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Thread: S3 Running In

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    geefunk1978's Avatar
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    S3 Running In

    So how are people running their S3's in?
    Do modern engines really need a 1000 miles running in period?

    I once had 2 brand new Renaultsport Clio 182's, the first an 04 plate which I ran in for 1000 miles (not going over 4000rpm), the second an 05 plate which I gave the beans from having 15 miles on the clock. The 05 plate was noticeably a lot faster for the duration of my ownership.

    So does a new car like an S3 really need 1000 miles running in?! It would take me months to run it in as I don't do many miles!

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    It's not that important on a modern engine really, it's more important to let it warm up each time before you give it any!
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    The dealer told me 500 to 1000 miles to run in, so I've been trying to stay under 4K revs for the past week.

    However, I've now just tipped over the 500 miles (went on Nottingham-Slough round-trip for work on Thursday, and have been driving it whenever I have a spare minute), so I guess I'll feel happier giving it some from now on (once warmed up of course), but I'll probably still hold back a little bit for the next little while.

    The way I see it is, if I'm keeping the car for 3 to 4 years, I'd rather be a little careful for the first 1000 miles, rather than ever have a nagging doubt that there's a problem - or if a problem occurred, that I contributed to it.

    It is very painful though, I admit!
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    pointless IMHO. as long as it's warm, then the engine is expected to work. just use all the revs and never let an engine labour.

    modern manufacturing and modern oils offer much more insurance these days !

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    geefunk1978's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davejinx View Post

    The way I see it is, if I'm keeping the car for 3 to 4 years, I'd rather be a little careful for the first 1000 miles, rather than ever have a nagging doubt that there's a problem - or if a problem occurred, that I contributed to it.
    That's what warranty is for lol!
    I'm picking it up from Grimsby Audi, so it's a good 90 mile journey back home to Mansfield. That'll do me for running in I reckon!!
    I think as long as you don't thrash a modern engine from cold it'd be fine. If it needs oil, it needs oil as far as I'm concerned, plus it'll have an oil change once a year so not worried.
    Like I said the 2 Clio's I had, there was a massive difference in performance. The quicker you loosen up an engine the better I believe.

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    Hi, actually mildly thrashing the engine isn't that bad it's letting it labour that will cause the majority of problems....
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    Yeh, modern engines are built to far higher tolerances than the engines of old, where you had to be careful while all the components find their 'fit' against each other, and even wear down slightly to reduce friction... some even use an abrasive oil for the first thousand miles or so, and then change for normal oil when the components have worn slightly and fit each other. Engines are built far more accurately and precisely these days so it's not really that important, but you should let the oil warm up before thrashing it.
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    I'm a strong believer of engines make most power (better ring/bore seal) when thrashed from new. Just make sure it's warm and then give it some. That's what I'll being doing on day 1.
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    AJB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silky-S3 View Post
    I'm a strong believer of engines make most power (better ring/bore seal) when thrashed from new. Just make sure it's warm and then give it some. That's what I'll being doing on day 1.
    I know that's a common view, but in my opinion there must be some reason why Audi have bothered using up ink in the handbook to say to take it easy for the first 500 - 1000 miles. If it was really better for the engine to thrash it for new, then surely they'd say that. And if it made no difference, then surely they'd simply not say anything about it. Their engineers must have loads of experience of testing new engines, and it's in their interest to have engines which work well and don't use too much oil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silky-S3 View Post
    I'm a strong believer of engines make most power (better ring/bore seal) when thrashed from new. Just make sure it's warm and then give it some. That's what I'll being doing on day 1.

    Music to my ears. I might try set a record for the quickest return journey ever from Carlisle to Cambridge when I pick my car up haha

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    This is what ill be doing as Jonny says, high load, low rev pulls with plenty of off throttle to bed the rings in. Oil change around 1000 miles and then once a year after that.

    New RS3 - Engine break-in period - Page 2 | VAGOC.co.uk
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJB View Post
    I know that's a common view, but in my opinion there must be some reason why Audi have bothered using up ink in the handbook to say to take it easy for the first 500 - 1000 miles. If it was really better for the engine to thrash it for new, then surely they'd say that. And if it made no difference, then surely they'd simply not say anything about it. Their engineers must have loads of experience of testing new engines, and it's in their interest to have engines which work well and don't use too much oil.
    I think that is about running in the rest of the car really. Brakes, tyres etc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silky-S3 View Post
    I think that is about running in the rest of the car really. Brakes, tyres etc
    That and they want to cover their own arses

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    AJB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silky-S3 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AJB
    I know that's a common view, but in my opinion there must be some reason why Audi have bothered using up ink in the handbook to say to take it easy for the first 500 - 1000 miles. If it was really better for the engine to thrash it for new, then surely they'd say that. And if it made no difference, then surely they'd simply not say anything about it. Their engineers must have loads of experience of testing new engines, and it's in their interest to have engines which work well and don't use too much oil.
    I think that is about running in the rest of the car really. Brakes, tyres etc
    I think it's the engine they're talking about as they say to avoid more than 2/3 max rpm (from memory) which woudln't affect tyres or brakes. And I think there are separate (shorter) mileage specs for tyres, brakes etc. running in.

