Check oil frequency in owners manual?

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How many owners manuals still contain information about checking your oil level at every gas/fuel fillup? How many of you do it that frequently. If you didn't and you drove 3750 miles with a coolant leak into your oil which would have been noticable as a frothy dipstick reading, do you think your warrenty can or should be voided because of neglect?
 
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I doubt it......No owner's manual explains that frothy looking oil is signs of a coolant leak. An owner of a vehicle is not required to know those things. Now if the engine locked up because excessive oil consumption and owner's neglect caused the sump to go dry.....well...that is another matter.
 

Patman

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On my wife's car, which does not use any oil at all between changes, I will usually only check the oil maybe once or twice during the interval just to be on the safe side. On my Firebird, which uses about a quart of oil every 7k, I usually check the oil about once every second week (which works out to about every 6 or 700 miles) If I see the level down on the Firebird, even by 100ml, I top it up right away usually. (except towards the end of the interval, I usually don't add any oil during the last 1000 miles or so)
 
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I check oil every sat. and ever time I get gas. So I normaly check my oil 6 times a month. IF am am really busy then it only gets checked 2 times a month at gas station. At one point in my life I checked it every day. I got in the habit of doing a pre drive checklist in college. I trained to be a comerical pilot so I just got in the habit of checking things like fluids and tire pressure all the time. Later on I got a CDL while still in college for a job I was working and again you had to check the truck over prior to driveing it. I do not think warranty should be voided unless you let the vechile run dry. I think that commonsense should tell you to check your oil on a regular basis. It is very good idea and to check it at least twice a month. While you are under the hood all of the other fluids, belts and hoses might as well be checked too. It is not reasonable for them to expect the average consumer to detect a coolant leak! [ August 24, 2003, 09:12 PM: Message edited by: JohnBrowning ]
 
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I'm a Sunday checker, myself. It goes back to when I worked at a service station. Sunday morning was a good (reasonable quiet) time to check the fluid levels in the wrecker before I pulled it out of the bay. I like a weekly interval because it's got a good "human factor", it's easy to develop the regular pattern. Plus it's frequent enough to catch most problems. Check the oil and fluid levels. Nose around under the hood for anything amiss (leaks, worn belts, swolen hoses, etc). Then eyeball the tires (I see so many tires with low air pressure out on the road). And make sure the mudflaps haven't gotten torn off my wife's van. [Wink]
 
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Since I don't have an oil gage on my Cavalier, likely I should be checking it more than I do. I think it does have a low oil sensor. Since I never have to add oil or water to it or my 77 Chevy LUV, I have gotten careless about checking them.
 

Patman

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Perhaps I'm super paranoid, but I worry that if you check it too often, you run the risk of getting more dirt into the engine through the open dipstick tube, or could possibly get dust from the rag onto the dipstick and into the oil. I'd love to have a car which has a precise oil level gauge in it, making level checking obsolete. Didn't the Porsche 911 used to have an oil level gauge? I swear I saw one once when I sat in one at a car show about 10yrs ago.
 
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I check the oil and other fluids once a week. I also take a good look at the engine every week. The old diva needs that sort of attention, or she's going to be capricious at the worst possible moment. [Wink] The manual tells me to check the oil "regularly." Whether that's once a week, once a month, or once a year is left open to interpretation. I guess, Audi believes people have some common sense? [Razz] [ August 25, 2003, 05:39 AM: Message edited by: moribundman ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wulimaster: How many owners manuals still contain information about checking your oil level at every gas/fuel fillup? How many of you do it that frequently. If you didn't and you drove 3750 miles with a coolant leak into your oil which would have been noticable as a frothy dipstick reading, do you think your warrenty can or should be voided because of neglect?
I know of no manual that is specific. I use to do it in the morning, four times a day at fill-up. Now it depends, sometimes 7 times a week, sometimes 3 times a week, as for the other fluids, the PS checks 2 times a Mo and the trany and rear maybe every two months, and the others are visual. Found My Coolant hose (upper) starting to leak (378K on the original Factory) today, I was planning on changing it at 400K but I guess this weekend or next I'll have to do it.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Patman: Perhaps I'm super paranoid, but I worry that if you check it too often, you run the risk of getting more dirt into the engine through the open dipstick tube, or could possibly get dust from the rag onto the dipstick and into the oil. I'd love to have a car which has a precise oil level gauge in it, making level checking obsolete. Didn't the Porsche 911 used to have an oil level gauge? I swear I saw one once when I sat in one at a car show about 10yrs ago.
My Ford 5.0L has a pretty accurate level indicator. It comes on every time you start the engine, then shuts off, but will stay on if the level is a quart or more low. It's almost exactly 1 quart too...
 
