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Thread: O/T: Engine Oil changes?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Sunny So Cal
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    Default O/T: Engine Oil changes?

    I am wondering if my local dealer/maintenance shop is trying to sell me some BS.

    The situation is odd. The car is five years old with 6000 miles on it.

    As I am sitting at his desk waiting for my service papers to be printed up he kinda grills me on if the oil has been changed.

    I said no. I asked if it was filled with synthetic at the factory and he said yes. He tried selling me an oil change saying even though there is not many miles the oil can still gum up.

    Thats when I asked about the synthetic. That does not gum up as far as I know.

    What is your consensus?

    JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Default

    If it is 5 years old, I would change it, regardless of the miles.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Wyoming
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    I change engine oil for a number of reasons:

    1. If the engine gets lots of short trips or run for less than 30 minutes/month that don't allow the engine to heat up to drive moisture out of the oil.
    2. The engine was brand-new or just rebuilt. I'll typically run the engine for 100 hours or some such, then drop the oil and replace the oil and filter.
    3. The engine got too hot.
    4. The oil has enough hours/miles on it, as determined by oil sampling. I sample most of my oils, and on vehicles like my F-350 Powerstroke, I run extended drain intervals (up to 10K miles), but I know what the oil looks like along the way, because I'll pull a sample and send it in to a lab to see if it needs replacing earlier.

    What synthetics buy you is real, but I would still change the first oil from the factory after a few hundred miles. I always change oils on engines that are new and operating through their break-in period, and again, I'll send in samples to see if there's something showing excess wear during break-in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    WI/IL border
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wyop View Post
    I change engine oil for a number of reasons:

    1. If the engine gets lots of short trips or run for less than 30 minutes/month that don't allow the engine to heat up to drive moisture out of the oil.
    2. The engine was brand-new or just rebuilt. I'll typically run the engine for 100 hours or some such, then drop the oil and replace the oil and filter.
    3. The engine got too hot.
    4. The oil has enough hours/miles on it, as determined by oil sampling. I sample most of my oils, and on vehicles like my F-350 Powerstroke, I run extended drain intervals (up to 10K miles), but I know what the oil looks like along the way, because I'll pull a sample and send it in to a lab to see if it needs replacing earlier.

    What synthetics buy you is real, but I would still change the first oil from the factory after a few hundred miles. I always change oils on engines that are new and operating through their break-in period, and again, I'll send in samples to see if there's something showing excess wear during break-in.
    If I may ask... What do you pay for the lab test?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    British Columbia
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    Oh good, another oil thread.
    Trouble maker.

    Under "normal" operating conditions a good quality synthetic oil would still be far from being due to be changed. However 6,000 miles in five years is far from normal.
    Sort trips, long periods of inactivity, etc., tends to lead to additive depletion and higher moisture exposures than would a more typical use pattern. The moisture content being high leads to acid formation which will lower your oil's TBN, or total base number. This is an indicator of how well an oil is able to keep the harmful effects of acidic elements in the oil at bay and still protect the engine's components from it's harmful effects.

    There are of course other elements that contribute to shortened oil life but long term/low mileage service can tax an oils ability to retain it's additive package more so than if you put 6,000 miles on in 6 months.

    If you really want a definitive answer contact an oil analysis lab for instructions and sample container in order for you to take in or send in a sample. You will be amazed at the amount of information that can be gleaned from a 3 or 4 oz. sample. This will give you a benchmark to base future oil changes on as well. I've been doing this for about 4 decades on various pieces of equipment in my inventory as well a large commercial clients. If done regularly it's much like a regular checkup at the Doc in order to not only optimize oil changes but also to gauge an engine's overall health. It's also used for other components but we'll just focus on the engine oil for the sake of brevity. It usually works out to about $40 for a comprehensive analysis. All depends on how deep you want to dig but $40 is in the ballpark.

    Or you can spend the money on an oil and filter change. Even at $40 for an oil and filter change, that still only amounts to 8 bucks a year.
    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    SE Texas
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    FIVE years and 6000 miles? For Pete's sake, change the oil. If nothing else, it is cheap insurance. And it is not worth the time you are spending worrying about it.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  7. #7
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    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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    The oil is reported to hold onto the exhaust scum more efficiently. But the engines still have as much blow by and contaminants that go into the oil regardless.

    And 6000 miles in 5 years clearly suggests either lots of short trips or only using the car for a few longer days per year then letting it sit idle the rest of the time. Synthetic or not that is oil abuse in my books. Synthetic is better than dead dino but it still can't work miracles. Get it changed pronto.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Wyoming
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelP View Post
    If I may ask... What do you pay for the lab test?
    $30 at O'Reilly Auto Parts, $16 at NAPA. The prices vary according to the lab, whether or not pre-paid postage is included to send in the sample, etc.

    When we used to own a farm, I had 14 different diesel engines I was changing oil on. Every machine took at least 4 gallons of oil, some took as much as 8. Sampling was well worth my time to stay ahead of issues like bearing failure, or head gasket issues, etc. I found with sampling and high quality oil, if I had a prescribed oil change interval like 200 hours (eg, on a Deere 466 engine in a 4640 tractor, for example), and I sampled, I found that I could often extend that change interval out to 350 hours by using good oil and pulling a sample at 200 hours to make sure the oil was still good. An oil change on that machine would cost me $70 with the filter (this was 10+ years ago), so if I could push the oil and filter out to even only 100 extra hours, you can see the oil sampling kit was paying for itself.

    I would also sample the transmission/hydraulic oils, antifreeze, gearbox lubes, etc.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2012
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    NE Thailand
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    FIVE years and 6000 miles? For Pete's sake, change the oil. If nothing else, it is cheap insurance. And it is not worth the time you are spending worrying about it.
    +1.
    This.
    What he said.
    Most dealers/manufacturers give a change oil schedule in miles or period of time, WHICHEVER comes FIRST.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaiguzzi View Post
    +1.
    This.
    What he said.
    Most dealers/manufacturers give a change oil schedule in miles or period of time, WHICHEVER comes FIRST.
    Yup, I would have changed it 4 years ago, irregardless of mileage. Synthetic oil is good but it is not a miracle. Cheap insurance to change it at least according to the manufactures guidelines per the owners manual.

    Interesting little video I ran into about a year ago done by a Ford mechanic regarding two very similar trucks with nearly the same mileage.
    One was serviced frequently, the other not too often. Irregardless of what brand of vehicle or type of oil is in question here the results will almost always be the same.

    Only a six minute video but it does give a graphic illustration of what happens long term.
    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

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