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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"...It cannot be completely avoided that the moving parts have to wear in with each other."

This has been posted in the garage portion of the forum
because of the constant "I drove my car hard from the very first day I owned it, and it's fine," arguments usually seen versus the "I trust the Honda engineers more than some guy with a website."

A lot of "proper break-in" posts seem to end in bickering that really leaves readers with no conclusion.

I simply wanted to point out the break-in procedure for very high-caliber automobiles, which on some models of the Ariel Atom, actually use a Honda engine. I do not wish to start the clichéd "... but my car is fine! You're a grandma, and you suck at driving," debate.

Rather, it would be nice to see some non-hostile responses on why performance car instruction manuals would not advise the aggressive break-in, as suggested by some members of the online community.

After all, these cars ARE engineered to the point blood would shoot out of most of our ears; I'm sure there's an engineer or two lurking amongst us that can handle it.

Compared to the Civic instruction manual I'm familiar with, which came with my EX Saloon, the Ariel Atom instruction manual seems to elaborate more on the heavily debated break-in procedure.

Ariel Atom 2:

"Your vehicle does not need an elaborate break-in; however, it will perform better in the long run if you follow
these guidelines:
 Do not drive at any one constant speed, fast or slow, for the first 500 miles (800 km).
 Do not make full-throttle starts.
 Do not exceed 5,000 engine RPM’s.
 Avoid downshifting to brake or slow the vehicle."

Page 11

http://www.arielatom.com/pdf_manuals/ArielUserManual_20070517.pdf

The Germans seem to have gone a little bit further with their break-in section.

Porsche 911 (997)
WKD 997 021 06 (2006):

"Break in hints for the first 2,000 miles / 3,000 kilometers:

The following tips will be helpful in obtaining optimum performance from your new Porsche.

DESPITE THE MOST MODERN, HIGH-PRECISION MANUFACTURING METHODS, it cannot be completely avoided that the moving parts have to wear in with each other. This wearing-in occurs mainly in the first 2,000 miles / 3,000km.

Preferably take longer trips.
Avoid frequent cold starts with short-distance driving whenever possible.
Avoid full throttle starts and abrupt stops.
Do not exceed maximum engine speed of 4,200rpm.
Do not run a cold engine at high rpm either in Neutral or in gear.
Do not let the engine labor, especially when driving uphill. Shift to the next lower gear in time (use the most favorable rpm range).
Never lug the engine in high gear at low speeds. This rule applies AT ALL TIMES, not just during the break-in period.
Do not participate in motor racing events, sport driving schools, etc. during the first 2,000 miles / 3,000 kilometers."

An aggressive break-in, as noted by some users of the community, has sometimes been called, "Driving it like you've stolen it." I assume when one steals a car, the guilty party doesn't usually pay much attention to braking distances or a proper tire break-in procedure.

"Also it must be taken into consideration that new tires, brake pads, and rotors must all be broken-in gently:

New brake pads and discs have to be 'broken-in', and therefore only attain optimal friction when the car has covered several hundred miles or kilometers... [which] also applies whenever the brake pads and brake discs are replaced.

New tires do not have maximum traction. They tend to be slippery.

Break in new tires by driving at MODERATE SPEEDS during the first 60 to 120 miles / 100 to 200 kilometers. Longer braking distances must be anticipated."

I'm such a car-manual bookworm. If only I actually owned the cars to which I've read the manuals to.

Please note to me any spelling, grammatical, or conceptual errors, and I'll do my best to correct them ASAP as I see fit (or however the hands of the almighty moderators see fit).
 

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+1 for a great write-up! I have also heard both sides of the argument, and the gentle driving break-in usually has a more scientific argument feel to it rather than the "I drove mine hard from day one and it's fine." I admit that many people don't pay any attention to the break-in recommendations and their cars run fine, but a car with 50,000 miles may run fine but it still has more wear than a new car.

I read a long term review of an EVO several years ago and the reviewer said that if you don't ovserve the break-in procedure the engine will use a lot of oil down the road.

All engines are different and people will have different experiences with their choice of break-in procedure. I just think it is safest to just observe the manufacturer recommendations.

Edit: By the way, the break-in procedure for the Atom is almost identical to my old Subaru.
 

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+1 Great write up. There are so many components on a car that need to be broken in properly, it is important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations, to ensure longevity. Even if you can VTEC the motor out of the parking lot, there are parts like the tires, brakes and transmission that need to be babied.
 

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Why does the porsche manual recommend not driving the car in high gears at low speeds? Whenever just driving around town I tend to leave it in the gear I was in (4/5/6) and just coast until the engine speed is aroudn 1.5k and then clutch/pull out of gear and stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do the same thing, TheProtege. Most people that I know who drive stick... like five other dudes, we do the same thing.

What Porsche probably means is don't go 13mph in sixth gear. On my EX, you can usually hear the engine go "uuugh...", usually referred to as "lugging or laboring".

My shifting points on the EX, as stated from the manual are the following:
To 2nd Gear: 15mph
To 3rd Gear: 27mph
To 4th Gear: 39mph
To 5th Gear: 53mph
To 6th Gear: When I first started driving the car, I tried to shift into sixth twice... no sixth gear here.

Following this, outside of first to second gear, keeps me within an rpm band of 2,000rpm - 3,000rpm, which I believe is within that "economy i-Vtec" range of the R18A1 engines.

As for slowing down and coming to a stop, I've been taught, and have heard that automatic transmissios hydraulically and / or hydraulically mimic what a driver would do ideally with a manual transmission. So based on that, so long as there aren't any strange sounds, I think it's safe to continue that practice.

If anyone knows otherwise, please tell me. I'm very paranoid about such things.
 

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I can't wait to see the people that use that motoman or whatever the fuk his name is on the internet...........their engine after 100k miles.
 

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TheProtege said:
Why does the porsche manual recommend not driving the car in high gears at low speeds? Whenever just driving around town I tend to leave it in the gear I was in (4/5/6) and just coast until the engine speed is aroudn 1.5k and then clutch/pull out of gear and stop.
its strain on the engine. i dont know why people are obsessed with having their engine speed low. they think lower is better...go buy a diesel.

funny even people on a honda forum think lower RPM is better. you should do the same. if you have an Si, try to keep it around 3500-4500.

if you are not on the gas its fine, but if you are using gas to maintain speed then id advise you downshift, and if you are trying to accelerate youll see a MPG improvement from trying to accelerate in too low of an RPM.
 

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I didn't suggest that one should keep the car in low RPMs, you completely misunderstood. I wouldn't have bought a car with an 8K redline if I wanted to keep it in low RPMs. The matter is of coming to a complete stop. Rather than constantly downshifting through every single gear, putting extra strain on the throw-out bearing and clutch, I prefer to coast in whatever gear I was in until about 1500 RPMs, and only then pull it out into neutral and come to a complete stop. I would much rather replace my brake pads than my throw-out bearing. Did you buy an Si to do tranny work every 50k miles?
 
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