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A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

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Comments

  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,982
    MB did this in the late 90s with several models, including my old E55. Don't change that fluid, and you stand a very good chance of losing the transmission by 100K. Change it every 40K or so, and have almost no risk of failure.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited February 2013
    In other words, you haven't counted the pleats and analyzed the filter media.

    So, unless you are able to dig up some GM or Ford links saying otherwise, your suggestion that small filters are inherently bad doesn't hold any water with me.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Well, what I guess I'm saying is this...

    When used car lots can no longer effectively sell used cars due to an incomplete or missing service history, and when the average used car customer demands a service history before buying a used vehicle, then it will be a problem.

    So far, the threat of a $7000 engine or a $6000 catalyst doesn't seem to have impacted the market. The guy 3 houses away from me has a successful "pre-owned" car lot (his average selling price is around $12,000, according to him). I asked him tonight how often buyers ask about the service history of a car. His response was "Never". He's had this business for over 20 years.

    One day, those possible costs might be important to buyers, but that day isn't here yet.

    The vast majority of today's used car buyers, for better or worse, make their determination based on the known cost (sales price), not on what the future costs may be.

    Personally, I tend to subscribe to your POV, because my "financial" history has taught me there are many types of costs, but I'd bet the average used car sales lot has few customers asking about future possible costs.

    6-10 year old BMW 7-series sell used, yet there aren't many familiar with the model that would feel its a cheap ride to maintain (in general).

    I'm not arguing with you here, just stating what I see...
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 11,587
    edited February 2013
    I believe that BMW has called for a 100,000 change on all their ATs since 2002. Both of my newer Bimmer autoboxes are GM units, and my dealer never gives me any hassle about changing it at 50,000-55,000 mile intervals.
    Another forum member was recently advised by his dealer that the the Master Technician at the BMW dealership was "strongly opposed" to replacing the transmission fluid/filter in his E46 at the Inspection II(@60,000) mile service- which would make me wonder if the shop felt confident enough to handle the job 40,000 miles later(or worse, still thought that ATF was a lifetime fill).

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited February 2013
    Now just imagine how every possible automotive topic has changed as dramatically as this one has. Shouldn't media types be concerning themselves with getting this kind of information out to their readers instead of just adding to the confusion? It's OK if they admit that they simply didn't understand the changes, but so far all we usually see is still more denial. The delay that has been occurring with getting the right information out to the public has been resulting in consumers who aren't believing shops when they are informed that their car requires a specific oil. Consumers need an easy to access, accurate information source for a reference. Emphasis on the word accurate.

    I'm not quite sure who you might think should be doing this, other that the manufacturer... Which, I think, does distribute that information.

    There are countless reasons crap information gets posted/published/distributed, from profit incentives, to ignorance, to outright conspiracy theories (you know, like the old story about some carb that would get 100 mpg, but the gas companies bought it and buried it). I've seen folks with a genuine belief in what they know and advise others, yet refuse to accept the incorrectness of their information, even when shown manufacturer documentation that clearly shows they are wrong.

    It's the costs we pay for a free press, even if it allows incorrect information to flourish in the market.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Overall, I try to follow Mike Miller's (BMWCCA) maintenance schedule suggestions.

    If anything, I over maintain my vehicles...
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,505
    edited February 2013
    Hyundai/,Kia, you are OK with API SN ILSAC GF5. The Mazda you might be.

    O.k... finally see what you mean. ;) Never thought much about it. I always thought SAE certified 5w20 was about all you need to know. In looking in my Hyundai Veracruz owners manual it recommends Quaker State API Service SM or above, ILSAC GF -4 or above. So, if I go to a dealership that's what they should know to put in... while a quickie lube will put in the minimum requirement ?

