me.

    On a side note, atomic80, as a novice photographer, I've always enjoyed your photos and albums; cheers. To everyone else, thanks for making this forum one of the few where it seems drama and bickering is left at login, and technical, gentlemanly, discussion can be had. There are many hopeful Porsche owners like myself that really appreciate the sentiment and this resource.

    -KurticusGT-

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Like others have posted, excellent opinions on each side of the spectrum. It is interesting that there are different intervals for different countries; I certainly would agree that the US cars would have 2k in place as a higher learning curve. It would be nice to know what kind of impact different break in procedures would have on 100,000 mile cars.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Here is an interesting article on the topic:

    http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    In today's world with the automotive version of "Big Brother" recording engine operating stats, I don't think it is prudent to ignore PCNA's "suggestions" re break-in.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Show me a single case, a single instance, where a warranty claim involving engine failure or malady is denied due to the PCM showing a deviation from the manual's break-in HINTS. Use your heads, ask your attorney (hell, there's enough of them right here on this forum), by using the language they use, i.e. "hints" and "suggested", they have no teeth to bind warranty denial. Zero, it wouldn't hold water in any dispute. They INTENTIONALLY use those soft words, it's not happenstance..

    I've got no problem if anybody wishes to defer to blind paranoia rather than engineering context when breaking-in their new car. You're just making my head hurt when you insinuate that when Porsche titles a section "Break-in hints", and even indexes it as-such, that these suggestions are binding to warranty. Funny, I don't see ANYWHERE in the break-in section where it says, "failure to comply with suggested break-in procedure could result in denial of warranty coverage", "could be considered as abuse under the warranty dictates". That's because they don't do that, you're citing urban myth. They do say in the warranty booklet that warranty will not cover failures at racing or driving events, and will not cover "abuse". Yes, the word "abuse" is never spoken in the break-in procedure either, and one would imagine that abuse would be difficult to assign to the engine, as it's rev-limited by the computer. I would imagine that the most common occurance of Porsche waving the "abuse" flag is with clutches and brakes.

    Furthermore, suggesting that following break-in on a certain car directly resulted in it's being "more powerful than other cars (you've) encountered" is about as scientific and conclusive as me claiming that beer is key to good health, because I've drank a mug every evening of my adult life, and I'm healthier than most...

    I'm sorry for the ranting nature of my post, but this subject has worn on me... It seems that even a Porsche engineer, citing the context that spawned the break-in HINTS, isn't enough to hedge the paranoia a touch.

    I think this boils down to fear of the unknown. I was fairly careful with my car early-on, to give it a bit of seating-in time, and just "because". No other good reason. But I didn't look at the odometer like the pearly gates. Break-in happens rather organically, it's not a structured and standardized process. It just looks that way in the manual, for public consumption, knowing that some customers don't know a valve seat from a bench cushion, and that tossing a bit of cautionary language out there will be for the overall good.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Quote:
    69bossnine said:
    Show me a single case, a single instance, where a warranty claim involving engine failure or malady is denied due to the PCM showing a deviation from the manual's break-in HINTS. Use your heads, ask your attorney (hell, there's enough of them right here on this forum), by using the language they use, i.e. "hints" and "suggested", they have no teeth to bind warranty denial. Zero, it wouldn't hold water in any dispute. They INTENTIONALLY use those soft words, it's not happenstance..





    Add to the above the Excellence article and numerous other "drive it like you stole it" professional opinions and the result is, unless the guy beat the sh*t out of it on a track, they KNOW they'd NEVER be able to successfully win against a hapless partial "hint" follower/owner in court.


    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    BTW, you guys who baby the engine, are you hoping to keep the car for 10 or 20 years?

    IMO, you might as well abandon that idea and see how it effects your break-in hint-following philosophy. Why?

    Because IMO, these cars are going to be a nightmare to keep for the long term. There's too many electronics and software involved and complexity. Parts are/will be obscenely expensive. (e.g. My broken CD would have cost us$2500 to fix).

    Something to think about. We have an adding machine from 1980 which _still_ works, but we've been thru a dozen computers since then.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Yeah, the Porsche certified master mechanic that used to work at my dealer, with 30 years experience, gave me this totally unsolicited advice when I picked up my car,

    "Drive it the way you intend to drive it long-term right away"...

