Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Central Oregon
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I've gotten in the habit of driving new cars home from the dealership and swapping in new synthetic. The "break-in" on modern engines is minimal, consisting of seating the rings. That gets taken care of on that drive from the dealership, with a few firm-throttle pushes to 4k RPM. After that, any "break-in" is better defined as first stages of "wear-out". The oil gets changed a couple more times by 1000 miles, then on to a schedule that is twice as often as what the manufacturer recommends, or their severe-service schedule, whichever is more conservative. The early changes get any stray manufacturing particles out, clear any carbon bits from early blow-by before the rings seat, and any wear particles from the ring seating exercise.
This effort is in anticipation of no less that 250k of use of the car. The most recent history has all cars sold with well over 200k, three over 300k. One, an early Ford Explorer V-6, had a bad reaction to early Prestone extended-life coolant. The heads came off for gaskets at 150k, as the coolant had managed to find an external leakage path where the gaskets were supposed to be. On removal, the oil (top) side of the heads was immaculate, with no sign that the engine had ever actually been running. The typical yellow varnish layer was none, and of course no tar or sludge deposits thanks to the synthetic. I keep the rest of the car in similar condition, so at 320k when I gave it to a staffer who needed a bigger car for his growing family, it looked and ran pretty much as new. That one was used for regular towing duty between southern California and the Colorado River in the summertime, plus daily 80-mile commuting duty between my home in Orange County and my office in Pasadena. So hardly "gentle" driving conditions.
2013 Touring in Alabaster Silver with black inside. Has LED interior lights now, full rubber mats, and the deluxe running boards added.
In the high desert of central Oregon.
Spring 2016: Now three and a half years old, pushing 23k trouble-free miles