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Old March 2nd, 2003, 00:01   #1
iluvmytdi
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Memphis, TN
Default Break-in Period

Forgive me if this is in the FAQ, but I didn't see it. Is the break-in period for the Jetta TDI different than a regular Jetta? The owner's manual seems to cover all Jettas and not specifically TDI.

I plan to make a 5-hour interstate trip next weekend, at which time my odometer will be approx. 400 miles. So--am I good to go or what?
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Old March 2nd, 2003, 00:24   #2
Drivbiwire
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Join Date: Oct 1998
Location: Boise, Idaho
Default Re: Break-in Period

Updated 10/2012

New generation TDI's with Common Rail/DPF/SCR and those with DSG transmissions

Rules that apply for the life of the car
-When the engine is cold (below the first 3 white marks at the base of the temp gage) rev the engine to at least 2,500 rpms.
-When the engine is warmed up (above the first three white marks) Rev the engine to no less than 3,000 rpms.
The reason for this is to keep the turbo on boost, clear the VNT guide vanes and apply firm pressure to the rings for optimal sealing against blow-by gasses. The rings need the boost to seal since its a turbo charged engine, babying the engine is detrimental and will lead to issues with compression if done so for very long.
-Keep rpms as close to 2000 rpm as possible when driving at a steady speed. This promotes optimum temperatures for the DPF and keeps the engine in the middle of its most efficient rpm range (1800-2200 rpm).
-Allow the DSG or automatic transmission to determine the optimal gear and engine rpm. It knows better than you... Provided you have it trained to be biased to the sport mode the engines shift points will occur at the ideal ranges.


Redline is defined as the maximum rpm allowed by the engine, in the case of all TDI's it is 5,100 rpm. The maximum physical limit of a TDI engine due in part to it's short stroke is approximately 8,800 rpm (this is when you will throw a rod or damage a piston, this rpm is not possible unless you force a downshift into 1st gear while driving 80mph)

The instrument cluster shows a red BAND starting at or around 4600 rpm, most owners will find that very little power resides beyond this point due mostly to the ECU reducing fueling to respect the smoke map.

Adaptive Transmissions (DSG), "adapt" based on how you apply the power with your foot. Over time they will modify shift patterns with a bias to a "Sport" mode. Train the transmission to shift as close to the recomended rpm ranges below.

When your engine was first produced the motor was placed in a test cell and "Run-in" by a computer run dyno. The motor after the run-in was DRAINED OF ALL ITS FLUIDS (Oil, Coolant etc), the filters were replaced and a unique break-in oil was installed to promote a proper break-in once installed in the car as well as to protect the engine from corrosion during shipping to final assembly.

The "Break-in oil", YES VW does use a specially formulated "Break-In" oil formulated under an internal "TL" specification and produced by Fuchs. The oil is a group IV synthetic 5w30 formulated to comply with the LowSAPS VW507.00 requirements as well as the TL specifications for break-in. The oil is intended to allow a controlled rate of wear while protecting the engine and allowing the internal parts to seat proplerly during the engines first 10,000 road miles.

First 1,000 miles
Keep rpms below 3,800. Avoid steady rpms. Frequent firm (75%) application of power is strongly recomended up to a maximum engine rpm of 3,800. Avoid the use of cruise control so that you naturally fluctuate the power with your foot.
DO NOT CHANGE THE ENGINE OIL UNTIL 10,000 MILES!

1,000-5,000 miles
Use the full 5,100 rpm power range. THIS DOES NOT MEAN DRIVE AROUND AT 5100 RPM! This DOES mean to find the rpm range where your cars best power resides. Most owners will find that the best engine operating range to be between 2000rpm and 4200 rpm for the purpose of acceleration. At all costs avoid using full throttle below 2000 rpm the ECU will attempt to prevent you from applying full power in this range, work with it and don't request it with your foot.
Continue to avoid steady rpms and avoid the use of cruise control. occasional application of full throttle (100%) is recomended to help seat the rings. City driving is ideal for breaking in a TDI due to frequent stops and acceleration. DO NOT CHANGE THE ENGINE OIL UNTIL 10,000 MILES!

