Case For The 3,000 Mile Oil Change

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The Case for the 3,000 Mile Oil Change

Why the Valvoline Limited Engine Guarantee requires you to change the oil every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.
Are you a NORMAL or SEVERE driver? Take the test:
NORMAL SEVERE
You drive mostly longer trips on highways +
You drive mostly in moderate temperatures year-round +
You drive at sustained highway speeds during hot weather +
You take multiple short trips +
You spend a lot of time in stop-and-go traffic +
You drive in very cold and/or very hot temperatures +
You drive often under dusty conditions +
You often tow or carry heavy loads +

More than 80% of drivers, according to a recent State of California study, drive under SEVERE conditions, as defined in most owners’ manuals. IN OTHER WORDS, “SEVERE” IS “NORMAL.”

Sampling of Automaker oil change recommendations for NORMAL and SEVERE driving
AUTOMAKER NORMAL SEVERE
FORD 7,500 miles 3,000 miles
CHRYSLER 5,000 miles 3,000 miles
TOYOTA 5,000 miles 3,000 miles
NISSAN 7,500 miles 3,750 miles

NOTE: Typical automaker recommendations (can vary by model, engine, etc.)
A Word on Oil Change Indicator Lights

We believe most consumers can rely on these indicator lights, even though they represent only a computer’s guess that it is time for an oil change. Typically, such systems continuously monitor everything from vehicle speed, rpm, oil and coolant temperature in order to calculate motor oil additive degradation. A more accurate assessment of your oil's condition would require laboratory testing. We decided to stick with the 3,000 to 4,000 mile interval for the Valvoline Limited Engine Guarantee to be safe and reflect the way most people drive. At Valvoline’s laboratory and engine testing facilities we’ve NEVER seen an engine failure when the oil is changed at 3,000 to 4,000 miles using quality Valvoline products.
Older vehicles, older recommendations

Want another reason to change the oil every 3,000 miles? The median age of passenger cars in operation in the U.S. was 9.4 years in 2008, according to R. L. Polk & Co. Just over 41 percent of all cars were 11 years or older. Automakers recommended the 3,000 mile oil change interval for most of those 100 million older cars and trucks.

"Based on the uncertainty of what the future holds, consumers are trying to keep their current vehicles running longer, until their confidence improves," said Dave Goebel, solutions consultant for Polk's aftermarket team.

It kind of gives you a new perspective on recent automaker recommendations that raised the oil change interval, doesn’t it?
We make it EASY to keep your car running great . . .

The Valvoline Limited Engine Guarantee makes it easy to remember to change your oil every 3,000 to 4,000 miles. We send simple reminders to those who enroll their vehicles. Of course, we know with a busy schedule you can’t always change your oil at exactly 3,000 miles, so we allow you to change your oil every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.
Why change the oil?

Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine. Quality motor oil keeps engines clean by:

* Minimizing deposit formation;
* Reducing oil consumption by fighting volatility and oil evaporation;
* Resisting oil thickening by providing enhanced oxidation control;
* Suspending contaminants and keeping them from interfering with vital engine parts;
* Preventing sludge from forming;

Changing the oil and filter removes the suspended contaminants and replenishes the oil’s performance agents that get consumed.
Who says so?
The Car Care Council

The most recent National Car Care Month check lanes found that 32% of vehicles failed the inspection because of low, overfull or dirty motor oil. “The Car Care Council recommends changing your vehicle’s engine oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on the vehicle’s make and model, how you drive the vehicle and the conditions under which you drive,” the Council stated. “Always consult the owner’s manual.” Regular maintenance involves more than oil changes, too. Routine maintenance helps keep the vehicle safe and can save money. “Since four out of five vehicles checked need some type of service, it’s important to remind motorists that those who keep their cars, treat them as valuable investments and commit to regular vehicle maintenance, end up saving a lot of money,” according to the Council.
National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)

ASE's mission is to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service through the testing and certification of repair and service professionals. ASE recommends changing your oil and filter as specified in your manual – more often if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips. The Valvoline/ASE Poll of the American Mechanic consistently finds that the nation’s top mechanics (ASE Certified Master Automobile Technicians) overwhelmingly recommend regular oil changes as the most important thing consumers can do to make their cars perform and last longer.
A Leading Consumer Advocacy Magazine

A 2002 report documented problems with sludge relative to specific engines made by several manufacturers. The magazine recommended changing the oil on the “extreme” (or “severe”) schedule to protect those engines from sludge.


http://www.engineguarantee.com/

With the newer DI engines being harder and harder on oil due to fuel dilution, doesn't it make more sense to go back to the old 3,000 mile interval? Aren't we now seeing a lot of UOAs that show significant oil breakdown after only 3,000 miles?

Also, many of the newer GM 3.6 engines are showing chain stretch issues. I read on GMInsideNews that technicians believe that extended oil change intervals were partially to blame. The dirty oil has been causing issues with the chain tensioner and the camshafts. Some dealers, such as the one who employs MrCritical, have began recommending 5k intervals (no higher) on the GM 3.6 engines.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that with engines becoming more and more complex, some engines are starting to develop oil-related issues. Would reducing our service intervals back down to 3,000 miles help reduce some of these problems?
 
