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2012 Golf TDI: Breaking in the Engine

Hi All,

Just got a new 2012 Golf TDI, 6-speed manual transmission with 280 miles and I am so confused about breaking in the engine. It seems to run the gamut of there is no break in period to very specific instructions. My questions are the following:
-What is the max speed I should drive the first 1,000 miles? 2,000-5,000 miles?
-people have said fluctuate the RPMs, don’t maintain the same RPM for long periods. What is the optimal time to stay at one RPM?
-Is it bad for the engine to drive at 2 RPMs at 40mph?

Apologies in advance for these inane questions.

Thanks for your help!

All the advice on breaking in a new engine applies to gas engines, and you are talking a diesel engine. You really need to dig into the owner’s manual for the proper break-in process as recommended by VW.

The maximum speed you should travel for the first 100o miles is 85 mph.
The maximum speed you should travel for 2,000 to 5,000 miles is 85 mph.
From 5,000 miles to 100,000 miles you should not exceed 85 mph.

I challange you to keep it at the same rpms. You cannot. Not unless you bring food, drink, and depends with you and drive in the desert only.

Seriously, just drive it like you’ll drive it a year from now. just don;t push it, don;t beat on it, and keep it maintained. I’ve been breaking in cars for over 40 years and that’s what I do. And I’ve never had internal engine problems yet. Knock on wood.

It will be alright,just run it-Kevin

“Is it bad for the engine to drive at 2 RPMs at 40mph?”

I seriously doubt if the engine could run at 2 RPMs, as normal idle speed is usually ~600 RPMs.
Is it possible that you meant 2,000 RPMS?
;-))

In all seriousness, if you take a close look at your tachometer, somewhere on its face, it states, “X 1,000”, so what you are interpreting as 2 RPMs is actually 2,000 RPMs. This detail, as well as your question about engine break-in, leads me to point out that you really need to read the Owner’s Manual.

No, I am not making fun of your lack of knowledge about your car.
I am simply pointing out that everything you could possibly want to know about the safe and economical operation of that car is covered–in detail–in that manual.

We are all happy to help folks with issues that are puzzling to them, but since we are not always available, you need to familiarize yourself with your car by reading the manual. Those who don’t read the manual run the risk of doing damage to mechanical systems, so reading this book is vitally important. And–yes–it will tell you how to break-in the engine, if that is necessary.

Don’t ask here. Do exactly what your owner’s manual specifies. That’s what I did with my older VW diesel and it is running fine in excess of 250k miles with the head and oil pan never removed and no oil needed added between changes at 3333 miles. My opinion and that is all that anyone here can provide, is that VW diesel engine break-in like any new car break-in, is not critical if done generally as the owner’s manual specifies.

That book in the glove box is where to look, not here with all these “experts”…How did it get the first 280 miles? I’d worry more about that, unless YOU put them on…

At 280 miles your engine is already broken in and I’m in agreement with Caddyman that the critical part is how those 280 miles were put on there.
If you bought it with that mileage then the car was either a dealer demo or a dealer transfer car. Either one could be shaky ground but especially a transfer car. Many transfer cars are delivered by some low wage flunky who is in a hurry and engine longevity is not high on their list of concerns.

A Subaru delivered to us one time from the regional office made the 450 mile trip in well under 6 hours and that included metro driving time in SA, Fort Worth, and OK City along with a stop at McDs for a burger.
Do the math on that one! No wonder the driving flunky was in a hurry to get to the airport for his flight back to San Antonio… :wink:

When someone went to move the car it was discovered that it would barely run. The turbocharger was barbecued in place and the paint on the hood blistered from the glowing turbo.
Whether the engine suffered any lingering problems is unknown because after a new turbo unit and a trip to paint and body the car was delivered with the new owner moving out of state a few months later.

Yep,OK-the “cant see it from my house” syndrome-Its a Diesel,dont lug it-Kevin