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Oil Change - when?
Old 02-11-2014, 02:58 PM   #1
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Oil Change - when?

Very few Automotive subjects generate such strong opinion as that of how often oil changes should be made.

Instead of taking a stand, I am throwing out some of the points that often get into the discussions, and some of the factors that are involved.
(all subject to correction)

First... beginning with the 2014 manufacturer's model year, many oil change recommendations have been extended to 10,000 mile intervals. Some of the BMW models recommend 15,000 miles.

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.

So...
Dealer recommendation? or Manufacturer recommendation?
Mileage? Months? Usage?... towing, stop and go, cold weather, dirt, dust, age of car.
Kind of oil:
Brand name, versus Walmart, versus recycled, versus synthetic.
Additives?
Does type of oil affect oil change frequency?
Filter change necessary?
Do it yourself... Dealer.... Walmart.... Jiffy Lube etc...
Pay a disposal fee?
Is dipstick oil color an indicator?
Does the oil brand or price affect the qualities of the oil?
Dealer add-ons? Inspections
Sticker in the window... date or mileage for next change?
Rely on on board diagnostic center for oil change warning?
Know what the "W" stands for in 10W30?
Know SAE recommendation code? J, SN, S.... etc...

Some things to ponder:
... newer oils last longer because engine tolerances are tighter, metal surfaces stronger.
...the 3000 mile recommendation goes back to the 1940's... still used by most oil change facilities.
...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.
...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?

All leads to the questions:
how much do you know about oil changes and oil?
how often do you change oil?
how much do you pay for a change (including filter)?
do it yourself? dealer? fast oil change? brother in law?
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...

are we creatures of habit?
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:09 PM   #2
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My last 2 vehicles (both from GM) have an oil usage monitor that tells you when a change is needed (It seemed to be about 7500 miles). It seems GM has a patent on this however. Actually if you look at how heavy equipment (and airplanes) are maintained if you just put an hour meter on the car and changed the oil every x hours of operation it would work. (Note that my current vehicle says even if the minder does not say so change oil once a year)
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:11 PM   #3
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The newer (synthtic/synthetic blend) oils can indeed go up to 10k miles between changes. They have the desirable property that they don't breakdown into sludge nearly as fast as regular dino-oil.

However the recommendations that I have seen for the new oils state that milage aside your oil should be changed no later than every 12 months.

By the way, my car has an onboard computer that calculates when to change the oil based on driving conditions. Right now my oil has about 30% of it's life left before I'll get it changed.

Price-wise - it's oretty hard toi beat the dealers own coupons for getting the oil changed. I can't even buy the oil and filter for what they charge.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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6 year old Honda Pilot, had a percentage figure, ran about 6,500 miles between change.
6 month old Nissan Murano says every 4,000 miles. As it is new, and under warranty, I change it at the recommended time.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meierlde View Post
My last 2 vehicles (both from GM) have an oil usage monitor that tells you when a change is needed (It seemed to be about 7500 miles). It seems GM has a patent on this however. Actually if you look at how heavy equipment (and airplanes) are maintained if you just put an hour meter on the car and changed the oil every x hours of operation it would work. (Note that my current vehicle says even if the minder does not say so change oil once a year)
GM does not have a patent on oil usage monitors..........many foreign cars have had them for years and years........
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:35 PM   #6
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I have been changing my own for nearly 50 years, primarily in the beginning to save money, now mostly to save time and hassle.

I would say the widow should get a yearly change with an appropriate synthetic and call it a day.

Those who "need to know" can send a sample into a lab and get the real dope about what's going on in there.

On the motorcycle boards that I frequent, this is what's known as an "oil thread", btw...
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:36 PM   #7
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My son drives a 1995 Geo Prizm (Toyota engine) that I bought with about 10,000 miles. It now has about 180,000 miles. I changed oil mostly every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. He isn't as diligent. Its still running fine and not smoking.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:38 PM   #8
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Its still running fine and not smoking.
Overheard at a George Webb by an older gentleman: "If I wanted a car with an engine that smoked I would have been bought a domestic"..........
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:42 PM   #9
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My current car has a maintence minder and I'm going by that. My previous car, I used to get an oil change every 3000 miles. Then the place that I brought the car in changed the recommendation to every 5000 miles (hmmm...same car... different recommendation).

I don't go by time as in 3000 miles or 3 months. I just go by the miles.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:43 PM   #10
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I just bought a new car which its service manual says change it at 7500 interval for normal usage. It's the same as 2006 model I've bought before. I will change it at 7500 interval but with full synthetic oil (can probably go much longer interval).
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:17 PM   #11
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Both of our vehicles have oil minders so I go by that. Back in the mid '70's there were two years when I lived a mile from work. I changed the dino oil (all we had then) about 1,500 miles. I wasn't sure if it was necessary but I figured it was cheaper than a new engine.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:18 PM   #12
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Mercedes: Manual says 10,000 miles/Annually and use Mobil 1 full Synthetic. Note it takes a new filter and 8 Quarts of oil to do it (I DIM).
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:25 PM   #13
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I started changing the oil in my three rigs about 5 years ago. It's not that I'm thrifty. Its the only place in town, and I think the owners a !@#$ +_)( *&^%!

I'm seasonal for the daily drivers. So, three times a year for them. Big Blue, my 76 Monte Carlo, gets changed about twice a year.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:30 PM   #14
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I've always changed oil in our cars every 5K. Our newest car has synthetic oil, and I plan to continue to change oil for that car every 10K, we'll see how it goes.

That's the extent of my worries about oil changes, right or wrong...
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:52 PM   #15
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Way too much to read and comment on. Here's a tip - oil is rated by the API and I don't care where you buy it from (Walmart or the dealer) or what you pay ($3 or $6) if the API icon is on the container and current ie not 25 year old oil used in a 2014 car then it is good to use. I think that manufactures recommendations are safe to follow. Me, the owners manual says 5000 but I still change my own oil and filter at 3000 because I do a lot of short (3-8 mile one way) trips and that is harder on the oil and engine than when I worked and drove 50-60 minutes 30 miles one way on the interstate and state highway. I use non synthetic but if I used synthetic I'd extend the distance.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:59 PM   #16
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Every 5000 miles full synthetic oil.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:06 PM   #17
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10K per the manufacturer.

When I was a tyke I changed my own oil. Haven't in many moons.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:11 PM   #18
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What is this about oil changes? Why do cars need oil changes
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
My son drives a 1995 Geo Prizm (Toyota engine) that I bought with about 10,000 miles. It now has about 180,000 miles. I changed oil mostly every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. He isn't as diligent. Its still running fine and not smoking.
I gave my daughter my 1994 Geo Prism .It lasted over 250,000 miles before it died. Great car !
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:47 PM   #20
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Around 1996 Consumer reports did a oil change frequency study on a fleet of NYC taxi cabs. Half had their oil changed at 3000 miles and the other half at 6000 miles. They did this for 100,000 miles and then tore the engines down and measured wear from new engine specs. Results were there was no discernible difference in wear.

I follow my onboard computer.
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