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Stop Changing Your Oil

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,110
edited December 2014 in General
imageStop Changing Your Oil

Outdated oil change advice is foisted on car owners to keep them coming back.

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • My 2006 honda crv which I have services at curtis ryan honda in shelton, ct. has a maintainance schedule in my book of
    oil change- 10000 miles
    automatic transmission- 120,000 miles
    fluids= most 120,000 miles.
    Now the service tech insists that I must change all fluids and transmission at 30,000 miles which is my current mileage. They also say that the oil change should be 5000 miles- I originally went 7800 miles but it was down a quart so I figured I should probably change it at 5000. They also always try to sell me a new battery since the car had 24000 miles on it.
  • g556g556 Posts: 0
    hey guys and girls maybe you can help with my problem.i have a 2009 mazdaspeed 3 bought new with 13miles on it.i drive 22 miles of mixed speeds between 10mph to 60 on a good day.well i started having a tapping in the engine with 34,800 miles brought it in to the dealer.I change my own oil and filters at 5,500 intervals.they said from my records i missed an oil change by 3,ooo miles or less.long story short they voided my 3-36 warranty and my extended 6year-100,000 warranty.i call foul ball to no avail.i work at a ford dealer16 years and never heard of anything like this.only mods are cold air intake,push button start,and street unit blow off valve.not one of these things would make any true dealer void a persons warranty.and by the way i'm 54 with grown kids and never raced or drag race tracked my car.what kind of zoom zoom is this?HELP if you can but i know i cannot be the only one who this has happened to. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME GOD BLESS
  • rolotrrolotr Posts: 2
    Most car oil should be changed between 7,500 and 20,000 miles!!!
    My Acura dealer used to set the oil change reminder sticker at 5,000 miles which I tought was reasonable for synthetic blend oil but when I checked the manual it says to rely on the Maintenance Minder system or change the oil once a year. The Maintenance Minder calculates the life of the car oil based on the revs of the engine and not the actual miles. Based in the Maintenance Minder, I get close to 8,000 miles.
  • rolotrrolotr Posts: 2
    Most cars' oil should be changed between 7,500 and 20,000 miles!!! My Acura dealer used to set the oil change reminder sticker at 5,000 miles which I tought was reasonable for synthetic blend oil but when I checked the manual it says to rely on the Maintenance Minder system or change the oil once a year. The Maintenance Minder calculates the life of the car oil based on the revs of the engine and not the actual miles. Based in the Maintenance Minder, I get close to 8,000 miles.
  • lashellelashelle Posts: 0
    I have been reading that some Toyota models have had reports of sludge. Since I own two Toyotas, I feel more comfortable with changing my oil more often. It's less costly than an engine replacement. I feel the article was very informative, but how can one ensure that he or she is getting a synthetic blend or synthetic oil when I go in to get an oil change; can this be requested, and what are your thoughts on sludge reports in Toyotas?
  • Just checked the 2010 Nissan maintenance schedule. It lists "severe" conditions as anything that isn't continuous highway driving, which means most cars probably DO drive under the "severe" schedule. And it calls for oil changes at every 3,750 miles on the "severe" schedule, or 7,500 miles if you only drive on the highway. So much for the 5,000+ mile universality.