5,000-10,000 miles
Use of the cruise control is ok at this point since most of the initial break in has occured. Continue to use occasional full throttle accelerations to continue to seat the rings. You will notice the engine become slightly louder during this phase due to less friction from the engine breaking in (normal for a diesel to become louder under lighter loads). If your going on a long drive and you are using the cruise, every so often step on the peddle to accelerate up about 20 mph then coast back down to your preset speed.

Your first oil change is due at 10,000 miles DO NOT change it early! Oil analysis supports 10,000 miles as being realistic for a first change interval. Wear metals will remain at safe levels during this entire first interval thanks to the initial run-in and flush at the factory before the engine was installed in your car.

10,000-60,000
This is when the rest of the break in occurs. The engine from the factory will check out with about 475psi of compression pressure out of the crate. It will take at least 60,000 miles to reach the peak pressure of 510 psi. For the most part once you get to 10,000 miles your compression will be around 490 psi meaning that most of the break in has occured.

60,000- and for the remaining life of the motor
The owners have followed the advice above and do not have any oil consumption issues. This also means that with the higher pressure the engine is more efficient returning optimal fuel economy and reduced smoke output. I am still of the opinion that if possible use a LowSAPS 5w40 instead of the 5w30 oils ie Mobil 1 ESP 5w40 formula M (MB229.51, .6 Sulfated Ash)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Older model TDI's 96-2005

Rules that apply for the life of the car
-When the engine is cold (below the first 3 white marks at the base of the temp gage) rev the engine to at least 2,500 rpms.
-When the engine is warmed up (above the first three white marks) Rev the engine to no less than 3,000 rpms.
The reason for this is to keep the turbo on boost, clear the VNT guide vanes and apply firm pressure to the rings for optimal sealing against blow-by gasses. The rings need the boost to seal since its a turbo charged engine, babying the engine is detrimental and will lead to issues with compression if done so for very long.

First 1,000 miles
Keep rpms below 3,800. Avoid steady rpms. Frequent firm application of power is strongly recomended up to 3,800 rpm. Avoid the use of cruise control so that you naturally fluctuate the power with your foot.

1,000-5,000 miles
Use the full 5,100 rpm power range. Avoid steady rpms. Avoid the use of cruise control. Frequent application of full throttle is recomended to help seat the rings. City driving is ideal for breaking in a TDI due to frequent stops and acceleration. Once you get to 5,000 miles change the oil and perform your first service per the manual

5,000-10,000 miles
Use of the cruise control is ok at this point since most of the initial break in has occured. Continue to use occasional full throttle accelerations to continue to seat the rings. You will notice the engine become slightly louder during this phase due to less friction from the engine breaking in (normal for a diesel to become louder under lighter loads). If your going on a long drive and you are using the cruise, every so often step on the peddle to accelerate up about 20 mph then coast back down to your preset speed.

10,000-60,000
This is when the rest of the break in occurs. The engine from the factory will check out with about 475psi of compression pressure out of the crate. It will take at least 60,000 miles to reach the peak pressure of 550psi. For the most part once you get to 10,000 miles your compression will be around 510psi meaning that most of the break in has occured.

60,000-the life of the motor
The engines I have seen so far using a 5w40 oil are maintaining 550 psi of compression pressure with over 200,000 miles on the odometer. The owners have followed the advice above and do not have any oil consumption issues. This also means that with the higher pressure the engine is more efficient returning optimal fuel economy and reduced smoke output.

Last edited by Drivbiwire; October 11th, 2012 at 04:57.
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Old March 2nd, 2003, 04:51   #3
Whitecloud1
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Wisconsin
Fuel Economy: Passat 40-42MPG Jetta 45ish
Default Re: Break-in Period

Excellent answer DB. This was the best "break in" description yet!
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Old March 2nd, 2003, 10:07   #4
iluvmytdi
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Default Re: Break-in Period

Thank you! Very helpful!
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Old March 4th, 2003, 16:21   #5
tdiScott
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Northern California
Fuel Economy: 48.7
Default Re: Break-in Period

I also thank you. I'm at 1400 miles and already broke the rules by using cruise. In fact, I probably should not have driven the car from Sacramento to LA at 400 miles on the odometer -- too much consistant speed.

