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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Truthfully, most new engines are already broken in from the factory. However, Subaru still has a break-in procedure listed in the owner's manual.

An almost-always overlooked but very important bed in procedure is for the brakes as well as parking brake. Following the steps below should improve the performance of both your service brakes and parking brake.


Please note that these tips are from the perspective of an owner/driver in North America. If you live and/or have a Subaru vehicle of a specification outside North America, there may be some differences.

DISCLAIMER: Although I strive for the information I've provided to be as accurate as possible, I cannot guarantee that it is 100% correct. I am not responsible for any damages that one may believe to be a result of following advice I've provided. ALWAYS consult your vehicle's correct OWNER'S MANUAL and/or manufacturer representative for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


From the 2016 Crosstrek owner's manual

Engine break-in, page 8-2
http://techinfo.subaru.com/proxy/117228/pdf/ownerManual/117228_2016_Crosstrek/MSA5M1601AIMPSTIS020116_15.pdf
New vehicle break-in driving - the first 1,000 miles (1,600 km)

The performance and long life of your vehicle are dependent on how you handle and care for your vehicle while it is new. Follow these instructions during the first 1,000 miles (1,600 km):
  • Do not race the engine. And do not allow the engine speed to exceed 4,000 rpm except in an emergency.
  • Do not drive at one constant engine or vehicle speed for a long time, either fast or slow.
  • Avoid starting suddenly and rapid acceleration, except in an emergency.
  • Avoid hard braking, except in an emergency.
The same break-in procedures should be applied to an overhauled engine, newly mounted engine or when brake pads or brake linings are replaced with new ones.

Don't forget to initiate the brake and parking brake break-in procedure

Breaking-in of new pads and linings, page 11-20
http://techinfo.subaru.com/proxy/117228/pdf/ownerManual/117228_2016_Crosstrek/MSA5M1601AIMPSTIS020116_18.pdf
When replacing the brake pad or lining, use only genuine SUBARU parts. After replacement, the new parts must be broken in as follows:

Brake pad and lining
While maintaining a speed of 30 to 40 mph (50 to 65 km/h), step on the brake pedal lightly. Repeat this five or more times.

Parking brake lining
  1. Drive the vehicle at a speed of approximately 22 mph (35 km/h)
  2. With the parking brake release button pushed in, pull the parking brake lever SLOWLY and GENTLY (pulling with a force of approximately 33.7 lbf [150 N, 15.3 kgf]).
  3. Drive the vehicle for approximately 220 yards (200 meters) in this condition.
  4. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the parking brake to cool down. Repeat this procedure.
  5. Check the parking brake stroke. If the parking brake stroke is out of the specified range, adjust it by turning the adjusting nut located on the parking brake lever.

    Parking brake stroke:
    7-8 notches / 45 lbf (200 N, 20.4 kgf)
 

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I purchased my 2016 Crosstrek with 5 miles on it. As a mechanic I've always been interrested in the break procedure debate. Some mechanics adhere to the very strict break in procedures, of varying engine RPM and vehicle speed for the first 1000 miles, while other mechanics claim following recommended break in procedures cause more harm in the long run and say you should drive it or operate like you stole it. The theory of running hard is to properly seat the piston rings. I personally figure that the manufacturer has put far more research into this than I have and so I have spent the last 3 days driving nearly 900 miles breaking in my engine and brakes. The drive from Newport RI to the end of Cape Cod along the back roads offered many various speed limits and the opportunity to change speeds. I personally believe the single most important thing you can do for an engine is change the oil. So following my 1000 mile break in I am changing the oil and filter. I'll then drive normally for another 2000 miles and change the oil again. Following a 3rd oil change 2000 miles after will put me at 5000 mile mark where I will start a normal cycle of changing oil every 5000 miles. My 4th oil change will be at the 10k mile mark and at that time I will also replace the transmission and rear differential oil as well.

Now I know most will say I am just wasting money on the oil changes but for me it is a small price to pay if my effort at the beginning of my vehicles life adds years to the end of it.
 

