Close-up on the workings of an engine

Do vehicles need to be broken in again when the engine/drivetrain is replaced?

Break-In Period Recommendations for New Engine and Drivetrain

It used to be common that when one bought a new vehicle, that vehicle was driven in an especially careful manner for the first 1,000 miles or so. This was known as the “break-in” period.

Although it’s not as important as it used to be, it’s still recommended that drivers follow the break-in period on new vehicles. But what about when just the engine or drivetrain is replaced? Is it still important to follow the break-in period then?

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Yes, it’s recommended that drivers break their vehicle in after the engine or drivetrain has been replaced. Doing so can help the moving parts of the new engine to settle in and start working together properly. Like a new car break-in, this period is generally supposed to prevent any defects that could arise from having an aggressive driving style and improper maintenance over the first 500 to 1,000 miles.

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Engine under the hood of a 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS

How should I break in a new engine?

The general rule of thumb for a break-in period is to drive gently, avoid extreme speeds, and accelerate gradually. Try to keep revs under 3,000 rpm- this will help piston rings seal against the cylinder bores in an ideal fashion. Stop-and-go driving in urban areas is preferable to highway driving for the first couple-hundred miles.

Different models have different specific break-in recommendations. Be sure to check your Owner’s Manual for specifics on your ride.

Some individuals recommend completing a first oil change after only 50 or 100 miles, and then again after the break-in period is over. The first 500 miles is typically considered a reasonable and sufficient break-in period.

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