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Old 06-28-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
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Angry My Oil Change Interval Debate Rant

Okay, here is my opinion on the whole oil change issue:

Despite what the manufactures tell you, and the internet, and magazines, etc. Get a good quality oil and change it often. Clean oil protects your engine. PERIOD.

If you are using a conventional oil or semi-synthetic why not use the age old 3000mi interval? The stuff is cheap! I hear all of this debate on the internet, in articles, etc. about using your oil longer, but we spend more on a tank of gas each week than on an oil change! Think about it. Why are people so desperate to extend their intervals when we go though gas like crazy (but that is okay [well, except for the price gouging])?

A freaking cartridge of printer ink costs more than an oil change!!!!

I use synthetic oil in everything. If the car has a decent oil capacity (like the Focus) for its engine size, use, and output then I change it every 5000mi and use a good quality filter (Motorcraft or Mobil-1). If the capacity is low (like my wife's Protege 5 at 3.7 quarts) I change it just like conventional oil (3000mi).

If it is a high performance vehicle that is driven often (like my old Lightning and MS3), I change the synthetic at 3000mi.

It is cheap insurance. We are not killing ourselves financially by doing so. Your car will last longer as well.

Even the "saving the environment" argument is silly...oil can be recycled!

I am not ranting at you, but just in general. I see this debate all the time, and I just don't understand it. I'm as poor as the next guy, but I have no problem spending money on oil. I see it as insurance against bigger repair bills down the road.


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Old 06-28-2012, 03:38 PM   #2
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But its was the quicky lube places that said to change it at 3k not the manufacture(s)

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Old 06-28-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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I border on obsessive when it comes to oil. Mobil1 or Penzoil Platinum in everything, OEM filters for the warrantied cars, WIX for out-of-warranty. It took me YEARS to work up to the 5,000 mile interval. I kept my Mazdaspeed6 at 3000 because I was particularly hard on that car.

Because I don't have a life anymore and I have a short commute to work, my cars now most often require a change due to time vs. mileage. People think I'm crazy for dumping full-syn that has 2,000 miles on it..but it's what the owner's manual required in the Mazda and the Optima (6 months). The Focus will likely be the same. The Camaro is the only exception...it'll get oil changes when the computer says to, but since I'm running Mobil1 in it, I'm not concerned.

Since oil is being recycled these days, and (knock on wood) I remain gainfully employed, the cars are treated like the expensive machines they are. I just sleep better with fresh oil in the pans. I demand a lot from my cars, so they are treated very well with respect to maintenance.
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ransil View Post
But its was the quicky lube places that said to change it at 3k not the manufacture(s)

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Maybe, but I remember that old adage back when shade-tree mechanics used to always change their own oil.

Most oil gets pretty dirty at 3000mi, some cars less [turbo cars for instance], and some more, but 3000mi is just an average (kind of a happy medium), that seemed to always work for most cases.

I am not saying you can't go longer, but why the obsession some people show with doing it? Like I said above, its cheap and think of your investment. You have paid huge bucks for that new high tech engine and it will take huge bucks to fix it if you have wear related repairs. Why not cheaply protect that investment instead of worrying about eeeking out a few extra miles before that oil change?

It is just my opinion of course, but I had to vent. Kind of came to a head today. Lol!
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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Well put! It took me a while to work up to that 5000 miles too. I only started that on my 2007 Edge because that 3.5 Duratec really kept the oil clean (wonderful engine).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbdallas View Post
I border on obsessive when it comes to oil. Mobil1 or Penzoil Platinum in everything, OEM filters for the warrantied cars, WIX for out-of-warranty. It took me YEARS to work up to the 5,000 mile interval. I kept my Mazdaspeed6 at 3000 because I was particularly hard on that car.

Because I don't have a life anymore and I have a short commute to work, my cars now most often require a change due to time vs. mileage. People think I'm crazy for dumping full-syn that has 2,000 miles on it..but it's what the owner's manual required in the Mazda and the Optima (6 months). The Focus will likely be the same. The Camaro is the only exception...it'll get oil changes when the computer says to, but since I'm running Mobil1 in it, I'm not concerned.

Since oil is being recycled these days, and (knock on wood) I remain gainfully employed, the cars are treated like the expensive machines they are. I just sleep better with fresh oil in the pans. I demand a lot from my cars, so they are treated very well with respect to maintenance.
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:51 PM   #6
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3K OCIs are WAY overkill, regardless of what type of oil you're using these days. Those OCIs were mostly pushed by the oil companies themselves "back in the day".

You can do whatever you want, of course. I send a sample to Blackstone every once in a while and go by their recommendations based upon how the additive package is holding up with my use. The tested samples not only serve that use, but also to show the condition of the engine itself, so they're worth it to me.
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:55 PM   #7
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3,000 mile OCI on full synth is funny.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:03 PM   #8
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Matt, I agree with everything you said.

Now, having said that, I would like to share a little info. I don't subscribe to this policy, but it is in place (at least it was in 2003-2004).

Enterprise Rent-A-Car(ERAC) bought 6% of GM's yearly domestic output in the early 2000's, and a good sized chunk of Ford and Chrysler products as well. We're talking a corporate fleet of 600,000+ vehicles. Enterprise did not keep any vehicle outside of it's manufacturers warranty period, except for a few specialized cases. To keep the warranties valid, the cars had to go in for oil changes/service as recommended by the manufacturer. A 3000 mile OCI just wouldn't cut it. Each manufacturer specified to ERAC what the maximum OCI could be, and ERAC programmed that into their computer system for each make/model. Most US cars were in the 7Kmile range, I think the Cadillac's were 5K, and some of the imports had funky OCI's. I can't recall seeing a vehicle under 5K.

I know that was a business decision on ERAC's part, they basically cut the service costs in half. It is also one reason I would never buy a previous rental car. But, it does show what the OEM's allow to maintain a valid warranty. The 2004 Cadillac at my branch had it's engine replaced, under warranty, with less than 10K on the clock(they had to pull an engine off the assembly queue and ship it to CA). And renting a Caddy at ERAC is not the easiest thing to do. Special restrictions, high deposits, your own insurance must cover the rental, etc.

I personally change in the 3-5K range with Amsoil synthetics. The Focus will go 3k on it's first fill of dino, then another 3k or so on another fill of dino, then the rest of it's life on Amsoil.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:04 PM   #9
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Obsessive 5,000 mile intervals at the dealership.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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When I had my Ranger (4.0, V6, 4X4), I was using Mobil 1 and Purolator filters.

At around 50,000 miles I decided to use Blackstone Labs for some oil tests.

I sent in a sample with 6000 miles on it, and they reported back that the oil was fine.

I sent another sample at 8000 miles, and they reported that the oil was just starting to show signs of wear.

I sent yet another sample at 10,000 miles, and they reported that the oil was near the end of its life, but still good.

I chickened out at that point, but you get the idea.

That being said, every engine is different. While I believe 3000 miles it TOTAL overkill, especially when using a synthetic oil, you can never really be sure of how your engine will treat the oil unless you have the oil tested for life span at least once.
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