Auto Oil Changes

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ScreamingChicken
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/11/22 07:40:01 (permalink)
mar52

He asked without looking at my air filter if I wanted a new one. Records showed that I last changed it about a year ago. I told him no and that was that.

 
I've always tried to replace (or clean, if reusable) my air filters at 10,000 miles but I also do a lot of rural driving so there's often a lot of dust in the air.  I don't know how many miles you drive in a year but I've heard that the air in L.A. is a bit dirty, so that's something you might want to keep in mind.
 
joerogo

I was an oil change nut, every 3000 miles.  Thirty years ago, I even installed a pit in my warehouse.

 
So some might say that you put the "pit" in "Pittston"...
#31
Michigander
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/11/23 10:24:51 (permalink)
I have a 2008 Chevrolet HHR, which I use for my work commute (50 miles per day) and some weekend errands. As part of the onboard computer, it has an oil life display which reads out in percentages which you reset each time you change the oil. When I got the car, I watched this, and at 3000 miles it showed the oil life at 77%. I called Chevrolet and they said to follow the gauge, as it factored in driving style, stops and starts, and highway vs. city miles. I have never let it get below 50%, and this is generally about 5500 miles. At this point, the oil still comes out looking clean, but I just can't in good conscience, let it go further.
 
Don't get me started about changing the air filter on this car......
#32
mar52
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/11/23 18:26:18 (permalink)
I also have that oil life percentage computer thing in my Explorer.
 
I don't think it reads the actual oil life.  I think it's a count down timer related to mileage.
#33
JRPfeff
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/11/23 19:25:45 (permalink)
If you drove your last car until it dropped (i.e, did not trade or sell it before end of life), raise your hand.
 
The rest of you, do the minimum needed to meet your Owners Manual requirements (look at both miles and time durations).  Your engine will not fail due to oil breakdown.  Period.  End of story. 
 
You will get no extra points or dollars at sale/trade-in for exceeding manufacturer's recommendations.  Hence, you have wasted every penny you spent by changing your oil and filter too frequently.
#34
MetroplexJim
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/11/24 08:12:01 (permalink)
The last time I did any al la carte oil changing was on my 1989 Volvo 780 which I bought new.  Based on advice I was given by a master mechanic that I "run the engine in" by driving it "hard" (which came very naturally) on the original oil for 3,000 miles, then switch to MobilOne synthetic which I then changed at 15,000 mile intervals.  The result was 300,000+ of trouble-free miles.  When the car finally died of transmission failure the engine was still running strong and never used a drop of oil.
 
Now that I no longer put "heavy miles" on a vehicle, we just lease Lexi and the dealer just does "whatever" every 5,000 miles while we drive off in our "complimentary" Lexus loaners.
#35
DawnT
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/11/24 09:16:29 (permalink)
Our vehicle passed the 3400 mile mark when the engine service light came on with 15% oil life remaining. I thought it odd as about a month or two ago, the oil life indicator was at 70% when I last scrolled through the menu. The manual had no interval recommendation other then following the oil life indicator. When I took it in, the dealership filled it with synthetic mobil oil even though the manual specifies regular. I couldn't get a straight answer if the first programmed oil change was about draining factory oil which is laced with molybdenum from the engine assembly lubricants. The only answer that I got was that the computer monitors engine conditions, not time and determines when the oil is near exhaustion. Furthermore, disregarding the service indicator presents a warranty issue if the % life goes negative and can't be reset by the user, only by dealer software. No doubt most of the newer cars are designed to rat you out if you exceed their service recommendations. I'm not clear if an independent mechanic has access or you're locked to their service network for documentable maintainance events.
#36
MetroplexJim
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/11/24 09:42:28 (permalink)
DawnT

Our vehicle passed the 3400 mile mark when the engine service light came on with 15% oil life remaining. I thought it odd as about a month or two ago, the oil life indicator was at 70% when I last scrolled through the menu. The manual had no interval recommendation other then following the oil life indicator. When I took it in, the dealership filled it with synthetic mobil oil even though the manual specifies regular. I couldn't get a straight answer if the first programmed oil change was about draining factory oil which is laced with molybdenum from the engine assembly lubricants. The only answer that I got was that the computer monitors engine conditions, not time and determines when the oil is near exhaustion. Furthermore, disregarding the service indicator presents a warranty issue if the % life goes negative and can't be reset by the user, only by dealer software. No doubt most of the newer cars are designed to rat you out if you exceed their service recommendations. I'm not clear if an independent mechanic has access or you're locked to their service network for documentable maintainance events.


1)  What brand of car do you own?
2)  If you do not get dealer service, an oil change receipt from an "independent" covers your warranty if they make sure to note your vehicle's VIN on it.
#37
MikeS.
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/11/24 19:37:02 (permalink)
mayor al
  Oh yeah, I do the 'plus' service when I get the oil changed. I want them to check all fluids and tire pressures as I seldom do that myself. I will get this change done (free) at the dealer as the 'first-time-service', but normally go to Wally World for the faster service they offer. I have never had a negative isssue with my local WalMart Auto Service.

 
Al, I had 2 known problems with WM auto service. 1st was I paid for their "complete service" I watched the tech the whole time he worked on my car and knew he didn't check the tires. When I got the paperwork at the end all 4 tires were marked with the same tread depth. I got the manager, told him what I deserved and showed him the differences in the tires. I had 2 newer tires.
 
