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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Drew Bethel, Mar 4, 2005.
My dad says changing the oil twice a year is good enough.
It's been obsolete for many years! Read the owner's manual instead of believing what Jiffy Luibe tells you. Oil and engine technology has advanced quite a bit recently.
So true. We have 2 recent model year Toyota's, one suggests 7500 miles (3.0 litre), the other 5000 (3.3 litre).
Jiffy Lube still told my wife every 3k is optimal (for whom ???)
I enjoy taking our Vue into the dealer every 3K because I also get a free coupon for $15 car wash!
We do quite a bit of idling since it's cold and we have a baby...sometimes we'll let the car idle for 10 minutes!
careful there, usually it's 7k or so for the normal schedule and 3k for the harder driving schedule.
I've pretty much settled on 5K miles between oil changes. The owners manual for my 2002 V6 Altima suggests 7.5K, but I do not put a lot of miles on the car, so 5K works out to around every 5-6 months.
My wife makes a lot of shorter trips, though, so I keep her vehicle on a 3K change cycle.
I did the same thing with my '93 Camry V6 (5K between changes), and it's still running like a champ for my neighbor. I put 130K miles on it -- I'm not sure how many his daughter has added in the past 3 years.
I remember reading in some of my auto magazines, for "long-term tests" they'd drive the car until the oil change light came on. IIRC, some cars would go 8-10k miles before saying it was time for a change.
Consumer Reports did a study about 4 years ago where they took identical cars off a dealer lot with identical mileage on them (something like 3 miles on each cars odometer). They then ran both cars for 200,000 miles each. They changed the oil on one car every 7,500 miles and every 3,000 for the other. The cars were driven under identical conditions, both simulating highway driving as well as stop and go traffic.
At the end of the test, the car that had it's oil changed every 7500 miles showed no dissernable difference in engine wear vis a vis the 3,000 mile car.
That pretty much sealed the deal for me. I had been changing my oil every 5,000-7,500 until I read that and wondering if I was cheating myself. Now I know I am not. Plus, my last car (an Acura Integra) went over 175,000 before I got rid of it and my current vehicle is at 115,000 and I have plenty of life left in that baby as well.
Hamm, thanks for that info...I would have never thought idling can be so bad. I do have an engine block heater that I need to install - maybe that will help things to warm up faster?
I guess I would still prefer to have a warmer car for our daughter...our garage is not heated.
My bike manual says 3100 between oil changes, but the oil also acts as transmission fluid in most bikes. (ie. Dont think you can go 10,000 between lube jobs with your Ducati)
The key to the extended oil change is the "normal" driving conditions. The vast majority of drivers do NOT drive under "normal" conditions (as defined in the article and most owner's manuals). I use synthetic and still change every 3000 miles for a couple reasons: 1) most of my trips are under 10 miles, and 2) I drive a 2000 intrepid which is notorious for sludge issues.
Also, if you only change on the extended or "normal" schedule and something does go wrong in your engine while still under warranty, the manufacturer will likely claim that your driving was not "normal" and therefore they will not pay for repairs.
I change the oil-
once every 9 months or 8000 miles in my '02 Acura TL-S (Mobil-1). It's at 49k miles, no issues.
once every 6 months or 5k miles in my '95 Honda Accord EX (dino oil with a splash of syn). It's at 137k miles, no issues.
once every year or so in my hot rod- '80 Z28 (Mobil 1). That's only 3k miles or so. The bottom end of this motor is 25.5 years old (original), has not been treated "kindly," and the bearings look decent. The last time I had it apart (2001- defective valve spring), a few of the cylinders still had hone marks from the factory.
I strongly disagree (as would Blackstone labs) that syn oil wears out at the same rate as conventional oil. My analyses with them don't show that.
One BIG reason that manufacturers have increased their oil change intervals, is that they're often pushed by the environmental groups to reduce their "fleet consumption of fluids." BMW is on record as saying this is a major contributor to their 10-15k oil change intervals.
The intervals on my 740iL have been averaging 10k (always using synthetic oil). Some would say that BMW started going to the longer intervals (which are determined by the car's computer) in order to save money on their free scheduled maintenance programs, but it's not like there have been reports of engine failure among BMWs.
On my Jeep, I also use synthetic but have it changed every 6k miles.
No but it'll start easier as the oil will be warmer. running the car idle until the windows have defrosted enough to safely see is just a fact of life for most of us living in cold climates...sure its not great on the engine but short of buying a house with a garage there's few alternatives
Back in the early-mid 90s, the 4.0 did have a fairly high failure rate. IIRC, if you bought the 100k warranty from BMW, the engine was automatically replaced, as a matter of course.
(Found this out when I was looking at a '93 740iL a few years ago).
That is true, but I don't believe it was oil-related. The E34 540i and the E38 740i/iL had the Nikasil (nickel and silicon) V8 engine that developed issues primarily due to the higher sulfur content in gasoline sold in the USA. BMW redesigned the engine to 4.4 liter Alusil (aluminum and silicon) for the E38's 1996 model year and there haven't been any more problems. (Blown radiators, dead pixels, and servo failures in the ventilation system, but the engine is great!)
The best thing you can do is send an oil sample out to be analyzed (maybe $25-30) every once in awhile. That will tell you exactly what is happening in your engine, if the oil hasn't broken down, then changing it early is simply wasting money for no benefit at all.
CR did a great test afew years ago. To keep it short,new york cabs with new engins and all used different oils. Engins were all broken down and parts measured. All brand name oil,reg and syn work the same. 5-7000 miles between oil changes would be no problem for todays oils. Oil filters,thats another story. Mobil 1 was the best filter but cut open,the bosch was the same at half the price. I forget about the rest of the filters.