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View Poll Results: How did you go about your vehicleís run-in, and what has been the result?
Maintained low RPM. Definitely helped. 80 24.46%
Maintained low RPM. Didnít see any significant use of doing so. 89 27.22%
Drove across all RPMs. This helped. 35 10.70%
Drove across all RPMs. Made no major difference. 45 13.76%
Didnít follow any standard process. Regretted this later. 2 0.61%
Didnít follow any standard process. Made no difference. 76 23.24%
Voters: 327. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 13th September 2021, 23:42   #16
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Default re: The engine running-in poll

Interesting set of options in the poll.

A third of folks have voted for "Maintained low RPM. Didn’t see any significant use of doing so." How low was the RPM? 20% of the redline limit? 50%? 80%?

Before one sees significant benefits of a well-run-in engine, one has to cover a significant distance - say, 150k - 200k km. Then again, many things can subsequently go wrong - improper oil and filter changes, harsh running conditions and overloading, or just bad driving (ARTICLE: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving).

My rule of thumb for running in with a new or rebuilt engine is: I don't exceed 60% of the redline, never lug the engine, and take the car for a long highway trip after an initial 200-300km in city (or even less). Once 2000-3000 km are over (almost all of it on the highways), I'd change to new engine oil and filter of the recommended grade. My oil change intervals rarely exceed 10k km, if that.

I haven't needed to rebuild a single engine over the last 25 years. Most of my cars have been driven >100k km. The last engine that needed a rebuild was for our 1.5L petrol Ambassador, sometime in 1996 IIRC. That too, because the oil lube system for the timing chain failed (bad design, if you know what part I'm talking about).

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 13th September 2021 at 23:46.
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Old 14th September 2021, 00:05   #17
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Default re: The engine running-in poll

Add an option "followed manufacturer recommendation". No manufacturer recommends "Low RPM" but to vary speeds across RPM band, subject to a maximum rpm/speed till a specified odo reading.
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Old 15th September 2021, 02:10   #18
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Default re: The engine running-in poll

I drove at varying rpms in the low to mid range without lugging which is anyways my normal driving style. I was similarly confused like others when I bought my Beat 10 years ago between both running in schools of thought - baby the car vs drive it like it's stolen.
I ended up doing something kind of random the first evening after I got my car home. There is a 1km long road near my place that sees very sparse traffic so I took the car there and drove 30km loops keeping the car as much as I could at 1500 then 2500 then 3500rpm for 10km each in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears while bringing the car to a complete stop at each end with medium pressure in order to bed in the brakes as well simultaneously !!
Obviously I have no way to tell if any of these break in methods work as I would need to compare with another car of the same model that was run in differently.

I would go so far as to say that with current manufacturing precision and technology, other than the new tyres, brakes and possibly suspension, the engine and gearbox are not going to suddenly explode or fail just because you drove it at 4000 rpm or for 4 hours continuously during the first 1000kms. Just drive normally and enjoy your new car, I'm pretty sure avoiding scratches and bumps on your new baby and getting used to the seating and dynamics requires more attention than engine and gearbox parameters.
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Old 15th September 2021, 06:16   #19
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Default re: The engine running-in poll

I've voted for "Maintained low RPM. Definitely helped". The "Definitely helped" part is just the belief since the cars served/serving me well. I've done run-in myself on all my cars religiously as recommended by the respective manufacturer. A Santro Xing(2004), FIesta TDCi(2006), Laura TDI(2011), Seltos D AT(2019) are the cars I'm referring to. Varying engine speeds(within the specified RPM) is as important as maintaining low RPM s is what I gathered from the car manuals. Maintaining constant speed/rpm for longer durations is not recommended during the run-in. Who knows our engines better than the manufacturer themselves. So it's better to be safe than be sorry by adhering to what they say and no harm too. They clearly mention that you may add to the performance, life and economy of the vehicle with a proper run-in.

All the cars never had any issue in terms of FE, engine health etc which I believe the run-in helped though I don't have conclusive evidence or data to show. Below is the run-in instructions from the Seltos manual.
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The engine running-in poll-screenshot_20210915061604_whatsapp.jpg  

Last edited by Bibendum90949 : 15th September 2021 at 06:25.
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Old 15th September 2021, 07:31   #20
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Default re: The engine running-in poll

Modern cars are much more well designed and better built with advances in metallurgy and manufacturing processes. Most of them shouldn't need extreme care during a run-in.

Simple thing for the first 1000km: Don't drive like a lunatic.

Two other things I follow on engines for a long life:
1. Rarely do short trips (<3-4 km). I walk or bicycle on shorter trips
2. Whether your engine has 0, 50k, or 150k km, don't revv the engine to the redline until 10 minutes (or 2km).

