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litespeedz 11-25-2010 02:17 PM

MDS V8 Break-in
Hi All,

I'm picking up an Natural Green Pearl Overland V8 with frost beige interior on Monday. This is not only my first experience with a Chrysler product, but it is my first experience with cylinder deactivation so I am still learning a lot about it. I was wondering if anyone has any insight into breaking in an engine with cylinder deactivation? Do I want to try to keep it out of Eco mode to ensure that all 8 cylinders get a chance to break in together? I searched this forum but didn't see much about the V8. There were lots of people asking about the new Pentastar engine. Obviously I am not asking if I should beat on the engine to keep it in 8 cylinder mode. But during my test drive I noticed that it did not kick into Eco mode when SelecTerrain was put into Sport mode. Has anyone else seen this? Is it a good idea to make sure all 8 cylinders get a chance to seal properly during the first few hundred miles.

Just as an FYI, this is my first EVER non-Honda product as a daily driver. I have had some old beaters (Explorers and Volvo wagons) but I have decided to consolidate to one vehicle that can easily meet all of my needs. My last daily drivers were three generations of Accords and this time I will be trading in an '06 Acura TL 6 speed for this car (this is also my first Automatic transmission vehicle :-( ). I am a little nervous about venturing away from Honda. They have been the most bullet-proof, reliable automobiles. But after tons of research I did not see much innovation in any Honda vehicle I drove and really believe that Jeep built the better car (even compared to an MDX). FWIW I probably drove six or seven different crossovers and kept coming back to the Jeep.

I scoured this forum for about month before my purchase to make sure I wasn't missing anything glaringly obvious about the car. Given my limited knowledge of Jeep/Chrysler products I am sure I will have lots of questions. But I appreciate the wealth of information already here. What a great resource.

Thanks - I look forward to everyone's insight!

Bmwister 11-25-2010 02:52 PM

Re: MDS V8 Break-in
WELCOME to JeepGarage. I bought a WK2 due to this forum!

Read the owners manual first where they have recommended guidelines. Here's my current method which is the same one I've always used on new engines exept now i have the MDS to consider which kicks in when you are at light cruise, level roads:

Don't do any steady-state light-load cruising for the first ~300 miles. This has helped me avoid cylinder deactivation although it is not supposed to hurt if it does come on (I'm told). The "ECO" indicator sometimes comes on and that may or may not mean MDS is active. Drive to avoid "ECO" indicator coming on; I use Sport mode. My daily routine for break in my cold climate (Chicago) is start it, let it run 1min, then drive away gently for ~10min (stop & go driving), then use moderate acceleration to speed and repeat often. DON"T SIT AND REV A NEW ENGINE WHILE PARKED and DON'T IDLE NEEDLESSLY IN's important to keep a varying load on an engine during break in. When I'm traveling the suburbs (35-45mph speeds), I manually drop down a gear every minute or two if I get "stuck" in several miles of steady state cruising. Don't do full throttle starts nor redline it for the first 300 miles, but DO vary the rpms.

For example, when it's fully warmed up, I try to accelerate from a stop getting the rpms to 4500, then the next time to 2500, then to 3500, etc. etc. Don't floor it, but don't feather the throttle either. Doing this helps seat the rings well and break in the mating surfaces for a full range of operating speeds. After ~300 miles add in some fuller throttle acceleration (like on-ramps to the highway) and then doing some longer run cruising at steady speeds should be OK. After 500 miles, mix in some full throttle runs from start but ONLY AFTER IT'S FULLY WARMED UP.

