There are found plenty of threads about breaking in a new engine after a rebuilt/ring job etc (rebuilt car engine, new car engine, moto engine, moto again) but I haven't been able to find one on how to treat an engine after an oil change.

I have heard that after doing an oil change, you should avoid heavy throttle, high rpm, and long idle times (much like after an engine rebuild) for 300 or so miles (much less than after an engine rebuild). Is there any truth to this myth? Does new oil need to be 'broken in' like a new engine does?

I personally can't think of a reason, and now that it's raining it takes more self control than I have not to spin my wheels every chance I get, and find some empty parking lots to play around in, but that of course means revving the engine 3/4 of the way to redline, and the last thing I want to do is read up on proper rebuilt engine break-in methods after I lunch a crankshaft bearing.

  • If anything I'd avoid all those things when the oil is old, not brand new!
    – Jason C
    Sep 20, 2016 at 0:08
  • "Does new oil need to be 'broken in' like a new engine does?" No, its another internet myth. Oil does not break in, but a new engine does have a break in period, and has nothing to do with the oil, but new moving mechanical parts that wear in.
    – Moab
    Sep 25, 2016 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


I've never encountered this advice before. I would say it's worth being gentle with the car until the oil is fully warm and to be sure to check the oil level after initial startup and after your first journey in the car but beyond that, fresh oil straight from the bottle should be good to use from mile zero.

  • After searching around on the interwebs, I haven't found a single thing stating new oil needs a break in period. I'm starting to think this may have been one of my dad's ill-advised mechanical statements from my childhood, along with "It's impossible for an engine to lose oil, it's a closed system!". He's gifted in other ways. Sep 19, 2016 at 19:39
  • 1
    "until the oil is fully warm" Always on every startup. My opinion of hotshots revving out their engine after startup goes to zero.
    – justinm410
    Sep 19, 2016 at 20:01
  • 1
    @justinm410 Don't get the wrong impression, I always get the engine up to nominal temp range before hot-shotting and/or bafoonery c: Sep 19, 2016 at 21:20

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