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Stop Changing Your Oil! | Edmunds.com

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,046
edited April 2017 in Editorial
imageStop Changing Your Oil! | Edmunds.com

Outdated oil change advice is foisted on car owners to keep them coming back.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,964
    The first word of this says it all, "Outdated". Why did this get resurrected, again? What's the point?

    The information in articles like this one was more about trashing shops and technicians than it ever was about educating the average consumer. Articles like this sold primarily because it was popular to trash on the shops, but what the consumers didn't know is how inaccurate the stories themselves really were.

    Let's start with the word "synthetic". When you read articles like this one there is some suggestion made as to the benefits of synthetics and blended products versus conventional oil. No where does it explain that in North America the word synthetic has no legal restriction and many of the products marketed as synthetics are Group III base stocks (crude oil) with some additional processing. Now don't take that wrong, there are significant benefits to some of these products. Some of them can even exceed some of the capabilities of Group IV PAO and Group V Ester products which are true man made synthetic products. But the point is, the majority of the products on the parts store shelves labeled as synthetics don't fit the world wide definition of being a synthetic.

    Then we have the overall premise which reads as loud as the title. "Stop changing your oil" With todays smaller GDI engines and especially the turbocharged ones, oil maintenance is more critical now than it has ever been. We can talk about the frequency of servicing next but for the moment lets just concentrate on the fact that most consumers cannot use an oil that is only approved for the API and ILSAC standards in their car. Many manufacturers engine oil specifications vastly exceed the minimal API SN and ILSAC GF5 specifications. GM's dexos is a fine example of that. Engine oil has to do more than just protect the engine. It has to be able to protect the engine without impacting the emissions system (catalyst and O2 sensors) as well as not have a negative impact on fuel economy and today both lubricate and cool the turbochargers on today's engines. That's a really tall order and products actually approved for a manufacturers specification can do it. Products not approved for a given specification should not be trusted to achieve the same capabilities which includes longer service life which the article is supposed to be about.

    Many cars today have maintenance reminder systems. Those systems only work if the vehicle owner is having their car serviced with a product that actually meets the manufacturers specifications. If someone fails to use the correct products the whole argument about how long a car can go between services becomes a complete waste of time. Since maintenance reminder systems are not just mileage counters and any attempt to specify any given distance is misleading.

    Do today's oils with the proper approvals last longer? Yes, no doubt about it.
    But can you use any product in your car and run it for XXXXX miles? No you cannot.

    The API and ILSAC specifications do not have any long life categories. ACEA however does have long life approvals. GM's dexos is a long life oil by North American standards but oils can be approved for GM's dexos and fall short of ACEA's A5/B5 specification. The above article doesn't explain these kinds of details and the lack of such detail should not go un-noticed. But then, that's why its the article itsself that is outdated and not just the 3K oil change interval.
  • 1johnboy1johnboy Posts: 1
    You know I get my Synthetic oil online with Walmart under $23 for five quarts. My filters I get from Fred Meyer or Amazon for under $8. My oil is Mobil 1, Castrol EDGE full synthetic or Valvoline full synthetic which ever is on sale. So combine that with the 99 plus percent filter that is on sale any you have a $30 oil change. I don’t drive that many miles since retiring. So I just change twice a year rather than being cheap. My Toyota Corolla S has 108442 miles on it currently. I fully expect to be driving this car when it turns 300,000 miles. Because I can afford the extra cost of $60 a year vs. $30.
  • thecardoc3 must own a quick lube! I have been in the petroleum industry for over 25 years and the article is spot on. There is absolutely no need to change at 3000 mi when using a quality synthetic oil. As for his concerns about crude oil based synthetics, the part he left out was that these oils have been proven in court to perform the same as the full synthetic. You should feel comfortable at following the manufacturer recommendations and if you are using Mobil 1 synthetic or a Penzoil synthetic, drive until its black.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,964
    edited December 2017

    thecardoc3 must own a quick lube! I have been in the petroleum industry for over 25 years and the article is spot on.