At 1000 miles, change the oil filter and change the oil to a synthetic that meets Chrysler specs and you should have an engine perfectly run-in for all foreseeable duties. I'm sticking to my lifelong 3000/3mo oil change interval after that first 1000 mile oil change. FWIW, my lifetime rule is to never ever run a cold engine hard. Good luck to you!

blackpepper 11-25-2010 03:33 PM

Re: MDS V8 Break-in
Use the auto-stick and drive around in "5" instead of "D" .. it blocks MDS from working, at least on the WK.

whatevrworks 11-25-2010 04:34 PM


At 1000 miles, change the oil filter and change the oil to a synthetic that meets Chrysler specs and you should have an engine perfectly run-in for all foreseeable duties. I'm sticking to my lifelong 3000/3mo oil change interval after that first 1000 mile oil change. FWIW, my lifetime rule is to never ever run a cold engine hard. Good luck to you!
Excellent advice!

ftffom 11-25-2010 05:30 PM

Re: MDS V8 Break-in
I have ordered my GC out of state (purchasing from a relative). I will fly there to pick it up and will then need to drive 500 miles home - all interstate driving. How do I best approach break-in with this scenario.

litespeedz 11-25-2010 08:03 PM

Re: MDS V8 Break-in
Thanks for the suggestions! I was wondering if there was a way to override the Eco in the beginning. It's good to know there are some options. I had planned to do an early oil change and then switch to synthetic after 3k miles. I live in Upstate New York so I also abide by driving lightly when the engine is cold.

Regarding a 500 mile interstate trip... I wouldn't. I would plan on making lots of stops or look into having it shipped. It's going to take a long time if you want to break it in right (i.e. - not making a long continuous drive out of it).

Thanks again guys!

Bmwister 11-25-2010 08:05 PM

Re: MDS V8 Break-in
I'd say to avoid the interstate for the first 100 miles and even then occasionally exit the interstate to take some rural highways where you can mix upyour speed. Take your time going home, in other words, and get to know your new Jeep!

blackpepper 11-25-2010 09:02 PM

Re: MDS V8 Break-in
I wish I got this advice.. I drove mine 40 miles home the first day and then 30 miles to work the next.. good information in this thread :)

"good grief." (ode to thanksgiving a la charlie brown)

JEEPSRT 11-25-2010 09:05 PM

Re: MDS V8 Break-in
My Overland was a dealer trade. It had 280 miles on it when I picked it up. So somebody had helped me break in already. :(

Bmwister 11-26-2010 12:46 AM

Re: MDS V8 Break-in
Maybe we should not get too caught up with break-in procedures. I'm old school and remember the days of 5,000 mile break-ins, hence my methodical process habit. Modern engines are so well engineered and built (kind of a loaded statement) that we may be over-reacting to methods, procedures, etc. I know people who bought new cars in the past year or two who immediately went on long distance vacations within days of driving off the dealer lot and 20,000 miles later they have no issues or noticeable oil usage. One guy trailered his boat the same day he bought it (Dodge Ram owner) and still runs trouble free 50,000+ miles later.

Drive within reason, take it easy when the engine is cold and change the oil regularly. Make sure to do regular "Italian tune ups"* to your normal driving routine for the life of the vehicle.

*Italian tune up = redline the engine a few times while accelerating full throttle up to speed or passing another vehicle, and do it a few times.

ftffom 12-24-2010 02:15 PM

Re: MDS V8 Break-in
I took delivery on December 22. I drove 500 miles home the next day. I drove about 100 miles around town. The next 200 miles was a mix of highway and stop lights. I then drove the final 300 miles via interstate. Thank you all for the advice.

I love my Jeep. Everything seems to work as promised. No unusual noises or rattles. The power of the V8 is fantastic. I'm glad that I did not get the V6 (though I need to remind my self of this when filling with gas). I also was able to successfully pair my Blackberry and control my IPod.

robg 12-24-2010 06:37 PM

Re: MDS V8 Break-in
It Mobil wrong when they say that modern engines don't require a break-in period:

I mean, I know folks here are engine experts, and Mobil is just an oil company, and it's better to be safe than sorry. But does anyone have any FACTS that an "improper break-in" results in any difference in engine life, performance, etc?

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