- Aug 30, 2004
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?
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.