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Thread: How often should you change your oil?

  1. #41
    DonTom
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Sport bikes (as I'm sure you know!) are very different animals from cruisers. 12,,000-15,000 RPM (or more!) redlines are common.

    I like redlines around 5K and rarely get anything near it. I am not sure what my DR200SE runs at, but I assume it's faster. It has no tach. But it seems reasonale for such a small engine.

    I was never a speed freak, but I have been over 100 MPH on my Venture and I have been at top speed on my BMW. But that was when I was a lot younger. I was 21 when I purchased my new 1971 BMW R75/5. The main thing I liked was the 6.3 gallon gas tank (as advertised). More miles to a tank of gasoline than any other bike at the time. However, they lied like hell in all motorcycle specs in those days and a dry tank would only fill to 5.8 US Gallons.

    Back in those days, I had a CA Class Four "motorcycle only" driver's license. When I met Tom in 1974, the first thing he did was to teach me to drive a car (in his new 1974 Dodge Cornet Custom).

    Before the BMW bike, I had a 1968 Honda CL350 (before the army). A couple of years before that, I had a Honda 90 with an automatic clutch. I have been riding motorcycles since I was 15.

    -Don- (back in SSF)




  2. #42
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Why are you all talking about motorcycle. Isn't this thread about changing motor oil, our preference on typeof oil, etc. ?

  3. #43
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    Why are you all talking about motorcycle. Isn't this thread about changing motor oil, our preference on typeof oil, etc. ?
    It just came up - but the same general issues are involved, so it's the same basic discussion ....

  4. #44
    mrblanche
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric

    In a new engine, it's not good to use synthetic until the engine has been "broken in" - rings seated, etc. - and synthetic is so effective a lubricant it can interfere with this.

    On older engines, the problem is that synthetic can worsen leaks due to aged/brittle gaskets, etc.
    Both of these urban myths have been shown to be inaccurate. You'd know about the first one, Eric, if you looked under the hood or in the manual of any new Corvette you've driven. They come from the factory with synthetic oil.

    And, as long as you are using the same weight synthetic as you were using dino oil, the leaks should be the same as they always were.

    Same is true with the old tales (before your time!) about switching to detergent from non-detergent oils. Boy, now there's a term you don't hear any more!

  5. #45
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    This is one of those "it depends" situations, actually.

    In cars like the new Corvette, the engine (rings/pistons used; the materials used; machining processes, etc.) are different from what you'd find in something like my old Trans-Am. You're right that many modern cars like the 'Vette are just fine with synthetic; no "break in" isssues involved. But for many older engines I've worked with, it is specifically advised to not use synthetic at initial start-up.

    PS - I am old enough to remember when oil came in thosegodawful cans instead of pour bottles!

  6. #46
    mrblanche
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Mobil One's answers:

    Switching to synthetics causing leaks:

    http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/...y_Engines.aspx

    As to the new car deal, all I can find would indicate changing to synthetic at the first oil change shouldn't be a problem.

    Of course, if your car uses 5w20 oil, you don't have much choice, since all of it I can find is semi-synthetic, and none of it is fully synthetic yet.

  7. #47
    DonTom
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Mobil One's answers:


    Their most honest answer only seems to be:

    "We are not aware of a controlled study on this topic."

    -Don-

  8. #48
    mrblanche
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    Mobil One's answers:


    Their most honest answer only seems to be:

    "We are not aware of a controlled study on this topic."

    -Don-
    I guess the first question would be, how would you conduct a controlled study on such a subject, since it depends on the subject vehicle having a hidden and as yet undiscovered defect?

  9. #49
    DonTom
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    I guess the first question would be, how would you conduct a controlled study on such a subject, since it depends on the subject vehicle having a hidden and as yet undiscovered defect?

    I would think there would be a way to do such a study with today's technology, even if they cannot find a vehicle.

