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Old 11-04-2013   #1
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Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

My A500 is coming slowly to 1500km (~940 miles). Do you usually do first oil change at his time? I did it in my previous 1.2 500 at about 1875 miles.

I think it may be essential in order to remove any residues left in assembly process + my A500 was produced in March 2012 (I bought it new in February 2013). This means that she has been standing at Abarth dealer without engine running almost a year - oil degradation may be significant.

I appreciate hearing your thoughts about oil change in new engine.
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Old 11-04-2013   #2
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Personally, I'd wait a little longer (around 3 to 4000 miles), as you do actually want a controlled wear process of the rings and bores to ensure a good seal.

By this mileage, you should be really have been working the engine quite hard, to get the ring>bore pressures up, whilst not putting too much load on for too long a time - pushing the engine in a higher gear (4th or 5th) for a few seconds, followed by periods of coasting along to subject the rings to a good vacuum, drawing oil up to cool them.
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Old 11-04-2013   #3
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Quote Originally Posted by Gregi View Post
My A500 is coming slowly to 1500km (~940 miles). Do you usually do first oil change at his time? I did it in my previous 1.2 500 at about 1875 miles.

I appreciate hearing your thoughts about oil change in new engine.
I'm in favour of an early initial oil change to get rid of any bits of detritus left over from initial assembly & the early running in period. I'd suggest either doing it yourself, or taking an OEM filter + the correct specification oil to an independent garage, & keeping quiet as far as FIAT are concerned.

I wouldn't go so far as to say it was essential, otherwise FIAT would mandate it in the service schedule. That said, FIAT are only interested in the engine surviving the warranty period & if you plan on keeping the car for more than three years, I'd say an early oil change is a sound investment in the car's future.

Bgunn's advice on running in is sound & there are some who would consider draining out the factory oil after delivery and changing to a straight mineral oil for the first 3000 miles to ensure the rings bed in properly.

Quote Originally Posted by Gregi View Post
This means that she has been standing at Abarth dealer without engine running almost a year - oil degradation may be significant.
I'd be more concerned about battery degradation in those circumstances.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 11-04-2013 at 21:11.
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Old 12-04-2013   #4
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Quote Originally Posted by Gregi View Post
My A500 is coming slowly to 1500km (~940 miles). Do you usually do first oil change at his time? I did it in my previous 1.2 500 at about 1875 miles.

I think it may be essential in order to remove any residues left in assembly process + my A500 was produced in March 2012 (I bought it new in February 2013). This means that she has been standing at Abarth dealer without engine running almost a year - oil degradation may be significant.

I appreciate hearing your thoughts about oil change in new engine.
I would be of the same mindset as JR about an early initial change particularly when less than 6K miles has been done in one 1 year. Hopefully Tony or someone will correct me on this but I remember reading somewhere that the oil in new A500 that come from the factory is 5W40 as opposed to the warranty compliant 10W50. I would be of 2 minds as to which one I would use. Given that the summer is coming in I'd probably get the correct spec 10W50 and the oil filer directly of Fiat and get a VAT registered garage to change it. Unless you can get the Fiat garage (doesn't need to be an Abarth garage) to reduce their labour charge by getting them to price match.
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Old 12-04-2013   #5
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Quote Originally Posted by loveshandbags View Post
and get a VAT registered garage to change it
Additional work not specified by the service schedule can be done by anybody if genuine OEM parts are used. From the warranty perspective, being pragmatic, who's to know? .
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Old 12-04-2013   #6
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

I change mine every 9k although first change was at 6k because I bought pre reg and year was up at 6k miles.
I don't think modern motors will have much 'residue' floating around so a change at 6k would be spot on for a pampered engine.
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Old 12-04-2013   #7
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Additional work not specified by the service schedule can be done by anybody if genuine OEM parts are used. From the warranty perspective, being pragmatic, who's to know? .
Unlikely Scenario.
A500 comes from the factory with 5W40 (still needs to be confirmed). 'OP' changes the oil to 10W50 as per the manual. Something goes wrong and the oil is analysed. Abarth will be wondering how did the 10W50 get in there since it has not had an official service yet.