    Always had my Mazda MPV servced at dealership. Never saw the filter, but it started burning oil around 70-80k miles. It had the Ford Duratec engine, which is suppose to be pretty good. It gradually burned a bit more... maybe 3/4 quart between oil changes when it got to 115,000 miles and we traded it in. A lot of people told me the oil burned was "normal" within specs for being acceptable. Didn't seem normal to me. :sick:

    So if you are taking your car into a dealership for an oil change what would you say to ensure you are getting the correct oil...,something like,"Are you using the API Service SM OR above, ILSAC GF -4 equivlent oil?" They'd probably look at me like I was crazy, I'm guessing. :confuse:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,500
    edited February 2013
    >>...when it gets dark
    >What does your manufacturer say?

    Color? I check color of fluid on paper towel to decide on whether to change oil or not.

    My manufacturer says nothing about color of oil on dipstick. 10W-30 SAE starburst on "can" and GM4718M spec or SM, I forget which. It says to follow the oil life minder. The advertising said car with correct oil can go up to 10,000mi or 1 year. I just changed at 6500 mi but I'm using Pennzoil Platinum, and it has had 1.5 qt of makeup oil added. I checked appearance of oil drop on my standardized test paper (Scott Rag in a box) and didn't like what I saw. So I changed it before our Michigan trip this weekend instead of after. Purolator made in USA filter.

    I've been tempted to change the filter at 3000 mi or so to see if that keeps the oil looking better visually which might indicate better capture of minute particles. But I'd rather just change the oil earlier than I need to according to Blackstone lab result when I ran to 7000/7500 mi in summer driving.

    Thank goodness I don't need Dexos (dexos1) oil for this car.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 11,587
    Overall, I try to follow Mike Miller's (BMWCCA) maintenance schedule suggestions.

    I've known Mike for years; he knows his stuff.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Several factors are involved in determining the ability of a filter to "filter"....

    Surface area, and the filtering efficiency of the actual filtering material used are a couple...

    Neither one, by itself, is the sole determining factor.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Oil pressure is a biggie too.

    Wonder what would happen if you put a "big" oil filter on your engine instead of the "spec" one?
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,505
    I asked him tonight how often buyers ask about the service history of a car. His response was "Never". He's had this business for over 20 years.

    hmmm, I always ask about the service history of a car I'm interested in buying, whether it be private owner or dealership. I ask for records, get the vin number and check on Carfax.

    With "Show me the Carfax" commercials being on tv/radio 24/7, you would think it just the opposite... everyone asking.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 29,896
    I ask if I am looking at a private sale (one reason I bought my high mileage Integra recently was the complete service history I got to read through on the test drive. Every piece of paper from the same Acura dealer).

    but on a used car lot? I don't bother since 99% of the time they have no clue, and 100% of the time won't tell you anyway! Other than what they did to the car, that they usually tell you, but that will be simple stuff like an oil change.

    I do check for a timing belt change sticker where it is applicable.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    hmmm, I always ask about the service history of a car I'm interested in buying, whether it be private owner or dealership. I ask for records, get the vin number and check on Carfax.

    With "Show me the Carfax" commercials being on tv/radio 24/7, you would think it just the opposite... everyone asking.


    Carfax primarily covers things like accidents and body repairs. There's little likelihood that any organization could accurately track service records beyond warranty work or service performed at a dealer.

    A wrecked vehicle has a direct relationship to used car price... Service history, not so much...
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,751
    10W-30 SAE starburst on "can" and GM4718M spec or SM, I forget which

    Close enough. GM's manuals stated an oil that meets API SM, GF4 AND GM4718M Somehow people ignored that "and" in the sentence.

    Thank goodness I don't need Dexos (dexos1) oil for this car.

    This is just one of the ways that "experts"have failed to communicate the changes to the public. GM has listed their 6094M and 4718M specifications as obsolete, and the dexos1 is retroactive and is now the spec that you should be following. By now of course the warranty aspect of the equation for you is mute, its now only about taking the best care of your car that you can.

