Break-in period for new F150 Ecoboost

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Joe W

New member
Dec 8, 2012
Hi, I've been towing a pop-up trailer with a Ford Explorer.  The trailer weights about 2500 pounds, loaded.  I'm bringing home a F150 Ecoboost with the 3.55 rear axle today (towing rated at 9800 lbs).  We have plans to camp about 70 miles away this weekend.  All freeway miles.  The truck will have about 250 miles on it at that time.  The book recommends a 500 mile break-in period.  Any opinions?  I think our little trailer is so easy to pull that the break-in period won't be a big deal.
Thanks for your opinions! - Joe
Joe W said:
The book recommends a 500 mile break-in period.  Any opinions?  I think our little trailer is so easy to pull that the break-in period won't be a big deal.
Thanks for your opinions! - Joe

Sounds like the people who built it disagree with  you.

My personal opinion is that it won't hurt a thing, providing you vary your speed and don't push the vehicle hard. 
I disagree about not pushing it hard during the break in period, within reason. A few full throttle accelerations from cruising speed in 3rd or 4th gear helps seat the rings, preventing oil use and improving fuel economy later down the road. That's my personal opinion from research and experience with a few new vehicles, and is even a recommendation in the 2011 Dodge Ram manual.

The break in recommendation for my 2011 Ram was also no towing until after 500 miles, but that was mainy for the rear end gears to properly heat up and wear into each other before being strained under load. For the engine, I think one of the best things you can do to break it in properly is to make it work pulling a load as soon as you hit that magic 500 miles.

I won't be bother with hitching up a trailer and working the truck a bit towing. Like others said don't push the truck to its limits if you have back down on speed and grab a lower gear. I would...
It's not just the motor you need to get broke in. It is also all the rest of the running gear especially the rear end gears. I would get the 500 miles minimum on you new truck, then change the rear end lube, then start pulling your trailer. I actually like to get about 2K miles on a new vehicle before I start to work it hard but that?s just me but I would certainly get the 500 miles the manufacture recommends before pulling your trailer.
My opinion is to get the 500 miles as per the manufacturer.  You may be fine otherwise, but you just plunked down 40K on a brand new truck.  Why take a chance.  It's not that hard to put 500 miles on it, even easier the last 250.  Just take a drive in the country...remember those??
Its only Tuesday! Are you certain you can't put 250 more miles on it by Friday night or Saturday morning? Drive it to work instead of the car; take an hour drive each night after work (an hour out and an hour back); or something else creative. Even 12 mpg at $3.80/gal., 250 miles will cost you less than $80.00 (not including your time), sounds like a pretty cheap piece-of-mind insurance policy to me!
...and another thought is, there certainly must be some other route you could take that isn't all highway/freeway, steady highway/freeway speeds for any new vehicle is never a good idea.
While the rules in the manual will certainly come into play if anything happened down the road, I would think that towing 1/4 of the truck's rated capacity would be almost no strain on the drivetrain.

With 100 miles on my odometer, I hooked up our TT (loaded, it's about 70% of my rated towing capacity) and towed it 150 miles. 2-1/2 years and 37000 miles later all is well!

I agree, though, that the more miles you can put on it before you tow, the better.
Thanks for all your input, gentlemen.  We'll try to stack up some more miles between now and Friday to get real close to the recommended 500 miles.  I'm leaning toward going, given that it's 1/4 the rated towing capacity and that I have two daughters I'd hate to disappoint. Regardless, I'll take it easy getting up there.  I'll fluctuate the speed and back off it when needed.  Thanks for sharing all your knowledge with me. 
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