Oil Changes & oil monitor computers


Old 04-24-11, 07:43 PM
hopkinsr2's Avatar
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Oil Changes & oil monitor computers

Hey All,, I bought my wife a 2011 Tauras & it has the oil life computer, (Along with lots of other stuff I won't use,,..) Do you use the Oil change monitor computer (all highway miles) as oil changes, Or should I still stay @ the 3000~5000 mi interval??? Any thoughts?? & Thanks.... Roger
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Old 04-24-11, 09:33 PM
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I use the monitor. Oie has come along way and lasts longer. Less oil breakdown. Every 3000 mi is severe service. 7500mi is recommended with most cars. The oil life comp is based on alot of factors. I dont think its miles. I think its engine run time, temp, and time itsself.

I do check the oil though, and if it looks dirty and the light does not come on I change it. Use common sense and do not just base oil changes on that light. If I do 3-5K miles and its 100F outside I change it.

Once the light did not come on for 6 months. (low use) I though something was wrong. The oil looked ok (darker brown). So I bought oil and a filter and was waiting for the weekend to change. Wife comes home and says oil light was on.....LOL.

Just my 2 cents.

Mike NJ
Old 04-25-11, 04:36 AM
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My only experience with an oil change light is the flashing message on my 2010 jeep. I have absolutely no confidence in it. It 1st came on when the jeep had a little more than 2k on it. The last time it flashed was about 500 miles AFTER the last oil change. I don't know how much difference there is between the ford and mopar system but to me, the flashing message is more aggravation than help.
Old 04-25-11, 07:40 AM
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Oil life monitor systems vary in how they operate. On my 1984 BMW, the computer based the oil change intervals on numerous factors, such as cold starts, outside temperature, miles driven, speed, etc. However, on my 2011 Mercury, the monitor is simply a mileage monitor that triggers the light when a preset amount of miles have been driven. It's odd that in over 25 years, the monitoring system has gotten LESS sophisticated. My dealer officially recommends 3,000 mile changes, which is ridiculous. I'm currently going with 5,000 mile intervals, but I may move up to 7,500 mile intervals, since all my mileage is interstate highway driving.
Old 04-25-11, 09:02 PM
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I am a big believer in following the Oil Life Systems at least with the ones that GM uses. They are a proven product that has been researched, and lab tested time and time again, and have been around in different forms now for I believe over 10 years and I don't see the court rooms full of complaints around them. There simply has been no real issues, and they have gotten better with technology, along with oils , but alot of other issues involving people that simply don't seem to want to change their oil regardless of lights, mileage, or common sense are always around. Alot of the so called 'sludge' issues in past years was around products designed to be maintained and sold to people who simply didn't bother with it. Dealers will always do what they need to do to generate income, and often invent their own service requirements to help keep things busy. With 5 year coolant, 100,000 mile spark plugs, and a quick lube on every corner selling every filter known to man as often as they can pull it off, there is always creativity around what is 'severe service' and what is not. These days every car driven seems to be in 'severe service' use by most service outlets, and even by certain oil companies involved in quick lube shops. Just as we now see the 100,000 mile brake pad, and spark plug, we are seeing the 10,000 mile oil change.
Old 04-26-11, 06:45 AM
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Unless your manual specifies synthetic oil, your OLM is programmed for conventional motor oil. I follow the OLM on our Uplander and plan on "driving" the vehicle to the auto wrecker after a long life on Quaker State conventional (probably rusted out by Ontario winters but still running fine).
You can always click over to Used Oil Analysis - Gasoline - Bob Is The Oil Guy and spend a few hours reading the "used oil analyses" of thousands of posters. Be prepared to be educated ..
I think you'll find your monitor is just fine as a reference for oil changes.
Old 04-26-11, 06:59 AM
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Also that is a new car. I am a synthetic oil guru. I would suggest after break in to use Mobil 1 exclusively. Uless it has synthetic in it already. many cars come from the factory with mobil 1.

I ride Harleys. I have a 110 HP twin cam that reaches 260F (thats hot) of a hard cranking rides in the summer. Dino oil would have fried in that engine. Hey its air cooled.

I would probably put synthetic and and go 10000 miles before oil changes. I would change the oil filter at 5000 miles, then again with the oil change at 10000 miles.

Thats just me though.

Mike NJ

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