If one was coming into the winter I'd put in 5W40 but if the new A500 gets a good workout and gets hot the 10W50 will be better. Plus it's the only one thats meet the warranty requirement for both the A500, A595 & A500SS.

Hence the recommendation of doing it officially and using 10W50 but then I'm probably just be pedantic.
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Old 12-04-2013   #8
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Just put the same oil in as OE uses during the warranty period?

I think you'll find many franchised dealerships don't use the official oil anyway, they'll use whatever they buy in bulk; this is particularly common on multi franchise dealerships. You'll also find that oil doesn't have a 'DNA' and it's very difficult to actually determine exactly what it might be unless you have the bottle in front of you, especially if it's been used for some time, or in extremis.
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Old 12-04-2013   #9
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Quote Originally Posted by bgunn View Post
Just put the same oil in as OE uses during the warranty period?

I think you'll find many franchised dealerships don't use the official oil anyway, they'll use whatever they buy in bulk; this is particularly common on multi franchise dealerships. You'll also find that oil doesn't have a 'DNA' and it's very difficult to actually determine exactly what it might be unless you have the bottle in fNotront of you, especially if it's been used for some time, or in extremis.

Yeah good one bgunn my Fiat main dealer used Agip 5w40 which was not C3 rated during my oil change, and funnily enough my indie used exactly the same oil.
I found some cheap formula ford 5w-40 C3 so use that for my top up, I think it is produced by BP.
Not using C3 oil hasn't exactly blown up my engine and to be honest I am sure the Fire 1.4 Fiat 16v engine has been around long before the C3 designation ever existed.
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Last edited by ahmett; 12-04-2013 at 11:51.
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Old 12-04-2013   #10
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Quote Originally Posted by ahmett View Post
Yeah good one bgunn my Fiat main dealer used Agip 5w40 which was not C3 rated during my oil change, and funnily enough my indie used exactly the same oil.
I found some cheap formula ford 5w-40 C3 so use that for my top up, I think it is produced by BP.
Not using C3 oil hasn't exactly blown up my engine and to be honest I am sure the Fire 1.4 Fiat 16v engine has been around long before the C3 designation ever existed.
Good point Ahmett about the length of time that the engine has been around although the C3 spec is for the CAT and not for the engine.
It raises the point about oldschool verus newschool thinking and given the age of the A500 engine I would lean towards this recommendation.
When I have gone there for information I've come out more confused that anything else but here's a recent thread that supports the other camp.
It's probable that Manufacturers are putting in some additives to help break in of new engines but I doubt that Fiat are doing it. If I have the TA engine I might opt for Bgunns approach but with the A500 engine...
There's a case for thinner rather than thicker and I've been happy with the thinner 5W40 in the 155TB but then there's more room in the engine bay. Can't see any Abarth garage using oil from a big drum and would imagine that the only oil they would use is the 10W50 in the fancy tin.
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Old 12-04-2013   #11
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Quote Originally Posted by loveshandbags View Post
If I have the TA engine I might opt for Bgunns approach but with the A500 engine...
You talk about the TJet like it's something mythical and special. It's not an engine known to have oiling issues (like a lot of VAG ones, for example).

Just use the oil that suits your climate and needs and meets the specifications given and it'll be fine.
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Last edited by bgunn; 12-04-2013 at 14:41.
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Old 12-04-2013   #12
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Quote Originally Posted by bgunn View Post
You talk about the TJet like it's something mythical and special. It's not an engine known to have oiling issues (like a lot of VAG ones, for example).
I think you may have misread my last post. The 1.4 16V engine uses a thick oil relative to what's been used nowadays so it is not build to tight tolerances that's characteristic of newer engines using 0w20 or similar. So oldschool thinking was being applied hence the reference link. On the 'mythical and special' the T-jet IMHO is quite a special engine but I hadn't thought of the mythical.

