Breaking a Virgin : Part Deux


Referring to the previous post “Breaking A Virgin : Gentle or Hard + Fast?”, I am posting some comments by fellow ‘experienced’ reader Eric, which I think readers will find useful in the process of deflowering a virgin and ensuring smooth, well-oiled performance throughout.

Here goes nothing:

ERIC says
Thanks for the URL. Me along with some of my motor-friends will be looking into this.

I read through it but I must say, I am not too sure this is really applicable. For a start our Protons Satria are 12 years old design cars… from engine to body work. The web site says this break in procedure came about due to the new technologies that car manufacturers are using…Quote “The biggest factor is that engine manufacturers now use a much finer honing pattern in the cylinders than they once did. This in turn changes the break-in requirements, because as you’re about to learn, the window of opportunity for achieving an exceptional ring seal is much smaller with
newer engines than it was with the older “rough honed” engines.”

And; Quote “Due to the vastly improved metal casting and machining technologies which are now used, tight parts in new engines are not normal. A manufacturing mistake causing a tight clearance is an extremely rare occurrence these days. But, if there is something wrong with the engine clearances from the factory, no amount of gentle running will fix the problem.”

He could be right if say you were buying a brand new Merc, NSX, Porsche, etc… car built in 2004 with new manufacturing technology. But what are we buying? Engine 4G93 from the early 90’s. Somehow I don’t think the hard-run it is advisable. Better to stick to the OLD method of Gentle run-in but that’s my $0.02 worth. Its your ‘babe’ and you are free to try what ever you want.

Point to consider. I am sure hardly many people will use the Gentle break in methodology on their long awaited GTi. Most will use the hard-run in courtesy of Proton Service Center technicians as Motorman put it, “adrenaline crazed set – up mechanic”. Yet we have numerous emails in forums who complain their car power is down, engine rough, not so good… etc. If the engine was hard run in, then by logic, we all should be driving around in super set engines.

I have run-in my cars from the 80’s according to the Gentle approach and when done, those cars seemed to have the best engine response when old especially in the mid to high-end. The ones that I never got a chance to do, they were usually of average or below average in performance.

Anyway just for the record, here is my usual break-in.
1km to 1000km: Take it easy. No Full Open throttle on 1st and 2nd gear. Max revs, 2/3 of Redline rpm. Use varying speeds and gears so highway driving is out.

1000km: Change engine oil and filter. Get rids of all metal bits. I do this at this point because I once read that car manufacturers used to put in some additives into the oil when new. So that’s why I used the original oil for 1000km. At change, Mobil 1 goes in and remains the choice of oil from that day forwards.

1001km to 3000km: generally increase the throttle opening for all gears but never rev above 2/3rpm of the red line. I.e. red line is 6000, I keep to about 4000 (roughly). Use the time to get to know my car well.

3000km: Bin oil and filter. Fresh blood of Mobil 1.

3001km to 5000km: The fun begins…. Like when you are with a virgin the first time. Everything comes in stages and the waiting is worth all the tries, for the anticipation only heightens your excitement to levels never imaginable. ?
Now I will increase the rpm in 500 bands. So it’s up to 4500rpm for a week. Then up to 5000rpm, then 5500rpm.. and so on. Next thing you know the car will be doing the red line in all gears.

5000km: Oil change and filter. Mobil 1 goes in. Gearbox oil is changed. Next Oil service will be at 10,000 km. I service my cars every 10,000km… sorry let me rephrase that. I service my protons every 10,000km by using synthetic oils. Other cars these days that you buy the service period is extended due to better building technology. …(if I am not mistaken, the Volvo S40 T4 calls for an oil service every 12,000 MILES or roughly equal to 19,000km and we are taking of using normal engine oils). Its all about easy ownership and spending less time and money at a service centre.

So there, that’s what I tend to use. I am sure its hog-wash to lots of people but like I said, its my view, my method and I like it. I am sure lots of people will disagree with it but hey, it worked for me and I like it. Each man to his own. ?

Anyone wants to knock it, .. go ahead but its not going to change my mindset at this time and a few pictures of pistons are not going to alter it at all either. Motorbikes revs are very high as compared to our cars. Yes I am sceptical about Motorman’s procedure. For me, why change what ain’t broken..!


My Reply

Hey Eric,

I thought the URL might give you a different perspective of running-in a car, regardless of what’s the norm or advised by a car manufacturer. I remain a skeptic of Motorman’s methods, due to the fact that he has “used the methods on over 300 engines”. 300 engines? That’s worrying.

In any case, I would have to agree with you on your comments that newer, modern engines are applicable, not our dear old 4G93Ps, even though I’m sure over the 12 years, they have improved the cast iron block somehow. :/

I will be using Q8 Oils which I am confortable and confident in at 1000km. And of course at the 3000 + 5000 intervals. I usually service with full-syn at less than 10,000kms, mostly at 5-6000kms actually.

Thanks for the advise. Appreciate it. Cheers.


I appreciate the URL you gave. Its always great to be able to pull in more information from any source/s even though I may agree or disagree.

Actually after I read Motorman’s advice, I did a few key searches on his advice and there are people who are disagreeing with motorman. Most are questioning the figures ie pressure that will help seal the rings in and that information is devoid at motorman’s site.

So I would be a bit careful cause maybe we don’t really need to ram the engine when new plus we have to also make sure the gearbox sets in beautifully and also the temperature of the engine which can effect the internals too. So its not just as simple as turn key in car and full throttle all the way.

Based on that, I will not do it to any car I have until everyone (ie majority) start advising the same as Motorman. call me a chicken, a coward.. but after spending my life saving on a car (expensive in malaysia), I am going to make sure anything I do to it, must be tried and proven. No hearsay bullcrap for me.

Man you look after your car better than me. I service my car once every 10,000km using mobil 1. You do it every 5-6000km. Good stuff!. I just don’t have the time to spend taking my car for frequent servicing.

In UK I used to put only about 12,000 miles on my car and using the car service indicator, that used to be ONCE a year service for me. More time on the road and off. I hate when the car has frequent visits to the service place. It reflects badly on car ownership and the quality. What about you? Do you mind wasting your precious hours at PESC just for the simplest of jobs.

What irritates me is the pace they work at. Even a sloth will be jealous that there is another animal out there thats even slower than itself. This one time, the guys were working on cars ever so slowly and another guy brings in goreng pisang. One by one they took their share, walked over to the cars they were working on and ate, then continued to work on the cars. Now we know why when we go to pick the car up at 5:30pm, the seats are dirty, the steering wheel is oily, etc. Best part is, the service manager was one of the participants in sharing in this local delight in front of his subordinates.

Got to run. We are waiting anxiously with you for your R3. So much of anticipation.


ERIC says
Maybe we should cut & paste our previous discussion on this ‘virgin’ issue which is on a different topic heading and put it here for reference.

But for the record, i like to break my ‘babe’ nice and slow. Let ‘her’ get well oiled up, holes tight and snug, compression at 100%.

Once its all working like clockwork, let the mayhem begin and the satisfaction of knowing I was the first one to break my brand spanking new engine in. A virgin no more but the pleasure was all mine.

Yo… I paid top dollar mah. Why should some jerk at the service centre take that away from me??


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By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.