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Old 09-13-2010, 01:21 AM
 
2,024 posts, read 4,470,760 times
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Older heavy engines built 20, 30, or 40 years ago are far more forgiving with abuse and neglect than the lightweight newer engines are. I change my oil and filter in my vehicles at 5,000 miles but they are older engines. Replacing engine oil and filter is about as simple as it gets and many Autozone's and O'reilly's will take used engine oil so there is no reason for anyone to wait till 10k miles or more to change it.

Last edited by 73-79 ford fan; 09-13-2010 at 01:34 AM..
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
Reputation: 35864
I have worn out a lot of cars. I buy them when they have well over 100K on them, sometimes 200K, and I never have any idea whether the oil has ever been changed regularly or not. I have never had a single car whose engine was not running perfectly when scrapped.

Which has led me to the opinion that any modern car engine will outlast the other essential components of the car, even with moderate abuse.
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Overland Park, KS
444 posts, read 1,037,340 times
Reputation: 165
I usually go 5k-6k on my vehicles. Most manuals even say 7500 miles. As vehicles get older they tend to burn more oil. I have a 01 Neon that is like clockwork on the 5k mile buring oil. It has 158k miles.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:19 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
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Outside of changing oil on a more aggressive personal schedule on performance/modified cars I tend to follow the manufacurer recommendation. On my stock VW's they recommended 5k for the first change, 10k for the second and then every 10k after that. My Audi was 5k intervals. My wife's Avalanche I follow the oil change indicator and it generally goes about 7k. On my Malibu the changes per the indicator are running close to a 12k interval. On the performance cars I've owned I tend to stick to the 3k mile rule and would change before and after a track day (road course racing).

If you are running a modern synthetic or even synthetic blend, the oil will essentially never break down and lose it's lubricity in normal driving. What does "wear out" is the additive package in the oil. So, in normal driving your oil can last a long time. When you get into high RPM and high heat situations, the oil can break down faster. This is generally caused by "frothing" in high RPM situations and the sludge that can form as a result.

Basically I always counsel people to follow the manufacturers guidelines unless they are doing something extreme like towing or racing, then you need to be more aggressive and even that is situationally dependent. For instance, changing the oil every 3k miles on a car that sees a road course a couple times a month would be foolish.

IMO the best systems are the oil life monitors. As long as you use the exact recommended oil they know based on your driving patterns and habits exactly how long the oil can last. FWIW, some manufacturers are actually no longer recommending a fixed interval and are basing it entirely on the monitors. The new 2011 Ford Super Duty is one of these. There are no stated change intervals, only a statement to follow what the monitors recommend.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:25 AM
 
3,743 posts, read 10,924,051 times
Reputation: 2738
Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendlyFeller View Post
I keep my oil changed. I can get a gallon and a filter for under $20 at Wal-mart.
It might be ok to go 10k so I'm not saying I'm right, I'm saying I'm playing it safe. I've never heard of anyone having problems from changing the oil to much.
If I'm wrong I figure the worst case scenario is that I changed my oil more than was really necessary.
I've honestly never heard of paying $25 to have your oil analyzed.
Hey, its your money and time, so its no business of mine, but wouldn't you like to know if you're on the right track or if you can save yourself some time and money each year? Thats what used oil analyses are about - they let you know if you are throwing out good oil or not, so its about being more efficient and wasting less. Imagine if we didn't have fuel gauges and just guessed about when we needed to refill the gas tank - that's basically what most people do when it comes to engine oil - some go too long, but most people don't go long enough or as long as they could.

Blackstone Labs will test your oil sample for about what an oil change typically costs, and if it means you go even from three to two oil changes a year, that money adds up pretty quickly.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Fayetteville
1,205 posts, read 2,221,995 times
Reputation: 2595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayantsi View Post
Hey, its your money and time, so its no business of mine, but wouldn't you like to know if you're on the right track or if you can save yourself some time and money each year? Thats what used oil analyses are about - they let you know if you are throwing out good oil or not, so its about being more efficient and wasting less. Imagine if we didn't have fuel gauges and just guessed about when we needed to refill the gas tank - that's basically what most people do when it comes to engine oil - some go too long, but most people don't go long enough or as long as they could.

