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Old 02-11-2014, 05:53 PM   #21
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My 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid has a maintenance minder. The oil change code pops up between 9,000 and 10,000 miles. I change it myself, using full synthetic (Mobil 1) and OEM filter. The car has 160k miles on it and is still motoring along just fine. I'm hoping to get to 300k.

I started doing all my own car maintenance long ago because I couldn't afford to pay someone else to do it. I have kept on with it because I can be certain it is done correctly and, just as importantly, because I enjoy it. A well-lit, uncluttered garage, with a nice epoxied floor, plus the proper tools and materials, certainly helps in that regard.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:26 PM   #22
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My aging next door widowed neighbor owns a 2011 Lincoln. Because she rarely drives more than a mile to the stores here in town, there are only 2500 miles on the car. The dealer has convinced her that the recommended oil change interval is 90 days or 3000 miles, whichever comes fiirst, so for the past 3 years she has dutifully brought the car in every 3 months for the oil change... @ $61, and along the way, a car wash @ $20 and twice a year, a full car inspection for $45....

That brings up the subject for another thread... "Preying on Seniors"... but despite this being the extreme, overpaying for services is not unusual.
This reminds me. Some 10 years ago, a man I know was taking his PC in once a month to get it cleaned for $50 a pop. He was told that PC needs to be cleaned regularly to keep it going (like doing an oil change for car). The man was asking if I can do it cheaper since I am an expert. Out of curiosity, I've asked him what is being actually cleaned when he takes his PC in. As far as I can tell, the $50 service includes nothing but opening up the computer, and dusting it (which can actually do more harm - static charge, carrying back and forth). I just advised him to stop servicing the PC and save his money. Some business people have no shame.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:40 PM   #23
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My aging next door widowed neighbor owns a 2011 Lincoln. Because she rarely drives more than a mile to the stores here in town, there are only 2500 miles on the car. The dealer has convinced her that the recommended oil change interval is 90 days or 3000 miles, whichever comes fiirst, so for the past 3 years she has dutifully brought the car in every 3 months for the oil change... @ $61, and along the way, a car wash @ $20 and twice a year, a full car inspection for $45....
She should get the oil changed in the Lincoln around Easter every year, using synthetic 0W-20.
In the spring because cold temps will cause oil to thicken, so start fresh with warmer weather.
Synthetic 0W-20 because 90 percent of wear is at startup, 0W-X is best for reducing this wear.

The Lincoln dealer should be giving her free oil changes, not nickel-and-diming her on maintenance.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:49 PM   #24
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........My aging next door widowed neighbor owns a 2011 Lincoln. Because she rarely drives more than a mile to the stores here in town, there are only 2500 miles on the car...........
This usage would be considered severe service (water condenses in oil and doesn't get evaporated). Owner's manual should have separate severe service intervals spelled out. I'd follow them. She may also need to put the car on a battery charger or eventually the battery won't charge enough during her trips to make up for the energy used to start the car.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:49 PM   #25
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My 2012 Ford Focus has a recommended oil change interval of 7,500 miles. I have been changing oil in my vehicles since 1993 at every 5,000 miles, taking two cars to 200,000 miles and just started on the third.

I changed the oil myself until about two years ago, and the cost for five quarts of regular oil with a filter was about $15. I now use a local car mechanic and their everyday priced $19 oil change. I rarely spend more than 20 minutes at the shop. So far no oil-related repairs since I began regular oil changes over 20 years ago.

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Old 02-11-2014, 07:13 PM   #26
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05 Silverado tells me. Seems like 7000-10000 miles depending on driving conditions(dirt is bad). That said it's always used 1qt. every 3k miles. I pay little attention to dates, this is oil, not wine.

Synthetic vs. regular follow manufacturers recommendation. A filter is too cheap not to change so thats a nb.

I'm no longer a DIY guy, spend too many years with oil and grease on my hands. That said I really don't trust the budget places, they jacked up DW 96 Wrangler when replacing PVC valve.

Branded vs. generic? Don't know. When I was a kid I spent a year in auto parts. Around 90% was the same product with a different label on it. Couldn't tell you if thats true for oil.

