Important Details on C8 Corvette ZO6 Break-In Period: Road vs. Track

Breaking in your new C8 Corvette is an important part of owning the car, and it is critical that you follow the recommended break-in procedure. Recently, Chevrolet released a video on the new C8 Corvette ZO6 Break-In Period that explains the different requirements depending on whether you are running the car on the road or the track.

Corvette Expert Session – the ZO6 Engine Break-In

Billy Konsoer Chevy MyWay Product Specialist
Billy Konsoer – Chevy MyWay Product Specialist
Jordan Lee Global Chief Engineer Small Block V 8 Engine
Jordan Lee Global Chief Engineer Small Block V 8 Engine
Dustin Gardner Assistant Global Chief Engineer Small Block V 8 Engines
Dustin Gardner Assistant Global Chief Engineer Small Block V 8 Engines

C8 Corvette Engine Break-in

Corvette product specialist, Billy Konsoer, hosts a recent Chevy MyWay Corvette Expert Session titled The ZO6 Engine Break-In. He leads the viewer through the Corvette Z06 engine break-in process and its importance. The video briefly looks at GM’s dyno testing procedure for the Corvette Z06 engine and the type of engine oil used.

In the video, he interviews experts Jordan Lee – Global Chief Engineer  – Small Block V-8 Engine, and Dustin Gardner – Assistant Global Chief Engineer – Small Block V-8 Engines.

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We learn from the video that the main recommendation for the engine break-in is that the vehicle should not be pushed too hard for the first 500 miles of street driving. If you use it on the track, the recommendation is 1,500 miles.

Your Corvette should be driven at different RPMs and speeds, and you should not push to the redline regularly unless necessary.

The Z06’s eight-speed dual-clutch transmission also requires a break-in period.

The C8 Corvette ZO6 Break-In Period Video

Below we have the Video Transcript for the C8 Corvette Engine Break-in:

Let’s talk to the experts about the do’s and don’t of breaking in the LT6. So a lot of passion has gone into the ZO6 and its engine; you want to break it in properly, correct?

Breaking the engine in is really important. The Owner’s manual gives you the guidance on the five hundred miles for street driving and then the fifteen hundred miles for track driving.

Just give your engine that time so everything’s working the way it should be before you run it too hard.

Six hundred and seventy horsepower, eighty-six hundred rpm, there’s a lot of moving components in the engine.

This engine is a very high-speed engine, makes a lot of power, and there’s a lot of load on the components.

There was an old saying long ago; the saying was “drive it like you stole it.”

Don’t do that. That’s a terrible thing to do.

What are the exact components that we’re protecting by breaking in the engine?

The biggest component you’re protecting is the running surfaces or the bearings. You need to give the bearings that first critical five hundred miles.

So, there’s actually some material in the bearing that moves around.

The top layer of the bearing is about twenty microns stick; human hair is about seventy, so we’re talking fractions of a human hair.

Since the engine vibrates it’s going through these orbits and gyrations, a soft top layer on the bearing will actually move around and adapt and provide clearance so that you never have a worry of scuffing the bore of the bearing to the journal of the crankshaft.

I’ll give you an analogy; I think it’s a good analogy for Corvette customers. A polisher, you go at it very slow and smooth, and you get a brilliant, beautiful polished surface. If you got at it aggressively and push too hard, you’re gonna scuff the paint, and you’re gonna damage it.

To that’s exactly what the bearing’s doing, is the crankshaft is rotating, and you’re going through miles, and you’re varying the speed and load, it’s polishing the high surfaces to provide that clearance.

So, if you sit at one speed and load, it’s kinda gonna break into one condition.

You really want the bearing and the crankshaft to see that wide range of operation that the car is destined for.

And varying it around allows it to break in across that range.

Ok, so in addition to the engine break-in, is there a period of break-in for the transmission?

You actually reduce engine power by a certain percentage for the first five hundred miles and first two gears.

The tachometer will tell you. So, it’s giving the suggestion of the lower than eighty-six hundred rpm redline, reminding you for the first five hundred miles.

At five hundred miles, that opens up. That is street driving you can use all the car.

The dyno test for the LT6, it’s unique for the, call it more mainstream, high-volume OEM. Big exotics, they do it.

The big three, the high volume, the typical American pony cars, it’s not done. It is a great quality gate. So instead of just idling the engine on a dyno, this is a full load, high-speed dyno test.

It does start that break-in process. We get that kickstarted a little bit in a controlled setting where we can control the temperatures, the speed profile, and things like that.

It’s a gentle send-off to start the break-in process, allows us to check the oil, check everything that everything’s good to go so the customer has a great experience in the ZO6.

What type of oil is used in the ZO6, and what makes it so unique?

We developed an all-new oil for the LT6 engine, it’s a 5W-50, and it’s a Dexos-R.

R stands for “racing.” We’re really proud of this oil; we worked very closely with Exxon Mobil.

The oil type is a big enabler for what this engine does, right? I mean, we’re breaking records for naturally aspirating horsepower with this engine.

So, if you think about everything else in the LT6, the engineering has to be precise to the micron to make these parts work.

The oil life monitoring system is the same way. It’s actively looking at the way the engine’s being used and what it’s doing. And factor that into the life or longevity of the oil and just follow the dash, and it’ll tell you when it’s time.

It’s been finely engineered; every piece and every component on the engine it’s been expertly built here at the performance build center. And we do everything possible to make it easy for the customer to take good care of the car.

So, let’s do a recap.

  • Drive at varying speeds and RPMs.
  • Remember, there’s a five-hundred-mile break-in period for street driving and a fifteen-hundred-mile break-in period for the track.

Now that we know what to do, you can get out there and start putting those miles in.

Thank you for joining me for Chevy MyWay Corvette Expert Sessions.

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