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

    Comment


    • #3
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        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?

        Comment


        • #5
          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

          Comment


          • #6
            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!

            Comment


            • #7
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wyop View Post
                      I change engine oil for a number of reasons:

                      What synthetics buy you is real, .
                      Yes. You guys are correct. I usually leave the "brake-in" oil for 500 miles. I got lazy and old. JR
                      My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As an A&P aircraft tech, I am not at all impressed with oil sample analysis.
                        I've had oil samples come back bad on perfectly good engines, and also had oil sample come back good on engines with a oil filter full of chips.
                        Those guys at the oil lab, in my opinion, are selling a bill of goods to maintain their own job placement.
                        I opened a fresh can of oil and sent it in for a analysis, they flunked it.
                        I took some oil and mixed in dregs from the bench grinder and sent it in, they gave it a passing grade.
                        I just do not have faith in oil sample programs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          First off - good for you for putting on 1/10th the national average for mileage ! of course this probably is not your daily driver,,,

                          Dump the oil, yeah the sales guy does not know his arse from his elbow about it gunking up while it sits, but Willy's post pretty much covers it (he's our go to oil guy)

                          also keep this in mind, if there's one weakness of synthetics this is it, they simply do not give the same corrosion protection of a typical conventional oil - so the condensation and the acids can have their way with things like cranks and cam surfaces if not changed within certain time limits, that goes for all oil - but esp. synthetics,,, dump it...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JRouche View Post
                            I asked if it was filled with synthetic at the factory and he said yes.
                            Still have the original factory break-in fill in, and apparently haven't even done a first change? That is concerning. We don't even know for sure what the factory fill is. It may be a synth blend or not actually synth at all. The service guy likely has no real clue. The factory will use whatever oil seems appropriate, and they can save a lot of money there. Some specify a short first change interval, some long, and tie it to the warranty (sometimes giving a free first change). There are typically additives to aid the break-in. Some additives have a tendency to clog the filter. Some filter media is prone to coming apart. You don't want a media failure, or bypass, to release that break-in material.

                            Given the number of people I personally know who have had problems with oil change places, it isn't something I like to let 'a place' do, even if I don't like doing it.

                            Originally posted by Ringo View Post
                            As an A&P aircraft tech ... I opened a fresh can of oil and sent it in for a analysis, they flunked it.I took some oil and mixed in dregs from the bench grinder and sent it in, they gave it a passing grade.
                            Shocking, because that is such an easy thing to verify by sending samples to multiple labs. And big customers would do that as a control. Any analysis of a fleet would tend to show the oil data was statistically suspect.

                            What you describe is criminal fraud (and worse), especially in the context of aircraft. Your state attorney general would investigate that. But because the oil samples are sent across state lines and it involves aircraft and the FAA, the FBI would likely be all over it. They would take it very seriously. There might be a whistle blower reward for you.

                            I think you would need to CYA on that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ringo View Post
                              As an A&P aircraft tech, I am not at all impressed with oil sample analysis.
                              I've had oil samples come back bad on perfectly good engines, and also had oil sample come back good on engines with a oil filter full of chips.
                              Those guys at the oil lab, in my opinion, are selling a bill of goods to maintain their own job placement.
                              I opened a fresh can of oil and sent it in for a analysis, they flunked it.
                              I took some oil and mixed in dregs from the bench grinder and sent it in, they gave it a passing grade.
                              I just do not have faith in oil sample programs.
                              Good grief, change labs for crying out loud!
                              As an aircraft A&P tech I certainly hope that you documented this and pursued it legally!

                              I Have in my personal experience saved tens of thousands by using a routine oil analysis program not only by optimizing routine fluid changes but it has also detected incipient failure modes in engines and transmissions.
                              These early warnings allowed me to schedule the required maintenance instead of facing more catastrophic failure at a later date hundreds or thousands of miles from base. The maintenance performed after these early warnings have in each case collaborated what was stated in the oil analysis results.

                              I have talked with many service managers over the years for many successful commercial fleets and to a man they have all adopted routine oil sampling programs in order to help them stay viable.

                              I'm sure some labs are better than others but anyone that fails to the degree quoted above needs some legal action in order to give them a wake up call, before someone dies!
                              Last edited by Willy; 08-26-2019, 09:43 AM.
                              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

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