Pontiac GTO Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought my 3rd GTO (2005 Black/Black w/6 speed) here in SoCal.

Have driven nearly every performance car brand on the road, Ferrari, Porsche, Audi, Saab, Lexus, BMW, Jaguar, Corvette, Dodge, Ford... and been into performance cars for forty years.

Thought I'd start a thread about engine break-in and share what I've found so far.

First, my uncle and cousin, both serious pro mechanics and performance buffs for fifty years, have both told me "never break in your engine the way the manufacturer says... unless you intend to drive it that way forever. You break it in the way you like to drive, gradually bringing up power and speeds as the miles climb into the 100s."

Another GTO site sent me to this post which gave some good data: http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm

On my car, new with 23 miles...

The '05 comes stock with Mobile 1 5W-30. Not dyno or break-in oil.

I decided to run mine on the Mobile 1 for break-in. It's very slick stuff... slicker than petroleum-based oil.

Took her easy for the first 25 miles or so, not pushing her beyond about 3,200 rpms. Got her good and warm and took her on some semi-power runs up to 80+ mph for brief periods. Ran around town several nights on mild drives to 45-60 mph. Done with and without engine braking.

(Don't shove the brakes hard the first 200 miles... they take longer to seat than the engine bearings and rings.)

At around 200 miles started pushing her a little harder up toward 5,000 rpms. Never let her run long that way and kept her mostly below 80 with a brief run or two up to 90.

Be sure to check that dipstick during that first week or two. A new engine has blow-by (spent gases into the oi, and oil into the combustion chamber). That's because the rings aren't well seated yet. So, you check the oil. You're checking four things... (a) level, (b) color - burnt?, (c) smell - gasoline?, (d) grit - metal, etc. Those first couple hundred miles are most critical so keep an eye on that oil. Check it fresh from the new car lot, and keep checking it. See how it changes as you break her in. If you smell STRONG gas, take her back right away. If you see her burnt brown... you probably didn't read the rest of this post. If you see her more than 1/2 quart low top her off while she's hot.... exact same oil as she has. If you see metal... take her in to the dealer for a look-see. If you EVER have (b), (c) or (d) above you are either running her wrong (see below) or are waiting WAY too long for oil changes.

Only spun the wheels briefly once during first 600 miles. A few harder starts and harder runs toward 5,000 rpm, up through the gears, never close to 6,000 and never smoking the tires. Then took her in for an oil change.

Up to this point car was averaging about 10 mpg running Shell 91 octane around town, 20 mpg on highway.

After first Mobile 1 and filter change at 624 miles, engine immediately loosened up, mileage jumped slightly and engine breathed a LOT better. A key point here is low power starts in 1st gear... with factory oil during first 600 miles engine was tight with no piston slap or lifter dance.

After oil change at 624, low power 1st gear (grandma acceleration) gives brief, tiny amount of piston slap. GM says this won't hurt and it's not a bad sign, just indicates the engine has loosened up and now likes a little more than grandma behind the wheel.

Engine now sounds more throaty and noticeably responds better on acceleration, particularly that transition at 4,000 rpm from 2nd to 3rd where she really starts to come into her own. You can bark the tires now at 40 mph!

Just dusted a BMW 745i on a mile-long 4 lane slalom.

I'm gonna run her this way and bring that speed up to 100+ for brief periods until I get to 1200 miles.

Then it's back in for another Mobile 1 and filter change, and Slick 50.

At 2500 miles I'm gonna drain and flush the 6-speed and the differential, and slick 50 those. I'll let you know as things progress.

The long-term engine regimine will include fresh Mobile 1 and filters every 2,500. And fresh Slick 50 every 25,000.

Five best basic rules for long engine life in a performance car are:

1. Change the oil and filters - all filters - way more frequently than the mfr says. Use good oil and DO NOT use engine additives! These are usually solvent-based (to help soften and close old seals) or resin-based (to help oil stick to metal). They only hide and mask engine symptoms and permit undiagnosed problems to progress further.

2. Keep that cooling system and fluid in top shape. GM says coolant is good for 125,000 miles but I'd NEVER consider that.