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I used to check at every fill-up, but then again I also used to carry oil with me coz I knew I'd probably need it. These days, ehhhh, I pretty much never check it. It's not going anywhere in the 5k intervals that I use. Cheers, 3MP
 
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Depends on the vehicle. My current truck's manual mentions checking the oil every other fill-up. I check it on average twice a week because of this site (secretly hoping to find it "dirty" so that I can change it out for some new improved miracle oil!) and force of habit. My old 6.2L diesel would guzzle oil through the valve seals, and since it saw 3 hrs of highway use a day plus needed starting fluid to start, I checked it every day and topped it up probably every other day.
 

CJH

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I believe how often you check your oil should be determined by how fast your car consumes oil. If your car is one of these that goes 7,500 miles with no consumption, then it is a waste of time to check it at every fill up. Chances of it being low are about zero. If, however, you have one of these cars that uses a quart of oil every 1,000 miles, then it probably makes sense to check your oil at every fill up.
 

mph

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I check the oil, fluids, and tire pressures about every three weeks, and sometimes again before a long drive. None of these checks are routinely necessary; the tires hold pressure well and the engine doesn't normally use a measurable amount between changes. But you never know... my clutch master cylinder failed recently, leaking fluid, and I didn't notice until it ran dry. The reservoir is so small that it didn't take long.
 
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I disagree with those who say it is a waste of time to check the oil. It is not. Just because you don't find the oil low, doesn't mean you wasted your time. Instead, you confirmed that the oil level is still safe. I've been following along/participating in some of the Toyota Oil sludge discussions, and while I believe they do have engines that sludge, some of the owners made the situation worse by not popping the hood and checking their oil level. Heck, my 1994 Geo Prizm (Toyota Corolla Clone with 1.6L 4A-FE engine) has a 3L or 3.2 quart capacity. You go a quart low on that engine and you have lost about 30% of your crankcase capacity. I got into that because there was a guy at Corolland (I'd post the link to the thread but that is a no-no here.) who arrived at his 33K service with 1/2 quart of oil in the crankcase. Sludge problem or no sludge problem, you have to put some blame on an owner who doesn't check the oil in a 3K mile period of operation. That is SERIOUS. You check the oil every fill up, not because you EXPECT to find it low, but rather confirm that the engine has the proper amount of oil in the crankcase. It also helps with early detection of problems. Finally, I believe it is Bob Salem (you can do a Google search or something, as I'm not sure I can post a link to his FAQ) that said the majority of cars that come in for an oil change at 3K miles are a quart low on oil. Furthermore, if they extend the OCI longer, the oil deficit is much larger as the used oil is consumed faster than new motor oil. That is my $0.02 on the matter. TB
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Patman: Perhaps I'm super paranoid, but I worry that if you check it too often, you run the risk of getting more dirt into the engine through the open dipstick tube, or could possibly get dust from the rag onto the dipstick and into the oil.
I always wory about that too. I check my oil Fred... [Embarrassed]
 
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Airplanes, Motorcylces, Cars, Different modes of transportation need different pre-operation check lists. Most cars drivers don't check anything before turing the key. Some motorcyclists check a few things. Tire pressure, oil level are the things I check everytime I turn the key. Pilots aren't nearly so lame. They check everything. Leading edge for dents, fuel tank for water, control surface actuation... What's funny is I know plenty of pilots who go through the full check list before taking off but totally ingore the car/truck that got them to the airport is first place.
 
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