Oil change consensus/opinion.

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  #1  
Old 03-27-16, 02:18 PM
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Question Oil change consensus/opinion.

For all the years I've owned a car I've changed the oil and filter every 3000 miles or 3 months, whatever came first. My new Toyota Tacoma says I only have to change the oil and filter every 5000 miles or 5 months.

Having done the 3 month 3000 mile oil and filter for 50 years now I just don't trust running with the same oil for 5 months or 5000 miles.

I know the oils are synthetic, the filters are, supposedly, better and the manufacturer recommends the longer oil use, but it's hard to teach this old dog a new trick. I'm at 3200 miles and 3 months now and it's "paining" me to not change the oil! Go along with the manufacturer's recommendation, or continue with what I've been doing all these years?
 
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Old 03-27-16, 02:34 PM
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Just my opinion but the 3k oil changes went out with the dark ages. My father did it on his cars he owned in the 50's and 60's era cars. I believe even in the 70's.

Came the 80's I started driving and did the same for some time but as car engines have gotten better I switched to the 5k oil change.

Just look at the color of the oil after 5k.. Many times I probably dont even have to change it then and could probably go the recommended 7500 miles..

So I take the middle of the road aproach..

Plus with my 1996 chevy s 10 I am usually down a quart at 5k anyway so thats when I change it instead of adding a quart...
 
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Old 03-27-16, 03:38 PM
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guess I'm from the dark ages

When I first started driving I changed the oil every 2k, somewhere along the line I switched to 3k. I also can't bring myself to wait for 5k although I have upped it a little at 3500 miles.

You should double check and see what the manufacture recommends for severe driving as that is often less than the 5k or whatever is published. There is a difference between stop/go driving and mostly interstate.
 
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Old 03-27-16, 03:48 PM
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I agree with Mike. A lot has to do with the age of the engine and conditions of the oil. On my Lincoln, the oil still looks, smells, and feels new after 3000 miles. But on my old Ford f-150, with 280,000 miles, it's pretty black after 3 or 4,000 miles. So I don't mind changing it sooner... as mentioned, it's usually a quart low by the time its ready for an oil change anyway.

When I was in school, the auto mech teacher taught us about SA, SB, SC, etc... that appeared on motor oil labels. The higher the letter the better the quality. Well now oil is up to what... SM? So the oil itself does not necessarily break down and quit lubricating like older types did when they got hot and/or scorched. But IMO, it's still affected by contaminates in the oil... i.e. carbon, so to me, that's the reason I may change it earlier than 5000 or 7500. But that's from high miles.
 
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Old 03-27-16, 03:59 PM
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Back in the 60's and 70's you traded cars before it reached the magic 30,000 mile plateau, too I am like the others, when the oil gets dirty, change it. I check it with every fill up. If I can't read the "full" markings through the oil, it's dirty.

Now comes diesel. With my Cummins 5.9 (464k), I find that I am changing it about every 5k, because you get a lot of sulfur blow through from the fuel combustion. It is a positive pressure engine with the turbo so there are no vacuum ports. That pressure pushes spent fuel around the valves. It just can't help it,
 
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Old 03-27-16, 04:02 PM
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Thinking on it, the owner's manual for my 2010 jeep says 6k oil changes but 3k for severe service which is what they call everyday normal driving Personally, I'd rather change the oil a little too soon than a little too late.
 
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Old 03-27-16, 04:21 PM
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I guess I'm with everyone else; my Volvo S60 Manual says changes with conventional oil should be every 7500 miles . . . . so I do them every 5000 (and don't feel bad if I miss the mark by a few hundred). This car is now at 268,000 and doesn't seem to have suffered from excessive changes.

Ask me sometime about keeping the same Catalytic Converter alive for 268,000 miles by burning a little Lacquer Thinner periodically.
 
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Old 03-27-16, 04:27 PM
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Ask me sometime about keeping the same Catalytic Converter alive for 268,000 miles by burning a little Lacquer Thinner periodically.
Ill bite.. Tell me more..