Quote Originally Posted by bgunn View Post
Just use the oil that suits your climate and needs and meets the specifications given and it'll be fine.
There's only one oil in the current A500 manual and that's 10W50 ACEA C3. If you use a 5w40 for a colder climate it's a warranty breech.
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Old 12-04-2013   #13
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Quote Originally Posted by loveshandbags View Post
I think you may have misread my last post. The 1.4 16V engine uses a thick oil relative to what's been used nowadays so it is not build to tight tolerances that's characteristic of newer engines using 0w20 or similar. So oldschool thinking was being applied hence the reference link. On the 'mythical and special' the T-jet IMHO is quite a special engine but I hadn't thought of the mythical.
Not sure about your humble opinion, but the engine is not particularly special, or amazingly demanding on its oiling requirements. Oh, and one reason new engines use oils such as 5w30 is not because of them being to wonderfully tight tolerances, it's because the marketeers have got hold of all reasonable sense and car manufacturers proudly say that cars can now have super extended service intervals (the Germans are good at this). Multigrade oils when they go out of grade tend to go 'thick' (more viscous)...

Quote Originally Posted by loveshandbags View Post
There's only one oil in the current A500 manual and that's 10W50 ACEA C3. If you use a 5w40 for a colder climate it's a warranty breech.
So remind me, what have we been wittering on about? Put that in it, and what on earth is FIAT going to say if the engine fails? (which it probably won't).
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Old 15-04-2013   #14
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

Quote Originally Posted by bgunn View Post
Not sure about your humble opinion, but the engine is not particularly special, or amazingly demanding on its oiling requirements.
Abarth thought differently. Initially the 5w40 spec was sufficient for the standard A500 but around 2 years ago they decided that all variants of the A500 would use the 10W50. They also reduced the service interval from 12K to 9K for the A500 and 9K to 6K for the A500SS. So relative to other manufacturers the oil service interval is demanding. If you were to lift the bonnet of a A500 one can see how it has been shoehorned in. Also a lot of A500s were getting the tuning box treatment and running the VL37 spec turbo at 1.2+bar - it was only designed for 135bhp.

Quote Originally Posted by bgunn View Post
Oh, and one reason new engines use oils such as 5w30 is not because of them being to wonderfully tight tolerances, it's because the marketeers have got hold of all reasonable sense and car manufacturers proudly say that cars can now have super extended service intervals (the Germans are good at this). Multigrade oils when they go out of grade tend to go 'thick' (more viscous)...
The North American version of the F500 uses 5w30 and the A500 uses 5w40. The US block is built to tighter tolerances than the European one. Given the multi-air head design 5w40 is the thickest that it can go without interfering with the hydraulics. The demand for the thinner oils came from the customer in the US and not from the manufacturer. 5w40 isn't as readily available in the US since 5w40 ACEA C3 is often labelled as being for Diesel engines. US prefer Petrol to Diesel in their everyday cars. In the case of the German cars the demand for thinner oils is to do with emissions which they have been excelling at but I would guess at the price of long engine life.

If 5W40 is the factory fill oil for the A500 engine there is probably a reason for it. Personally if I was the OP I would clarify it before deciding and agree it with the service manager of the Abarth dealership that you will be dealing with.

Quote Originally Posted by bgunn View Post
So remind me, what have we been wittering on about? Put that in it, and what on earth is FIAT going to say if the engine fails? (which it probably won't).
OP was looking for inputs on if he should change his oil at the 1K mark. Since a lot of the experts on bobstheoilguy can't agree on what's best I can't understand where you coming from.
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Old 15-04-2013   #15
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Re: Engine run in - oil & oil filter change

We'll agree to disagree. As you seem to know best, having worked on, and dismantled many, many engines
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