Thanks for tips now, hopefully I'm not too late.

Scott
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Old March 4th, 2003, 19:50   #6
iluvmytdi
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Location: Memphis, TN
Default Re: Break-in Period

So can I make a 6-hour trip with 400 miles on the odometer, just vary my speed and avoid cruise control?
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Old March 4th, 2003, 21:38   #7
tdiScott
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Location: Northern California
Fuel Economy: 48.7
Default Re: Break-in Period

My mistake was using cruise, though I did wait until after 500 miles. During my commute lately, from 1000 miles through 1500 miles I have almost stopped using cruise and I am trying to follow that schedule above.

That appears to be a good guideline - I was babying my a bit much, and I have been more apt to rev it up a bit more lately.
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Old March 5th, 2003, 19:16   #8
B100
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Location: Berkeley, Eastbania
TDI(s): 2003 Golf
Default Re: Break-in Period

So, have people broken in their new TDIs on long trips? Sounds like not the best idea, unless you want to look like a doofus on the freeway, speeding up, slowing down, speeding up, etc.

Our build date is March 14, delivery by end of month. I am hesitant to take it on a trip to Flagstaff and back, I'll get better break-in just leaving it here and then driving it in the City and the hills, hills, hills. OTOH, I can find a route from here and back that has the least amount of Interstate and favors the kinds of backroads I would usually take with the motorcycle. Any comments?
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Old March 5th, 2003, 20:11   #9
iluvmytdi
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Default Re: Break-in Period

Oh well I guess I'm going to look like a doofus. My family is 6 hours away and I haven't seen them in a month. I wanna go home, and I wanna go in my TDI! It's my TDI and I'll break it in on the interstate if I have to. Not exactly ideal conditions, but the first 400 mi. have been all city, no highway. That's gotta count for somethin', right... Right?
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Old March 6th, 2003, 04:12   #10
lojasmo
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Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Fuel Economy: Not low enough.
Default Re: Break-in Period

Just like you said iainiah. Take the back roads, you'll be fine. OR just go ahead and look like a doofus Just make sure nobody's around when you do you 60-100 runs.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 05:21   #11
weedeater
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Reston, VA
Fuel Economy: 54/43/38
Default Re: Break-in Period

Just go from 5th to 4th. That'll change your RPMs.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 05:29   #12
MITBeta
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Location: Boston's Metro South-West
Default Re: Break-in Period

When I took long highway trips during the break-in period, I varied my speed around the average, so if the average speed was 70, I'd go from 60 to 80... I also used the above mentioned downshifting technique at the lower speeds to get the tach up to 3000 or so for a few minutes...

I, too, used cruise control coming home from the dealer (only for about 10 miles...) before reading the manual. But I don't think you'll find anyone who's had any problems due to improper break-in technique... but then again it might not show up for 250k miles...
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Old March 6th, 2003, 05:55   #13
Jimbo70
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Danbury, CT
Fuel Economy: Mid 40's
Default Re: Break-in Period

This is great info, and definitely NOT covered like this in the owner's manual (which someone in a different thread berated me for asking and not reading). I've been "babying" the car, keeping revs below 3000 RPM as much as possible. Luckily I just broke 700 miles, so its not too late.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 06:00   #14
OneBadBug
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TDI(s): New Beetle
Default Re: Break-in Period

Moto GS,
I would definately take the TDI by way of backroads more suited to motorcycling. Who who would want to drone on and on down the interstate in ANY vehicle?

It's all about the journey, man, not the destination.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 06:31   #15
fallingwindows
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Western MA
Fuel Economy: 53/46/45
Default Re: Break-in Period

There was a very interesting article in Cycle World a few years back about breaking in engines. They bought 3 identical brand new sportbikes and broke them all in differently - one completely by the book, one they beat on hard from start one, and the 3rd I can't remember. After a number of miles, they tore apart all 3 motors. Upon microscopic inspection, component wear was essentially identical among the 3. Granted, these are high-strung, high-revving tiny gas motors, but it was a very interesting article....

That said, I'm still looking forward to my next TDI, the 136hp 6 speed A5, brand new, and I'll be by the book for the first 10k! It'll just satisfy my OCD so much more....

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