3. Keep the injectors clean with a gas additive every month or two, and run good gas. I run Shell... period. It has additives to keep the engine clean. It's what NASCAR has used for forty years, and was the only gas Enzo Ferrari would allow on his test track in Marenello, Italy. Anyone who says all gas is basically the same - including those amateurs over at Discovery Channel - doesn't know what they are talking about. It make look same on paper, may test same in the lab, but gasoline is part of a system that includes the engine, the driver habits, the driving environment, weather, etc. Shell has devoted hundreds of millions to this symbiosis to stay on top in the racing world for decades, including Sieberling, Le Mans, Daytona, Indy, etc. Also, Shell stations have better quality control on pump filters and storage tank conditions than your mom and pop gas station. One more tip on gas... if you see the filler truck at the station, drive on. The filler truck stirs up inevitable sediments and water in the storage tanks while filling. Go back the next day after that's settled down, and fill your car from the cream off the top of their underground tank.

4. Don't run her hard until she's good and warmed up. I saw a Ferrari 348 engine ruined in a one-block run that way - salesman who couldn't buy a Ferrari if he wanted. And after she's been run hard, let her cool down with some milder driving for a bit. Engines generate lots of heat and don't dump it easily due to the mass involved (basic physics). That's why you need a cooling system. Just as you let her warm up for hard runs, let her cool down afterwards by milder cruising. It takes longer to cool down than to warm up. It's called thermodynamic intertia. That's what the pros do... run hard, cool down. Unless they run hard non-stop for hours. Then they sure don't let it cool down for ten minutes. Those 10-second pit stops are as important to the well-being of a hot engine as they are to the race position. So, if she's hot, run her hard. If you're gonna keep running, keep running hard. But, if you gotta do multiple hot runs, give her a good warm up, run her hard, then give her ten minutes to cool down with some mild driving and idling... THEN WARM HER UP A BIT before you punch it again! That inhibits long-term metal fatigue.

5. Don't freakin' red line her! On the GTO, the computer's gonna record if you redlined her, and that voids your mfr warranty right there. So, just stay off that redline.

One final point... not related to engine break-in but to safety... I check my tires visually every single time I get in. I look at ride height (visual air pressure), well clearance (shocks, springs), and sidewalls (cuts, scrapes, balloons). Just a quick knowing look. If you're gonna run at 100, I don't care what kind of tires you have, one slow leak can kill you at that speed when the tread separates... which happened to me on brand new Pirelli's and a Porsche Boxster S. This tip might save your life, and someone else you love.

I'll keep you posted as things develop.


Dan Rieke
Orange County, California
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
danrieke said:
Bought my 3rd GTO (2005 Black/Black w/6 speed) here in SoCal.

Have driven nearly every performance car brand on the road, Ferrari, Porsche, Audi, Saab, Lexus, BMW, Jaguar, Corvette, Dodge, Ford... and been into performance cars for forty years.

Thought I'd start a thread about engine break-in and share what I've found so far.

First, my uncle and cousin, both serious pro mechanics and performance buffs for fifty years, have both told me "never break in your engine the way the manufacturer says... unless you intend to drive it that way forever. You break it in the way you like to drive, gradually bringing up power and speeds as the miles climb into the 100s."

Another GTO site sent me to this post which gave some good data: http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm

On my car, new with 23 miles...

The '05 comes stock with Mobile 1 5W-30. Not dyno or break-in oil.

I decided to run mine on the Mobile 1 for break-in. It's very slick stuff... slicker than petroleum-based oil.

Took her easy for the first 25 miles or so, not pushing her beyond about 3,200 rpms. Got her good and warm and took her on some semi-power runs up to 80+ mph for brief periods. Ran around town several nights on mild drives to 45-60 mph. Done with and without engine braking.

(Don't shove the brakes hard the first 200 miles... they take longer to seat than the engine bearings and rings.)

At around 200 miles started pushing her a little harder up toward 5,000 rpms. Never let her run long that way and kept her mostly below 80 with a brief run or two up to 90.

Be sure to check that dipstick during that first week or two. A new engine has blow-by (spent gases into the oi, and oil into the combustion chamber). That's because the rings aren't well seated yet. So, you check the oil. You're checking four things... (a) level, (b) color - burnt?, (c) smell - gasoline?, (d) grit - metal, etc. Those first couple hundred miles are most critical so keep an eye on that oil. Check it fresh from the new car lot, and keep checking it. See how it changes as you break her in. If you smell STRONG gas, take her back right away. If you see her burnt brown... you probably didn't read the rest of this post. If you see her more than 1/2 quart low top her off while she's hot.... exact same oil as she has. If you see metal... take her in to the dealer for a look-see. If you EVER have (b), (c) or (d) above you are either running her wrong (see below) or are waiting WAY too long for oil changes.