Blackstone Labs will test your oil sample for about what an oil change typically costs, and if it means you go even from three to two oil changes a year, that money adds up pretty quickly.
I don't have to imagine, I've owned a truck where the fuel gauge didn't work

Thanks for the information about oil analysis though. I'd never heard of it before but now I have.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 16,997,019 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by 43north87west View Post
For a reminder about engine sludge, I occasionally look back at this well known thread.
This is a very good post that shows why 3>5000 mi changes are best. It's called "coking" where the oil has started to break down from engine heat (that run higher in todays engines to burn off emissions) and combustion by products that get blown in the the oil pan area mixing with the oil.

It's just like the old GM commercial......You can pay me now (for oil changes) or you can pay me later (for repairs due to lack of oil changes)
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Apple Valley Calif
7,475 posts, read 19,561,668 times
Reputation: 5575
Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendlyFeller View Post
Thanks for the information about oil analysis though. I'd never heard of it before but now I have.
Oil analysis is the only way fleet operators decide when to change oil. For a one vehicle owner, a little less or a little more doesn't make a lot of difference. When you have hundreds of vehicles, every extra mile translates into huge numbers.
It also will spot problems before a breakdown occurs.
The analysis tells you the % of the different kinds of metals and acids in the oil. If you have too much metal it can foretell disaster before it happens. Better to tear down an engine in the shop before it dies, than out on the highway 1000 miles from home..
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,630,498 times
Reputation: 2819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
This is a very good post that shows why 3>5000 mi changes are best. It's called "coking" where the oil has started to break down from engine heat (that run higher in todays engines to burn off emissions) and combustion by products that get blown in the the oil pan area mixing with the oil.

It's just like the old GM commercial......You can pay me now (for oil changes) or you can pay me later (for repairs due to lack of oil changes)
I just don't see the point whatsoever when my engine is the last that'll fail on my car even with hard use and 9k changes, which is according to the manufacturers recommendations.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,701,155 times
Reputation: 11465
Quote:
Originally Posted by evilnewbie View Post
I have been doing this for about a decade... I told people I only change my oil every 10,000 miles and they laughed at me... they told me I was ruining my car... it runs as good as the day I got it... still got another 4k miles before the next 10k oil change... I have heard stories of people never changing their oil and drove it to 200k miles or people who change every 20k miles and their cars are still running at good performance...

Link (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Like-the-55-Chevy-the-nytimes-3825041162.html?x=0&mod=pf-family-home - broken link)
Totally depends on the car, the oil, and how the miles are accumulated.

If you are using a good synthetic oil, in a car that's not known for sludge buildup, and you are not making any short trips, a lot of your miles are freeway/highway miles, a 10K Oil Change Interval is fine.

If the opposite, what can I say you have been getting away with it so I can't say it won't work, but that's relatively a lot of miles for this kind of service or known sludge building cars.

A good quick check is to put a drop of oil from your dipstick onto a coffee filter (white ones are better) and see if you get a "bullseye" pattern with a darker ring around the resulting oil spot. If so your dispersant package is still "good" ie not depleted, and *generally* the dispersant is the first thing to "go" in an oil.

If you really want to know what's up, send a sample of each oil drain to a lab, they will tell you "more than you wanted to know".

I would personally be more impressed with a record of oil analysis done at say 10K than a stack of "stupid lube" receipts done religiously every 3000.

Goat said, correctly, that the interval in your owner's manual represents the best recommendation the manufacturer's engineering team has to offer you - you just need to be honest as to if you are "severe service" or not.

The one thing original I can add is that people tend to watch their pennies when it comes to lube oil and filters - not a good thing IMHO. For a fully depreciated car, lube oil and filters (assuming DIY) are about 5% of your fuel-oil-tire predictable per-mile expenses. There is not that much money on the table, to be gained by using cheap oil, cheap filters, and/or extending OCI. You can, however, void a warrenty and/or cause more engine wear than you would have otherwise by trying to cheap out on oil.
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