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Old 07-28-2009, 07:22 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,696 posts, read 4,690,480 times
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Just wondering. I was thinking of buying a car that came off lease. My mechanic said people who lease never change their oil--why bother they don't own it.

I know a few people with leases that maybe change their oil every 10-15K miles.

Carfax shows no maintenance records--of course they may have not gone to the dealer (which is the only way they would show up on carfax).

Is there any way to tell if a car coming off lease if the oil was ever changed?

2006 Toyota 4Runner Sport 35K miles.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
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Yes. You're required to take care of the vehicle.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Leased cars get the minimum maintenance required by the manufacturer - Some people take good care of a leased car but some don't.

Consider an off-lease BMW. For the most part, while it would be getting the good BMW synthetic oil, I think it would get it's first oil change at 15K miles...Particularly for the first oil change on a new engine I think that's a little harsh.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Leased cars get the minimum maintenance required by the manufacturer - Some people take good care of a leased car but some don't.

Consider an off-lease BMW. For the most part, while it would be getting the good BMW synthetic oil, I think it would get it's first oil change at 15K miles...Particularly for the first oil change on a new engine I think that's a little harsh.



BMW has exceptionally precise sensors to read the oil, and will not pay to change it until the vehicle says it's time.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:48 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,696 posts, read 4,690,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getmeoutofhere View Post
Yes. You're required to take care of the vehicle.
That means little from my experience.

My friend had a 99 Infiniti I30 with 60K miles on lease (maybe 1 oil change) with no documentation required went to an Infiniti QX4 (60K miles later again with maybe 1 oil change) turned it in for an Infiniti QX--no documentation required.

1.5 years ago turned it in and not for another Infiniti--went with a boring Mercedes this time, but still no documentation required
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 7,951,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfrisco View Post
That means little from my experience.

My friend had a 99 Infiniti I30 with 60K miles on lease (maybe 1 oil change) with no documentation required went to an Infiniti QX4 (60K miles later again with maybe 1 oil change) turned it in for an Infiniti QX--no documentation required.

1.5 years ago turned it in and not for another Infiniti--went with a boring Mercedes this time, but still no documentation required

OK.

So get a mechanic to look at the car. It's not as if it's something difficult to ascertain.

Or better yet, pick one with that's been manufacturer-certified.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:09 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,696 posts, read 4,690,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getmeoutofhere View Post
OK.

So get a mechanic to look at the car. It's not as if it's something difficult to ascertain.

Or better yet, pick one with that's been manufacturer-certified.
Thanks,

My mechanic tells me there is no way to ascertain whether the oil has been changed before. Obviously a dealer would put new oil in it so the oil looks fresh to someone pulling a dipstick, but it doesn't mean the previous owner ever changed it. Just saying.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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What you can do, and about all that is practical to do IMHO, is get a good flashlight and look into the oil fill hole (assuming it's on the cam cover like BMW, if it's on a long stem like a Subaru there is nothing to see) and look at the cam lobes you can see, any scoring? Look around, is it clean in there or not? Look at the bottom of the oil fill cap, is it fairly clean or covered with sludge?

You may be better off with a cheaper car bought directly from an individual, someone who owned the car outright and so had "some skin in the game".

A lot of the "tarting up" that dealers do is aimed at covering small flaws, rather than "providing the customer a car that needs nothing". You probably knew that. I would much rather get a car that needs an oil change and a set of tires, so I can look at the dirty oil and look at how the tires wear pattern is, this information is worth more to me than an oil change (one last chance for Mr. Pimple Face to cross-thread the drain plug...) and a set of cheap tires...
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:36 PM
 
6,354 posts, read 10,265,840 times
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FWIW I know a guy who does oil changes every 25k miles and has 280,000 miles on the original engine in his cavalier and it doesn't burn a drop.

Me? I change it every 3k miles, but I drive that about every 8-10 months.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:39 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,834 posts, read 16,763,003 times
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I wonder the same thing about some people who buy their cars. I've had enough bad experiences that I only buy new anymore.
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