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    Hi, as you say they also have other running components to take into account such as the tyres and brakes...
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    AJB
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    Quote Originally Posted by paullowther View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Silky-S3
    I think that is about running in the rest of the car really. Brakes, tyres etc
    That and they want to cover their own arses
    But if the internet is correct in its often quoted view that running in gently causes low power and high oil consumption, then surely they'd want to cover their arses by saying to use high revs and not drive too gently for the first 1000 miles.

    I still think that the Audi engineers probably are a better bet for advice on running in Audi engines than internet forums, Honest John's column, or whatever.

    Granted I don't know for sure, but I figured following the advice in the handbook was probably the safest option.

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    Maybe a diesel view but interesting nonetheless (from someone who appears to understand about engines): How to properly break in an engine with a focus on the VW TDI

    Fundamentally: don't treat it with kid gloves but don't thrash it either.

    Personally, I'd rather go with an engineering point of view than an anecdotal one...

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    Silky-S3's Avatar
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    I've had 6 new cars and motorbikes (Fireblades, GSXR1000s etc) over the last 10 years. All been ragged within a inch of its life and all had regular oil changes (3000miles on bikes and 5000 miles on cars) from day 1. Not one problem and all produced great, strong power (dyno tested).

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    Silky-S3's Avatar
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    IMO the worse thing you can do is run for 10k+ on original factory filled oil! Scary stuff!

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    geefunk1978's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silky-S3 View Post
    I've had 6 new cars and motorbikes (Fireblades, GSXR1000s etc) over the last 10 years. All been ragged within a inch of its life and all had regular oil changes (3000miles on bikes and 5000 miles on cars) from day 1. Not one problem and all produced great, strong power (dyno tested).
    Agreed, really can't be arsed to drive like an old lady for months while I get to 1000 miles. As long as the engine is well lubricated (which make sure you check at pick up as my mate bought a brand new Lambo Gallardo and ran it with no oil which seized the engine within 100 miles because the dealer didn't put enough in) it will be ok. Manufacturing tolerances in modern cars are designed for a full load from the start.
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    c.grex's Avatar
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    You out mean I'm going to have to send my new signs back??

    $T2eC16RHJGEFFm4NK)YRBSEcyFluMw~~60_58.JPG
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    Silky-S3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c.grex View Post
    You out mean I'm going to have to send my new signs back??

    $T2eC16RHJGEFFm4NK)YRBSEcyFluMw~~60_58.JPG
    Haha, old school!

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    Love that sign and remember my parents telling stories about those signs on cars.

    Everyone has their opinion but my take is:
    Don't thrash it for first 1000 miles
    Don't labour engine for first 1000 miles
    Let it warm up before thrashing (regardless of mileage)
    Drive gently for ~5 mins after a spirited drive to let things cool down before switching off.
    Change oil every 10-12k even with synthetic oil.

    I can't compete with those who have had 5 cars but my last 2 have done >100k without the heads having to come off and only used ~1ltr oil every 4000 miles at 100k, so I stuck to my plan for my 8V.

    John.
    Enjoying my 8V

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    My view on this is based around the mechanics of the engine and my own experience after rebuilding quite a few over the years.

    Firstly - I would give it full beans from the outset once warm. As said, operating temperature oil is the most important thing.

    Secondly - The reason i'd give it full beans is to ensure a full and complete bedding of the piston rings against the bore of the cylinder. When the engine is manufactured the bores are honed at the factory and they have a very light crosshatch appearance. This is so that the rings can bed down onto the bore and create a decent seal. Giving an engine full power gives the rings the most force against the sides of the bore with the most pressure - thus creating a decent seal.

    Any reports of more oil use, lack of performance etc from gently run in cars would (in my view) be totally explained by the piston rings not fully sealing against the cylinder bore and the crosshatch markings have gone past their initial phase.

    Thirdly - do you really think all the current S3 demo cars driven by sales staff and budding Jensons (like me) have been kept under 4k miles from new?! I know that my sales chap has had the car from new and when I had a test drive it had done only a few hundred and he wasn't shy at showing me what it could do.

    Fourthly - as said, that's what warranty is for.

    I'll be hoofing mine when I get it and then i'll actually back off a bit after the first 1000 miles!
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    Should also add that i'd be thinking very carefully about the running in procedure on a COD car - as the cylinders that get switched off won't get run in as quick as the others!! In other words, give it full beans from the word go!
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    AJB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itguy View Post
    Firstly - I would give it full beans from the outset once warm. As said, operating temperature oil is the most important thing.