    By now everyone should also be starting to see just how badly many of the articles that talked about GM and dexos1 when it was introduced missed the marks.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,751
    In other words, you haven't counted the pleats and analyzed the filter media.

    And by saying that you have exposed that you have only listened to advertising hype and haven't actually sat down in a formal class and gotten training.

    There are filters that pass the ISO tests, and filters that don't. The Mercedes Benz catridge filter (made by Mann-Hummel) is seven times larger than that Mazda spin on filter. It doesn't take a lot of other testing to recognize that the Mazda filter will clog sooner and be forced to bypass.

    So, unless you are able to dig up some GM or Ford links saying otherwise, your suggestion that small filters are inherently bad doesn't hold any water with me.

    I don't think that's what I said. What I said was if your car uses one of the micro filters, then you cannot just listen to the generic articles that are telling the consumers to go to extended drain intervals that are beyond what their manufacturer specifies. Some of the cars with the tiny filters have service intervals at 4800 kilometers. That's what, about 3000 miles still? I did say that some of today's oils may outlast the filters on these cars and the owners may want to replace the filter more often than the oil.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited February 2013
    You said "Have you seen how big small some of their filters are? There is no way that someone can go to an extended drain interval with such a tiny filter, unless you change the filter more often than the oil!"

    There's no evidence to support that statement that I see, any more than there's evidence that a "big" filter will let you extend the drain interval. The media is more important than the size.

    I suspect that Mazda has done a little testing of the oil filters they spec.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,751
    There's no evidence to support that statement that I see, any more than there's evidence that a "big" filter will let you extend the drain interval. The media is more important than the size.

    Mercedes MMS system can allow for up to 18,500 miles between services. Their oil filters specs exceed everything that Mazda uses by both particle size, and mass of debris trapped in grams. (the particle size and the mass of debris are portions of the ISO testing)

    I suspect that Mazda has done a little testing of the oil filters they spec.

    Of course they have. That's why you don't see a Mercedes Benz oil change intervals or maintenance reminder system on them like other manufacturers have gone to.

    "Have you seen how big small some of their filters are? There is no way that someone can go to an extended drain interval with such a tiny filter, unless you change the filter more often than the oil!"

    That doesn't translate to what you are trying to say. It looks to me like you are trying to defend Ron's article in any way that you can.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,751
    So far, the threat of a $7000 engine or a $6000 catalyst doesn't seem to have impacted the market. The guy 3 houses away from me has a successful "pre-owned" car lot (his average selling price is around $12,000, according to him). I asked him tonight how often buyers ask about the service history of a car. His response was "Never". He's had this business for over 20 years.

    We could do another thousand posts about this. Does he have a shop associated with his business? Do they change the oil and filter on the cars that they are selling? If so, see if he will tell you what they are using. Then see if all of this that we are discussing is news to him or not. Keep in mind that he could be a great guy and likely is up at nights worried about how well they do, day in and day out. Then suddenly along comes a topic like this that washes over him like a tsunami. People dragging their feet and resisting these changes work to hurt guys like him and his customers. He's likely had some engine issues with the cars that he has bought and sold. That expense was far greater than what these changes with oil choices could ever be.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You keep dancing around the bottom line.

    You can't tell how good a filter is by looking at the size.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,751
    You keep dancing around the bottom line.

    Seems that I answer every direct question, or at least I try to. You however have a pretty good record of not. JMHO.

    How do you feel about the fact that at least one responder here didn't understand that his car that used to have the GM4718M specification is supposed to be using a dexos1 oil now?

    He's a rather well informed person and previous attempts to relay this information, such as Ron's article flatly failed to explain that to him sufficiently.

    You can't tell how good a filter is by looking at the size

    Never said that you could. You cannot tell how good/bad a filter is by counting the pletes and trying to guess what the media is either.