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I purchased my 2016 Crosstrek with 5 miles on it. As a mechanic I've always been interrested in the break procedure debate. Some mechanics adhere to the very strict break in procedures, of varying engine RPM and vehicle speed for the first 1000 miles, while other mechanics claim following recommended break in procedures cause more harm in the long run and say you should drive it or operate like you stole it. The theory of running hard is to properly seat the piston rings. I personally figure that the manufacturer has put far more research into this than I have and so I have spent the last 3 days driving nearly 900 miles breaking in my engine and brakes. The drive from Newport RI to the end of Cape Cod along the back roads offered many various speed limits and the opportunity to change speeds. I personally believe the single most important thing you can do for an engine is change the oil. So following my 1000 mile break in I am changing the oil and filter. I'll then drive normally for another 2000 miles and change the oil again. Following a 3rd oil change 2000 miles after will put me at 5000 mile mark where I will start a normal cycle of changing oil every 5000 miles. My 4th oil change will be at the 10k mile mark and at that time I will also replace the transmission and rear differential oil as well.

Now I know most will say I am just wasting money on the oil changes but for me it is a small price to pay if my effort at the beginning of my vehicles life adds years to the end of it.
Same here, did my first oil change at 1k and plan to do another at 3k. The oil was incredibly dirty at the 1k mark, so I'm glad I changed it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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Regarding downhill driving, you are supposed to use the paddle shifters to fully utilize engine braking. This will most definitely reduce the chances of glazed brake pads.

Do NOT be afraid of hearing the engine rev, it is designed to run between idle engine speed to nearly redline (the Subaru FB20 has an RPM operating range of 650-6600 RPM) given the engine is within normal operating temperature range.

With a Lineartronic CVT and most automatic-type transmissions, if your tires are the correct size, there is basically zero chance of over-revving the engine due to a bad downshift as the transmission computer is smart enough to recognize when the vehicle speed is too fast for a downshift to a particular gear ratio. It is IMPOSSIBLE to do damage with downshifting in an automatic-type transmission with proper tire size, so those with the Lineartronic CVT should not be afraid in the slightest of using their manual mode paddle shifting with correct tires.

You want to utilize the "gear" (CVT's don't actually use gears, gear in the context of this post is referring to the 6 preset gear ratios in the manual paddle shift mode) in the paddle shift mode that delivers the appropriate and/or desired engine braking. Using the lowest gear the transmission computer allows one to downshift to will maximize the engine braking. Upshifting to a higher gear will reduce engine braking if the lowest allowed gear has excessive engine braking for the situation at hand. Upshifting more than two gears from the lowest gear allowed by the transmission computer will nearly eliminate any engine braking.

I personally believe it is every driver's responsibility to properly utilize engine braking instead of unnecessarily and unsafely overheating one's brakes on the driven vehicle due to lack of knowledge. I'm sorry, but in my eyes, only naive drivers ride their brakes on a downhill grade, regardless of transmission type. I wish for all members to be less naive and more of an informed owner and driver, which in turn makes for more safe road users out on the road.

It does not matter what transmission you are driving (automatic, manual, CVT, single-clutch automatic, dual-clutch automatic), it is imperative drivers understand that riding the brakes endangers themselves as well as other road users.

Unnecessarily getting one's brakes hot on a downhill is dangerous, as a situation requiring emergency braking with warm and/or hot brakes will significantly increase stopping distances and reduce brake pedal response. The few or many feet that are increased due to hotter brakes can make the difference between being alive and startled to potentially in an accident because of such negligence.

Many people will reason out by saying things like "t wears out the transmission" or "it wears out the engine"... damn near every vehicle is designed to use engine braking. Please don't buy into the "it will wear [insert component name] out" mindset, as safety that saves lives trumps any kind of monetary saving that could be had thinking that way. What matters more, your transmission/engine/component, or the lives (including yours) that one may risk when riding the service brakes on a downhill grade.


However, if maximum engine braking proves to be too weak (due to circumstances such as very steel downhill, heavily loaded vehicle, etc), service brake use should be used on and off, rather than constantly.
Use of the service brakes in cycles (2-5 second cycles, or whatever interval you wish to use) and staying within a certain speed bracket (such as waiting for vehicle to speed up to 60 MPH with maximum engine braking, then using service braking to aid the engine braking to slow vehicle down to 55 or 50 MPH) will be far safer than riding ans using the service brakes alone.
 

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I am in the change the engine oil school a few times early on until 5k miles then the recommended intervals although I break that rule and change the oil more frequently. Yeah I know it's a waste of $$$ and not necessary supposedly. But like someone else stated on this forum the oil is really dirty even after the first 1000 miles. I have only had 3 new cars 1989 CR-X, 2002 MB KOMPRESSOR and now 2017 Crosstrek. My engines have ran well lasted literally years and years with no major problems or repairs and I attribute it to keeping clean oil and filters in them.
 