    Followed by, "F*** what the manual says..."

    Of course, I followed my own course of action, but still found it interesting he'd say that, as if anything were to have gone wrong as a result of his advice, I would have been right back in that dealership pointing a finger straight at him..

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Good point MMD. Fact is, just keeping the oil changed regularly will go far far far further toward the reliability of your engine than whatever you did or didn't do in the first couple thou'...

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    This isn't an issue for me any longer. As of Tuesday night my 997 has ~1996 miles. Its been fun to drive and will only get better now.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    69bossnine, you'd pretty much be the devil that rests on my left shoulder when considering this question. Admittedly I've always linked potential denial of warranty service with break-in trends that don't follow the specific "guidelines or hints" listed in the manual. And this unconscious caution (in my case at least) comes from reading threads of the horror stories of car owners (BMW, Nissan, Honda) who for the sake of argument drove the car "the way it was intended to be used", and when something broke, the dealer pointed the finger at the owner for not breaking in the car as prescribed by the manual. I have read the opposite however; I'm just making the case. In the end, I guess our individual procedures for this are as personal, genuine, and at times unique as interior selections on these cars.

    MMD, very precise yet unnerving analogy about the adding machine.

    -KurticusGT-

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    I've never heard of a race car being broken in - so why should our cars...?

    The folks at the factory were more concerned with me being rear ended ( because of the stopping power of the brakes) than of any break-in procedure. " Drive it as fast as you want." And I pretty much did.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Quote:
    SVNSVN said:
    I've never heard of a race car being broken in - so why should our cars...?

    The folks at the factory were more concerned with me being rear ended ( because of the stopping power of the brakes) than of any break-in procedure. " Drive it as fast as you want." And I pretty much did.



    I would guess it's because race engines are built to exacting specs tailored to a specific extreme venue. They are not built for longevity; the candle that burns the brightest burns out quicker. The builders do not have to contend with a variety of drivers under a variety of conditions. They are single purpose designed only for speed.
    This may not be relevent, but when I had a custom builder build a very high HP, large displacement engine for my custom Harley, he asked how I would break it in. He told me that if I intended to break it in easier then he would built differently. Being that it was air cooled, it may not be directly relevent, but it makes me wonder if some kind of break in on today's hi-tech engines with hi-tech oil is needed.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    The other thing?

    If you had to explain to a guy how to break in the car and he was a dummy and you only had a few sentences, how would you do it?

    It would differ from talking to a car guy, telling him about RPMs, piston ring seating, redlines, engine outputs, hot-cold-cycles, what happens at 0-200 miles, what happens at 200-500 miles, etc., etc. .

    Porsche has "fifteen seconds" in the manual to explain to the breakin to _everybody_ (lowest common denominator) who buys the car.

    THAT's why it's so simplistic and conservative. Maybe that's why Porsche calls them "hints."

    IOW, for us car guys, there are "better" ways to breakin this car.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Maybe its called hints because they translated it wrong. Hell when I run low on gas it says "please mind your remaining range". Obviously, not an English as a first language type phrase. Hint might have a totally different meaning in German.

    Go by the book is my recommendation, and that's as valid as anyone here on an internet forum.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Quote:
    Texas911 said:
    Maybe its called hints because they translated it wrong. Hell when I run low on gas it says "please mind your remaining range". Obviously, not an English as a first language type phrase. Hint might have a totally different meaning in German.

    Go by the book is my recommendation, and that's as valid as anyone here on an internet forum.



    So on one hand, the book is so sloppily translated that "hints" is used ostensibly where a more stringent German word had resided...

    But on the other, we should follow this manual that was translated by Colonel Clink to the letter??

    That makes sense...

    Sorry, but things of this nature are worded very carefully, and legally reviewed by Factory counsel... I doubt that "hint" was a snafu caused by non-yankee-translator.

    Re: Case closed: Definitive Break-in Procedure

    Why use hints then? That's a poor word choice. If they were English speaking lawyers, it would say suggestions or recommendations, don't you think? Hints is such a vague term. On the other hand, 2000 miles could not have been mistranslated. How do you mistranslate cold hard numbers?

     
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