Are we seeing more oil related failures in modern cars?

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980
Location
New York
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Another scary trend is the shear number or 2012+ Focus in the year with blown dual clutch trans......

The duel clutch is actually marketed as an automated manual transmission in commercial applications with the goal of achieving better fuel economy, and they tend to be horrific reliability-wise...
 
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4,710
My mother who was not even a "car person" always wanted 3K oil changes and that was always the number stressed to me as a teenager. She usually sprang for synthetic oil, too. She took her 1989 Taurus to 285K miles by 1996 or so when we were kids, with Mobil 1 for all oil changes. It was gonna blow its second transmission, though, thus why it was traded in. Engine ran great, though.

With her current Five Hundred she doesn't drive nearly as much, and we only end up with about 10-12K per year for miles, and average out at a twice a year oil change at roughly 5000 miles based on an OLM. She said "it feels like you never change the oil." She doesn't realize how little she drives now.

Should tell her you can't"feel" an engine oil.

Interestingly my 1984 Celica Supra had 6000-8000 mile oil change intervals listed in the manual, except severe use was 3000-4000. But one weird thing Toyota did specifically with the 5MGE engine was spec a large filter, something like a Ford big block filter, in the 1980s, then later on switched to the tiny 4 cylinder Camry filters and a 3K OCI without telling anyone. On one of mine I had oil pressure issues using the smaller Camry sized filters.

Sounds like a coded message from the Yakuza saying Bigger is Better.
 
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1,612
Let’s not forget that even with perfect maintenance intervals we are still seeing more widespread issues. I think the greatest engine controversy in recent memory is the ongoing Hyundai engine failures that have become the norm the past several years. Let’s also not forget the GM Ecotec 1.5T and 2.0T pistons breaking due to LSPI. Which by the way there are still some reports on MY2018+ 2.0T engines with the failure. The 1.5T seems to have been corrected. Also the GM Ecotec 2.4 DI with its numerous issues. Going back further there was also Toyota and it’s sludge problem due to engine design flaws. Are all these issues to be blamed on motor oil, or is it a design flaw in the engine design? I’m not the one to ask but my guess is in some of these cases it’s a little of both. Hence why SN Plus oils were so desperately requested by automakers to help with LSPI.

I will say engines have always had failures. As a whole I think engines are more reliable than yesterday’s generations. But I see the problem we are having now is that engines today are failing in more spectacular ways. Years ago, for instance, breaking a valve wasn’t so catastrophic. Obviously it depended on the severity of the valve failure. However, a valve could be replaced economically in most cases and often times the piston would only suffer a minor scratch. Today’s engines that would almost certainly be a total engine loss. On a newer engine (especially a TGDI) a cracked valve that hits the piston has a high probability of ruining the engine. Pistons now are lighter and less tolerable to external forces colliding with it. The other big issue with modern engines is the complexity of timing chains that other members have also mentioned. Older OHV engines had smaller chains (if they even had one), and if they had some chain slack it wasn’t the end of the world. Most of the time there was only just a slight degradation in engine performance and if the chain broke it wasn’t a total engine loss. Engines now are virtually all interference by design so it’s basically either replace the engine or junk the car. And I think that’s where we are today truthfully.

So for me engines are more reliable than before. But if they do fail it’s usually a death sentence now. It would seem that most of these failures could be attributed in some way to an oil that failed to protect. But overall it would seem that engine design is more suspect here.
 
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35,473
Location
NY
I'd blame engine failures more on neglect than anything else. For the sake of argument, just because an OM says the oil can go 10K miles or 1 year which ever comes first, doesn't mean the hood stays closed and the oil level doesn't get checked until a warning light comes on. Common sense should come into play, and often it doesn't!! That causes problems.
 
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Location
Wet side WA
I feel back when I first really worked on cars, it was somewhat rare to find a car with a blown engine, as in, thrown rods, smoking blue, etc. The most common failures I personally remember were cooling system failures and blown head gaskets. If an engine was blown it was usually due to driving with a blown head gasket for hundreds or thousands of miles, or the head gasket failing and contaminating the oil with water. Not just "oh, it broke one day." Reading about say, Hyundai engines throwing rods all seems very weird to me, same with timing chain failures at low mileages. Of course more engines are moving to chains, but on the older V6 pushrod engines that were relatively easy on the oil, I would say chain failures were incredibly rare (though it's a simpler design for sure) but even on the older OHC/DOHC there didn't seem to be common failures.
Yes but back in the day we didn't have engineer in factory issues like LSPI. The great improvement if you will with the New CAFE Turbo cars.
 
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551
Location
Phila, PA
When I occasionally pop the hood while pumping gas at my local Costco to check the oil level on a level surface, I feel that I am the only one who does this. I guess I feel this way because I have never seen anyone else ever do this. Oh well! I guess I am odd! No engine failures yet in 32 years of driving.
 
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2,624
Location
pa
although a "little" consumption is NO biggie todays "CATS" dont like oil + replacing one is $$$$ + IMO the thinner oils DON'T help either!! in a nutshell todays vehicles are a crapshoot!! do you feel lucky punk!! any new tech is tested by the buyer, so theres lots of contributing factors as mentioned, good luck with your next $20 thou or SOOOOO purchase!!!
 
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182
Location
The Netherlands
I think modern oil is so good that even with a cheap brand engines will not fail unless there is an underlaying problem in metalurgy/design etc..

Short distance driving and sticking to the regular intervals is what kills oil/engines.
 

Zee09

Site Donor 2021
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3,373
Location
Fairhill Maryland
We have had some hard times in years past like we are having now with the CV thing.
I find that car maintenance suffers greatly and people drive them until something breaks and
routine maintenance keeps getting put off. Just another part of the puzzle.
 
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2,517
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Deep in the heart of Jersey
While I believe half the problems people have are caused by them, lousy engineering makes up the other half, and trying to milk the last mile out of an oil change makes up the smallest part. People being impatient. starting an ice cold motor and flooring it before the motor has spun 1,000 rpms, might just hasten the failure process. I've also noticed alot of cars for sale with transmission failures. Seems they always take the car to the car wash, but never even think about having the transmission fluid changed. And if you ask someone about changing it, they'll look at you funny and say something like, I don't think it needs to be done on my car. Kinda like when you ask someone ,when was the last time you changed the oil in your lawnmower. Again driving your car like your in a Nascar race, all the time will cause expensive parts to quit before there time. You can use the best brand of oil know to man, but if you let it run low, or never change it, it will do it's job until it's given your motor all it can. And no one will take the blame for ruining the motor, so it must be the oil.,,,
 

Zee09

Site Donor 2021
Messages
3,373
Location
Fairhill Maryland
While I believe half the problems people have are caused by them, lousy engineering makes up the other half, and trying to milk the last mile out of an oil change makes up the smallest part. People being impatient. starting an ice cold motor and flooring it before the motor has spun 1,000 rpms, might just hasten the failure process. I've also noticed alot of cars for sale with transmission failures. Seems they always take the car to the car wash, but never even think about having the transmission fluid changed. And if you ask someone about changing it, they'll look at you funny and say something like, I don't think it needs to be done on my car. Kinda like when you ask someone ,when was the last time you changed the oil in your lawnmower. Again driving your car like your in a Nascar race, all the time will cause expensive parts to quit before there time. You can use the best brand of oil know to man, but if you let it run low, or never change it, it will do it's job until it's given your motor all it can. And no one will take the blame for ruining the motor, so it must be the oil.,,,
Oh yes indeed.
Plus people drive like maniacs.
 
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