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I have read everything here about breaking in the engine/CVT. We really don't drive much on highways, so it's not often that we get the RPM's up high. So I have been driving a little in Ds mode. My question is this: is it ok for the car to be driving constantly at 4,000 RPM's?? I really enjoy the way the car handles in Ds, especially on back roads with a lot of curves.
 

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You should make it a point to get the MO on the highways you will love it even more :)

I am amazed at the acceleration from highway speeds to passing speeds.
 

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The higher the engine speed, the more stress on the internal parts. So as far as whether it is ok for the engine to do that, I suppose it is, but you have to also assume it will wear the engine more.
 

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I'm at 8,900 miles on my 03 SE AWD.

I broke mine it by using the CVT to change the engine RPMs from about 1200 at 40mph or so in D, switch it to Ds at the same speed and they shoot up to 3500-4000.

I drove this way for a week, also using normal stop and go opportunites to accelerate both in Ds and D at up to about 1/2 of full throttle.

I would also take it out on the freeway occasionally and drive 55 in D for 10-15 minutes, then drop it down into Ds for a few minutes then back to D. Then I'd take it up to 65 in D for a while.

I actually got around 12 mpg for a couple of tanks as I did this so you can tell I was in Ds quite a bit.

I think the key's to proper breakin are:

Vary the engine speed, don't drive at the same RPM for more than 10-15 minutes at a time and try to stay under 4000 rpms for the first 500 miles.

At the same time, vary the vehicle speed up to 65 mph, again not staying at the same speed for more then 10-15 minutes at a time.

Avoid full throttle starts and brake smashing stops if at all possible, especially during the first 500 miles.

I got a little more agressive with the throttle and brakes as I got the miles up over the first 500.

I actually found this more challenging than normal with the Murano because the CVT manages the engine RPM so well.
 
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