New Car Break-in

from what I was told, with the Small Block Chevy first came out in 1955 it also had oil consumption issues… The factory came out with a service bulletin to poor something like AJAX (Bon-Ami) down the carb to score the walls. Can you imagine this happening today??

Found this on a quick google search

gsragtop–I do remember reading that the 265 cubic inch V-8 engines on the 1955 Chevrolets had oil consumption issues just after the cars hit the road. Also, I remember some mechanics a few years later recommending potential used car buyers to stay away from the 1955 Chevrolet V-8 engines. By 1956, all the bugs had been worked out and these engines were great. The newly introduced V-8 engine in the 1955 Pontiacs also had issues, with oil consumption being one of them. I had a 1955 Pontiac and it was the worst car I have ever owned. An oil filter was optional, and mine didn’t have the optional oil filter. I bought the car used, however, so not all the problems could be attributed to the design of the engine. However, the sludging up of the rocker arm studs which caused the rocker arms to chirp was due to to the lack of an oil filter. This seems a strange omission on a car equipped with hydraulic tappets.

TwinTurbo–About the only break-in for a mower engine that I remember was to change the oil after the first 25 hours of operation and then go with a 50 hour oil change. I have had oil consumption problems with lawn mower engines, but only after eight to ten seasons of use.

Sorry to start this again. My memory is foggy. Changed oil first time at more like 5000 and just couldn’t stand to leave it in longer but asked dealer first. I think you have to realize that there are good and poor professionals as well as good and poor service people. I’ve seen architects and engineers that I would believe a good carpenter or machinist over and also vica versa. Just have to use some judgement and common sense.

Some engineer made a mis-calculation on the thickness of support plates on the 35W bridge in Minneapolis and it came down. Sometimes a good welder might have been able to say “that just ain’t thick enough”. Redundancy in designs is as much a business decision as a design decision too but good engineers will build it in and good MBA’s will require it. As a consumer though, I need to sort through what the welder, engineer, or MBA decided and make my own judgement.

There also is a break in period for small engines if you read the manual at least for Briggs. They want you to run them no load for a couple hours before putting them into use.

Good point Big! A few years a ago I read an article on the 10 design criteria used by Braun, the German razor and kitchen appliance manufacturer. Its stated phiplosophy is that “form follows” function, and that Braun will not take shortcuts in design. In other words, the engineers and service techs rule the roost, while the stylists and bean counters have some role in making the product more appealing.

We have a Braun coffee grinder that’s 15 years old and has seen very heavy use. It’s still performing well. Braun products cost more, but are utterly reliable. Even though the company is now owned by Gilette (they wanted the razors), there has been no change in policy. Braun products are made in Germany, Spain or Mexico with very close Braun quality control.

There are few companies left that are focused on quality and durability. I worked for Caterpillar Tractor in the dim past. The products were always the most expensive in the market, but we could prove that the overall life cycle cost was the lowest with Caterpillar.

Some of my favorite companies are: Kitchen Aid (small appliances), Bosch (power tools), Hitachi (power tools), Carrier (HVAC equipment), Toyota (fork lifts, cars), Panasonic (electronics, appliances), Canon (cameras) and so on. Dell used to be my favorite computer make, but their quality has slipped.

Farmers still swear by John Deere tractors and equipment.

In the large appliance business it is a race to the bottom unfortunately. Whirlpool (the only large US owned company left) is having severe cost problems and foreign companies are cleaning up. General Electric has sold its business to MABE, the Mexican appliance giant.

I thank you all for your input. This is why I love Car Talk message boards. You all are always so helpful! I will take all of your answers into consideration. Thank You again,

Bing, I believe with the I-35 bridge, the part was designed correctly, but the incorrect parts were delivered to the site. QC screwed up somewhere, but the original design was OK.

Cole’s Law: “Bing, I believe with the I-35 bridge, the part was designed correctly, but the incorrect parts were delivered to the site. QC screwed up somewhere, but the original design was OK”

From my recollection, the plates were too thin. Whether they were designed that way couldn’t be determined since the original approvals couldn’t be located. The new firm that took over the old defunct firm I believe is now in litigation over it. Regardless, the real cause was the lack of redundant design so that if one part failed the whole thing came down. Same as the famous Silver Bridge in Kentucky. One part fails and the whole structure collapses. While not a technical error such as reading the slide rule wrong, it is a huge engineering error to not build in failure of parts. This was acceptable by professional engineers back in the 60’s. To their folly, there are still those designs in use today.

I may be a little fuzzy on the bridge details though, I haven’t looked at it in years. I’m sure someone in MNDOT questioned the engineers on the wisdom of that type of design back then, but you know how engineers get when they are questioned by non engineers.

Just drive like you always do.

I normally break in a car the way I intend to drive it in the future. Unless you’re intending to make a road trip as soon as you drive the car off the lot it’s going to have varying speed/rpm simply because of traffic conditions, city driving, stop and go traffic.