Originally Posted by sole_rider View Post
But still I am a little worried. I have decided to change the engine oil and oil filter when I go for the first service that's due in next two weeks.
Go ahead and change the oil & filter. You don't really need to worry about your car.
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Old 16th September 2021, 08:45   #21
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Default re: The engine running-in poll

Voted for 'Drove across all RPMs'.

This doesn't mean that I revved the engine hard to higher RPMs. Rpm was variable within a given suggested range by the manufacturer. Anyways in Mumbai traffic, the engine keeps running at different rpm due to regular braking and acceleration.

Inspite of following the above methods, I had two very different experiences for my diesel cars:
- My Swift's injector failed within 90000 kilometers and turbo too wasn't performing optimally.
- My Etios is still running on all the original parts at 1.5 lakh kilometers.

I have seen the company / dealer drivers driving like maniac an unregistered car from their stockyard to the dealer location. God knows how much damage they are doing to the engine and suspension components. Why don't the manufacturers keep rpm limits locked until the car is delivered to the customer so that they aren't abused by their own employees?
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Old 16th September 2021, 09:07   #22
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Default Re: The engine running-in poll

This is one of those things that doesn't hurt to do, but still could hurt if you don't. The state of the engine is everything to me, hence I prefer to err on the side of caution and carefully run-in all my cars. And remember, it's not just the engine that requires running-in. Even other components (tyres, brakes, gearbox etc.) do.

The requirement to bed in new tyres is not just because of the releasing agent. It is also to check that the tyres are seated correctly (not spun on the wheel), as well as to help scrub off both, fitting lubricant and possibly releasing agent and to prepare the tyre. Going from a near worn out set with very little tread movement that has worn to your driving style, to a brand new pair that will have more tread (tread movement) and therefore feel different to the worn pair. You could also be changing tyre manufacturer and/or tyre requirements, as in going from a touring tyre to a more sports orientated set up or vice versa. We, as well as the tyre dealer would recommend running a new pair of tyres in for at least 100 miles.

When comparing my cars to others of similar vintage, I have always felt that my engines are distinctly nicer & the throttle response sharper. Of course, this could also be due to the frequent Italian tune-ups I give all my cars

Main obstacle to my running in = I prefer pre-worshipped cars, so they are already run-in by the time I sit in the driver's seat. I ran-in my brother's Superb 2.0 TSI in 2021 and prior to that was the Sunny back in 2012!!!
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Old 16th September 2021, 09:10   #23
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Default Re: The engine running-in poll

Voted for "Drove across all RPMs. This helped."

I follow manufacturer instructions from owner manual (not what showroom/service centre folks say) which usually has an upper limit for the rpm during the run-in phase (around 70~85% of max rpm). This way most of the rpm range gets covered. What is avoided is lugging the vehicle in a higher gear or riding constantly at the same rpm. Can't say it helped but never faced any issue due to it.
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Old 16th September 2021, 09:14   #24
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Default Re: The engine running-in poll

Mods please allow a user to select multiple options in the poll.

In my case, there are 2 different aspects in my 2 cars.
The car I bought in January '21, I followed all run-in procedures religiously. For the first 2500 km, I kept the engine under 2k rpm, always used the ECO mode, no aggressive acceleration, and followed a very sedate style of driving overall.
After 2500 km, I gradually picked up the RPMs, but kept them under 2500 RPM until 3500 km. After that was the first time I did pedal-to-the-metal on the highway to understand the characteristics of the engine, apart form the test drive car.

The entire run-in procedure in this car was more of a cautionary measure. I just knew that a new car has to run-in for about 2500-3000 km, and I did it. Just giving the car some time to settle in, letting the thousands of parts set themselves to work in tandem with each other seemed logical.

But in my other car which I bought in Dec '18, I didn't run-in the engine at all. I didn't know about the run-in concept back then, so I didn't bother. The first pedal-to-the-metal was at barely 300 km. Car performed flawlessly then, and it does so even now at 45000 km. I haven't really faced any surprises w.r.t. the engine or transmission (touchwood). But had I known about engine run-in back then, I would've done things differently.

To conclude, I would say that definitely run-in your new car. Even though there may not be any scientific proof that it'll result in miracles, it's better to be prudent & safe.

Just for information, it's an official protocol of Porsche from Germany to run-in every car before giving it for testing to journalists. Be it a Porsche 911 GT3 RS or a Taycan, every test car is run-in by a company driver.
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Old 16th September 2021, 09:16   #25
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Default Re: The engine running-in poll

Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
Why not follow what is recommended in the User Manual i.e. to Take-It-Easy
Please note that the break-in period for the DCT variants is 1500 kms instead of 1000 kms as recommended by Hyundai
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Old 16th September 2021, 09:52   #26
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Default Re: The engine running-in poll

I am afraid I might be on the extreme side in this discussion, but for the entire ownership period of our earlier Indigo TDI (which we had bought used around 95000 km mark and sold at 175000 km), I drove it as if it is in the run in period. It required an engine rebuild and a new turbo as soon as we acquired it. But that car thereafter and till today has not required any untoward maintenance towards the engine. I think it is somewhere near the 3.5 lakh km mark today. I had found that the Valvoline 15-40 CI-4, a bit heavier oil, was the best for that engine and had suggested the subsequent owner to stick to the same.