I only ask because evry now and then I throw a quart of tranny fluid in the oil of my truck when I am a quart low.. I run it 500 miles or so.. Im running a quart of trans now in the oil as a matter of fact..

1996 s10 4.3l with 160K miles...
 
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Old 03-27-16, 04:37 PM
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Not going to do any harm to change it more often, but's it's a big waste of time and money.
This has been proven time and time again.
No way does oil "wear out" in 3 months time unless your driving a race vehicle.
Stop Changing Your Oil! | Edmunds.com
Google "oil change intervals" and check out the hundreds of study's on this subject.
 
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Old 03-27-16, 05:11 PM
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With the advent of cleaner fuels, the older Dodge Rams ran into a brick wall. The gumment reduced sulfur content of diesel from 200 ppm to 17 ppm, depleting any hope of lubricating the injector pump. We have to add 1 oz. of 2 cycle oil for every gallon of diesel to make up for it, skipping every 5th fill up to equalize things. Otherwise it's $2k every time the pump fails.
 
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Old 03-27-16, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by lawrosa
". . . Ill bite.. Tell me more . . ."
At about 100,000 miles, I got the dreaded OBDII P0420 Check Engine Code; meaning that the Catalytic Converter is malfunctioning.

Both Fore and Aft Oxygen Sensors were functioning properly, so I looked into what was involved that could render my Catalytic Converter broken . . . . seeing as it has no moving parts.

What was necessary is to clean the internal surfaces of the platinum, palladium, and rhodium surfaces, so that those metals are exposed to the exhaust fumes and can continue to perform their functions. To do this, the Converter has to get hot enough to burn the soot and deposits off the catalyst metals.

I found that most commercial cleaners (like CatClean) are just forms of lacquer thinner . . . . but very expensive. So now, anytime a P0420 Code shows up, I wait until I've got a 100 mile errand to run and 3 or 4 gallons of gas in the tank, and I'll add a half gallon of lacquer thinner to the tank immediately before leaving on my trip, and try to complete it without any stops . . . . then I'll fill the tank and drive a few more miles to clear the lines. I don't let the volatile and corrosive Lacquer thinner linger any longer than necessary.

No blown head gaskets so far, and I've put another 168,000 miles on this rig since that P0420 CEL first appeared . . . . reckon it's saved me a couple thousand dollars so far. I run this procedure now at least once per year, or anytime the dreaded P0420 CEL appears.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 03-27-16 at 06:37 PM.
  #12  
Old 03-28-16, 06:24 AM
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Not going to do any harm to change it more often, but's it's a big waste of time and money.
This has been proven time and time again.
I'm with Joe on this one. Do what the manufacturer says. If 6K is recommended then 6K it is. And besides most newer vehicles have an oil life monitor that will monitor the integrity of the oil. If you use straight synth oil then 10K is not unheard of. The only caveat I'll make is if you're running your car like a taxi or very dusty conditions. Of course the dealer will always recommend 4k intervals regardless of what their manufacture says. Why? Because they make money on oil changes.

BTW...the color of the oil is not an indication of it's integrity.
 
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Old 03-28-16, 06:35 AM
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FWIW, I've been doing 5k changes on my wrecker for ages (Wally World Supertech 10w-30 syn) and the current engine (5.7L Chevy) is at about 265,000. Ditto our passenger vehicles (they have a few less miles on them, of course).

A lot of newer vehicles now will prompt you when it's time for change based on driving conditions and mileage.
 
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Old 03-28-16, 02:52 PM
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"...the dealer will always recommend 4k intervals regardless of what their manufacture says."

Not at least for the first two years. Toyota includes two years of oil and filter change at no cost. It's just "included" in the purchase price, I'm sure!
 
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Old 03-28-16, 04:41 PM
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What amazes me is that the same vehicles operating in other parts of the world run 10k and more on conventional oil.

Marketing has conditioned us to be "slaves" to corporate hype and oil company B.S.