    When the manufacturers decide what the service interval is supposed to be for a given vehicle. The particle size that needs to be trapped, and the mass of the particles come into play as well as the lifespan. All three of those cause a direct correlation to the physical size requirements of the filter. Any suggestion to the contrary is a direct attempt to mislead the readers. JMHO Suggestions to increase service intervals that don't take all three of those requirements into consideration are not in the consumers best interests.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited February 2013
    Then we understand each other, and a "big " Mercedes cartridge is no better or worse than the "tiny" Mazda filter. You should use what the manufacturer specs and not worry about the size.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,751
    edited February 2013
    Never thought much about it. I always thought SAE certified 5w20 was about all you need to know.

    As did we, and still do many who haven't been to up to date training. I wonder if someone actually stands to benefit from people who haven't learned how things have changed. Hmmmmm

    In looking in my Hyundai Veracruz owners manual it recommends Quaker State API Service SM or above, ILSAC GF -4 or above. So, if I go to a dealership that's what they should know to put in... while a quickie lube will put in the minimum requirement ?

    The API/ILSAC is the minimum standard today in North America. There are many specifications that exceed API SN ILSAC GF5. That's the whole problem here in a nutshell.

    So if you are taking your car into a dealership for an oil change what would you say to ensure you are getting the correct oil...,something like,"Are you using the API Service SM OR above, ILSAC GF -4 equivalent oil?"

    Does my car require a manufactures specification that exceeds API SN ILSAC GF5

    If you are driving current model Fords, GMs, some Chryslers (and others)then the answer is yes, your car requires specific products. Meanwhile if you are driving one of the Euro's you likely need an entirely different specific product than either of the other two.

    They'd probably look at me like I was crazy,

    Not if they are up to speed on all of this they won't. If they do, you just confirmed that you have your car at the wrong shop. Meanwhile there are still articles out there that don't do anything to help alert that shop that something is wrong with their approach to servicing your car. Worse yet, those articles serve to support you towards going to the shop that hasn't learned all of this, yet.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,751
    You missed this question.

    How do you feel about the fact that at least one responder here didn't understand that his car that used to have the GM4718M specification is supposed to be using a dexos1 oil now?

    Then we understand each other, and a "big " Mercedes cartridge is no better or worse than the "tiny" Mazda filter.

    I'm pretty sure you are trying to not understand at all. Denial and Negotiation are taking place.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,500
    edited February 2013
    >How do you feel about the fact that at least one responder here didn't understand that his car that used to have the GM4718M specification is supposed to be using a dexos1 oil now?


    My owner manual says to use an oil with the API starburst symbol and viscosity 10w-30 or 5w-30. That's nonsynthetic oil. It says nothing about any other requirement including GM4718M. It does not say to use dexos1 spec oil.

    "dexos™ is fully backward-compatible and can be used in older vehicles. It is specified in the owner's manual for all 2011 and later model years, with the exception of Europe where dexos™ is specified starting in model year 2010."

    Indeed, the Dexos pages say oil "can" be used. It does not say "must" be used since my engine is a 2003 engine. I'm using an oil rated for GM6094M and Gl-5 instead of the GL-4 mentioned earlier we well as it's SN instead of SM rated by API? So I'm hurting my engine with kindness?

    Indeed, when Dexron VI had been available for a while as the new GM spec for automatic transmission fluids, I put some in my 2003 transmission during a filter change and refill. After many miles and into the summer season, I did not like the difference it made in the shift feel. I drained and refilled with Dexron III spec fluids to get rid of the perceived lack of backward compatibility.

    Now if you want to suggest it for the VVT 2.2 in my Cobalt, we might be able to see that the improved characteristics of dexos1 might benefit the valve timing operation. Might.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,505
    Carfax primarily covers things like accidents and body repairs. There's little likelihood that any organization could accurately track service records beyond warranty work or service performed at a dealer.

    I've probably looked at a hundred Carfax reports within the last year, when shopping for a pre-owned car. Typically all maintenance/repairs done at dealerships are recorded on Carfax. I've also seen maintenance done at Pep Boys and Valvoline Instant Oil show up on Carfax.