Sounds like poor design to me.

Plus if you run Syn oil like I do I think you are O.K at the 5,000-7500 mile range I like to run.

Maybe running a high quality filter like many of us do would help also.
 
+1 ZZman...

If DI engines are suffering fuel dilution issues, then they've negated all of the benefits of DI/Stratified Charge designs in the first place.
 
Originally Posted By: Shannow
+1 ZZman...

If DI engines are suffering fuel dilution issues, then they've negated all of the benefits of DI/Stratified Charge designs in the first place.


Yes! Sounds to me like the DI engine should head back to the drawing board, and work the bugs out.
 
Do you have the link that states:

"GMInsideNews that technicians believe that extended oil change intervals were partially to blame."

I don't see how dirty oil can cause a chain to stretch; Sounds like they're passing the buck due to poor design or poor quality parts...
 
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I don't want to start bashing GM but it seems that their 'powertrain' division needs some help. If its not i/m gaskets its chain stretch. The Northstar had some excellent attributes but GM never fully sorted that engine out either.
The 3.6 is one of GM's premium engines I believe. I wouldn't be too happy if I sprang for a Caddy and found out that I had to ignore the OLM inorder to avoid 'chain stretch issues'.
I agree that it sounds like poor design.
 
Aren't D.I engines suppose to be better at fuel management? Why would they have fuel dilution issues?
 
Dirty oil???...we all know by now(UOAs) that the cheapest oil out there can easily go beyond 3,000 miles,what a joke sounds like a cover up.
 
I think GM would have liked to place the blame on something else for the chain stretch. What if people followed their GM oil life monitor? Who would they blame then?
 
Originally Posted By: Ryan
What if people followed their GM oil life monitor? Who would they blame then?

There going to reflash all our ECMs to go off in 3,000,lol
 
Originally Posted By: Shannow
If DI engines are suffering fuel dilution issues, then they've negated all of the benefits of DI/Stratified Charge designs in the first place.


Quite right. If fuel dilution wasn't an issue from an engineering, economy, and environmental standpoint, then why don't they just go back to carbs?

Fuel dilution problems should be going down, not up.
 
Direct injected gas engines produce significant amounts of soot while port injected gas engines do not. Soot is abrasive so it increases wear and changing oil sooner reduces soot concentration.

Direct injected gas engines also increase fuel dilution relative to port-injected ones because some of the liquid-phase gasoline hits the cylinder walls before vaporizing.

So yes, for these engines, oil life is reduced. Relative to similar port-injected engines, shorter OCIs and/or better oils are needed if similar protection is the goal.
 
Originally Posted By: daman
Dirty oil???...we all know by now(UOAs) that the cheapest oil out there can easily go beyond 3,000 miles,what a joke sounds like a cover up.


It doesn't matter if the oil can handle 30,000 mile changes, it's still dirty and dirt obviously affects some of these newer engines. Oil life remaining and cleanliness are two very different things.
 
The way the manufacturers are meeting the new emission standards are keeping the pullutants in the engine. It used to go out the tailpipe. With the new emissions due to the increased milelage expectations, DFI and the new SN grade of oil coming out, I think a extended drain will be 3,000 miles. Engine longativity wont be a primary concern, being able to produce it and sell it in the U.S to meet the emission standards will be all the manufacturer can do. Just look at how screwed up the current Diesel engine market is.
 
Originally Posted By: JAG
Direct injected gas engines produce significant amounts of soot while port injected gas engines do not. Soot is abrasive so it increases wear and changing oil sooner reduces soot concentration.

Direct injected gas engines also increase fuel dilution relative to port-injected ones because some of the liquid-phase gasoline hits the cylinder walls before vaporizing.

So yes, for these engines, oil life is reduced. Relative to similar port-injected engines, shorter OCIs and/or better oils are needed if similar protection is the goal.


I thought these D.I engines vaporized the fuel better and at the exact right time to get better combustion.
 
Originally Posted By: daman
Originally Posted By: Ryan
What if people followed their GM oil life monitor? Who would they blame then?

There going to reflash all our ECMs to go off in 3,000,lol


Well, I'm going to be accused of instigation of something here, but I'll just note that they'd then be copying the Toyota system. One of the few TRUE disappointments I've noted with our Toyotas is the "Maintenance Required" light "system". No OLM there. Give GM credit for trying. The Toyota system is nothing more than a glorified clock. It goes off when x number of miles (5k for most of their cars) pass -- no sooner, no later.
 
Originally Posted By: Ryan
I think GM would have liked to place the blame on something else for the chain stretch. What if people followed their GM oil life monitor? Who would they blame then?


I'm just beginning to regain some faith in GM. I hope they were smart enough to reprogram/recalibrate the OLMs to match the actual operating characteristics of their new DI engines. . .
 
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