    Also, wouldn't NOT changing the oil every 3,750 miles give Nissan an excuse to void my warranty?
  • rroeberrroeber Posts: 1
    There are a variety of engine oils and many tests to determine how well each perform. The problem with engine oil monitors on modern vehicles is that they do not actually test the oil. So, they are just guessing that if you haven't changed the oil by now, then you should.
    The cost of changing engine oil too soon is much less than fixing problems caused by engine oil failure.
  • With this type of information going around, it's a wonder that any car will make it to 100,000. Just 10 years ago One major car company had an engine that if you extended your oil change it would cost you an engine. You see it's the heat of the engine that helps break down the oil, and with out a better way to keep it cool the thermal breakdown of the oil will continue. Now some cars will work out better but not all. And unless you want to be responsible for all future engine replacements you need to keep quiet untill all engines can do that.
  • lar01lar01 Posts: 1
    I only used about 2,000 miles during a year with my 2009 Accord. The dealer service department insisted that I did not need to change my oil, especially since the maintenance reminder thing showed that the oil was still good. I changed it anyway. Do you think I just wasted my money as this article says?
  • Hi, I have been going 25,000 miles or one year,for 33 years using Synthetic Oil,and going by the recommendation of the oil manufacturer! And on my equipment with By-Pass Oil Filters and with Oil Analysis used to find Problems, first of all before they become disasters! Secondly to determine that the oil is ready for change,or perhaps changing just the filter(s) is all that is necessary. True today,engines are far and above what they were in the last century,period! Different alloys,tighter tolorances,lower oil pressures,and lighter oil vicosities(0w-20,5w20,0w-30,and 5w-30) for the most part.Diesel engines are also capable of going much further with oil analysis (20,000 miles plus),and propane,natural gas etc. change only by analysis,and with filter changes more often than not draining the oil.
    Air filtration is extremely important as well,that is how dirt is injested.
    Until a large particle cake of dirt is on the filter,the small partcles are subject to go thru,mixing with the fuel ultimately become the
    "Brown Carbon" in the combustion chamber. I have been using "Foam" as a means of catching and preventing the dirt from reaching the engine,using a spray that dries ,not an oil that wicks out. Normal maintenance is a must as well!
  • I have always liked the idea of using synthetic oil mostly because of the extended service changes. I have specified that Mobil 1 be used in my 2008 Toyota Sienna but the service department says that not all engines were made to use synthetic oil. I checked the maintenance manual and it isn't mentioned. Toyota service says that I should check the oil cap for the proper viscosity and use synthetic oil only if it is marked 0-10. Can anyone confirm this?
  • It's true that I haven't checked the owner's manual for my 2000 Dodge Neon in a while, but a quick read through of the manual for the 2004 Neon (the oldest available on Dodge's site) revealed that the recommended oil change interval if the car is run under pretty much any kind of stress (including stop-and-go driving) is 3,000 miles, with a maximum ("under no circumstances should the interval exceed") 6,000 miles.

    So for *older* cars the 3,000 mile guideline isn't just a myth.

    By contrast, the recommended interval for the new Dodge Dart is every 10,000.
  • When I got my first cars, starting in the 80s, I changed the oil religiously, often doing it myself. My experience was that the cars lasted much longer and needed much less service. I also remember a telling line from 'Car Talk' where they said, "Changing the oil is the only way to get dirt out of the engine." That notion stuck with me.

