Q: How do I break in my new headers?

A: Most ceramic coated headers will come partially cured. The following break-in procedure will help to fully cure the coating. The same procedure will also help freshly painted headers.

Curing Coated Headers

  1. Install the headers according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Make sure the parking break is set and the vehicle is in neutral.
  3. Start the engine. Run it up to 1,500-2,000 rpm.
  4. When the engine reaches operating temperature, continue to run between 1,000-2,500 rpm for about five minutes.
  5. Turn the engine off and let it cool down.
  6. Repeat steps 3-6.
  7. Take the car for an easy drive (30-45 minutes).
  8. Turn the engine off and let it cool down.
  9. Repeat steps 3-5 again.

Why should I cure my headers?

Fully curing your header coating will help it last longer.

No coating is 100-percent guaranteed forever. All coatings will fade and eventually allow corrosion to form. How long the coating lasts depends on many factors. Individual results may vary.

Important Note: NEVER break in a new or rebuilt engine with ceramic coated headers. Excessive heat will damage the coating and void the warranty.

When you break in a new camshaft, lifters, and piston rings, excessive heat is produced. Ignition timing and carburetor jetting can also cause the engine to run hot.

Do not install your ceramic coated headers until after the engine is broken-in and properly tuned. We recommend you use an old set of headers or manifolds for engine break-in.

hooker swap headers ceramic coated
(Image/Hooker Headers)


This is another in a series of weekly Q&A Mailbag sessions with Summit Racings tech department, in which there are hundreds more. Click here to see them all.