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Break in period error...

So, I just bought a 2017 crosstrek... Unfortunately I'm just reading the break in "rules", after around 1600 miles already on the rig.. Unfortunately, again, most of those miles we're on the free way with the cruise control engaged. What kind of negative effects will this have on my engine? Possible high oil usage at higher miles? Thanks for any info..
 

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It's not bad. You should be fine. Realistically they want you to stay away from revving the piss out of the engine until the rings seat. As long as you didn't go to the racetrack or compete in the 24hr lemans you should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Supposedly there is a risk of increased oil consumption with improper break-in but otherwise I would believe most of what Subarust stated is correct. I've even heard of people driving their off-the-low WRX or WRX STI like they stole it with no issues, but I would take such stories with a grain of salt.
 

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So, I just bought a 2017 crosstrek... Unfortunately I'm just reading the break in "rules", after around 1600 miles already on the rig.. Unfortunately, again, most of those miles we're on the free way with the cruise control engaged. What kind of negative effects will this have on my engine? Possible high oil usage at higher miles? Thanks for any info..
I winced when I read that too. I'm looking to pick up my first Subaru tomorrow and it's about a 2 drive hour away...
 

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Nah nah nah guys... it's true you should baby it a bit till she gets miles on the clock, but it's not going destroy the engine. We are being paranoid here because A) it's an expensive purchase!) B) we love our new cars! C) buying a car is an emotional experience!

There is actually the opposite school of thought that you may not have ever heard too. Folks that REALLY drive there cars, like awdfreak, should break it in by driving the car as you normally plan. This way the piston rings seat and wear according to the type of driving you'll be doing. On the Honda Fit forums, several guys there would rape the engine all the way home from the dealer lot. Day one. Not one complaint from them and it has been nearly a decade since I purchased that Honda Fit and joined that forum. People forget, revving an engine is actually GOOD for it. Don't believ me? Look up "Italian tune up"
 

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Nah nah nah guys... it's true you should baby it a bit till she gets miles on the clock, but it's not going destroy the engine. We are being paranoid here because A) it's an expensive purchase!) B) we love our new cars! C) buying a car is an emotional experience!

There is actually the opposite school of thought that you may not have ever heard too. Folks that REALLY drive there cars, like awdfreak, should break it in by driving the car as you normally plan. This way the piston rings seat and wear according to the type of driving you'll be doing. On the Honda Fit forums, several guys there would rape the engine all the way home from the dealer lot. Day one. Not one complaint from them and it has been nearly a decade since I purchased that Honda Fit and joined that forum. People forget, revving an engine is actually GOOD for it. Don't believ me? Look up "Italian tune up"
I've put up the owner's manual info in the thread for convenience (since many drivers, unfortunately, never touch their owner's manual). I have heard this school of thought, but I didn't start driving hard until the odometer literally hit 1000 miles. As soon as it hit 1000 miles, naturally I drove it hard :cool:


I also am a proponent of the Italian engine tune up. At least periodically, the engine must be run at wide-open throttle (WOT) as it keeps the internals clean and fresh from carbon buildup. This is actually enough of an issue that Cadillac had a TSB that basically said to drive the vehicle like one just stole it because many of the Cadillac Northstar V8 engines weren't getting driven hard (the stereotype of the elderly driving slow may hold true here) and were accumulating unusually-high carbon build-up. Ironically, the Cadillac Northstar V8 was designed as an engine to be driven hard but their target audience does the exact opposite.

Easy driving of an engine all the time can actually be detrimental to engine life. I've heard (no confirmation here, but found at various car forums) that those who drive their engine hard with proper maintenance actually have cleaner internals when it comes for an engine rebuild.
 

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Yeah, I was thinking that if you're driving around 60mph you could just shift between 4th and 5th gears to change up the rpm every couple miles during your trip.. if you're getting a standard, that is.

That's definitely a relief. Because I know I put the petal down a couple times in the beginning.
 

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Haven't we all? Lol. I ran along side a lifted 2005 wrx yesterday on my home touge. All 148hp was used. While I could not keep with him on the straights, he didn't pull on me too much. I was so happy All I could do was smile. This car ain't no slouch.
 

