Breaking in procedure - Alfa Romeo 4C Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Breaking in procedure

Pardon repetition if this had been addressed, but I cant find it.....
My new 4c should be here sometime this week....not soon enough. Dealer says 70 miles are on it. After the car 'unlocks' and allows dynamic mode, did you guys change the oil, take it easy for a bit, or just enjoy? I know for some cars people have all kinds of rituals until they can start to push a little.
Thanks
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 09:33 PM
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Break-in matters, 80% for all the parts that need to heat cycled, including gaskets, seals, belts, hoses, metals (like heads), brakes, etc. Proper heat-cycling of metal parts is the most underrated thing when getting an engine broken in and how you do this continually will speak volumes about the longevity of the engine.

I will always want to punch people who talk about modern engineering precision and blather on about rings not needing to get seated, etc.

Read thread linked, and remember the most important thing is to warm up the car deliberately, and gradually, through light driving, and your initial trips should be at least 15 minutes, easing all parts together and getting the darn thing warm/hot via driving.

Heat cycling the parts, through a good warm up and then full warm up, varying how you drive, and staying away from high RPMs will ensure all parts (brakes, rubbers, metals, seals, gaskets, compounds) have heat cycled, seated, and the computers have experienced an array of conditions to be ready for anything, so that when you make your run up to redline in Dynamic or Race later on, everything is good to go.

Special/early oil change? Not enough popcorn and beer on this planet for that discussion. Probably not necessary, but in a world where humans need sleep, you do what makes YOU sleep. I don't do early oil changes for OEM engines at anything other than OEM intervals.

#peace
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Last edited by Philster; 04-07-2019 at 09:37 PM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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@Philster exactly what I was looking for. Thank you! I'm so excited for the car to arrive (we've kept it a secret...my kids are going to flip!) I just want to ensure my enthusiasm is tamed as needed. Longevity will trump initial desire for fun.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 09:59 PM
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Just enjoy it.....there are some general recommendations in the users manual....take it easy, no full throttle blast for a while, vary rpm and speed, avoid hard braking. Generally until you get to around 260 miles it won't go into D or R mode. After that it will but still take it easy. The manual has the recommended first oil change which is longer than my own policy for a new car.... which is to do one after about 3000 miles to get the break in oil out of there. But I am sure many will say this is old school....but....oil is cheap compared to an engine. Modern cars really don't need more than those recommendations in the manual. As far as how long to follow the manual directions.....I would think by the time you get 300 miles on it (just a bit after it unlocks the D and R mode), the car will be well broken in.

Since it is a new car.....I would recommend NOT picking it up or at least restraining from driving it much until you get some PPF protection on the car....I recommend from the windshield forward, front bumper and front two fenders. There are a few good brands like Xpel, Suntek, etc. You will get a ton of members telling you the same thing.....on a car as low and with as much exposed area you will appreciate it. That was the best money I spent on my car. I had the PPF included in the purchase of my car from the dealer. That way you may get a better deal and the dealer will stand behind it if any problems.

Also keep the tire pressure when COLD at 26 front and 29 rear. If you get a very uncomfortable amount of tramming the car may need a alignment. I think the cars are now coming with that checked but when they first were being sold, several had bad alignment and that cause the car to dart all over the place when transitioning to different pavement or road crowns. Most of that is due to the stock tires. The P Zeros tend to emphasize tramming.

The car is low so be careful when pulling into or out of driveways....take them at an angle instead of straight on.

Now....after the first few rides we want pictures and stories of your 4C adventures.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 05:51 AM
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The "take it steady" vs. "thrash it" debate for new engines has been raging since the 1920s... Don't think anybody truly knows the answer.

* Take it steady = low pressure to ease in the new components.
* Thrash it = high pressure to seal everything in nice and tight.

You pays yer money, etc...

Either way, as others have said, always make sure the oil temp is above 80-90c before mashing the gas-pedal. Cold oil kills engines.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 12:56 PM
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"While cruising, brief full-throttle acceleration within the limits of local traffic laws contributes to a good break-in. Wide-open throttle acceleration in low gear can be detrimental and should be avoided."

...from the Abarth user manual. I went with that occasionally using 3rd or 4th on the highway and briefly spinning up the boost. Remember, we're trying to balance "engine break-in" with "turbocharger break-in". A 3rd or 4th gear pull out on the open road will get some nice turbocharger revs. 1st and 2nd not so much because you can't hold those gears for long in our car without bouncing the rev limiter.

I think my recipe was approximately: 25-55 mph 3rd gear for a legal 2-lane highway pull and 40-70 in 4th for an interstate ramp "make an entrance" pull. Both of those will have your turbo working overtime for a couple seconds.

My other computer is a Cray.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the advice. I just recieved the video of the car being looked over before loaded into carrier. 48 hours or less...48 hours or less....I will survive for 48 hours...
I'm just a little excited😁
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 10:14 PM
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When it shows up.....make sure you take some photos to share with us. And some driving impressions. If you haven't driven one before it will feel VERY different than any other car you have driven.....in a good way.
Don't expect it to feel comfortable until you take it out on an extended ride....some curvy roads.....nice weather.....you won't want to go home!

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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I've driven one 3 times. First time was a new one, but dealer led me on a straight boring road in traffic. I took a side road and a fast turn....that was about it. I knew there was something special there. Second and third time was in a used one with 5k miles. I had as much fun as the very nervous dealer would let me...which wasn't much. What I considered to be a few mildly spirited turns and pulls terrified him. Unfortunately he wouldn't let me take my wife alone. I know there's so much more to the car. I could feel it. It was begging me. Pleading me to give it a go. In time. Pics and impressions will definately follow.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyFoot View Post
I know there's so much more to the car. I could feel it. It was begging me. Pleading me to give it a go. In time. Pics and impressions will definately follow.
You’ve got that right and she’ll thank you for it. Good luck with the drop-off. Hope the weather cooperates and your first drive is a beauty.
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