    While I agree oil and engine technology have evolved you still have metal on metal parts moving against each other at high RPMs and high temperatures lubricated by a substance that breaks down. If allowed to breakdown those parts start wearing at a much higher rate.
  • Why don't you guys quit stating the obvious, such as, "consult the owner's manual, and say something worth listening too. There is a lot more in depth information than using terms like 'additive pack' and so on. Make it worth listening too.l
  • People have to realize that car companies want to sell cars, and oil companies want to sell oil. With the advances in motor oil and engine tech., the 3000 mi standard recomended by quick change oil centers is outdated. The extended drain entervals recomended by car manufactures in some cases is way too far. example cadillac cts had a recall to have the computer reflashed to shorten drain entervals. Why? timing chains going out. If your car only last till the warranty is out, the car manufacturers would be glad to sell you a new car. So I would say go somewhere between the vehicle recomendation and the service center recomendation.
  • And if you either go over the 3000 mile mark or change the oil yourself(or hubby does it), the technicians at Jiffy Lube will rake you over the coals and give you the third degree. Which is why I no longer go to Jiffy Lube.
  • Here's the truth. ALL engines are designed differently, with different oil clearances to be designed for a specific oil. And, when you buy a car, they give you a very accurate estimate on when you should change your oil, and if you don't follow that estimate, you will void warranty on your car. Why? Because as oil gets dirt in it, it becomes more abrasive. It will tear apart your engine from the inside out if you don't regularly change it like you are supposed to. And also, do you really think that you don't fit into the "Severe" driving conditions? I don't know a single person who doesn't drive under "Severe" conditions. If you drive up to a stop sign, and follow the law and stop, that's severe conditions. The only thing that is NOT severe is interstate driving, which is why people say, "Well, my vehicle has got 150,000 miles, but they are all highway miles." My point is, I will NEVER buy a car, unless it's had regular oil changes AS FOLLOWED by the manufacturer. Also, I think millions of people who actually know this truth, will not buy your vehicle either. Invest a hundred extra dollars a year to change it when you are supposed to, and you will keep up the value of your car when you decide to sell it. Don't listen to this idiot. Oil is the MOST important maintenance you can do to your vehicle, don't skip out on changing it. For christ's sake....
  • This article is correct, if you change your oil at the recommended intervals your auto manufacturer GUARANTEES that your engine will last 50,000 miles and in some cases up to 100,000 miles. If you want it to last longer than that you might not want to run on broken down oil. Calculate the miles you plan to drive your car and compare the cost of a few extra oil changes to the cost of a new engine before you follow the advice of this article.
  • I do my own changes but it was hard breaking the old 3000 mile rule. I finally did it about 10 years ago. If I purchase a car that does not have synthetic factory fill I change the dino oil after 1,000 miles and replace it with Mobil 1 fully synthetic & use a Mobil 1 filter for the extra capacity and quality. I am quite sure most synthetics are as good as Mobil 1 so this is not a add for M1. I put Mobil 1 in all my autos from my Hyundai's to Corvettes and GTO. With synthetics, engine temperatures do not break down the oil like regular oil. The Corvettes oil temp can get to 220 & that’s one of the reasons they are M1 factory filled. You must use them in these cars. My Hondas call for 7,5000 miles on regular oil so I would feel very confident going longer with synthetics but still change at around the 7,000 mile mark. Five quarts of M1 & a M1 filter can be found on sale for $30. That’s a great price for quality protection. If you don't do your own changes any place that has a $19.99 or so promotion will have to charge you that if you tell them to keep their oil & filter and use the M1 provided by you. Still comes to only $50. Once a year when my lift is tied up because of winter storage use I take my Hyundai's to the dealer and they install my own product for a charge of under $10 because they do not stock M1 or M1 filters. Happy Motoring
  • g556 and all others. Save your receipts of your oil & filter purchases and your all set in case a dealer tries to not honor your warranty b/c of lack of oil changes.
  • Whoa! Hang on! Synthetics are far and above better than regular oil. Cost more? Well, if you use Amsoil Signature Series with an Amsoil oil filter, you can go 15,000, and with an oil analysis, up to 25,000 mile before an oil change. It will cost about $85-$90 to do this. However, at $45 per oil change at 7500 miles with base oil, the "higher costs" of quality synthetics is worth the cost beyond compare. Best oil-research based and data proven is Amsoil Signature Series 0-30.
  • Engine oils certainly have gotten better and will probably last beyond 3,000 mles. However, filter technology has certainly NOT kept pace with advances in oil technology. Most if not all oil filters are done by 3,000 miles and need to be changed. It makes little sense to change only the filter at 3,000 miles.
  • How much synthetic oil is in the blend, 1%, 3%, 10% ? Do all blended oils have the same % of synthetic oil ?
  • I change my oil every 7500-10000 miles, it now has 160,000 miles on it and runs just fine, no oil leaks, no smoke, runs great.

    The 3000 mile oil change is perpetuated by an industry that survives on marketing to the gullible. Nearly every motor oil you can buy on the shelf sticks to the SL standard, from exotic synthetics to bargain store oil.

    The difference? packaging, promotion, celebrity endorsements.

    You will always find obsessives who beg to differ. There are entire message boards dedicated to lubricants.
  • I agree with much of the article and have revised my schedule to either (1) changing the oil when the car tells me to on the Oil Life Indicator, or (2) changing it at 10,000 miles. Short of that, I've also switched to Full Synthetic which is taking max advantage of the latest technology.

    While I agree most people change oil too often, I think the article should also aim for accuracy. Jiffy Lube is not owned by Shell but by Pennzoil/Quaker State. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennzoil)
  • I can only talk from experiece and having HIGH milage vehicles, a car is like a person and oil is the life blood, our bodies manufacture new blood, therefore give the vehicle new oil. Vehicles owned: 87 Merkur xr4ti--300K+ still running, 95 Taurus-360K-Transmission died, 2000Honda Odyssey 180K still purrs, 03Honda Accord 260K,daily driver runs like a champ.

