Break In Oil FAQ

When you decide to put your time and money into an engine you should do everything possible to protect that investment. Choosing the right lubricant will help protect valve train components, bearings, and cylinder walls during initial startup and “running-in” of an engine. Brad Penn accomplishes this by blending zinc, phosphorous, and a specific detergent package. Zinc and Phosphorous both function as anti-wear and when blended together form the compound ZDDP (zinc dialkyldithiophosphate). Additionally, soap elements in detergents work to prevent seizure of components such as piston rings.

It is important however, to keep in mind that more zinc is not always better for break-in oil. At a certain point, too much zinc can create a surface condition where the rings will not be allowed to seat. On the other hand, too little zinc may promote excessive wear during break-in. Brad Penn stresses that their formula of ZDDP, a specific detergent package, and Pennsylvania Grade Lubricants base stock results in a break-in oil that works synergistically together to prevent wear. Furthermore, it is not recommend that other additives be used with Brad Penn products.

Lastly, following a completed break-in cycle, the oil should be drained immediately. Do not use break-in oil during normal operation of your vehicle. In most VAG applications we recommend switching to a synthetic oil after using Brad Penn break-in oil.

Brad Penn oils are available through the Integrated Engineering web store:  Click Here

Additional Specifications of Brad Penn Break-In Oil SAE 30:

  • 100% made in USA
  • HTHS viscosity of 3.57 cP (centipoise)
  • .1% ZDDP concentration

    Brad Penn Break-in Oil FAQ

    1. When should I use break-in oil?
      • You should only use break-in oil when “running-in” a new engine or changing substantial internal engine components. Do NOT use break-in oil after completing a break-in procedure.
    2. Specifically, are their certain engine components that should be broken-in following installation?
      • We recommend using break-in following the installation of any of our assembled race engines (cylinder heads, short blocks, long blocks), camshafts, connecting rods, pistons, or stroker kits.
    3. How long should I run break in oil? How many miles?
      • We have spent a considerable amount of time determining the proper break-in procedure for our components. Please review our break-in procedure: Click Here
    4. What do I look for when I changing the break-in oil.
      • Fine metal dust is OK as it is a result of wearing-in components. You should not however find large shavings or debris. It is also common for dirt or machining residue to be found in the first oil changes.
    5. What type of fuels is it OK to use this oil with?
      • Brad Penn Break-in oil was specifically designed for use with gasoline and diesel engines. However, we have found that using Brad Penn with E85 is OK, but the car should not be stored for long periods with Brad Penn oil in the crank case. When stored for long periods gumming or deposit issues have been encountered.
    6. Can I run Brad Penn Break-in oil with a catalytic converter?
      • The use of Brad Penn Break-in with a catalytic converter is not recommended for extended periods of time as high phosphorous levels can lead to catalytic converter ‘poisoning.’ However, the effects on the catalytic converter appear to be minimal during a short break-in procedure.
    7. Will running this break-in oil make my car lower?
      • Sorry, this oil will not make your car any lower. Although, several cases in the trunk may bring it down a couple of inches.

    If you have any other questions please email us at or leave a comment below.

3 thoughts on “Break In Oil FAQ”

  • Excellent info!

    I use Brad Penn 20/50 Grade 1 in my 30 year old Porsche engine as well since ZDDP really helps reduce wear on anything with flat tappets and stiff valve springs. It is a fantastic product and worth every cent!

  • Is it ok to use this oil for assembling pistons and piston rings?

    • Sure, this would be just fine for assembling the engine where oil is used. You should still use a good assembly lube where needed such as the bearings of course. We also carry Brad Penn assembly lube:

Leave a Reply