Only spun the wheels briefly once during first 600 miles. A few harder starts and harder runs toward 5,000 rpm, up through the gears, never close to 6,000 and never smoking the tires. Then took her in for an oil change.

Up to this point car was averaging about 10 mpg running Shell 91 octane around town, 20 mpg on highway.

After first Mobile 1 and filter change at 624 miles, engine immediately loosened up, mileage jumped slightly and engine breathed a LOT better. A key point here is low power starts in 1st gear... with factory oil during first 600 miles engine was tight with no piston slap or lifter dance.

After oil change at 624, low power 1st gear (grandma acceleration) gives brief, tiny amount of piston slap. GM says this won't hurt and it's not a bad sign, just indicates the engine has loosened up and now likes a little more than grandma behind the wheel.

Engine now sounds more throaty and noticeably responds better on acceleration, particularly that transition at 4,000 rpm from 2nd to 3rd where she really starts to come into her own. You can bark the tires now at 40 mph!

Just dusted a BMW 745i on a mile-long 4 lane slalom.

I'm gonna run her this way and bring that speed up to 100+ for brief periods until I get to 1200 miles.

Then it's back in for another Mobile 1 and filter change, and Slick 50.

At 2500 miles I'm gonna drain and flush the 6-speed and the differential, and slick 50 those. I'll let you know as things progress.

The long-term engine regimine will include fresh Mobile 1 and filters every 2,500. And fresh Slick 50 every 25,000.

Five best basic rules for long engine life in a performance car are:

1. Change the oil and filters - all filters - way more frequently than the mfr says. Use good oil and DO NOT use engine additives! These are usually solvent-based (to help soften and close old seals) or resin-based (to help oil stick to metal). They only hide and mask engine symptoms and permit undiagnosed problems to progress further.

2. Keep that cooling system and fluid in top shape. GM says coolant is good for 125,000 miles but I'd NEVER consider that.

3. Keep the injectors clean with a gas additive every month or two, and run good gas. I run Shell... period. It has additives to keep the engine clean. It's what NASCAR has used for forty years, and was the only gas Enzo Ferrari would allow on his test track in Marenello, Italy. Anyone who says all gas is basically the same - including those amateurs over at Discovery Channel - doesn't know what they are talking about. It make look same on paper, may test same in the lab, but gasoline is part of a system that includes the engine, the driver habits, the driving environment, weather, etc. Shell has devoted hundreds of millions to this symbiosis to stay on top in the racing world for decades, including Sieberling, Le Mans, Daytona, Indy, etc. Also, Shell stations have better quality control on pump filters and storage tank conditions than your mom and pop gas station. One more tip on gas... if you see the filler truck at the station, drive on. The filler truck stirs up inevitable sediments and water in the storage tanks while filling. Go back the next day after that's settled down, and fill your car from the cream off the top of their underground tank.

4. Don't run her hard until she's good and warmed up. I saw a Ferrari 348 engine ruined in a one-block run that way - salesman who couldn't buy a Ferrari if he wanted. And after she's been run hard, let her cool down with some milder driving for a bit. Engines generate lots of heat and don't dump it easily due to the mass involved (basic physics). That's why you need a cooling system. Just as you let her warm up for hard runs, let her cool down afterwards by milder cruising. It takes longer to cool down than to warm up. It's called thermodynamic intertia. That's what the pros do... run hard, cool down. Unless they run hard non-stop for hours. Then they sure don't let it cool down for ten minutes. Those 10-second pit stops are as important to the well-being of a hot engine as they are to the race position. So, if she's hot, run her hard. If you're gonna keep running, keep running hard. But, if you gotta do multiple hot runs, give her a good warm up, run her hard, then give her ten minutes to cool down with some mild driving and idling... THEN WARM HER UP A BIT before you punch it again! That inhibits long-term metal fatigue.

5. Don't freakin' red line her! On the GTO, the computer's gonna record if you redlined her, and that voids your mfr warranty right there. So, just stay off that redline.

One final point... not related to engine break-in but to safety... I check my tires visually every single time I get in. I look at ride height (visual air pressure), well clearance (shocks, springs), and sidewalls (cuts, scrapes, balloons). Just a quick knowing look. If you're gonna run at 100, I don't care what kind of tires you have, one slow leak can kill you at that speed when the tread separates... which happened to me on brand new Pirelli's and a Porsche Boxster S. This tip might save your life, and someone else you love.

