Engine break-in, and synthetic oil

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by andygold, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. andygold

    andygold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    What is the typical break-in procedure for a mower's engine, to gain the best gas mileage and longevity?

    Also, how many hours of operation are typically necessary for an engine to be considered "broken in"? I want to switch over to synthetic oil, but not before the engine is fully broken in.
  2. CWG

    CWG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    jeez, brand new engine? I'd run it 25-30 hours then go synth.
    Synthetics are absolutely worth the extra money.
    I do oil flush after the first day on new motors, just me, but cheap insurance it seems.
  3. Brandyanna

    Brandyanna LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Modern ring and honing techniques are such that a break in period is not neccesary. According to the local Yamaha folks you want to get the Synthetic's in BEFORE you have any cylinder wear. My new mowers recieved a immediate uprade to synthetics and experianced no ill effects. 4 cycle or two cycle.
  4. andygold

    andygold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    I don't think I can agree with that (no disrespect intended)....is there some place, or respected publication where you've seen that printed? Please direct me to it! :) A coworker switched to synthetic in his pickup before it was broken in... within first 1000 miles. Now with less than 10,000 miles, he is going through excessive amounts of oil, with extremely low mpg for his type vehicle. I would assume that the car manufacturers would have the same or better ring and honing technology than small engine manufacturers, so what gives? Does he have a problem, or did he switch too early? The dealer says it's the latter. They told him to drain the synthetic, and run dino oil for a good long while to attempt to break-in the engine.
  5. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    I would recommend a break-in period. I would run the engine at about half ot the operating RPM's for a good half hour, then I would use it for a couple days, but don't run it at high RPM's for those few days, after two or three days I would change the oil, and then use it normally.
  6. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 823

    I considered synthetics, but I read in the owners manual (Kawasaki) that they advised strickly against them. It was enough to persuade me to keep using regular oil. 700 Hours on Good 'Ol Straight 30, and no oil related problems to date. Still going strong.

  7. Gautreaux's LNG

    Gautreaux's LNG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 379

    Take the extra money the synthetics cost you and do more routine maintence on your equipment. If you consider more time in the engine for synthetic oil you are also allowing the things that contaminate your engine more time to be there also. I've been told to wear in oil rings, and it will burn oil if you don't. I don't know the magic number maybe someone else does. Later Guys
  8. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Actually there is another very similar thread where a publication is quoted (though I do believe it is an oil company publication). Many new vehicles come with synthetics in the crankcase from the factory. I just don't see how you could switch to synthetics too soon, and no one has ever been able to explain why it would be a problem.
    Here's a website you may want to explore for your decision: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/. I persoanlly think synthetics or not is a personal choice. I prefer synthetics myself, but I also know there are many good dino oils, that changed regularly would be more than sufficient.
  9. andygold

    andygold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    Well, this afternoon, I spoke to American Honda, and Mobil Oil Co. At Honda, it was a tech, and at Mobil I believe he was more of a salesperson than a tech. They both told me that from day one you can use synthetic oil in the engines, without the need for breaking in rings, cylinders, or valve seats. This is all news to me, but that's what I was told. The Mobil guy did tell me that new Corvettes, Aston Martins, AMG Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Vipers have Mobil 1 installed at the factory. He also said not to use it in Mazda rotary engines, and curiously, in 2004 VW diesels.
  10. kwelch

    kwelch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    I was considering using synthetic so I went to the local Kohler dealer and asked them. They said you can run synthetic but they only run HD30. So I'm running HD30.

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