    I took the engine on the Merk out for a re-build (I bent valves from a broken belt) and the cylinder crosshatches were still showing.

    All oil chnges were done at 3k-4kmi. Agreed that synthetics can go further, but in as far as thermal breakdown concerned, particulates still need to be removed. This article doesn't even explore the posibility of replacing oil filters as a means of extendng the life of the oil.

    This article only talks about saving money by NOTchaging oil, it does not have back up or claims of an engine showing the effects of wear from 20K oil changes after 100K.

    This article is advocating disposable vehicles: What is the effect in landfills when an inordinate amount of cars start to get dumped?
  • Oil changes at shops like Jiffy Lube expose your car to major dangers. Incompetent technicians for exmple. Do you really want a high school dropout working on your $30k vehicle? You take less of a chance by extending your oil change interval to the max. At least you're minimizing your exposure.

    Also, do you really know what kind of oil they're putting in your car? You can ask for a specific type of oil, but how do you know you're getting it? They usually pull everyone's oil from a large drum. Also, what kind of oil filters are they using? Probably the cheapest ones they can find. You really don't know what you're getting. Did they even change the oil/filter or just give you a new sticker?

    For these reasons I have always changed my own oil. I'm confident that I have the right stuff in there. Maybe that's a reason that my 1989 Corolla is running strong a 285,000 miles.
  • Manufacturers recommended oil change intervals will no doubt cause the engine to last beyond the warrantee period. Many cars might even last that long with no oil changes at all. This works fine for many people, especially those that only keep a car a few years. But what if you're the type of person that drives a car until the wheels fall off? If that's you then you'd better change your oil more often. Think about it, car makers are in competition with each other. They may not see long engine life as the top priority. If one manufacturer extends their oil change interval the others will have for do the same. Otherwise their products will stand out as "low quality" or "high maintenance". Therefore, you'd better do some research on your own by sending oil samples to a lab for analysis, or simply change it more often than recommended just to safe.
  • '91 Pontiac Bonneville. 370,000 miles. Mobil 1 Extended Performance (15000 miles). Fram XG filter (10000 miles). Oil change every 14000 miles, filter change every 7000 miles.
    It neither burns nor leaks oil. The engine will outlast the car. The article is correct. I use this oil, filter and change schedule in all my vehicles. My 2005 Neon has over 200000 miles and runs like a swiss watch, and noticeably smoother on the synthetic. When the tranny had to be rebuilt the dealership changed the oil with regular stuff, and I noticed it immediately, and changed it again the following weekend. Castrol Syntech courses through the veins of my '95 Kawasaki Concours, an it also runs like a top. Nuff said.
  • So I just read Philip and Donald's article from 2010 and read the comments. Owned 2 quick lubes for 25 years, switched to a 5000 mile sticker about 5 years ago or 2008. Been an engineer 40 years. Bottom line is the guys are right, and wrong. They did not mention dirt load in the oil, but some comments picked up on that I am glad to see. Filter technology has not improved as much as oil technology. So dirt load, or oil condition, can be the reason to change the oil. That is two criteria, not one, and it is whichever comes first. Old engines make more dirt, goes past the rings as "blow by". Chemical contamination occurs this way as well, but for simplicity sake, let us ignore that. Point is: old engines usually need oil changes based on dirt load in the oil before the oil wears out, which it will eventually even with no dirt. Seat of pants recommendation is do not let your oil turn black with dirt. That usually means the filter is in "bypass". I use 7500 miles as a newer car synthetic recommendation, and 5000 miles for non full synthetic. Could you get away with 10,000. Probably. But when to start shortening the schedule as the dirt load accelerates? And once sludge buildup starts it 's buildup is exponential, very had to stop, and there is a huge spike in engine wear. I've seen too many blown motors with grey crud that used to be oil to think that it is responsible to push to the last mile. Most of these had 15,000 to 30,000 miles on their "oil", and long past sludge start. Realistically, no one is going to send their oil out for analysis, unless the machine has 30 gallons and moves rock at a coal mine. And the engine computer oil change recommendations are useful, but artificial, and not foolproof against problems discussed above.
  • Let me give you my examples. I learned how and started changing oil on my 1st new car a 1968 VW bug, bought new. I used the manufacturers recommendation on oil changes and drove that car 175,000 miles and sold it for my purchase price. I have changed oil on all my vehicles and always follow the manufacturers recommendations which is usually 5000-6000 miles on the vehicles I have had. My wife's 1998 Ford Ranger has 195,000 miles and is running like new. My 1995 Ford Escort wagon has over 303,000 miles and is still running like a top, the only maintenance work has been 3 timing belts that broke when I exceeded the recommended mileage for replacement. However nothing detrimental ever happened to the engine in those incidents. I drove a used Audi 100 I bought for $5000 when I was stationed overseas for 5 years and always replaced the oil myself at 5000 miles. I had well over 380,000 km on the engine which is about 236,121 miles. I drove that car at autobahn speeds of over 100 mile per hour for hours on end going from Germany to bases in the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. I sold that car for $3000 and it was still running as good as when I bought it. So my many successful experiences by not changing oil every 3000 miles shows that if you regularly maintain your vehicle and follow the manufacturers recomenndations for oil changes it should last you many years and many thousands of miles and you will save thousands of dollars by not changing oil when the rip off jiffy & oilcan shops suggest.
  • Automobile manufacturers do not want their cars to die early. The resale and used market is huge for the general public relations and branding of a car. Why on earth would Honda put it's car at risk if engineers thought changing the oil every 7500 miles? Some of you will say that a car can last too long - hence, slowing down the need for new car purchases. Hogwosh. If my Toyota dies after 8 years because of engine oil issues, my preception of Toyota declines and I won't buy a new one.

