New vehicle - first and subsequent oil changes

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Mike OConnell, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. Mike OConnell

    Mike OConnell Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 1999
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Overland Park KS
    Real Name:
    Mike
    I took delivery of a new Honda Odyssey on April 10. In the past I have had the first oil change performed at the 1000 mile mark and then every 3 months or 3750 miles thereafter, whichever came first.

    I have always used the recomended oil viscosity for my vehicles and have never tried synthetic.

    We have mixed driving conditions - my wife will be the primary driver and has about a 4 mile commute to and from work everyday on city streets. The vehicle usually gets most of its milage from trips to see the parents - 750-1000 miles roundtrip and on driving vacations.

    What would other HTF members recommend for oil changes - the first one and those thereafter and what oil - if different from the manufacturers (5W-20) recommendations?

    Mike
     
  2. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2000
    Messages:
    1,307
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike - Honda has pretty strict mainteance schedules for their vehicles; if you change the oil in the first 1000 miles, you can actually significantly REDUCE the life of your engine. My 2003 element had 2 maintenance schedules, one for normal use and the other for heavy duty use. The heavy duty schedule had the first oil change at 6000 miles, and the normal had it at 10000 miles.

    As far as oil weights, I (and other recent Honda owners) have found finding 5w-20 oil difficult. Here is a good thread on this topic that appeared here recently.

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...ight=Honda+oil

    My advice is to stick to what the owners manual says and ignore the dealership (who wants to get service money out of you, not make your car last) and the quick-lube propaganda.
     
  3. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,936
    Likes Received:
    347
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    Initial oil change recommendations have changed a lot over the years. The cars nowadays come with a special "break in" oil installed, and generally the mfg. wants this left in for several thousand miles. Check your owner's manual or service manual. The break in oil also contains floursecent dyes so that they can void your warranty if you don't change your oil......

    That oddball [edit] 5W-20 is now standard for Fords and Hondas. Get the Motorcraft oil cheap at Wally World. It's part synthetic IIUC.
     
  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 1998
    Messages:
    2,041
    Likes Received:
    0
    You need to look into whether or not Honda uses a special break-in oil for your car. If they do, you should not change it until they tell you to. VW would prefer that people go 10,000 miles before the first oil change, but because of the ad campaigns by the oil companies in the US they know that people won't accept this so they make the first recommended oil change at 5,000 miles. After that depending on the engine they recommend either 5,000 or 10,000 mile oil change intervals.

    So I'd look into it more for your car. 1,000 miles may be way to soon and could affect the proper break-in of your engine. It is most likely a waste of money, but that is your decision.
     
  5. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 1999
    Messages:
    1,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Randy
    This is an important thing to remember regarding oil-change frequency.

    Your owners manual will often have a much longer life cycle between changes than the typical 3 month / 3000 mile.

    So, why has 3/3000 become so ingrained? Easy. Auto service dealers recommend the frequent oil changes so that they can get your vehicle into the shop 4 times a year, in hopes of finding something wrong, which they will then be able to fix. Whether the car is still under warranty or not, the repair facility gets paid. It is safe to assume that during those visits, they will find something wrong, whether it's tire wear, dirty filters, brake wear, alignment problems, exhaust leaks, etc. That is why so many places offer a "Free 30 point inspection with oil change!" It's not for you. It's for them.

    So, 3/3000 is not there for the betterment of your car. Follow the manufacturers recommendations for service, in the owners manual. (Granted, 3/3000 is not harmful, it's just not necessary).
     
  6. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,536
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Southern, Ca
    Real Name:
    Zen K. Butler

    Dennis, I'm sure you meant 5w-20. It will become more available in its' aftermarket form. Valvoline already sells it in quarts publicly (the non-synthetic versions). I agree with Dennis, the Motorcraft 5W-20 Syn is a good oil. It is only a synthetic blend, so Valvoline Durablend W-20 when it's available would be a comparable choice. For now Casrtol SYNTEC 5W-20 (a FULL synthetic) would be fine, if not overkill.

    Skip Wallyworld, and support your local auto parts house.
     
