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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 01-31-2013, 09:46 PM
Ronin951 Ronin951 is offline
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Engine Break-in Project

I'm taking delivery on my 328i late February and I'm starting to read up on engine break-in. Yes, it's been beaten dead on this and many other forums. Everyone seems to have their own opinions, but I haven't seen any actual hard data. The intention of this thread isn't to debate merits, but rather to ultimitely provide useful information.

If you are looking for just general information I found the post below to be well put together

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...5&postcount=17

For my break-in procedure I've pretty much decided on http://tsx.acurazine.com/forums/showthread.php?t=645938 It's referenced in the post above.

My plan is to do the following things at each "turning point" in the process.

- Send oil off for analysis
- Do a compression test
- ??

I'm open to suggestions and if you know of useful resources (oil testing companies for example) feel free to post. Hopefully you guys can help me help the "community" as a whole.

For reference (from the acrua link above), here is the break-in procedure I plan to follow. I recommend reading forum post though as he includes good reasoning that I don't include here.

For the first 100 miles, only take short trips of <15 minutes. Do not rev above about 3500 rpm. Use full throttle in short (2-3 second) bursts at low rpms (say 2500) - 5th gear on the freeway is ideal for this. Do not do more than one full-throttle burst in the same 2-minute period. Avoid driving for more than 2-3 minutes at the same rpm - if you are on the freeway, vary your speed and alternate between 5th and 4th gears.

From 100-500 miles, increase the peak RPM you reach by 200 rpm each time you drive the car (but don't go higher than redline). Do not rev to your new peak under heavy throttle; instead, let the engine drift up to the rpm under light load. For instance, pulling away from a stoplight, leave the engine in first and accelerate lightly until you reach the desired RPM, then shift. Continue the full-throttle-burst procedure. Do not rev the engine high under full throttle, and do not do either the peak-revving or the full-throttle procedure more often than once a minute. Avoid driving for more than 5 minutes at any one rpm - again, alternating between two adjacent gears and varying your speed will work.

You will notice that each time you reach a new peak rpm, the engine will be quite loud at that rpm, but after a few runs up it will quiet down. This is a sign that the break-in is proceeding well. You will want to have revved the engine to 6500(5500) rpm a few times by the time you reach 500 miles. At that point I recommend you change the oil, as most of the metal wear and contaminants from break-in are released in the first 500 miles.

From 500-3000 miles (the extended break-in) you can operate your engine fairly normally. Most of the work is done. You should still run the engine at higher RPMs on a regular basis (assuming you don't in the normal course of driving ;-) ) and you should avoid prolonged high-speed/high-stress operation, like racing or cruising at 110 mph. I personally change the oil after 1500 miles since it will be dirtier at that point that it would be after 3000 miles of post-break-in operation, but it isn't critical. Be sure to change it at 3000 miles, however. Although there is some difference of opinion on what KIND of oil to use during break-in, the general consensus is to use normal (non-synthetic) oil of the recommended weight (5- or 10-30).

From 3000 miles onward, your engine is considered broken in. It will probably continue to "loosen up" a bit over the next 3000-6000 miles, so look for a small increase in gas mileage. Other than that, your engine is now ready for a long and productive life. Enjoy!
One side note, don't hold your breath on the completion. I don't put a lot of miles on my cars. If my math is right on average it'll take me at least 6mos to go the full 3k miles. I'd like to get that down to 3 by doing some extra driving after the kids go down. Maybe make an April or May DE event if I'm lucky

Last edited by Ronin951; 01-31-2013 at 09:52 PM. Reason: s/breaking/break-in/
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2013, 10:27 PM
notfound notfound is offline
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Let me just point out that that message was posted on 08-08-2003..... Almost 10 years ago. Synthetic oil is much more common nowadays, manufacturing processes have changed, etc.

Funny thing is I own both brands: a fairly new Acura (~6K miles) and I just hit 1300 miles mark on my bimmer so per manual I consider it to be fully broken in.

I didn't bother changing oil in Acura until the maintenance minder advised to do so at 5.5k. Engine brake in? I never really cared since it wasn't a turbo and in general Honda's engines last forever.

Now my bimmer I did drive a bit differently knowing about the brake in instructions. I can't say that I kept it under 5500rpm the whole time (hit the redline maybe 3-4 times total) but I avoided racing it and made sure pads/rotors were fully bedded which took a few trips.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:37 PM
jlukja jlukja is offline
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That is funny. I was (I guess still am) a member of that forum and I used that very break-in procedure to break in my then new 04 TSX. That engine has been running trouble free ever since (and not consuming any oil between changes). We still own the TSX, now over 9 years old. I didn't track it or anything like that but the engine has not been babied, its seen its share of high revs. With that experience in mind, I used the same procedure to break in my new F30.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:07 AM
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White05X3 White05X3 is offline
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I admire your dedication to this mission OP! Here is the only problem...you won't know what the oil/compression/etc would have been had you driven the car differently. Still it will be interesting reading and I look forward to reading more.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2013, 11:41 AM
fastdriverinca fastdriverinca is offline
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For vehicle break-in, follow owners manual

Some of this stuff is so sillly. Just read your owners manual. Essentially, it says not to exceed 4K rpm for the first 1500 miles and then gradually increase RPMS after that. No fast starts and no fast stops. That's all. The rest is uninformed and uneducated BS
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:46 AM
fastdriverinca fastdriverinca is offline
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one more thing

Oh, and one more thing... checking the compression and sending oil for analysis is also silly.

Don't you think that BMW spent millions on engineering, quality control during production, and testing for the engine and every other part?

This is a relatively high quality mass produced automobile. They are selling about 100K of them each year in the U.S. Do you think there is even a 1% chance that they would put out a POS?