    I don't own a quick lube and the article is deeply flawed and I pointed out why.

    So you are in the petroleum industry? Why do some of your brethern put things on the labels like "ACEA A1 performance"? The proper way to demonstate ACEA compliance requires the spec to be displayed as (for example) ACEA A1/B1 15 but you almost never see the year listed, so a consumer who is looking for an A1/B1 approved product really doesn't know if a given product meets the current standard or an obsolete one.

    Why do they state on their bottles that their product meets a spec like GM's 6094M which is obsolete and has been superceeded by the dexos specification? Why did companies like Valvoline come out and make a lot of noise claiming their product met the dexos specification when talking to consumers while inside trade meetings they decried the fact that they would have to switch to at least a group III plus base stock (from a group II) and an additive package based more on molybdenum disulfide instead of the much cheaper ZDDP? It should also be noted that several years later Valvoline then quietly acquired dexos approval after all of their initial resistance.


    There is absolutely no need to change at 3000 mi when using a quality synthetic oil.

    Agreed on the idea that just going on 3000 miles alone isn't sufficient to judge a proper service interval (and that is clearly stated above). Most vehicles today can easily go much further than that, however there are consumers for where that is in fact way too long.

    Now just how does someone determine which product is a "Quality Synthetic" VS ???????
    As mentioned in my previous response the word synthetic has no legal limitations in North America. In Europe to label a product synthetic it must be made from a group IV, V, or VI base stock.

    Also as mentioned above the advanced processing (hydrocracking) of the crude oil group II and group III base stocks does improve the oil significantly over the original product, but it is still crude oil out of the ground and does not meet the full global definiton of being purely man made.


    As for his concerns about crude oil based synthetics, the part he left out was that these oils have been proven in court to perform the same as the full synthetic.

    You wouldn't know this but I have addressed that numerous times in different discussions on this board. A lot of people get the details wrong on that BTW, because it was an FTC decision based on claims made by Mobile against Castrol where Mobile argued that Castrols claim that their group III product was a synthetic was false advertising. When the FTC weighed the evidence they decided that there wasn't any significant difference between a group III plus product and genuine synthetics so then everyone started using group III plus in North America and calling them synthetics. (FWIW You can even find group II plus products that are similarly labeled)

    Which leads to a good question for someone in the petroleum industry. Why do you keep the product base stock a secret from the consumer? Why don't you put on the label what percentage of a given base stock is actually inside a given bottle?


    You should feel comfortable at following the manufacturer recommendations and if you are using Mobil 1 synthetic or a Penzoil synthetic, drive until its black.

    That is false. When the statement is made that you cannot tell whether your car's engine oil needs changed by it's color it means the oil can still appear be clean and have used up it's expected service life as well as be darker and still have viable service remaining in some circumstances. Consumers need to follow the oil life monitor system in their vehicle if it is equipped with one, BUT that only works if they start out by choosing a product that actually meets their manufacturers specifications. My own car averages anywhere from about 6500 miles to 10,000 miles between required services as reported by the oil life monitor depending on the time of year and average use. I'll post a pic of what the oil looks like when it needs changed again the next time which should be somewhere around the 248,000 mile mark.

  • Steve EliasSteve Elias Posts: 2,185
    Herein lies a story of a dude who did stop changing his oil and lubricated his race-corolla engine with pure water. As well as details of my cars and oil/OCI policies.

    I've got a 2001 corolla 3-speed automatic - my youngest kid drives it.
    Local tire shop guy was asking about how it has such low miles and told us he raced one on dirttrack. He didn't want to put a cent into it so he started refilling/topping the crankcase with WATER, until there was pure water as oil. He RACED the car for multiple days with pure water as lubricant, before the engine failed.My kid has run the car with essentially no oil multiple times too. Sometimes he delivers pizzas with it now. Also refills a quart of oil (not water) with each refueling.

