One thing nobody thinks about is all the metal particles that come from
your cylinder walls in your first few hundred miles.
The only way to make your rings seat is to leave a slightly rough finish
on your new cylinders. The rings are a little rough but not so much as
the cylinders. In the first 1,000 miles, much of this rough finish is
as cylinders, pistons, and rings begin to break in.
I changed the oil in my new pickup at 400 miles. When you look at the oil
in the sun you can see the metal shavings.
What I am trying to tell you is change your oil now. Don't wait for all that
to go through your engine for 3,000 miles.
I second this. Pay for the changes:
100 miles(note the huge amount of shavings and crap)
300 miles(more filings)
500 more miles(800)(less - should be small flecks)
800 more miles(1600)(slightly gritty to the touch if you rub your fingers)
1200 more miles(3000)
3000 more miles(6000)(normal from here on out - every 3K)
That's a good ramp-up and will extend the life of your engine greatly.
In really dirty environments - my mechanic said that the oil should
be changed in some cases as often as 1500-2000 miles - that you should
learn to do it yourself and change it every month if you live in the
Desert or simmilar dirty/dusty area. City driving - 3000 is fine once it
is broken in.
One thing about changing oil - you can never do it too frequently,
so do it often. The above break-in routine is what - $150 out
of your pocket to ensure a good lifetime out of a $20K+ car? That's
like half a car payment over the first month, so do it and don't be
cheap.(of course, get it done correctly or do it yourself)
This is especially critical in small aluminum block engines. They
are much softer metal than iron block engines, so they shed a lot
of metal during the first few weeks as they break in.
You do the same thing with a rifle - fire a shot, completely clean
it, fire another, completely clean it...
Do this three times.
Then fire off 3 shots. Repeat three times.
Then fire off 5 shots. Clean.
Rifle is broken in and ready to go. Yes, that's *SEVEN* complete
cleanings in an afternoon. It makes a huge difference in the
fit and finish and accuracy, just like it does in a car.
i also agree that the oil should be changed early, but at 100-300 is a bit
you may want to change the oil filter at those stages, but i still wouldn't
recommend it as necessary.
when an engine breaks in, all the parts that make contact are seating
themselves (becoming mated pairs).
all the tolerances are settling in. oil is used to prevent this wear and
changing the oil at those recommendation results in a longer time for the
engine to "break-in".
i would recommend the initial oil change+filter at 500 just for those
pre-break-in metal shavings.
then you can let it go to the 3k odometer reading. but weather is also a
factor. if you bought your car during the cold season, you really need to
let the engine warm up (5-10 minutes at idle). even with a normal oil change
schedule, running a dead cold engine will cause premature engine wear.
once the engine is broken-in (this varies due to driver habits) synthetics
can be used. (i personally prefer synthetic blend -valvoline).
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