Additives no, other than a 68 Ford. It got 2 gallons of gas per quart of oil, more like 50% STP. Found out what 'non-foulers' were.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:33 PM   #27
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I change the oil in my 2009 Prius every 5000 miles per the manufactures recommendations. I drive about 20k miles/year. My DW has a short commute and changes the oil every 6 months. I guess I would be comfortable with at most a 1x per year oil change if the mileage was extremely low. Somehow I can't believe that the same oil sitting in the car for more than a yr is good for the car.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:40 PM   #28
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What is this about oil changes? Why do cars need oil changes
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:06 PM   #29
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I've had my 2012 car over 2 years but I've driven fewer than 6,000 miles so far. I have changed the oil twice, after owning it 12 months, and after 24 months. I rode more miles on my bike last year than I drove in my car. I can do many, or even most of my errands on foot. My home has a "walkscore" over 90.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:34 PM   #30
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I have the time so I can do this!

I am a 70 year old engineer who worked on very large and small internal combustion equipment and engines for close to 40 years. I also maintained my vehicles myself over that time period. I now work oilfield projects part time.


"Dealer recommendation? or Manufacturer recommendation?"

Dealer's are retailers and need the business...so they over sell....whatever the owner's manual recommends, go with it....

Mileage? Months? Usage?... towing, stop and go, cold weather, dirt, dust, age of car.

Today's synthetic oils can handle all of the above.

Kind of oil:

In your 1932 Packard....30W Dino (non-synthetic)
In my 1965 Corvette (375 HP) - 10W 40 Pennzoil - Dino
In my 2006 Jetta Diesel - 5W 40 Mobil 1 full synthetic (or VW Spec 505.01)
In my DW's 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport - 20W 40 full synthetic

Brand name, versus Walmart, versus recycled, versus synthetic.

Brands don't matter as much as the SAE certifications on the top of the can.

Additives?

No additives are necessary as the oil already has proper additives.

Does type of oil affect oil change frequency?

No, as long as you use the correct oil.

Filter change necessary? Do it yourself... Dealer.... Walmart.... Jiffy Lube etc...

Absolutely...either do it yourself or watch them closely.

Pay a disposal fee?

Used oil is sold for a fee to recyclers...

Is dipstick oil color an indicator?

No, oil in my diesel gets black 5 minutes after I change the oil (soot). What is bad is a brown burnish stain on the dipstick that would come from a situation where the oil was "cooked" past its lubrication life (commonly called the oil's TBN is used up. TBN in a oil analysis lab is short for the "additive package" abbreviation and when that's gone, the oil is just about finished)

Does the oil brand or price affect the qualities of the oil?

Nope...as long as you are comparing identical properties and SAE certifications.

Dealer add-ons? Inspections

Stay out of dealerships!!!...they have turned into "stealerships". Find a competent independent shop and use them.

Sticker in the window... date or mileage for next change?

I put my info into a spreadsheet. My Dad used to keep a notebook in the glove compartment. You can write it on the back of your hand if you want

Rely on on board diagnostic center for oil change warning?

Only if it's calibrated to match the recommended interval in the owner's manual.

Know what the "W" stands for in 10W30?

"W" indicates an oil's viscosity at a given temperature.

Know SAE recommendation code? J, SN, S.... etc...

You just need to know what is in your owner's manual for SAE spec.

Some things to ponder:

... newer oils last longer because engine tolerances are tighter, metal surfaces stronger.


.....also, newer oils have improved additive packages - some oils for new cars are "Low ash" and formulated so that the emissions equipment is not damaged by the oil as it burns off and oil vapor is cycled through the EGR system.

...the 3000 mile recommendation goes back to the 1940's... still used by most oil change facilities.

Of course! and get your dog shots every year!

...the feared "engine failure" threat is ever hanging overhead... how many engine failures have you or anyone you know experienced in the last 20 years.

My step-daughter ran her 2000 Dodge PU oil of oil and seized the engine.

...in the 1950's as many as 5% to 10% of all cars on the road, had "smoking exhausts". when was the last time you saw one?

My old 2002 Dodge PU with 227,000 on it has a puff out the tailpipe at start up, but I am sure the valve seals are gone. Otherwise, not many cars have worn rings and blow-by. Better materials and oils have made this possible.

All leads to the questions:

how much do you know about oil changes and oil?
(too much)

how often do you change oil? (diesel - 10,000, Santa Fe - 7,500)

how much do you pay for a change (including filter)? (about $50 as I do it myself)

do it yourself? dealer? fast oil change? brother in law? (see above)
change because you are keeping the car? ... like who would know?
how about the time it takes out of your busy day, to get it done...


I change the oil to maintain my vehicles in top working order as they need t be reliable and around a long time. Oil changes take about 20 minutes if you have the tools and the oil/filter.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:50 PM   #31
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2010 Toyota Camry SE - just passed 100,000 miles. Gets synthetic oil & filter changed every 10k miles.