    We still have people posting because THEY drive a 97 Dodge Neon and it has 200k miles on it and it still works. Who cares? New cars are not built like the Neon and there's no way to prove the car wouldn't be in the same positon if the owner waited 6,000 miles between changes.
  • I've had my Dodge for 10 years. I have changed the oil every 6,500 -7,000 miles with NO problems for over 180,000 miles. The manual suggests changing every 7,500 miles. If I operated under the Nervous Nancy mentality these commenter mechanics are trying to make us believe I would be out an additional $5,000+ (20% of my purchase price) and wasted 300 quarts of oil (fyi that's an EXTRA 75 gallons). You can't argue with success. Unless, of course, you're a mechanic on here attempting to refute the truth so you can scam more money from us. You know who you are.
  • " I just replaced an engine in a 2000 chevy S10 because the owner neglected not only the oil but cooling system!100,000 miles between coolant changes!"

    Uhh hello ? That's a Chevy S10 you are talking about. Of course the powertrain is a POS. I have a '99 Camry V6 and I can tell you I changed the coolant every 100K and the car drove beautifully. It now has close to 240k and anyone who has driven it marvels at the quietness and the smoothness of the engine and how silently it idles.
  • I stopped changing the oil on our Saturn SL2 when it started burning a little after 120,000 miles. Since then I just change the filter once a year. It still burns about the same amount as it did then, perhaps a little less, (strange) still runs just as well, has just passed 220,000 miles and I'm expecting it to continue doing so as it progresses towards 300,000.
  • I have been changing the oil in my cars at 5000 mile intervals for decades. It's easy to know when (just look at the odometer), and it has served me well. Most of my cars I keep for 10 years or more, and they have all run well forever. My old pickup had over 400K miles without an overhaul, my current pickup is at 150K and runs like a top. I used to own Volkwagens, which didn't even have an oil filter, just a screen, and never had a problem, as long as I followed my oil changing regimen.
  • How about just examining your own oil to see if it needs to be changed?
  • If I followed this article with my F150s I'd destroy both engines. I go by the smell, the feel and the color of the oil and I check both pretty frequently. The '85, with 310K on the clock, wears it's oil out in about 3500 miles. The '84, which only has 205K on it, will squeeze about 4500 miles out of a change. I'm using full synthetic in the '85 and blend in the '84.
  • The there's the theory (or basic tenant) that a closed system introduces fewer contaminants than a system opened & worked on constantly. Statistics show that engines and their fluid / operational-mechanical compartments, in any area of use, which are opened-up for maintenance on a regular basis (usually near EOL), tend to have contaminants in them that just don't belong (an can be tracked back to entry from previous maintenance, whereas, never present before the system was opened).
  • It's nice to see that the writers and editors at Edmunds is doing such a crappy job. This was obviously written by someone with little to no knowledge of internal combustion engines then took everything someone told them at face value.