    While true maintence done at smaller independent shops may not show up, meaning you cannot discount maintenance was done just because it does not appear on Carfax, you may have some reassurance and better odds of having a reliable car if full maintenance does show up on Carfax.

    A lot of dealerships (Sam Swope Auto Group in Louisville) now carry Carfax reports with each auto they sell. Probably used mainly to show no wreck history, is also beneficial in showing maintence history. Though it probably doesn't hurt that much if history wasn't on Carfax report, it sure can help seal the deal if a good maintence history is included. So while service history may not mean much to a seller, it means quite a bit to me as a buyer.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I'm not knocking Carfax, but I've seen far too many car buyers rely on a Carfax report almost as if it were a religious document. Certainly, more information is usually better than less information. Especially if its correct information.

    IMO, the benefits of Carfax reports lean much more to a car's title and accident history, because its more defined and limited in scope. As you pointed out, it CAN be a service indicator, simply because a shopper can infer things about how the car has been treated.

    If you want to find out how much reliable folks in "the know" take Carfax reports as the gospel truth, ask the selling dealer to contractually agree that the information is fully complete and correct. Personally, I don't think you'll get many takers, but I could be wrong.

    From my own personal experiences in life, I've found that inferred conclusions are often incorrect conclusions.

    What your post tells me is that you are what I call an "educated buyer", and certainly not the average used car buyer. The majority of used car buyers don't fall into that category, which is exactly how used car sellers like it.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited February 2013
    I've read on some dealer forums that if you want to get on some AutoTrader programs, you have to "do" Carfax. You can't use AutoCheck or any of the other similar services out there.

    There's a post in here where I asked Cardoc if he furnishes info to Carfax; I think that's an option or requirement when a shop signs up for certain Mitchell 1 products.

    I doubt that many garages are disclosing this to customers.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    We could do another thousand posts about this. Does he have a shop associated with his business? Do they change the oil and filter on the cars that they are selling? If so, see if he will tell you what they are using. Then see if all of this that we are discussing is news to him or not. Keep in mind that he could be a great guy and likely is up at nights worried about how well they do, day in and day out. Then suddenly along comes a topic like this that washes over him like a tsunami. People dragging their feet and resisting these changes work to hurt guys like him and his customers. He's likely had some engine issues with the cars that he has bought and sold. That expense was far greater than what these changes with oil choices could ever be.

    From my perspective, we seem to be moving the goal posts here.

    After 20 years of used car sales, I'd wager any seller has seen all sorts of mechanical issues that needed to be addressed, both pre and post sale.

    Back to the point... You're looking at this from a car-life-longevity angle, which is your forte. I simply addressed the market angle, which is quite different. The average used vehicle buyer doesn't have your depth of service knowledge, nor is the average used vehicle buyer interested in getting that level of knowledge. He wants to get in his car an go somewhere.

    Again, all I'm saying is that people don't respond much to "ifs", but they do respond well to things that affect they pocketbook. When the day arrives (if it ever does) that used vehicle buyers believe there is a direct correlation between service done and lubricants used on a car, and they fully believe it will cost them $$$, many more will readily adopt your POV.

    Smoking is the classic example. Only the hardcore idiot would claim no relationship between smoking and cancer today, yet people take up the habit daily. They lite up the next smoke, because its doubtful one additional cigarette will do any harm.

    Now, imagine if a smoker opens a pack of cigarettes, and one of them has the label on it "This is the cigarette that kills you", and there's some method of proof in existence in which it causes the smoker to believe its 100% true.

    What does he do? He smokes the remaining cigarettes, but stops at the labeled one.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,751
    I'm using an oil rated for GM6094M

    What does it mean when an oil quotes an obsolete spec? Does the bottle say approved for use for the GM6094M spec, or does it say something like "Meets the engine protection requirements of GM6094M"?

    Be very specific here, it's important.
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