I'll keep you posted as things develop.


Dan Rieke
Orange County, California
Good info there thanks!!. I just have one comment. I have had my GTO for a little over a month now. I have just over 3,300 miles on it now. I noticed the other day that the exhaust is definitely louder(throatier)....anybody else experienced this? Not that I am complaining.... :) , but is it the motor loosening up a bit? I got up under it with it running and listened for any leaks and didnt hear any.... Any comments or thoughts? Thx Guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,445 Posts
I'm not sure here. I guess from the engine builders I've talked to they usually say the best way to break in an engine is on a dyno. They all agree with you that you need to vary rpms, but I haven't heard that it is ok to run the engine hard during the first 500 miles. I've always been fairly easy till I get around 500 miles then run her up to 80-90% of redline every so often till I get to 1000 miles. I've never had an engine that used oil and I tend to be fairly hard on the cars I've owned. (02 Z28 had several hundred dragstrip passes in 30,000 miles. I have also had a couple cars make it to 300,000 miles. A Cavalier and a 3cyl Geo Metro and neither would use more than a qt between changes.)
I can see an early change of the oil, although I did mine around 2,000. There have been studies done showing no wear difference over a 100,000 between changing the oil at 3,000miles, 6,000 miles and 9,000 miles. These tests were done on taxi cabs. I know I don't drive my car that hard. They measured the weights of the pistons with rings before and after the test and mic'd the cylinder walls. The factors that most affect oil life are heat and moisture. If you run your car extremely hard and experience high oil temps you will break the anti wear additives down. Also if you do not drive the car long enough to get the oil hot enough to burn the moisture that has accumulated in your oil off, sulphuric acid will form, and the oil will break down. A daily driver with few short trips and a good synthetic would be just fine for 10,000 plus miles. A car that does SCCA racing might require an oil change every 500 to 1000 miles depending on the amount of racing. A car that only comes out on weekends and never really gets pushed hard or driven long might need changes every 6 months regardless of mileage. With the way I use my car it would be a huge waste of money to change it every 2500 miles.
The slick 50 from what I hear is at best snake oil, and I have heard horror stories of ruined engines from it.
As far as the cooling system, again heat from the way it gets used is more of a factor, along with time. My plans are every 3 yrs with the proper high performance coolant.
I disagree with your statement on fuel. Most fuels from name brands contain the needed detergents and formulations to provide superior performance. I don't use off brand, but know people that do and have little or no fuel issues.
I will agree 100% with the warm up and cool down.
The engine management computer has a rev limiter to protect the engine. When GM and most engine manufacturers set redlines via the rev limiter, they are conservative. They will still warranty the engine if you have hit the rev limiter. Also the LS2 doesn't make it's power till high in the rev ranges you need the top revs to get the most out of the engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,445 Posts
2005GTOLS2 said:
Good info there thanks!!. I just have one comment. I have had my GTO for a little over a month now. I have just over 3,300 miles on it now. I noticed the other day that the exhaust is definitely louder(throatier)....anybody else experienced this? Not that I am complaining.... :) , but is it the motor loosening up a bit? I got up under it with it running and listened for any leaks and didnt hear any.... Any comments or thoughts? Thx Guys.
Just the exhaust "breaking in". As the metal expands and contracts through several heat cycles the mufflers become looser.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
danrieke said:
First, my uncle and cousin, both serious pro mechanics and performance buffs for fifty years, have both told me "never break in your engine the way the manufacturer says... unless you intend to drive it that way forever. You break it in the way you like to drive, gradually bringing up power and speeds as the miles climb into the 100s."

Dan Rieke
Orange County, California
Welcome and Congrats.
:cheers

Lots of reading and would start flames on another site... You forgot #6 : Don't wreck your Car ! ;)

Some of us disagree on Syn Oil change mileage but filter change is important.

Another thought I'll throwback is the Rearend has a break-in procedure and it runs against the break-it-in like you stole it theory. I can personally attest to that...

Anyway Have Fun and Be Safe...


:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
redlining won't void your warrant, but if you happen to misshift and warp your pistons your dealer might not fix your engine if they see that you blew past red-line. Like someone else said in here, the red-line limit is conservative and is set at least 0.5k lower than a "true" dangerous red-line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for input. I don't run engine HARD before 500, just gradually harder as miles mount toward 500. Pushed mine to 3,500 in first 200 miles, then up to 4,500 to 500 miles. Also, Slick 50 in an older engine is bad. On worn, tired motors it turns them to slop with lots of blow-by and valve train noise. Best on tighter new engines. Slick 50 will not alter your mfr warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Redline limit is not redline. Bottom line... if you hit redline, and later need mfr warranty engine work on valves, pistons, crank, rods, rings, main bearings, wrist pins, or cylinder walls... that redline will be suspect, and be a matter of computer record. Depending on which outfit does your work.. good luck on the warranty. Don't know if you can bypass the limiter on this without aftermarket work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
danrieke said:
Then it's back in for another Mobile 1 and filter change, and Slick 50.

The long-term engine regimine will include fresh Mobile 1 and filters every 2,500. And fresh Slick 50 every 25,000.
danrieke said:
1. Change the oil and filters - all filters - way more frequently than the mfr says. Use good oil and DO NOT use engine additives!
Dan,
Your statements somewhat contradict each other. You say you use, and by implication, recommend Slick 50, then state not to use engine additives. Personally, I concur with the latter...

As an FYI, the FTC sued the makers of Slick 50 for false advertising and the FTC won. See this link: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1997/07/slick.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry. I meant NOT to use oil conditioners and such. The Slick 50 - which I've used in several cars but NEVER on old, tired machinery - is a metal treatment, not an oil treatment.

Site you listed has good info. An attentive reader will investigate alternate sources, as have I. For the GTO, which uses synthetic Mobile 1, Slick 50 recommends their Synchron® Synthetic Formula Engine Treatment. Note... this is not an oil treatment.

Since the 1997 lawsuit, they changed their marketing to make no specific claims of enhanced performance or engine protection. As I said, I've used it successfully and had a good experience.

A check with the local GM shop gave no help. They're tight lipped and will neither confirm or deny its benefits.

I recommend contacting the GTO Association of America on this matter for feedback from mechanics who've used it, and what their recommendations might be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I am 58 yrs old and have been racing for 40 years. I have to take issue with the break in recommendations that your friends and relatives gave you.

While this may have been true 50 years ago, and still may be somewhat true today for race only engines, I think it is bad advice for street cars. If you look at this board there are all kinds of posts about excessive oil consumption in 04/05 GTO's. Most, if not all can be traced to improper break-in. My racing buddy bought a 05 C-6 Vette at the same time I bought my 05 GTO. ..
I adhered to break-in recommendations, he did not. His is an oil burner, mine is not.

I think you gave very good advice on heat cycling and cool down

Technology, materials, tolerances, machining, lubricants, have all changed since the 60's. I am a high speed, long distance racer, open road endurance racing is tough, tough on engines. Just my 2 cents.

Goat Boy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
937 Posts
You cannot redline the engine unless you have toyed with the programmed limiter, and that will void the warranty. 2500 oil changes on Mobil 1 seems excessive to me, but if you can afford that more power to you. I wouldnt put engine oil additives on my car either, that includes slick 50.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
JMVorbeck said:
You cannot redline the engine unless you have toyed with the programmed limiter, and that will void the warranty. 2500 oil changes on Mobil 1 seems excessive to me, but if you can afford that more power to you. I wouldnt put engine oil additives on my car either, that includes slick 50.
I agree 100%. I was wondering how you could redline the car with the rev limiter set properly. I change Mobil 1 oil and filter every 3,000 - 5,000 max and I would never use Slick 50.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Very good info in this post.........having grown up (and owned) a service station I'm pretty anal when it comes to maintaining equipment of ANY kind, not just automobiles. I also advocate Mobile 1 with oil changes every 5K miles (shorter time periods if racing is involved). Shell might have been the official fuel of NASCAR but it's Sunoco now. I use that mostly........depending on availability. New engine "break-in" periods are pretty much common sense. Don't abuse the engine but don't "baby" it either. After the first 500 miles you can add some speed but no burn-outs until after 2,500 miles. This car is meant to be driven fast.......not hard. Take care of it and don't abuse it and it should last as long as the driver.


JET
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
My first engine was a fluke... It was an oilburner, piston didn't fit the cylinder to GM's standards. Got the ls2 replaced, and now that I've put on about 2500 miles, I've been hitting it hard, going up TO, but not exceeding the redline. I love it! No suit build up in the exhaust pipes, and not burning up oil as much! Rings must have seated right, and everything is kosher now
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top