    Engine oil change intervals are all dependent on the type of oil and filter used at each change. Had the writer had any knowledge at all Phillip and Ronald would have been aware of the differences and requirements.

    Use of conventional, petroleum oils with bargain store oil filters should be changed every 3000 miles without fail. Synthetic blend oils, not much more than 7500 miles, and full synthetics should have extended drains only if the end user is sampling the oil to see just how effective it is.

    So what is right for your own, personal vehicle? The answer lies with you. Look at the oil and filter that you are using. Check both service recommendations give by your manufacturer; yes, there are two! Just check your owners' manual; you will find a normal service interval and a severe service interval. Get to know the difference so the manufacturer cannot give you grief for going off cycle!

    The different oils available are; petroleum, synthetic blend and full synthetic. Petroleum oil is what you use is you're only planning to keep the car a couple of years and you could care less about how the next person will fare with vehicle longevity. If you are somewhat concerned, synthetic blends are a good alternative as they will help you with fuel mileage. But whatever you do, do not use a synthetic blend or full synthetic in an engine over 50,000 miles if you do not know its history! The results could be disastrous.
    Full synthetic oils should be used right from the beginning after the initial 1000 mile break in is completed. And change intervals should begin at 7500 miles. You can get an oil analysis kit from any of the major automotive parts outlets, or if you are using Kendall oils, you can get a test kit for $2 and they will give you a comprehensive analysis and recommendation on extended or reducing intervals depending on their findings.

    For full disclosure, I use Kendall Oils in my vehicle and get an analysis with every change. So far, my longest, extended drain has been 12,000 miles, but in recent years that has been reduced to 8,000. It has nothing to do with the oil and everything to do with the conditions in which I drive my car!

    Oil filters also make a big difference in your change intervals. Cheap filters clog easily and quickly. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Good quality filters; manufacturer brands, and K&N will filter out more particulates and remain viable for a longer period of time.

    I would recommend that anyone reading the above article take it with a grain of salt -- then spit it out. Do yourself a favor and use a good quality oil and filter, sample the oil to check on its effectiveness as a lubricant then adjust your change intervals accordingly. You'll be happy you did.

    Oh, and in case anyone is interested, I currently have 108,000 miles on an 11 year old car. When you look at the rockers and valve springs they look like they've just been installed; my intake valves are completely clean; I still get 27-30 mpg on the highway (more than the manufacturer rated my vehicle) and I have not used even 1/4 of a quart of oil between changes . . . Take that information for what it's worth . . . and that's a lot more than the Edmunds' article.
  • This article is right on the money, I'm the original owner of a 2001 Nissan, and decided to change oil every 7500 miles, and it's run like a champ! I now have 150,000 miles on it and still runs beautifully! Of course today is 2012, so my 2001 is considered "old", and yet it is still cranking along. I recently replaced the IACV that failed and looking into the manifold was surprised to see how clean it was after so many years. No doubt this world war 2 wives tale about 3000 miles no longer applies in our day and age! Great article Edmunds, keep up the good work and debunking stupidity!
  • my take on this subject is yes oil these days do stand up better without breaking down but its the carbon foul that will getcha... carbon is a grinding compound and I sure dont want a grinding compound down my barrings and grinding away on my cam shaft and lifters so I prefer to keep my oil as clean as possible.
  • On the contrary, this is accurate information. When I bought my old Camry in 1995 the recommended oil change schedule was every 7,500 miles. I kept it for fifteen years and over a hundred thousand miles, and never had any trouble with that schedule and I certainly never had to replace the engine; it would still be going strong had it not been totalled by another driver smashing us from behind.