  7. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,936
    Likes Received:
    347
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    Ah, yeah....it's fixed now.

    I only mentioned Wallyworld because I know they are everywhere. I only go there to buy cases of oil and cases of ammo, which makes for some odd looks when I wheel my cart up to the cashier.....
     
  8. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 1998
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, there is no need to change oil so often on a new car. My MINI uses synthetic oil and is a hard working 4 cylinder engine and my first oil change was at 7500 miles. It was still clear and clean when I checked it at that mileage.

    But go with what interval Honda recommends and try synthtic oil.
     
  9. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    Mike,

    Leave the original oil in per Honda's recommendation. After that follow your own schedule. That 4 mile commute is not long enough to let the oil reach full operating temperature, so unless you make that 1000 mile trip to see the grandparents every weekend, your oil is going to be contaminated with lots of moisture that isn't gonna boil out. In this case I'd change at least every 4k miles if not more often. Synthetic is a help in this scenario but don't make the switch until the vehicle has at least 10k miles on it. Many modern engines, while not requiring specific break-in period driving prohibitions in order to prevent engine damage, don't become fully broken in for a long time. I typically buy a new car every 3 or 4 years and none has really loosened up enough to get the best performance and fuel economy until about the 6 to 10k mile mark. The engine will break in quicker with dino oil. Exceptions are the few new cars that come with synthetic from the factory.

    With the demise of "full service" gas stations these 4 times a year visits to the shop are the only times these things get checked. I work in a Toyota dealership shop, and do a quick once-over on all the cars I do an LOF (lube, oil, and filter) on as a matter of course. Fewer than one in 10 of the cars I get in for just an LOF have anywhere close to proper tire pressure, people just don't check this any more. Would you prefer your brakes don't get checked, so instead of just new pads and machinning the rotors you end going metal to metal and having to replace rotors?

    The plain fact is that the vast majority of car owners don't look under the hood at all anymore, and without those 4 visits a year wouldn't spot a leaky water pump. I've got news for ya, these same people don't know what a temp guage is for and a goodly number of them have a picture of a grandkid covering it up anyway. If they didn't have us looking under there 4 times a year they could easily fry a $4k engine rather than just replace a water pump.

    Of course, there will always be unscrupulous shops trying to sell unnecessary work. We have people come in regularly who've been told by some other shop that they need struts or other lucrative repairs when in fact the ones they have are just fine.

    While you may be conscientious enough to monitor your car's fluid levels, tire pressures, belt, hose, and filter conditions I can assure you that the vast majority of car owners are totally clueless, just as the vast majority of folks are happy watching their poorly calibrated 19" televisions. These same people would happily drive their cars until they literally stopped running if somebody didn't pop that hood once in a while, which they most certainly will not do.

    You can pop the valve cover off any car with a total of only 7500 miles on it and only one oil change and find it clean as a whistle. BMWs (parent company of Mini) are suffering premature sludge induced engine failures at 50-70k miles when people rely on the long service intervals indicated by the car's own maintenance interval computers, but y'all do what you want.
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,970
    Likes Received:
    1,543
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I'm a little perplexed about this question. Why wouldn't you just follow the car manual?
     
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,936
    Likes Received:
    347
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    Hey Steve, how often do you see people changing their brake fluid anymore? I do it myself and am always amazed how the pedal firms up. (But then again I even got the speed bleeders www.speedbleeder.com to make it easy.)
     
  12. Mike OConnell

    Mike OConnell Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 1999
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Overland Park KS
    Real Name:
    Mike
    Thank you everyone for your feedback. It was both beneficial and educational.

    I typically have my oil changed by the dealer through the warranty period and have used the "harsh" driving conditions recommendations due to the short commutes.

    Mike
     
  13. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    Mike,
    You're doing exactly what contributes most to engine longevity at minimal cost. Although most dealerships will do oil changes for about the same as jiffy lube, if yours wants $80 for an LOF take the car elsewhere or do it yourself, but get it done.

