Break-in Procedure for New Turnkey Engine

After installation by a qualified professional mechanic, follow this schedule to break in your new engine. During the initial break-in period, avoid excessive RPM at all times.

  1. Add 3 quarts of high-quality grade SAE 30 motor oil with a zinc anti-wear additive.  
  2. At 300 miles, adjust the valves.
  1. Every time the valves are adjusted, the engine must be cold, preferably after cooling overnight.
  2. The valve lash clearance should be adjusted to 0.006” on both the intake and exhaust valves.
  1. At 500 miles, change the oil and adjust the valves again.
  2. At 3,000 miles, change the oil and adjust the valves again. This is your first regular maintenance interval.
  1. Switch to a high-quality grade SAE 30 detergent motor oil.
  2. If you plan to drive the vehicle year-round in cold climates, change to multi-grade SAE 10W-40 for the winter months.
  3. From here on, we recommend changing the oil and checking the valve adjustment every 3,000 miles and adjusting the valves every 6,000 miles.

The Importance of Frequent Valve Adjustment

Many air-cooled VW owners don't adjust their engine valves often enough. Valves stretch slowly during use - especially the exhaust valve. Over time, this stretching results in tight valves, or valves without enough lash clearance. Without adequate clearance, the valves don’t sit tight in the valve seat, leaking hot gases past the valve. When this happens, the valve begins to overheat and will, in very little time, weaken and burn or, worse, break.

Even if very little adjustment is needed each time, frequent valve adjustment also means that you get a chance to notice a faulty exhaust valve before it breaks. Over time and course of many periodic adjustments, the valve will eventually weaken and begin stretching abnormally. If the adjustment needed is beyond normal - anything more than 1/8 turn on the adjusting nut, the valve has started to stretch abnormally, and the time to replace that valve has arrived.

Exhaust valves are among the hardest working parts of an air-cooled VW engine, and a broken can be disastrous for the engine. When replacing valves, always use the best quality available. We recommend German-made valves, followed by those made in Brazil and Mexico. Using valves made anywhere else, in our opinion, is very risky.