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I've put up the owner's manual info in the thread for convenience (since many drivers, unfortunately, never touch their owner's manual). I have heard this school of thought, but I didn't start driving hard until the odometer literally hit 1000 miles. As soon as it hit 1000 miles, naturally I drove it hard :cool:


I also am a proponent of the Italian engine tune up. At least periodically, the engine must be run at wide-open throttle (WOT) as it keeps the internals clean and fresh from carbon buildup. This is actually enough of an issue that Cadillac had a TSB that basically said to drive the vehicle like one just stole it because many of the Cadillac Northstar V8 engines weren't getting driven hard (the stereotype of the elderly driving slow may hold true here) and were accumulating unusually-high carbon build-up. Ironically, the Cadillac Northstar V8 was designed as an engine to be driven hard but their target audience does the exact opposite.

Easy driving of an engine all the time can actually be detrimental to engine life. I've heard (no confirmation here, but found at various car forums) that those who drive their engine hard with proper maintenance actually have cleaner internals when it comes for an engine rebuild.
Can confirm the easy driving problem. My dad is very fuel conscious and ruined his engine in his Honda Fit after only 60,000 miles by never going above 2500 RPMs. The build up seized his engine completely.
 

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i understand what the recommendations are, but...

this is my first experience with a cvt (after four different 5-spds) and varying the engine speed is a lot easier said than done. it seems to almost always be at about 1500 rpm, with very brief runs up to 2000.

yes, i could play with the paddle shifters, but i feel like a newbie trying to drive a standard for the first time, and the car really doesn't sound like i have any idea what i'm doing, because i don't.

suggestions?
 

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i understand what the recommendations are, but...

this is my first experience with a cvt (after four different 5-spds) and varying the engine speed is a lot easier said than done. it seems to almost always be at about 1500 rpm, with very brief runs up to 2000.

yes, i could play with the paddle shifters, but i feel like a newbie trying to drive a standard for the first time, and the car really doesn't sound like i have any idea what i'm doing, because i don't.

suggestions?
The ironic thing is the CVT's job is to keep the engine in an optimal RPM range for the conditions at hand. This goes against the very instructions for engine break-in for varying the RPM's.

What I've done to break-in a new engine is to deliberately drive on routes that have as much stop-and-go traffic without being too much of a hassle. Naturally, freeway driving is not optimal for engine break-in.

I don't see the problem with using the paddle shifters. If anything, that may prove to be the best way to break-in the engine.
 

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I am taking delivery soon of my 2018 Crosstrek - and after looking at some info from various reputable sources online - I arrive at conclusion that modern engines come from the factory pretty much ready to go with no real break in required needed for a long life. Materials engineering and design have eliminated the need to properly seat the piston rings etc..... Now on a two stroke motor (snowmobile etc...) it's a whole different story and much needed for engine life. All that stated - why not be on safe side. I will definitely be cautious and drive the first 500 miles or so at varying speeds and not hard at all - after that I would fall into the category of "drive it like you stole it" for the next 500 miles - run up the rpms higher for brief periods but do not hold them there - let off accelerator to let the piston wash away wear particles. I will use regular oil for first 1000 miles and change oil - then regular again for next 2000 miles (I want it to wear in) - then switch to full synthetic for life of car. Should be good to go from there - it's much more important to change oil regularly and pay attention to maintenance ongoing to keep your car on the road for many years.
 

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Use the GPS to plan a stop and go route.

I used the TomTom and I unchecked Highways and Toll roads and Commuter Lanes.

It took me on 80Km roads with regular stoplights.
I drove that way for 2.75 hrs each way when we went to St Jacobs market from Toronto.

It took about almost an hour longer each way but we drove on empty roads that passed farmers fields, very beautiful.

I have 700 Kmh on the car driven without steady state cruise, so I'm starting to breath easier.
 

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I used the TomTom and I unchecked Highways and Toll roads and Commuter Lanes.

It took me on 80Km roads with regular stoplights.
I drove that way for 2.75 hrs each way when we went to St Jacobs market from Toronto.

It took about almost an hour longer each way but we drove on empty roads that passed farmers fields, very beautiful.

I have 700 Kmh on the car driven without steady state cruise, so I'm starting to breath easier.
That is an excellent method to help users with choosing appropriate routing for the break-in period. Scenic, beautiful, and good for the engine break-in :D
 
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