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Old 04-07-2013, 09:19 AM   #1
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Question changing oil based on oil life or dealership sticker

This might be a stupid question but since I don't drive much, my dealership "oil change date sticker" always indicates I should change the oil date well before my actually distance driven suggested, and well before the change oil life warning light. If I don't do the oil change based on the sticker date, can that void any warranties?

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Old 04-07-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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You will get a ton of different answers on this as it is a relatively touchy subject, but before any of that you will need to disclose what type of oil you're using and what your driving conditions are.

Try using the search feature to see, but there are many different threads on this subject for you to browse through
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:32 AM   #3
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This is a minefield with lots of opinions, so I'll offer mine. Generally, oil can accumulate some moisture and such over time, hence the change by miles or dates. For warrenty purposes I'd follow the owners manual recommendation for mileage and time. Most oil change place and dealer stickers are based on profit (more frequent). A couple of dealers in my area offer lifetime free oil changes and it's ironic, with their money on the line, owners manual intervals apply. So unless you're towing, being a taxi, or pizza delivery, I'd say stick with the owners manual time intervals and keep your receipts.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:52 AM   #4
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Um... don't you think moisture in the oil will simply boil out and then get sucked up through the oil breather?

Look for API specs online, and read about those. Typically oil, especially synthetic oils, will last longer than the old rule of 3k miles or even dealer recommended 5k miles. Oil does break down from heat, and lose it's properties. It also gets dirty. Overheating the engine would require an oil change regardless of mileage since the last change- for example.

You can also do like I do on cars that I own which don't see much mileage in a year- typically <10k miles. I simply check the oil regularly. When it changes color and gets dirty- I plan to change the oil. That might add an oil change per year, but it makes more sense on low mileage vehicles which tend to break down oil quicker due to being started and stopped more times over the oil life cycle. For someone who drives long distances you can probably extend those oil changes to something like the API oil life specs without any issues. On those cars, I would start planning to change oil at 5k miles before I hit the 7500 mile life as tested by the API for most synthetic oils.

I tried Amsoil once, but since I don't do many changes per year as it is- I didn't like it. For someone who travels long distances, Amsoil might be a good investment, it is a good oil. However, that person should still check the oil regularly and add more Amsoil as needed. All cars use a little oil which is not noticeable at 5k mile change intervals. However, quadruple that to 20k miles, and you will find that you will need to add about half a quart every 10k. That's what I found on 2 different vehicles that were under 100k miles. It must not be a horrible idea since Mercedes offer free oil changes once per year or every 25k miles using Mercedes spec oil. I don't know about oil usage in those vehicles- it is certainly possible that Mercedes uses better valve seals, better oil breather designs, and better ring designs that reduce oil consumption. It is certainly possible to make an engine that doesn't use oil, but I've never driven one. To me, 25k miles without checking the oil is a bad idea regardless of what the manufacturer tells me.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
Um... don't you think moisture in the oil will simply boil out and then get sucked up through the oil breather?
OP stated they don't drive much. Without additional information, one could read that as "infrequent short trips" which may not boil out the water. Bottom line, if they're concerned about warranty, follow the owners manual; miles or time, whichever comes first.

At least I got the "minefield with lots of opinions" part right.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:40 PM   #6
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OK, I know this is a really really, touchy situation, now I love my 02 Focus ZX3, but I work for Toyota as a TXM certified Lube tech, and a Toyota Service Tech, I've worked with Ford, and GM, now heres somthing thats going to throw a crazy spin on the "Dealership oil change" Now oil life can go for a hot min. because even your basic oil can go 5k miles. like your non sen. oils, now not all oils are made the same i.e. walmart, quakerstate, penzoil, castrol, valvaline, and mobile 1. Now I know you can buy Motorcraft at the stores too, but even that is differnt then the oil you get from ford, I know it sounds wierd, but thats how the dealerships make their money, because you wont see oil form Toyota or GM on the shelf at walmart, now back to the original question. Now when you bought your car fom the dealership, there are alot of differnt plans that you can add to your car that will add extra coverage to your car, i.e. extra bumber to bumber, tire program, and even a service plan. If you change your oil your self and still have just the basic bumber to bumber your gonna be fine, theres no void in contract with any dealership that says if you change your own oil or go past the date or the milage your warenty will be voided. Here are somethings that will void any warrenty with a dealership. CAI, SRI, high voltage spark plugs, suspension drop, and those are just a few that will void your bumber to bumber warrenty. I see this every day, people come in every day that go way past the milage and bring it in on the date, and will never void your warenty if you do alot of stop and go driving it kills your oil, as far as viscosity break down, now if oil producing moisture at all you need to take your car in, I've been tearing engines down and rebuilding them for over 10 yrs. the only time ive seen moister in engine oil is when the headgasket is about to go. I hope this helps
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:47 PM   #7
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You have opened a can of worms here. Plain and simple it cant really hurt to change oil "too early" but it can if not often enough. Why chance it. Base your opinion by either YOUR conditions or the sitcker. /Close thread
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:24 PM   #8
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What on earth are high voltage spark plugs?

You won't see GM or Toyota oil in Walmart because they would flat refuse to cut their pricing structure as Walmart demands from all their vendors.

ALL engines put a slight amount of moisture in the oil, it is a by-product of normal combustion and gets in oil just like the unburned HC and carbon does. Combustion by-product and moisture combine to form acid which etches away at bearings and parts and creates sludge when car rarely driven, the reason why you change oil for time exposure as well as mileage. That moisture burns off and the fact that oil is most friction free coincidentally around the boiling point of water is why you want oil to get at least to 212 degrees while engine running.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:26 PM   #9
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Hi everyone,

I recommend always following the guidelines for vehicle maintenance as outlined in your Owner's Manual. You can download a free copy of your Owner's Manual here: https://owner.ford.com/servlet/Conte...e&ord=89368307 If you still have questions, your dealership's service manager is an excellent resource as well.

Thanks!

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Old 04-10-2013, 02:47 AM   #10
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No surprise there, and good advice for those who value their warranties.
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