2007 Toyota Camry LE - getting close to 100,000 miles. Gets non-synthetic oil & filter changed every 5k miles.

So far, so good.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:58 PM   #32
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2010 Toyota Camry SE - just passed 100,000 miles. Gets synthetic oil & filter changed every 10k miles.

2007 Toyota Camry LE - getting close to 100,000 miles. Gets non-synthetic oil & filter changed every 5k miles.

So far, so good.
Gotta love those Camry's...they put Toyota "on the map"..
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:59 PM   #33
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I took my car for an oil change today with a coupon from the dealer .Of course the upsells were tiring and it took two hours . This Honda dealer seems to really upsell the senior citizens & a woman alone is fair game .I dread going for maintenance. Today they claimed I needed two new tires on a car with 21,000 miles to the tune of $386 . I am done with this dealership !
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:03 PM   #34
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What is this about oil changes? Why do cars need oil changes

For those of us with "real cars", heh, heh, Had a buddy who always bought his cars as used POS. He never changed oil. He simply added more as the old oil burned away. One time, his dear wife took one of his cars in and thought she would surprise him by giving it an oil change. When they took the drain plug out, nothing exited. There was plenty of oil in the crank case, but the sludge had hardened to form a nearly impenetrable plug. The mechanic strongly advised her to get rid of the car ASAP> Instead, the guy did his annual 1000 mile trek "home". He ended up abandoning the car on the way home and was kind of proud of himself for getting so many "free" miles out it by not doing any maintenance. Different schools of thought, I suppose.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:23 PM   #35
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All you ever wanted to know about motor oil (and then some):

- Bob is the Oil Guy
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:26 PM   #36
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My personal vehicles I change oil and filter myself at 5K for most of them. Older hot rods I do more often, like 3K. Always do it myself, I know it is done right. I can check under the car for leaks or other issues while there. I know a new filter is installed, and the drain plug is not over tightened or stripped. Buy the oil and filters on sale and cost is less than any coupon. I can do the change in less time than driving down to the shop. Some of my old hot rod type cars may be several years between changes since I don't put enough miles on them. I only use miles, not calendar date.

Now for the old widow lady, the problem her car has is not the miles, but that she takes short trips where the engine never gets to full operating temp to burn off the condensation. The best thing she can do is take it out every month and drive for 30 minutes on highway. This will get all the condensation out of the crankcase. My feeling is she could get by with 3K changes if she does this. No calendar date, just go by mileage.

To my way of thinking, oil changes are cheap and effective to ensure good long engine life.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:30 PM   #37
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I had my old Honda Civic's oil changed about every 3000 miles since that's what I had always done before. When I purchased my 2013 Accord they told me to wait until 5000 miles. After my 3 years of free oil changes are done, I might start waiting a little longer, now that I've read this thread.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:49 PM   #38
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I had my old Honda Civic's oil changed about every 3000 miles since that's what I had always done before. When I purchased my 2013 Accord they told me to wait until 5000 miles. After my 3 years of free oil changes are done, I might start waiting a little longer, now that I've read this thread.
Actually, if you read your owner's manual, it will specify what is the appropriate mileage interval to have the oil changes. It will also specify what grade of oil to use for your car.

Cars that are equipped with turbochargers have very specific oil recommendations, and it's generally to use a high grade synthetic oil. This is based on the turbo shaft seal and lubrication requirements for exhaust driven vanes (VNT turbos). Turbo temperatures can get very hot at over 200,000 RPM and non-synthetic oils will not be able to withstand the heat on the shaft it is trying to lubricate. That would result in a high probability of a turbo wheel failure, and that's called *expensive*.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:20 PM   #39
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... She may also need to put the car on a battery charger or eventually the battery won't charge enough during her trips to make up for the energy used to start the car.
Can't resist! Last winter this happened... My strongminded neighbor told me she would call her dealer on Monday to have the car towed in 'cuz it wouldn't start. (this was Saturday at noon and the dealer was closed) . Because I knew the dealer would definitely go for that half mile tow job for $65, I finally convinced her to let me put a trickle charge in... overniight... Next AM, I went with her to the local Autozone store, where the guy happily volunteered to put a load tester on the battery(free). It came back 100% perfect... 2 weeks of freeze, and the onboard electronics running all the time, had drained the battery, but it was fine... just needed to be trickle charged or run, once in a while...

The second part of the story... Ya gotta love this!!!... Monday at 9AM, she drove to the Lincoln dealer... Without even checking... he sold her a $95 new battery... but Gee!... free installation!
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:23 PM   #40
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to: aja8888... re your post #30...

Great reply... 100%
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