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Thread: How often should you change your oil?

  1. #1
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    How often should you change your oil?

    I see numbers all over the place.

    All the way from 3,000 miles to 10,000 miles between changes.

    What is right?

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
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  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    I see numbers all over the place.

    All the way from 3,000 miles to 10,000 miles between changes.

    What is right?
    Well, they've upped the mileage/time intervals to as infrequently as once a year, or every 6,000-10,000 miles.

    There's no question modern engines - with their near-optimum combustion and efficient systems for getting rid of contaminants, plus the superior quality of modern oils - means you can go longer in between.

    But I still change the oil in my trucks at least twice a year, regardless of mileage (and more often, if I get to 4,000 miles before six months go by). I use Mobil 1 in the trucks; Royal Purple in my Trans-Am. It gets an oil change once a year, because it only goes about 500 miles in between oil changes.

    I do the bikes every 2,000 miles with full synthetic, such as Motul or Repsol.

  3. #3
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    The Ridgeline has a maintenance reminder system. It's based on driver inputs, and not an actual oil quality sensor, so it's tolerances are a bit loose.

    Even so, I still change every 3000 miles. I can afford it, and I don't want to take a chance on having to replace an engine (while today's engines are better in every way, they're also way more expensive than they used to be).

    Plus, these days the oil gets recycled, so it's not like how it used to be, with it being dumped out back of the gas station. No enviro-guilt.

    Chip H.

  4. #4
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Sounds good.

    Thanks for the input!

    Since I do my own oil changes and use very cheap oil I do it every 3,000 too!

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  5. #5
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    I usually change my oil every three months or 3000 miles. I usually don't get a car until it has 100K or more on the clock. My current car has 151K and uses one quart every 3000-4000 miles. I don't chane my own oil though and haven't in close to 30 years. I'll change engines and if I tear one down, I'll put fresh back in. However, a friend has an oil change shop a block from my house and he lets me use the rack from time to time.

    Oil is cheap insurance. A change runs me about $25-28 depending on the size of my oil pan. Over 100,000 miles, that comes to less than $1000. Skimp on oil changes and you're going to spend way more than that on engine repairs. Now, if I run synthetic, I do change the oil every 5000-6000 miles since synthetic doesn't break down like regular oil does. It loos blacker but that just means it's doing its job and holding dirt in suspension.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    I see numbers all over the place.

    All the way from 3,000 miles to 10,000 miles between changes.

    What is right?
    I believe this topic has been debated since 1920.

    IMO, uber frequent oil changes are mostly a scare tatic.

    No doubt in the 40's, 50's, 60's, ... engines were not built to the tolerance they are today. So a lot of combustion gases entered the crankcase. It's my guess that this 'dirtied' the oil.

    However with today's engine tolerances, clean burning fuels, fuel injection, etc. There's a lot less crap going into the crankcase.

    I think it's a male phobia thing.

    I use either Mobil 1, or Castrol Syntech. I change at the max reccomended interval (for Volvo it's 7,500 miles).

    I've never had an engine problem. Years ago CU had done tests with NY taxi cabs. There was no discernable difference between those who changed oil every 3,000 as opposed to 6,000 miles.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    Since I do my own oil changes and use very cheap oil I do it every 3,000 too!
    You're probably wasting your time and money. See here.

    But it depends on the vehicle and how it's driven. Sometimes 3,000 miles is correct, but rarely. I think my Saturn is such. It has something to do with the timing chain needing clean engine oil just so the oil can get to it.

    -Don-

  8. #8
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    Recommended oil change interval for my Citroen is 20,000 miles or two years, based on the use of synthetic oil.

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    I usually change my oil every three months or 3000 miles. I usually don't get a car until it has 100K or more on the clock. My current car has 151K and uses one quart every 3000-4000 miles. I don't chane my own oil though and haven't in close to 30 years. I'll change engines and if I tear one down, I'll put fresh back in. However, a friend has an oil change shop a block from my house and he lets me use the rack from time to time.

    Oil is cheap insurance. A change runs me about $25-28 depending on the size of my oil pan. Over 100,000 miles, that comes to less than $1000. Skimp on oil changes and you're going to spend way more than that on engine repairs. Now, if I run synthetic, I do change the oil every 5000-6000 miles since synthetic doesn't break down like regular oil does. It loos blacker but that just means it's doing its job and holding dirt in suspension.
    That was a good point made about the literally unbelievable cost of a replacement engine; these things can cost $5,000 or more. A '60s or '70s-era V-8 you could completely rebuild for about $1,000. On the other hand, those engines rarely ran like a Swiss watch for 100,000-plus miles!

    I think the Big Thing nowadays is being sure you use high-quality oil and filters. Especially filters. Some of them are absolute junk - a few have been known to disintegrate (internal filter medium) and clog up vital passages...

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    There's a YouTube video out there (can't find it right now) where a guy cuts open about 9-10 filters and looks at the insides. He's obviously not an engineer of any kind, but he makes some good observations.

    Fram (since being bought by Honeywell) is absolute junk. Curiously, they make the A02 filter for Honda, for which Honda charges 3x the price (I'm surprised Honda puts up with it, given their fanaticism over their engines). Their internals had cardboard end-pieces, which fell apart with only light pressure. I can see them easily clogging an oil passage.

    The K&N was actually a very good design. And you'll pay for it -- I think they sell for over $10.

    The others (Motorcraft, GM) were mid-pack. They had good features, but were let down in other areas. But still worth buying.

    Chip H.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    Fram (since being bought by Honeywell) is absolute junk.
    AFAIK, only the orange cans and their very expensive Teflon filter is junk. The Fram TG is supposed to be okay and I use it often.

    See here.

    -Don-

  12. #12
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    There's a YouTube video out there (can't find it right now) where a guy cuts open about 9-10 filters and looks at the insides. He's obviously not an engineer of any kind, but he makes some good observations.

    Fram (since being bought by Honeywell) is absolute junk. Curiously, they make the A02 filter for Honda, for which Honda charges 3x the price (I'm surprised Honda puts up with it, given their fanaticism over their engines). Their internals had cardboard end-pieces, which fell apart with only light pressure. I can see them easily clogging an oil passage.

    The K&N was actually a very good design. And you'll pay for it -- I think they sell for over $10.

    The others (Motorcraft, GM) were mid-pack. They had good features, but were let down in other areas. But still worth buying.

    Chip H.
    Yep!

    I only use K&N and Mobil 1 filters....

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