    -Don-

  10. #50
    mrblanche
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    On a sort of related subject, the company I used to work for would thoroughly filter their used oil, then add it in small concentrations to their diesel fuel storage tanks. They were changing the oil on 3,000 trucks at least once per month, producing right around 30,000 gallons of used oil, or eight tanker-truck loads. They said that saved them (then) about $1 per gallon, or over a quarter million dollars per year. That's illegal, now, by the way.

  11. #51
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    On a sort of related subject, the company I used to work for would thoroughly filter their used oil, then add it in small concentrations to their diesel fuel storage tanks. They were changing the oil on 3,000 trucks at least once per month, producing right around 30,000 gallons of used oil, or eight tanker-truck loads. They said that saved them (then) about $1 per gallon, or over a quarter million dollars per year. That's illegal, now, by the way.
    I cart mine -in a 20 gallon drum/container - over to my buddy's father-in-law, who uses it inhis oil-burning furnace.

  12. #52
    mrblanche
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    If it's relatively clean (and the oil out of a gasoline engine is), I don't see any problem in that. In fact, I did it in PA, when I lived there.

  13. #53
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    If it's relatively clean (and the oil out of a gasoline engine is), I don't see any problem in that. In fact, I did it in PA, when I lived there.
    Yep; this guy's been doing it for decades, apparently - with no problems. It's a good deal all around; we get rid of our old oil; he gets free heat!

  14. #54
    mrblanche
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    A diesel will, by the way, run on oil or automatic transmission fluid. When we worked at Werner, we pointed out to management a number of times that if a truck ran out of fuel, the driver should put the two gallons of oil he was required to carry in the fuel tanks. That would be enough to at least get him to the next exit.

    They said they spent in excess of $17,000 every month on service calls on out-of-fuel trucks.

  15. #55
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    A diesel will, by the way, run on oil or automatic transmission fluid. When we worked at Werner, we pointed out to management a number of times that if a truck ran out of fuel, the driver should put the two gallons of oil he was required to carry in the fuel tanks. That would be enough to at least get him to the next exit.

    They said they spent in excess of $17,000 every month on service calls on out-of-fuel trucks.
    Are there any potential downsides to running oil/tranny fluid in a diesel engine? (And I'm assuming in both cases we're talking about fresh/unused oil/fluid?)

  16. #56
    mrblanche
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Well, it might not run very WELL on either, and you wouldn't want to do it very long. But a common trick among truckers has been to carry a few quarts of ATF. When you have to change a fuel filter, rather than filling the filter with fuel (messy!), fill it with the ATF. The ATF has a reputation for cleaning injectors, too, by the way.

    The bad news is that ATF has red dye in it, and any trace of red dye in fuel now is subject to a big fine, in the thousands of dollars, since non-highway fuel is dyed red.

    You would want any used oil to be filtered completely to remove all the soot possible, since it would damage injectors. Clean oil shouldn't have that problem.

    By the way, this stuff falls in the category of "old trucker tricks" that may or may not be the best of ideas under ideal conditions. But we often operate in less than ideal conditions.

    But eventually, you get wise. Like the old trucker I was with up in Montana one time. We pulled in for fuel at a little truck stop. He started pumping. After about five seconds, he looked at me and said, "This place is crooked. We'll only put in enough fuel to get us to a better truck stop."

    How did he know?

    Because, although the temperature outside was well below freezing, he could feel the heat from the nozzle through his gloves, once the fuel started flowing. The truck stop was heating the fuel to increase its profits.

  17. #57
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    Good to know!

    My friend's father-in-law runs a rig (cattle) to the Midwest and back (to Virginia) fairly often; I've a;ways thought it'd be an experience (and perhaps even fun!) to go on a ride-along.

    Might have to do that one of thes days....

  18. #58
    mrblanche
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    Re: How often should you change your oil?

    You should do it. If he's a good driver (and most are, especially if they've made it past 6 years), you'll likely look at car driving very differently after that.

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