    We've got a largish number of customers who've accumulated well over 200,000 miles with no major repairs due mostly to this simple and inexpensive maintenance regime. One guy's got 498,000 on a '93 Camry V6 as of last month. He's had a radiator replaced and I think 1 water pump over the years but the heads have never been off the engine and it still purrs like a kitten. One of our service writers has 350k on a Previa van, same story except he's still got the original radiator, but had to have the starter replaced once and the brake rotors got too thin to machine at about 175k.

    I honestly don't understand why people will buy $30 or 40k
    vehicles and take chances on 10+k mi. oil change intervals, mfg recommendation or not. Even on the teutonic wundercars a simple oil and filter change needn't cost more than a takeout pizza dinner for the family.
     
  14. Mike OConnell

    Mike OConnell Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 1999
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Overland Park KS
    Real Name:
    Mike
    Steve:

    My closest local Honda shop charges anywhere from $19.95 to $24.95 for an oil change, plus fluid top-off, tire pressure check, general once over on the visual inspection items - including a checklist on the items.

    The price range depends if I have a coupon or not!

    Mike
     
  15. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,936
    Likes Received:
    347
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis


    A Porsche takes 9-11 quarts of Mobil 1 each change. Maybe a cheap weinerschnitzel mit spaetzel dinner for the family.... [​IMG]

    Of course, the Porsche owners' group I visited to see how difficult maintenance was on a Boxster debated whether Mobil 1 was cheaper at Target vs. Wallymart.... [​IMG]

    My older sister once commented to me that I had learned the two most important lessons in staying ahead financially:

    1) Learn to work on your own car
    2) Never get married.....
     
  16. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 1999
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    New car manufacturers are under enormous pressure to reduce the total fluid consumption of their fleets. One way is to extend oil changes. Where do you think 100k coolant came from? It's a noble goal, unfortunately, there are a lot of "sub-par" owners out there who will go beyond even these longer intervals (e.g. some BMWs go out to 18k between changes).

    If the Honda were mine, and I lived where you do, and drive like you did-

    1. Don't change the oil first time until at least 3750 miles.
    2. Switch to Mobil 1 0w-20 synthetic (I use 5w-30 due to my hot climate). Use an oversized Purolator Pure One filter (#24458 for my 02 Acura TL Type S)
    3. Change it every 5000 miles or 2x/year, whichever comes first, due to the 4 mile thing.

    Todd
     
  17. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2000
    Messages:
    868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aurel,

    Did you MINI's service indicator tell you to change at 7500? if so, that is pretty soon, it is supposed to be around 10,000 with the computer adjusting for driving conditions. Right now, according to the indicator, I will be going in around 11,000 but I drive about 10-15 minutes on the interstate each way to work so I get the engine good and warmed up. Do you do a lot of short trips?

    BTW, some people at a MINI forum I frequent have sent their oil in for analysis at the 10,000 mark and there was no problem with the oil at all. Of course the MINI does use synthetic.
     
  18. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 1998
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    0
    Lee:

    I do mostly stop and go traffic in NYC, so the 7500 miles was on the service indicator. That service indicator is just what MINI will pay for obviously (as we get free service), but I don't think I would go as high as 11K miles without an oil change. I think I will do my next one at 12K, even though my service indicator now shows 15K.
     
  19. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    At work we have a 2002 Ford E150 ullsized van that just broke 70,000 miles. But nobody changed the oil for the last seven thousand and it has developed a nasty knock [​IMG]

    On my personal vehicles I change every 3000 like clockwork. I also use synthetic oil, its just cheap piece of mind.

    My bike doesn't take synthetic, but usues a different blend because my (and most) motorbikes have a combined engine-transmission and the slippery stuff does double duty.

    The maintenence schedule:

    Car: LOF every 3k, bring it in for full inspection & general preventive maintenence every 15k (as per the manual)

    Bike: LOF every 3k with a shop visit every 6k (needs to have valves reset).
     
  20. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2000
    Messages:
    830
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    Is there any truth to the rumor that tiny metal particles are trapped in the oil filter when you are breaking in a new car, and that the flow of oil is reduced due to clogging of the filter?
     

Share This Page