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Break-In The Engine Properly!

Finally I found a dealership that handled my situation. I used to have the oil consumption tests on another dealership and with 3 tests (every 1000 miles) they say it's normal. When I have the safety inspection done on another dealership they told me that the oil level is low and they have to continue the oil consumption tests. After 800 miles, brought back the vehicle to them and they're going to rebuild it. The tech said that Toyota is aware of the problem and has redesigned pistons to fix this issue. Luckily I have a 100k warranty, so that paid it off.
If they are going to rebuild the engine, you should make sure they deglaze the cylinder walls. And when they give the car back, you should break-in the engine to seat the new piston rings before the cylinder walls glaze up again. Properly breaking in the engine does not mean driving it slow and varying the speed. It means you should in the first 100 miles or so do about 10 full acceleration (throttle to the floor) runs from about 30 mph up to 60 mph (highway speed limit). The purpose is to increase the pressure on the rings so they will break through the oil film and wear in to fit the cylinder. If you do not do this right away the low spots in the cylinder glaze up and the rings never wear in and never seal properly causing high oil consumption.

This is how small aircraft engines are broken in after they are rebuilt, or when they are new. A new engine of this type costs about $50,000 so they are careful about how they do it. If not done, the engine has to be torn down again to deglaze the cylinder walls. Sound familiar?

Here is a link to the procedure as recommended by Teledyne. There is a good drawing on the third page showing what you are trying to do. They even use a special break-in oil that is lighter. Since your TCH is already using a light oil 0w20, I would not do that.

Here is a procedure from the Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association, that gives the automotive adaptation of it. And another from Hastings, who makes piston rings.

It is unfortunate that automobile manufacturers do not give the correct instructions on how to properly break in an engine. They often say something totally useless like drive conservatively and vary speed for the first XXXX miles. Total waste of effort, and almost exactly opposite to what you really need to do to seat the rings. I suspect part of the reason may be that airplane engines likely come under stricter standards for oil consumption and they are forced to rebuild, where car manufacturers can often just bluff the customer and say it is "normal".
 

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I have to command RonAKA on bringing very important point to all this. I bet you my 04 CR-V engine was so tight because day 2 of ownership, I drove her to AL, 225 miles, like hell, even hitting 100 mph. And how everyone drives TCH-s? Grandma Moses style, slow and barely accelerating. Resulting in piston rings not properly set into the cylinder walls and having blow by oil burn out.
Now, though I do appreciate links and sources provided, personally, I do not believe 10 basic accelerations will do the job. Also, I do know that everyone says that modern engines break in in about 500 miles, but in my personal opinion, takes much longer than that. Eg, same Cr-V had mpg improvement after 45 000 miles. Not after 45 or 450.
You talk to old pros, they will tell you - 60 000 miles? Just broken in.
 

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I have to command RonAKA on bringing very important point to all this. I bet you my 04 CR-V engine was so tight because day 2 of ownership, I drove her to AL, 225 miles, like hell, even hitting 100 mph. And how everyone drives TCH-s? Grandma Moses style, slow and barely accelerating. Resulting in piston rings not properly set into the cylinder walls and having blow by oil burn out.
Now, though I do appreciate links and sources provided, personally, I do not believe 10 basic accelerations will do the job. Also, I do know that everyone says that modern engines break in in about 500 miles, but in my personal opinion, takes much longer than that. Eg, same Cr-V had mpg improvement after 45 000 miles. Not after 45 or 450.
You talk to old pros, they will tell you - 60 000 miles? Just broken in.
Right on!

Pft..... I drive mine like it was stolen most of the time. It is a great car, right? Enjoy the darn thing!! I dont uderstand all this hypermilling crapola?

"Look at me"! I got 800 miles on a tank.... Who cares?

There are better ways and better cars for doing that!

Some of these guys crack me up! Almost as good as SNL....
 

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Do any of you guys know for sure that Toyota does not break in the engines as part of their initial QC before the car's leave the factory?
Unless they put them on a dyno how could they load the engine? That would take a lot of time. My guess is that they start them to see if they run and that is it, except for the kid that drives them to the train and off the train. With a little luck (probably not much needed) he will put it to the floor a couple of times...
 

