How to Break in the Engine of a New Subaru Vehicle

by Joshua Bailey
itstillruns article image
Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

When purchasing a new car, most people are unaware that what happens during the first few weeks of ownership is critical to the overall longevity of the engine. That is certainly the case for the horizontally-opposed engine in the Subaru, which comes in six-cylinder and naturally aspirated or turbocharged four-cylinder versions. A proper break-in period will ensure that your Subaru’s engine gets off to the right start.

Driving Behavior and Maintenance

Step 1

Do not exceed an engine speed of 4,000 rpms until 1,000 miles are on the odometer. Not only does this extend the life of the engine in all driving situations, but it allows the piston rings to seat properly in the combustion chambers, which will prevent oil burning in the future.

Step 2

Avoid heavy acceleration and stopping. For the same reasons above, moderate acceleration for the first few weeks of the car’s life will allow the hardware inside the engine to fit properly in the future. Likewise, light braking will properly mate the pads to the brake disks or drums. Excessive braking before the stock brakes are seated could damage the brake hardware.

Step 3

Do not [use cruise control]( unless absolutely necessary. This allows the engine to rev in different rev ranges, which would otherwise be avoided by cruising at a constant speed. Driving normally in all engine conditions will accustom the engine to those different conditions.

Step 4

Drive using different speeds in both city and highway venues. This strategy will accomplish the same purpose as avoiding cruise control. Allowing the engine to run at different speeds in varying situations will ensure that the internals will be prepared for those conditions in the future. For this reason, moderate, but not necessarily lethargic, acceleration and braking are desirable.

Step 5

Do not miss the first oil change. Using high-quality synthetic oil for the first change will aid all of the processes described above. Depending on the size of the engine and its intake method, each vehicle will have different time periods for the oil changing schedule. Consult the owner’s manual to ensure that you are using the proper type of oil and are changing it at the proper time. Many dealers suggest performing the first oil change halfway through the first oil change interval, and then performing another at the first scheduled change.

More Articles

article divider