Auzzie oil change intervals????

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May 28, 2002
I posted this on a separate thread, but thought it deserved a new post of it's own:

What is the basic difference between the OCI's recommended in N.A. and Australia? Does Aus. have better oils? Better oil standards? Better/different oil grades? Better engines? Better quality gas?

If so, what are the standards? Do Aus. oils not relegate to API standards? Are their grades on a different scale? Are OCI's climatically related?

It's known that in Eur. and Aus. a qt. of oil doesn't cost .99 cents (not even close), however if the average or even best conventional oil could go 15k km, then why are we being told to change it at 5k km?
Not sure how much this will help, but maybe a lot if some of the highly knowledgable folks on this site help interpret it in light of Dr T's question.

Last month I sent a question to Valvoline USA and Valvoline Europe regarding why the Maxlife oil available in Europe (10w40 and 15w40 synthetic blend) was so much different from that in the USA (5w30, 10w30, 10w40, 20w50, and straight 30 regular dino). Valvoline USA gave me a short and not all that informative answer, but Valvoline Europe was quite informative. I believe some of it would also apply to Austraila.

Valvoline Europe said the most popular viscosity grades in Europe are 5w40 synthetic, 10w40 semi-synthetic, and 15w40 mineral, whereas in North America the most popular viscosities are 5w30 and 10w30. Also noted was that in Europe the car manufacturers (European Society of Car Manufacturers) set the motor oil standards, whereas in the U.S. the American Petroleum Institute sets the standards. They went on to say they had to use more synthetic base stocks to meet the more stringent requirements of the European standards.

Somewhere I read that there is little Group II base oil available or made in Europe. So that would explain the semi-synthetic. A blend of Group I and Group III would be needed to meet a standard that could also be met and likely exceeded by a Group II oil, which is much more available in the U.S. (about half the refining capability here).

Still, Dr T, I am as puzzled as you are. These folks surely are not all doing UOAs to get to their extended intervals. Surely some engines must be gunking up.
Every 12,500kms for my Outback and local dealer would use 10W30 dino (Mobil I believe). Just about every oil known is available except a few Like GC (SLX) and BP Visco 7000 0W40. Stds are API or ACEA etc and JASO for some diesels. Largest seller was 20W50 but now 10W40 according to Mobil. I've used 5W30 to 25W70 and everything in between. Biggest selling syn is M1 in 5W50 which I guess would be 95% of the M1 sold here. Supersyn available recently and more expensive than Trisyn. Why do NA drivers change oil at 3,000 miles it's sheer lunacy? That died out here 10-20 years ago I believe. I do 7,500km changes on my Mazda turbo but may extend now as I'm using RX maint dose for the first time.

Originally posted by TallPaul:
Also noted was that in Europe the car manufacturers (European Society of Car Manufacturers) set the motor oil standards, whereas in the U.S. the American Petroleum Institute sets the standards.

Actually, ILSAC, International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee, a group of U. S. and Japanese automakers, oil company representatives, and oil additive company representatives sets the standards of oil for U. S. and Japanese cars. Then, API gets together will these folks plus European representatives and creates the new API Service Category which incorporates the ILSAC spec. Thus, API Service Category SL incorporates ILSAC GF-3 spec for those oils to which GF-3 applies.

I work in the Aus public sector and we run a lot of fleet cars: Camry, Ford Falcon, Magna, Holden Commodore (GM Ecotec V6).

They are all trying to get their TCO down as much as possible.

From memory, the log books all call for 15,000 km changes under non-severe conditions. Basically, they all get 15,000 km changes no matter what and as long as that is done and stamped in the book, the people buying the cars at auction are happy, as are the leasing companies.

What oil? Here they use bulk castrol dino usually.

The privately leased cars are no different. All log book OCIs. These cars you buy at dealers second-hand.

When I think about these intervals, I get anxious. Especially since the oil is usually quite cheap stuff. I don't know how this would affect engine longuevity but if it was my new car, I would probably change the oil more regularly given the very cheap cost of the dino they use.

I run an old carby 304 and it is probably tough on oil (the carby needs reconditioning) and gets a lot of short trips on weekends. I used to do a change every 3 months at approx 3000 km with 20W-50 dino because the oil cost $15 AU for 5L (GTX2 SL) and it was one car and took me 10 min to do oil and filter. I always said "engines are expensive and oil isn't".

However, I am now trying Mobil 1 SS 5W-50 and 6 month changes (approx 7000 km). I couldn't find 15W-50 anywhere. This oil costs $65 for 5L but will see how it goes. No problems thus far.


[ December 16, 2003, 02:24 AM: Message edited by: Andrew ]

there's basically nothing under 10,000km mandated down here.

The car manufacturers are advertising extended serviceing because it sells cars.

When Mitsubishi started advertising 15,000 km servicing versus 10,000 of their competitors, they sold a lit of trucks. People would not buy Toyota diesels because of 5,000km services.

Nissan specify 10,000 km oil changes in my turbodiesel, using CF-4 group 1 oils, regardless of "heavy useage".

I think that it's a bit like specifying 0W-20 oils. Meets a short term need, and the needs of the new car buyer. Not necessarily good for the second hand purchaser of the vehicle.
It's just like manuf. touting 100k mi. between tune-ups since the advent of platinum plugs that don't need replacing until 100k. However, I still can't see the connection...we still have the same 5k severe / 7.5k normal oil change if 10k could work, then why isn't it being recommended? Certainly not to beef up oil co. sales...
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