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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sorry if this topic is repetitive. I've looked through the search menu and have, frankly, been a little confused. Some have said that you should just drive no problem, others have said go highway, and still others have said to do stop-and-go city driving. I've even read the posts that have said that Honda has 2,000 miles on the engine prior to your purchase (hmmm...). We're buying our Odyessy 3 hours away, highway driving. I had no thought of driving it home until I talked to my brother who said I should be careful about how we drive the car during "the break in period." I am not a car expert, but is this a real issue or just something made up that you can blame yourself for in the future if anything goes wrong?
 

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If I recall correctly, one of my manuals (maybe for my Nissan P/U) stated that you should avoid long periods of driving at a constant speed during the break-in. Seems odd, though -- if you're cruising at highway speed (not dogging it, just taking it easy and keeping the RPMs down) the engine isn't working that hard and you wouldn't think that would be harmful. You should of course avoid fast takeoffs and keep the RPMs below 4K or so, but I'm sure you've thought of that already. I suppose you could trailer it home, or maybe take some side roads where you can keep the speed down. I think as long as you take it easy and maybe make a few extra stops along the way you'll be fine.

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'02 MB EXL-RES on order... woo!
 

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Paraphrased from the owner's manual:

During the first 600 miles:
  • Avoid full-throttle starts and rapid acceleration
  • Avoid hard braking. New brakes need to be broken-in by moderate braking for the first 200 miles (300 km)
  • Do not change the oil until the recommended time or mileage
  • Do not tow a trailer
  • Do not laugh hysterically at owners of other minivans (just kidding, this is actually OK and recommended!)
There have been suggestions here to avoid holding a steady speed, especially with the cruise control. Hyundai includes that recommendation in their owner's manual, but I can't find that in Honda's. It has become part of internet lore.

A couple of weeks ago I asked an 80-year old relative about constant speed during break-in and he said that he heard it in the 1930s. I wonder if it was actually valid then and more important, is it valid now. Can anyone cite authoritative sources on this? I'm beginning to wonder if varying the break-in speed is an "old husband's tale." We need more than "I heard that..."

You may be able to download the <a href="http://www.ahm-ownerlink.com/Model/own_man/2002Odyssey.pdf">owner's manual</a> from the American Honda Motors Ownerlink website. Don't do that unless you have a highspeed internet connection; the file is 6.5MB.

Regards,

Maugham

<font color="#dedfdf">

[This message has been edited by Maugham (edited 02-02-2002).]
 

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Not an authority, though I have always heard that steady rpm for a long time is not good for a new engine. I believe you will be coming from Charlotte to Raleigh. Consider taking highways 49 and 64 instead of the interstate. It will not take much longer because it is about 20 miles shorter and it will give you a wider variety of driving experiences and different scenery.
 

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Just drive the damn thing home. If my math is correct, 3 hours times 70 MPH equals 210 miles. BIG DEAL. If this screws up the van, Honda has a big problem! Initial break-in period is 600 miles then 3750 to 7500 miles till the first oil change and I am POSITIVE that you will be doing mixed driving once you get it home. Just drive it like you would any other car and don't worry about it.

Now..... If you were a traveling salesman and were driving 500 highway miles every day, then that would be different, but a 210 mile trip home on the highway then mixed city/highway driving for the remainder of the break-in period is fine. I drove mine from Oklahoma City to Dallas and back 3 days after taking delivery and everything is fine. Remember, highway driving is part of the break-in period too.

Happy motoring!

Fred

[This message has been edited by FW_in_OKC (edited 02-02-2002).]
 

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I can't quote anyone authoritative, but it is my understanding that steady speeds during break in are not going to get the piston rings seated properly and lead to oil consumption, thus the recommendation to vary the speed. It is hard to do but not using the speed control would probably be a good idea.

Years ago, driving a 77 Volare, I got stopped for speeding by a Ohio State Patrolman who was driving a Plymouth. I explained that the engine was burning oil and I was trying to vary the speeds, and we began exchanging sad stories about Chrysler engines. I did not get a ticket!


John
 

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I also agree with Fred, who is supplying a dose of general common sense. Sometimes we tend to obsess a bit trying to follow recommendations. Which spending $30k tends to make us a little obsessive.

John
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jkues:
Years ago, driving a 77 Volare, I got stopped for speeding by a Ohio State Patrolman who was driving a Plymouth. I explained that the engine was burning oil and I was trying to vary the speeds, and we began exchanging sad stories about Chrysler engines. I did not get a ticket!


John
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Thank GOD that we are talking about a Honda and not a Chrysler!