    As the article clearly state, modern oils do not require changing every 3,000 miles and you're wasting money and adding unneccesary enviornmental pollution by not following the correct guidelines. Whatevr roblems the cars you describehad, it was not due to failure to change oil every 3000 miles.
  • @ sheppard

    you are talking about a 2000 Chevy S10!...a 12 year old car. Believe it or not, automotive technology has advanced somewhat in the past 12 years.....
  • Let's be realistic about this folks. 3k between oil changes is wasteful of both money and natural resources. However, if an owner goes 20K between changes (except for those porsche owners), yeah, you're going to do damage to your engine. I drive an Acura and the owners manual says 7500 miles between and the car DOES have a system to tell me when it's time. I record the mileages at the intervals and the system is right on the money (pun intended) for the manufacturers recommendation.

    It's not rocket science boys and girls. Of course the quick-change places are going to tell you 3k between changes because they've got a dog in that fight. They want to make money. They want the opportunity to sell you an air filter for $30 that I can buy and install myself for $13 or wiper blades for $25 per blade when I can buy them for $9. Just don't fall for the "you need to have our headlight fluid changed' trick.
  • I used to change the oil on my 2002 Honda every 7-8,000 miles, after my (honest) mechanic told me every 3000 miles was unnecessary. It was a relief, because I drove that car 25-30,000 miles a year. I finally traded it in for a newer model at 220,000 miles, after it started having some minor problems that were electrical system related. As a single woman, I just couldn't afford to have a car that might abandon me unexpectedly or spend more time than necessary in the shop. Those of you who are treating your cars like they are 80s model US made cars by changing your oil too often are wasting your money, IMO.
  • I have been using Mobil 1 Synthetic in all family Toyota vehicles since 2001 to safely increase my oil change interval from 3000 to 6000 miles. I was maintaining 5 vehicles. The switch to synthetic worked very well. When Mobil 1 Extended Life Synthetic oil hit the market with a 15 thousand mile guarantee, I immediately switched to it. I don't push for the 15 thousand limit. I change every 10-12 thousand miles or 12 months, whichever comes first.
    My wife's 2001 Camry and my 2004 Tundra are both over 100 thousand miles and good as new, according to my ace mechanic.
    I change oil only once a year now in all our family vehicles using Mobil 1 5W30 Extended Life Synthetic. We actually save money over a year (one 5qt. oil & 1 oil filter per vehicle) and save much time as well. None of the vehicles require adding oil between changes. I can't vouch for other brand vehicles, but I am going to continue this procedure for all our Toyota family vehicles. I am about to get a lab analysis at next oil change to determine state of used oil, after 10 thousand miles. I am confident the analysis will show the oil is still good. I will post results when I get them.
  • @JimmyJett33 and Shepperd: You're both daft.

    First and foremost, Shepperd...it was a Chevy. What would you expect to happen to the engine, especially after 12 years? Also, at no point in this very insightful, intelligent, well-throughout article, does
  • I live in California and the progressive types in Sacramento started this nonsense about two years ago. Its spreading to the automotive media and the drumbeats are just going to get louder until penalties are legislated. Then the laws go national. Tick tock, another bite out of our liberty.

    Anyway, these articles always leave out half the story-unburnt hydrocarbons floating in the oil. The combustion system carries its own residue until the oil that contains it is replaced. Sure, some is in the filter but the smaller stuff just lives in the oil, where it can scratch the sides of the cylinders-and the article admits to tighter tolerances between the cylinders and cylinder walls in newer cars.

    Modern smaller engines have higher RPM's then Grampa's old Chrysler, hence, more little internal explosions than ever creating particulate matter for the oil to hold on to. So there you have it-oil changes as automotive dialysis. You keep it long by keeping it clean--on the inside.
  • I agree with Shepperd - This article is a testament to the environmentalist movement. While I do agree with the premise of higher classes of oils being able to extend oil change intervals out to 5k or 7k miles, the fact is that filtration is just as vital, and the most expensive class of oil in the world won't help you extend engine performance if the filter is packed solid and limits oil flow to the rotating components. Going 20k miles like the article states is ludicrous in my mind because the filter would be plugged solid. If oil monitoring systems actually monitored the Delta P across the filter, then I could get on board with extended oil change intervals. The caveat being that common "soccer mom's" understand what DP means and the cause and effects of a high filter DP on their engine components and the family wallet.
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