The current Altis however sees 3000 rpm on highways because its gearing is awfully short and it misses one gear. But in this too I compensate that. Whenever I have to embark on a long highway trip, I drive it in city the day prior and during the actual trip, the first 50 odd kilometers I stay below 2000 rpm. I accelerate gradually and use extensive block shifting during the warm up.

Nothing abrupt and all of a sudden. Both my cars have given me a stellar economy and therefore am happy with it.
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Old 16th September 2021, 10:01   #27
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Default Re: The engine running-in poll

I personally don't believe in factory service, so I take it easy for 50~150kms, then ride normally till 500kms and then redline the crap out of it in every gear and then engine brake so hard that the rear hops, I repeat the same a couple more times and change the oil.

If I see metal in the drained oil I maintain factory service as I have a lot of warranty claims to look forward to. But if I don't see any metal then it's DIY all the way with 1.5k/liter sump size oil changes.

P.S. Have done run-in as per the book when I was young, cylinder still had to be replaced within a month of ownership under warranty so never bothered since.

In fact every motorcycle I've owned had done 700+ kms rides on the interstate within a couple of days of purchase, only exception being the Bullet and CBR250R courtesy covid.

Do watch this video by Ari Henning;

From a different perspective a motorcycle engine's life is around 100k kms for a single cylinder motorcycle and I'm referring to the normal motorcycles not the Nikasil/Diasil options. And what I've seen is irrespective of riding style as long as oil changes are religiously maintained ignoring the extended drain interval fads recommended by manufacturers mosty eveyone gets around 100k kms before a rebuild so it really does make one think whether things of the past like run-in etc are relevant these days.

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Old 16th September 2021, 10:11   #28
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Default Re: The engine running-in poll

I normally err on the side of caution when it comes to running in, preferring to follow the manufacturer's guidelines. I can't definitely tell or quantify how much it enhanced my engine's life or ownership experience but I reckon it probably did. All my vehicles whether bike or car, 4 stroke or 2 stroke, have had their engines turn out very well over time, with smoothness and reliability not to mention good fuel economy behing the hall marks of my vehicles. I know guys who swear by the red line method but at the end I guess it is to each his own.

As an aside - I don't skimp on maintenance or lubes ever. The exception being early 2021 due to the Covid situation and subsequent lockdown + restrictions. My car's last service was in early '20 now heading for a service including engine oil change next month. IMHO, that no-compromise year on year maintenance has probably contributed more to the performance of the engines than just careful running in.
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Old 16th September 2021, 10:21   #29
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Default Re: The engine running-in poll

Voted for Maintained low RPM. Definitely helped.

The only way I feel it has helped me is because until now all the cars we bought were brand new and used for 12 years+. All were run in cautiously and have aged gracefully and had only the usual company recommended services and replacements. The engine, clutch feel as smooth as before. Many other cars of the same make and year dont feel as smooth even though owners claim it has been maintained by the company.

We recently sold our Chevrolet Uva 2008 done around 140k kms and a 2007 Honda city done 150k kms. We sold it to a dealer who usually dont pay well. Noticing the smoothness and refinement of the cars we got 1.25 lacs for the city and 90k for the uva in spite of the car body having a lot of rust!! The guy said very rarely they come across a 14 year old car which drives as smooth.

Last edited by SN88 : 16th September 2021 at 10:24.
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Old 16th September 2021, 10:39   #30
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Default Re: The engine running-in poll

I preferred going calm and gentle with my Tigor Diesel for the first 2000 km, actually I took utmost care not to revv it above 3.5k RPM for the initial 1000 km. Don't know if it has been helpful or not, but my ownership has been trouble free as well as got good fuel efficiency. But then when we had bought our petrol Ritz, it was revved from day one, in fact we took it for a 1200 km round trip form Mumbai to Vijapur (karnataka) immediately after the delivery and a younger me enjoyed some quick sprints on the highway. Yet that car too served us effortlessly, no engine issues at all and good FE.
Yet now a days I prefer to religiously adhere to manufacturers advice on run in and idling, I Idle my Diesel Tigor at least for a minute at start in the morning and before shutting down after longer rides. For shorter rides I take my Alto K10 or Classic 350 and for very short trips I use my brothers cycle, or just walk.
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