Seriously, we can debate whether synthetic should go 18K miles between changes, but if BMW says it can, that's good enough for me. I am sure they would not recommend such a long interval if it was deleterious to the long term health of the engine/car. They want the car back so they can sell it and make more money as a certified pre owned, and they also want to keep their warranty expenses low.

One of the reasons they include free maintenance is because they have relatively high quality and consistency
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2013, 04:51 PM
Ronin951 Ronin951 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White05X3 View Post
I admire your dedication to this mission OP! Here is the only problem...you won't know what the oil/compression/etc would have been had you driven the car differently. Still it will be interesting reading and I look forward to reading more.
Thanks for the interest. If 1 out of 5 posts is appreciative I think it's a win. Message boards are brutal

Yes, you are correct and due to the number of variables there's probably no way to do a completely fair analysis. i.e. one way is better than another. That's not the point though.

I'm more curious than anything to see what happens to compression. There's a lot of debate about the rings being set and the impact on compression. Worst case I have a baseline. I plan on keeping the car for probably 8ish years, so I'm in it for the long haul.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2013, 05:06 PM
Ronin951 Ronin951 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastdriverinca View Post
Seriously, we can debate whether synthetic should go 18K miles between changes, but if BMW says it can, that's good enough for me. I am sure they would not recommend such a long interval if it was deleterious to the long term health of the engine/car. They want the car back so they can sell it and make more money as a certified pre owned, and they also want to keep their warranty expenses low.

One of the reasons they include free maintenance is because they have relatively high quality and consistency
The 15k miles debate has been going on for many years. It's an idea that isn't exclusive to BMW. Over the say 15 year life of a BMW (not saying thats the a limit), they will more than make up for their initial 3 years of "free" maintenance.

You are right, they have every incentive to keep them in good running shape for 3 years. However, they also have incentive to do it for the least amount of money. In the end it's a business. Unless we see their internal numbers we won't know if they make their money back on long-term maintenence, roll it in to the purchase price, or expect to get all expenses back on CPO's. My guess is it's a mix between the 3 (or more).
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2013, 08:36 PM
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SergioK SergioK is offline
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OP: Blackstone labs... use them for oil analysis.

I've sent them samples from my beemers and my bimmers. On a BMW car TBN reaches 1 at about 7500 miles. On a BMW boxer m/c, it's at about 6000 miles.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2013, 10:49 PM
Reedo302 Reedo302 is offline
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We're all free to do whatever we want for our cars, and I applaud everyone who really does go the extra mile to care for and appreciate their own car.

Personally, I trust the German engineers who built the vehicle. If I were to have a problem with the engine and the mechanic asks if I did the proper break-in procedure, I'd rather say "Yes, I did follow my vehicle user manual." than say "No, I did something I read on an Acura forum that was posted in 2003."

It can be debated seven ways from Sunday, but when it comes down to brass tacks, I guess it's all about what makes you happy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jlukja View Post
That is funny. I was (I guess still am) a member of that forum and I used that very break-in procedure to break in my then new 04 TSX. That engine has been running trouble free ever since (and not consuming any oil between changes). We still own the TSX, now over 9 years old. I didn't track it or anything like that but the engine has not been babied, its seen its share of high revs. With that experience in mind, I used the same procedure to break in my new F30.
My wife had a 2001 Honda Civic that we just traded in back in December 2012 with 150k miles. Not a single engine problem ever for that car. She never broke in that engine. This is not uncommon for Honda and Acura, as they're incredibly reliable cars. I have a buddy with an Integra coupe that is still running without any problems. I'd be more apt to accept that this is a function of Honda/Acura being a very reliable car manufacturer.
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  #11  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:49 AM
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White05X3 White05X3 is offline
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Like many here I trust the people who designed the engine and wrote the manual. However...have you noticed that despite all of the advances in manufacturing and oil and metallurgy, the break-in requirements have not changed in decades? It makes me wonder if there is more to the recommendation than just the longevity of the mechanical bits. Do we really think that BMW takes each and every new motor, breaks each one in just a tiny bit differently on all potential variables, measures life span, and then makes a recommendation for the method that will lead to the longest possible life? My guess is probably not or all variants would have different break-in suggestions.

So back to the OP - good luck and keep us informed.
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2013, 09:21 AM
jerrykur jerrykur is offline
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Regarding oil analysis, I have used Blackstone Labs in the past. This was on airplane engines, and they seemed to do a good job.

FWIW, Oil analysis can diagnosis a number of issues from failing bearing (high chromium), leaking air filters (high silica), overly rich settings (high carbon), etc. The cost can be a bit high, I think I paid $50 per engine each time I changed the oil. But on a $50K aircraft engine it made sense. With a modern car engine I am not sure it makes financial sense. I definitely does not make sense for me since my car is leased.

Jerry

Last edited by jerrykur; 02-04-2013 at 09:22 AM.
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  #13  
Old 02-06-2013, 07:11 AM
mchattod mchattod is offline
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My problem with the 15,000 mile oil change is they're neglecting the fact that oil gets dirty. I understand synthetic oil is different and doesn't break down like conventional oil. But.. synthetic oil gets dirty and dirt wears engine parts. I've always used factory oil filters and changed at 4,000 to 5,000 miles regardless of what the manufacturer recommends. Every change the oil is noticeably dirty. I put 232,000 miles on my Toyota pickup and my wife's VW had 195,000 miles. Neither car burned oil when we sold them. I'm planning to keep my BMW for a long time so, I'm changing my BMW's oil at the same interval. To me, it's just cheap insurance. And.. As someone else pointed out, on the N20 it couldn't be easier. Oil fliter is right there. Just pop the hood and you're staring at it.
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