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And this is the most illogical thing. Once we say, that it takes only ten rapid acceleration to break in the engine, next we say - it may take a long time to break the engine in.
Someone somewhere said "this is why car jockeys at car factories drive new cars out like they mean it".
I stay firm - ten accelerations not gonna break in squat. NEW engine needs to be worked out Schwarzenegger style to get everything hot, to force springs into the cylinder walls, and mate spring leading edge with that wall. Also, all bearings have to go through mutual mating process. Ten times 30 to 60 will not cut this. Plus, cheap gas that cruds everything, as we "saving" with those cars, right?
Well, snook, it is a very good car. It's almost a sleeper in the street, as that electrical motor boost may give quite some surprise to those who try to pass you. Personally, I do not abuse her, but I'd step on and hold quite often. You have to race a horse now and then, or horse will go stale.
OP, one thing you want to keep in mind about Japanese engines. They are well known for oil consumption, but that is not coming from loose rings, that is easily tested by compression test. Not sure what your dealer does for their "consumption" test.
Where they routinely loose oil is bad designed valve stem seals. THAT leads to oil leaks into cc-s, that introduces oil into combustion mixture, that causes excessive crud build up on piston rings, and NOW that is killing proper seal between ring and cylinder wall.
If I were you, I'd have questioned what exactly is that they are intending to do. As they need to rebuild head as much as they need to clean the block and rings and pistons.
 

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Here's the TSB, http://www.rav4world.com/tsb/2011/T-SB-0094-11.pdf. The service advisor only kne w this is a common issue and mentioned that they have rebuild a couple just a few weeks ago. I have no contact on the tech guys on the details how they do the test. It's not a small shop where you can talk to the mechanic on the spot.

If you're looking for a used one make sure it doesn't have this issue. Some people sold them upon knowing this, it's driveable and not an obvious problem. For the hybrid it will take a long time to see this problem since the engine doesn't run all the time. I'd say even if I have this oil consumption issue the car still runs fine but I don't know when will it get worst, it doesn't burn oil that fast and as long as you check it often it's going to be OK. I'd rather have it rebuilt to make use of the extended warranty I've purchased. Trying to adjust myself on my loaner car Scion XB (feeling young a bit :))
 

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The test is in the procedure you posted. See below, kind of paranoid, but I suppose.....

This is how they did it at Saturn for my sister's early 90s Saturn that burned about 3 quarts a month new. The dealer first said it was normal and that there was no evidence of oil consumption. I stuck my finger in the tailpipe and pulled a glob of dirty oil out of the end and showed him. He gulped and said well, maybe we need to do a oil consumption test. They filled the oil and marked the stick, and asked her to return in 4 weeks. It used 3 quarts in 4 weeks and they rebuilt the engine claiming a bad piston. Never ran good before or after the rebuild.

"Perform an oil consumption test to determine the consumption rate.
1. Confirm the engine oil level is full.
2. Mark the oil dipstick to indicate the current level.
3. Replace the oil dipstick.
4. Mark the oil dipstick, oil drain plug, and oil fill cap to prevent/indicate tampering during the test.​
HINT​
Use tape, sealer, cable ties, or equivalent to mark the oil dipstick, oil drain plug, and oil fill cap.​
5. Advise the customer to drive the vehicle normally for 1,200 miles and return for inspection.
6. Determine the quantity of oil that was consumed in 1,200 miles.
Was the oil level more than 1 quart low after 1,200 miles of normal driving?
•​
YES — Go to the Repair Procedure.

NO — This TSB does NOT apply. Warranty guideline for acceptable oil consumption
 

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I would be worried based on what is in that TSB. They are not doing any cylinder wall deglazing. They list a cutter tool for the lip at the top which is good, but no hone to deglaze. In the inspection portion they are rejecting the block if there are vertical scratches, but if they can see crosshatch marks and can't feel any scratches with a fingernail they are not honing or replacing.

If your cylinders are glazed it may still use excessive oil even after being rebuilt, unless they reject the block and put in a new one.
 

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If they are going to rebuild the engine, you should make sure they deglaze the cylinder walls. And when they give the car back, you should break-in the engine to seat the new piston rings before the cylinder walls glaze up again. Properly breaking in the engine does not mean driving it slow and varying the speed. It means you should in the first 100 miles or so do about 10 full acceleration (throttle to the floor) runs from about 30 mph up to 60 mph (highway speed limit). The purpose is to increase the pressure on the rings so they will break through the oil film and wear in to fit the cylinder. If you do not do this right away the low spots in the cylinder glaze up and the rings never wear in and never seal properly causing high oil consumption.

This is how small aircraft engines are broken in after they are rebuilt, or when they are new. A new engine of this type costs about $50,000 so they are careful about how they do it. If not done, the engine has to be torn down again to deglaze the cylinder walls. Sound familiar?

Here is a link to the procedure as recommended by Teledyne. There is a good drawing on the third page showing what you are trying to do. They even use a special break-in oil that is lighter. Since your TCH is already using a light oil 0w20, I would not do that.

Here is a procedure from the Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association, that gives the automotive adaptation of it. And another from Hastings, who makes piston rings.