Fred
 

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Hey, that could have been the legendary 'slant-6' in the Volare...!
I have heard every theory too on break-in miles. I have also talked to friends/engineers who generally feel that new vehicles are built with such close tolerances/quality (?) that break-in is not as critical as vehicles years ago. We drove over 140 miles home with our van...but realizing that at 80mph in fifth it's only turning 2000rpm I was no overly concerned. About the only vehicles I have 'babied' during break-in has been my sportbikes, then again with a 13000rpm redline it's a different animal!
I have never heard of a massive engine failure attributed to break-in miles...feedback? Urban Legend? (Probably not another conversation to repeat!)

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Here's my understanding and experience on the topic:

The advice is based on the need to seat the rings and the fact that as the motor speed changes the connecting rods will stretch ever so slightly. In varying the speed you avoid building up a ridge in the cylinder where the rings are at the top of the stroke. In a modern engine I think this is pretty much a non-issue, but my Volvo V70 owner's manual made it a break in requirement (see below).

I bought a '96 Accord new from a dealer in Albany, NY. He had to get it from another dealer and it was driven up, almost 80 miles. I'm *sure* that the cruise was in use for this. One day after I got the car i took it on a 250+ mile trip to Octoberfest in Ellicotville, NY and tried to vary the speed some by downshifting to 4th for about 5 minutes every hour. I sold the car with nearly 50k miles on it and the engine was perfect.

I bought a new Volvo V70 from a dealer in Buffalo and drove it home to Albany, again shifting the car down to D3 for about 5 minutes every hour. Turned it back in off lease with 39k miles with no engine problems.

I haven't worried a bit about the break in on the Ody motor, and find the instructions Honda provided to be a good common sense approach.

Scott
 

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We broke our new Red Rock in with a 1,025 mile trip to visit sick Father in law. Drove off the lot, loaded our gear and left 1 hour later. Worked great! Just got home and 1 week later we have 2,350 miles.

Guess its broken in!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks to you all! Makes sense to me. I've had new cars before, but I've never research one so much in my life (my husband is beginning to worry
) and I never considered this breaking-in period before. Thanks also to nds, we'll try that route on the way home. Any must sees on the way? We've not been that way before. Thanks again!
Wendy

[This message has been edited by wmarci2000 (edited 02-05-2002).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by wmarci2000:
Thanks also to nds, we'll try that route on the way home. Any must sees on the way? We've not been that way before. Thanks again!
Wendy

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You will mostly just pass through or skirt a few small towns on what were once bypasses that have built up. Coming out of Charlotte on the traditional route, you pass UNC-Charlotte, home of the 49ers, who took their name from the highway and the fact that just north of there the road passes through the area where all the gold in the US was mined until the gold rush to California in 1849. (You may save a little time if you wish by staying on I85 to I 485 and taking that over to NC 49, rather than taking the exit around mile 45-50 that is the old connector to 49, but you miss UNC Charlotte.) Some of the route is through the Uwharrie Forest and Uwharrie Mountains, really hills, but the most significant hills east of the Blue Ridge. Perhaps the most significant stop you could make if you have a few hours and the weather is nice would be at the NC Zoo in Asheboro. A landmark for people who have made the trip for years is the Blue Mist Barbecue between Asheboro and Ramseur that has been there for 50 years or more. Not exactly Lexington Barbecue but the closest you will find on this route. If you detour off the main road in Ramseur through the business district, you can see if it still looks like the 1920's as it did a few years ago when a movie was shot there. Next stop, Siler City where Aunt Bea retired with her Studebaker after the Andy Griffith show. Johnson's Restaurant there serves legendary hamburgers until they run out each afternoon and close for the day. The newly completed Pittsboro bypass will eliminate the circle around the courthouse unless you take the old route through town. Then,its over Jordan Lake and into Cary. Enjoy.


[This message has been edited by nds (edited 02-06-2002).]
 

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I have the same recommendation regarding avoiding a prolonged period at the same speed with my '01 Nissan Frontier. I agree with most that if you use common sense, you'll be golden.

I can also relate to the amount of research put into this purchase. I'm still researching (although I'm really only waiting for my Pontiac lease to expire). Enjoy your new Ody!

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Fred -

You have that right! Concerning the 77 Volare, all I heard was how good the slant 6 was. What a dog. And the car began rusting at 6 months. I traded the car in at 47000 miles, the earliest I have ever gotten rid of a car. It stalled on the lot when I traded it in and they couldn't get it started to get it out of the way so I could drive off in our new 79 Volvo 245! Had to push it out of the way. I vowed I would never get another Chrysler product. Was I wrong. My wife saw a PT Cruiser on the road and said she had to have one! It also burns oil!!! The last two vehicles I've gotten, the PT and the Odyssey both went for MSRP!

It seems that none of the other cars I've purchased have ever burned oil from the beginning. Usually they may start when they get over 100,000 miles on them, and it seems it may get gradually worse, but I think that is expected.

John
 
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