There is a lot more "old wives tales" in these internet threads than there is "old wives" .
 
  #16  
Old 03-29-16, 05:57 AM
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Yeah, same reason people pull up to the pumps and put premium in a car designed to run fine on 87 octane.
 
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Old 03-29-16, 07:17 AM
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I may as well throw my two cents in too. I drive an '07 Dodge Ram 5.7 Hemi 4X4 Off Road stock with about 160,000 miles. I change oil (& filter) "about" every 5,000 miles.

My personal belief is that engines & motor oils are made far better than they were when I was maintaining our vehicles back in the 70's, 80's or 90's.
Technology in petroleum products as well as engines are no different than medicine or any other field. It is much more advanced. The days of 3000 mile oil changes are long gone in my mind. Again, JMHO.

I remember the engines prior to the 80s normally would never last 100,000 miles. Now, you cant buy a used car over 5 years old with less than 100,000. That mileage now is nothing to worry about. My point is, engines are just better now than during the days of 3000 mile oil changes.... as are motor oils.
 
  #18  
Old 03-29-16, 08:03 AM
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OK. Seems as though the general consensus is to go with what the manufacturer recommends and change the oil & filter every 5K. I guess I'll eventually get used to it I can always make myself "feel better" by continuing to change he oil every 3K on the wife's car!
 
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Old 03-29-16, 08:31 AM
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I went with the on-board oil monitor for my last oil change - 11 months and 13,000 miles between changes based on the car telling me to get the oil changed.
 
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Old 03-29-16, 11:30 AM
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The added benefit is for those of us with ancient brains, easier to remember multiples of 5.
 
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Old 03-29-16, 01:12 PM
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"I went with the on-board oil monitor for my last oil change - 11 months and 13,000 miles between changes based on the car telling me to get the oil changed."

And I bet they didn't specify the need for synthetic oil either to do that.

Our modern conventional oils are all that's needed for years and many 100k miles of service.
 
  #22  
Old 03-29-16, 01:21 PM
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Yep, conventional oil.

A buddy of mine has a 2007 Dodge Ram with the Cummins diesel and pays for an analysis every time he has his oil changed. Off the top of my head, on the advice of the company doing the analysis, I think he's at 18,000 miles between changes now and is of the opinion, "oil is oil" when it comes to brand or formulation.
 
  #23  
Old 03-29-16, 01:33 PM
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It's a matter of who has he "best" advertising agency. Like gasoline the "only" differences are the additives added into the product.

What company is it...AMSOIL, who advertises you need change their oil only once a year. Uh, it may be true but that is just "not right" in my book!
 
  #24  
Old 03-29-16, 02:12 PM
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I don't know how long it takes my buddy to get to 18,000 miles in his truck but it's not his every day vehicle so it's probably most of a year at minimum. He started with Amsoil but has gone to regular conventional oil over the last few years as the analyses always show the oil had significant life left to it after each oil change (they always seem to have the same response with each analysis - looks good, try 1,000 more miles before the next change).
 
  #25  
Old 03-29-16, 02:30 PM
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I'm not so sure that odometer mileage is such a good representation of wear and tear on an automobile engine.

I often let my car idle to warm up (so that it's comfortable for me mostly) when it's well below zero . . . . and heated idling while not moving in traffic jams doesn't register on the odometer . . . . but it's not a good time for engines.

PS: I just changed the blower fan on my Volvo for the 2nd timBut the odometer is probably the best gauge we've got . . . . each driver should know best what non-recorded torture s/he puts their engines through, and enter that into the equation too, having worn out the brushes. My mechanic says that I'm the only person for whom he's had to replace these motors. Well, those little fans blow all of the time, not just when you're moving and accumulating mileage . . . . they never get a break; they may even have to work harder when you're standing still in smoldering traffic on hot pavement !

But the odometer is probably the best gauge we've got . . . . but each driver should know best what non-recorded torture s/he puts their engines through, and should enter that into the equation too.
 
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