    Secondly - The reason i'd give it full beans is to ensure a full and complete bedding of the piston rings against the bore of the cylinder. When the engine is manufactured the bores are honed at the factory and they have a very light crosshatch appearance. This is so that the rings can bed down onto the bore and create a decent seal. Giving an engine full power gives the rings the most force against the sides of the bore with the most pressure - thus creating a decent seal.

    Any reports of more oil use, lack of performance etc from gently run in cars would (in my view) be totally explained by the piston rings not fully sealing against the cylinder bore and the crosshatch markings have gone past their initial phase.
    But if that's the best for the engine (and I know lots of people say that it is, citing the explanation you've given), then why would Audi go out of their way to write instructions in the handbook which are actually bad for the car and bad for Audi's long-term warranty costs.

    I accept that modern tolerances mean that running in is nothing like as important as it used to be, and that "it'll be fine". As you say, loads of cars including all demonstrators aren't run in gently and they can't afford to be fixing them all under warranty.

    But if running in gently causes problems then, with all the engineers they've got and the vast number of engines they must have built, tested, disassembled and analysed in minute details, why would they tell owners to go out of their way to cause those problems?

    Like I said, I'm sure it'll be fine not to run it in gently, but personally I followed the handbook's advice as I think that's the advice most likely to be based on evidence of what's actually best for the engine.

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    Kind of agreeing with AJB

    The handbook clearly states to take it easy for the first 500-1000 miles, and it's not written aimed at the tyres or suspension etc...

    When my car was being handed over last week the sales manager actually came over and during a chat told me to take it easy for the first 500, he then went on to tell me a guy had recently taken delivery of either an S or RS model (can't remember) and thrashed it from the start - resulting in a 15K new engine a week or so later...

    Don't see any reason why he would make something like that up, the only subjective thing is whether thrashing it did indeed cause the problem...

    I have been treating it on the gentler side since having it...

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    From my point of view. It's all about making sure the engine produces as much power as possible. If your not bothered about that, run it in as per the book.

    15k engine rebuild? So what, it's Audi's problem not the owners. That's what warrentys are for!

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    I have to admit - having not yet opened up the taps on this amazing car is really testing my patience...

    Especially hearing the noise the exhaust makes at half load...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnyb View Post
    I have to admit - having not yet opened up the taps on this amazing car is really testing my patience...

    Especially hearing the noise the exhaust makes at half load...
    Stop messing about and have a proper go in it lol
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    It's sounds like to me a number of you won't really use the S3 to its full potential, like it was designed to. So running in via the book is probably best. I do a lot of track days and use the car to its full everyday. So want as much power as possible! Saying that my new 8V S3 will be slower than my current 8P S3!

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    I will certainly be using it to it's full potential like i did my 8P S3

    This is the first in depth thing i have ever read on running a car in, in the past i have always took it easy for the first few weeks. What kind of difference in power are we talking by thrashing it vs driving it like the popemobile?

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    Did anyone even bother to read my post???

    As said its important to bed the rings in against the cylinder walls but the most load on the engine is in a high gear low rev pulls, with long periods of run down through the gear to draw the oil up and cool the cylinder walls.

    Jonny explains it in the link I posted which again clearly no one bothered to read.

    After doing this for 30-40 miles I would drive as I normally would, thrashing it when warmed up etc and definitely avoiding long periods with no load at all i.e motorway cruising.

    All you guys with long motorway journeys home, your gonna polish the cylinder walls up nicely cruising along at 70mph, pick a scenic route home.
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  35. #34
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    I'd say around 10% and less oil use.

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    I read it Rob! I take it quiet motorways are gonna be the best place to do this?

    10% is alot!! I have done around 300 miles so far, is it still early enough to do what Rob suggested?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnyb View Post
    I read it Rob! I take it quiet motorways are gonna be the best place to do this?

    10% is alot!! I have done around 300 miles so far, is it still early enough to do what Rob suggested?
    Edited last post.

    Yeah or a quiet country A/B road preferably national speed limit.

    Heres the link again New RS3 - Engine break-in period - Page 2 | VAGOC.co.uk
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  38. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnyb View Post
    I read it Rob! I take it quiet motorways are gonna be the best place to do this?

    10% is alot!! I have done around 300 miles so far, is it still early enough to do what Rob suggested?
    Id say so. Need to do it within first 100 miles.

  39. #38
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    Gonna give this a go!

    I have actually unknowingly done alot of low rev high gear pulls so far, because the S-tronic box in auto mode likes to get to 6th and stay there as soon as possible...

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    Ill be doing it straight out the dealership. Wont be doing any launches until 1k miles and an oil change though. Probably get it mapped and remove the pre cat at the same time haha!
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    I will definitely be getting mine mapped as soon as new software from GIAC or REVO hits. I think Silky is the one to look out for with tuning, can't wait to see what his final result is!
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