It is unfortunate that automobile manufacturers do not give the correct instructions on how to properly break in an engine. They often say something totally useless like drive conservatively and vary speed for the first XXXX miles. Total waste of effort, and almost exactly opposite to what you really need to do to seat the rings. I suspect part of the reason may be that airplane engines likely come under stricter standards for oil consumption and they are forced to rebuild, where car manufacturers can often just bluff the customer and say it is "normal".
Aircraft engines are constructed differently from car engines, so much so that they have to be preheated before starting at temps below freezing:

http://www.avweb.com/news/maint/182846-1.html?redirected=1

I assume you don't follow this procedure with your TCH. Why would you believe that aircraft engine manufacturers' breakin instructions, intended for their products, are a better fit for car engines than the instructions of the car engine's manufacturer?
 

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Why would you believe that aircraft engine manufacturers' breakin instructions, intended for their products, are a better fit for car engines than the instructions of the car engine's manufacturer?
Because the Engine Rebuilders Association and the Hasting Piston Ring company recommend essentially the same procedure as the aircraft engine manufacturer. They all use the same type of rings, and can suffer from the same problem. About all you can hope for is that Toyota builds engines with better tolerance control than the rest. When they need to issue a technical service bulletin to address excessive oil blow by the rings, then that does not seem to be the case.
 

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Interesting discussion. The one thing that keeps on surfacing in my head is why does Toyota recommend an easy break in when in fact if that is incorrect Toyota would be responsible for warranty issues?
 

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Interesting discussion. The one thing that keeps on surfacing in my head is why does Toyota recommend an easy break in when in fact if that is incorrect Toyota would be responsible for warranty issues?
My thoughts are that they think the break-in process would be too complicated for customers to understand, and given that the conservative types buy Toyotas, they may scare customers away. Someone in marketing probably decided that what they don't know won't hurt them (much)...
 

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Because the Engine Rebuilders Association and the Hasting Piston Ring company recommend essentially the same procedure as the aircraft engine manufacturer. They all use the same type of rings, and can suffer from the same problem. About all you can hope for is that Toyota builds engines with better tolerance control than the rest. When they need to issue a technical service bulletin to address excessive oil blow by the rings, then that does not seem to be the case.
The Hastings document is explicitly divided into rebuilder's instructions (first two paragraphs), and end user's instructions. The Engine Rebuilders Association document is a little less clear, but I'd say that much of it is directed at the shop that's installing the rebuilt engine in the customer's car. The customer isn't going to be retorqueing bolts. he'll just follow the "Service Recommendations" when he gets his car back from the shop. As new car buyers, we are end users who trust the car to be ready for use if we follow the instructions in the manual. Toyota couldn't load the engine because it would "take a lot of time"? Where do they find the time to put all those little parts in the engine?

By the way, the Engine Rebuilders Association's Service Recommendations include changing the oil and filter after 500 miles. Do you still do that when you buy a new car?
 

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Per TSB .."The piston assembly has been changed to minimize oil consumption." IMO that falls in line with whats been plaguing Toyota engines the past decade. The oil control return holes in Toyota's piston design are too few and small in diameter to manage oil flow properly. Causing oil wiped on/off cylinder walls to back up during a piston stroke, back up more under hard acceleration and high RPM's. Consumed. IMO the rings and glaze are not/have not been the issue. I say this not based on this exact engine, but the 1ZZ-FE and older 2AZ-FE's. Once you remove the pistons, drill out the holes, you can put the engine back together without de-glazing or replacing the rings, problem solved.

The small holes are prone to clogging the same way our arteries clog if we eat too much junk food (cheap oil) :lol: !..Sorry couldn't resist that one. In newer, more recent engines the thinner viscosity of synthetic oils can play a role IMO. Could be why Toyota chose super thin syn oils..better flow through and around the piston, less chance of carbon clogging from oil breakdown. Will that work, or will the super thin oil seep through some other area into the combustion chamber? Too early to tell.
 

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I changed the oil only at about that time [500 miles] on my 2012 TCH. Didn't you?
I used to get the oil & filter changed at 1000 miles, because I had read that it was the smart thing to do. Presumably 500 miles was considered too soon, because the engine would still be machining itself smooth at that point. But at some point I realized that just about everything about cars has changed, and maybe holding onto knowledge from the mid-1970's isn't smart at all. So I'm following the maintenance schedule on my 2013 TAH, which now has 8200 miles and will get its first oil & filter change at 10000. Some will argue that an earlier change couldn't hurt, but I figure that every maintenance operation involves a risk of something going wrong. If I intended to keep the car for 200K+ miles then maybe I would think differently.
 

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So, I just cleaned my PCV. Mileage on my car today is 163,300. The valve "was not" moving freely. I had to shake it pretty hard to get it to move.

I blasted it with some Brake Clean and it works like new. It moves nice and easy. This job literally took 10 minutes start to finish. I just topped up my oil again too. I'm interested to see if this helps at all. I am coming due on my oil change and it will have "used" a little less than a quart this time.

Thanks again, pics below.

Before:



After:

 
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