    Now, to discuss OCI in general, such as for our most-treasured cars:

    In the past before car's dashboard indicating when the oil needs changing, i prefer best possible manufacturer-spec-matching 7500 or 10k OCI for cars that are driven >10K miles per year.
    For 2005 GTO, i use Mobil 1 or the mobil-1-extended, or valvoline synpower synthetic.

    For 2015 SS and 2017 cruze diesel I will be sure to use DexOS 1&2 oil respectively, probably whatever Mobil 1 the dealer recommends. I'm just beginning research on DexOS 2 spec for the cruze diesel. Probably I will follow the dashboard OCI recommendation for the cruze, as I do for the SS and better-half's Sonic.

    I have so many cars now that i am beginning to hit the time-based OCI rather than mileage-based OCI, and having to pointedly to consider driving the garage-queen cars every week or two so as to prevent all the badness that occurs to oil/etc when car sits too long.

  • max_dieselmax_diesel Posts: 3
    edited January 2018
    GM's Dexos is a fine example of Racketeering.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,964

    GM's Dexos is a fine example of Racketeering.

    You need a new dictionary...https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Racketeering
  • This one is better: Dexos is a Scam and a Ripoff.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,964
    edited January 2018

    This one is better: Dexos is a Scam and a Ripoff.

    Consumers are lucky today to have people who are willing to step up and set the record straight instead of letting uneducated statements like that one stand.

    "dexos" is a specification that exceeds the API SN/SM and ILSAC GF4-GF5 standards by a significant margin. GM isn't the only manufacturer to have oil specifications that standard API and ILSAC grades fall short of. The list of manufacturers who have specifications that exceed API SN and ILSAC GF5 includes but is not limited to the following: Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Mercedes Benz, BMW, VW, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar, and on and on. There are some manufacturers don't have specifications that exceed the API and ILSAC approvals, but in every case those car's engines and emissions systems would be better protected by the consumer (shop) using a product that has these additional approvals such as GM's dexos.

    Learn about oil and today's specs. It's no accident that every oil mentioned in this Mobile1 video is dexos approved.




  • They will approve any crap oil. For money. Go Dexos. Why to bring outdated SM and GF-4 in a mix? Bring SJ, SL, SH, SG and the rest of GFs then.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,964
    Because SN and GF5 failed to meet the current GM, Ford and Chrysler  specifications the day they were approved to hit the market. Even now GF 6A falls well short of GM dexos1 2nd generation, Ford's WSS M2C945A, and Chrysler's MS 6395 R.
  • SmallBlock351CSmallBlock351C Huntsville,TexasPosts: 1
    Well looks like i’ve been a sucker all my life! My daddy drove it in my head to change my oil every 3000 miles but now i can afford it im going to try 9000 mile between oil changes. I own a 2011 GMC Sierra 5.3 liter and i hardly ever tow anything but i do drive fast to and from work everyday. My job is 50 miles away and i drive 80-85 going to work but in the evenings on my way home I drive anywhere from 90-110 depending on traffic and if anyone will run with me. Most of the time their is someone who will stay with me all the way home at those speeds. At 100 miles per hour my tachometer is sitting on 2850 rpm’s for 30 or so minutes until i reach my destination and doing that i only run Mobil1 full synthetic motor oil. The engine temperature never gets over 210 at those speeds.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,964
    The API and ILSAC are finally catching up to the requirements of today's cars. Or at least they will by May of 2020. http://newsletter.motor.com/2019/20190508/!ID_GetReadyForGF-6MotorOil.html?fbclid=IwAR1nSPKZmsXGBPF3gIUj-w_Xz1F-pnWjU_TWkZu4C0DQzUoGigfSlpO0o_g
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,769
    @thecardoc3 New and improved!

    Edmunds Moderator

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,964
    PF_Flyer said:

    @thecardoc3 New and improved!

    And it only took them ten years to do it.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,769
    Not nearly as complicated as trying to decide what light bulb to buy now ;)

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,964
    PF_Flyer said:

    Not nearly as complicated as trying to decide what light bulb to buy now ;)

    Replaced my lamps with LED's last year. Wow. They are bright.....


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