2nd was the wrong oil filter, had oil spraying all over the place. That was the last time I used WM for car service.
 
#38
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/11/24 21:24:43 (permalink)
JRPfeff

If you drove your last car until it dropped (i.e, did not trade or sell it before end of life), raise your hand.


Hand raised (1995 Chevy Lumina, 249,291 miles, dead transmission), although no vehicle every truly drops dead...it just becomes financially irresponsible to keep it running.  The 2001 Impala I mentioned before is somewhere around 260,000 miles but that includes a rebuilt transmission ($2000) at 220,000 and it'll be driven by someone in the house until we decide to donate it for the tax writeoff.

The rest of you, do the minimum needed to meet your Owners Manual requirements (look at both miles and time durations).  Your engine will not fail due to oil breakdown.  Period.  End of story. 

You will get no extra points or dollars at sale/trade-in for exceeding manufacturer's recommendations.  Hence, you have wasted every penny you spent by changing your oil and filter too frequently.

 
Sale?  Trade-in?  Your strange and mysterious words confuse and frighten me...
#39
JRPfeff
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/11/24 21:58:49 (permalink)
Yeah Brad, I don't think either of us has to worry about a vehicle with a red ribbon on it in our driveway on Christmas morning.
#40
mar52
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/12/15 16:29:34 (permalink)
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-autos-oil-change-20111215,0,4554184.story
 
 
Apropos
 
State hopes to break car owners' habit of changing oil too often
 

California launches a campaign against the widespread notion that oil changes are needed every 3,000 miles. Officials say the practice wastes millions of gallons of oil a year.

Many automobile owners are spending more than they need on motor oil, believing that it should be changed every 3,000 miles even though almost no manufacturer requires such an aggressive oil-change schedule.
 
 The long-held notion that the oil should be changed every 3,000 miles is so prevalent that California officials have launched a campaign to stop drivers from wasting millions of gallons of oil annually because they have their vehicles serviced too often.
 
 "Our survey data found that nearly half of California drivers are still changing their oil at 3,000 miles or even sooner," said Mark Oldfield, a spokesman for the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery, which has launched the Check Your Number campaign to encourage drivers to go with the manufacturer's recommendations.
 
 Improvement in oils, friction proofing and car engines have lengthened the oil-change interval, typically 7,500 miles to 10,000 miles for most vehicles.
 
 Changing motor oil according to manufacturer specifications would reduce motor-oil demand in California by about 10 million gallons a year, the agency said. The state has created a website, checkyournumber.org, where drivers can look up the suggested motor-oil change interval number for their vehicles.
 
 The agency and other groups said slashing motor-oil consumption would be good for the environment and won't hurt the longevity or reliability of autos.
 
 "Drivers have a number of ways to reduce the environmental impact of their vehicles, which can also save them money," said Don Anair, senior engineer at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
 
 Besides following the manufacturers recommendations for oil changes, drivers can reduce oil consumption by keeping their tires properly inflated and by avoiding idling their engines, Anair said.
 
 "The 3,000-mile oil change just says that the marketing campaign by quick-lube companies has been effective," said Steve Mazor, manager of the Auto Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center. It made sense years ago, when "we had cast-iron block engines with cast-iron pistons that would expand when they got hot and older lubricants," Mazor said.
 
 Nationally 51% of vehicle owners said they believe oil should be changed every 3,000 miles or three months, according to an August survey by market research firm NPD Group. And just 33% wait more than 4,000 miles between oil changes, NPD said.
 
 Drivers should be confident in the oil service advice offered by automakers, Mazor said.
 
 Vehicle warranties, especially for power trains, have grown longer in recent years, he noted, and automakers would not give advice that could hurt engines and increase their warranty expenses.
 
Ford Motor Co. recommends oil changes for most of its new vehicles at 10,000 miles, although some still require the service at 7,500 miles.
 
 "Our new generation of engines have tighter internal tolerances, which reduces the amount of carbon and other products from combustion that gets into the oil," said Richard Truett, a Ford spokesman.
 
 The latest engines also run at more optimum temperatures, which diminishes the degradation of oil.
 
Honda Motor Co. and its luxury marque, Acura, no longer have a set interval for motor-oil changes.
 
 Both Honda and Acura vehicles are equipped with a maintenance minder system that recommends oil changes and other services based on a number of vehicle-usage factors, including mileage and climate. Other manufacturers have similar systems that alert drivers to the need for an oil change.
 
 "The idea is to prevent either over- or under-maintaining a car by following a set schedule," said Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman. "Now, there is no guesswork."
 
 Typically, the indicator for an oil change lights up every 5,000 to 10,000 miles in Honda and Acura vehicles.
 
 Owners of late-model BMWs can go as many as 15,000 miles between oil changes, depending on driving conditions. BMWs also have sensors alerting drivers to the need to change motor oil based on conditions like driving in stop-and-go traffic, making short trips and prolonged idling.
 
 Despite these improvements, many drivers insist on changing the oil often even if it isn't recommended.
 
 This has prompted some new car dealers to ask customers who come in for an oil change when it's not recommended to sign a document stating that they understand that the maintenance guidelines for their auto don't require a change at that time. The dealers are worried that someone might later accuse them of selling unnecessary maintenance services.
#41
NascarDad
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Re:Auto Oil Changes 2011/12/15 20:41:25 (permalink)
I use synthetic now so I go about 4500.  It definitely needs it, I have a hard commute many days
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