I rarely change my oil

Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
8
A bit of background..

I have used vehicles for work for years. 150 Miles a day 5 days a week approximately 9 months of the year. 27,000 for work + personal use..
I had a 90 Civic (1.5 liter Dual point fuel injection) for 12 years. I changed the oil once when I bought it in 2003. And because it was an old beater and I was poor, I topped oil off, straight 30. I never changed it. I more or less assumed car would die.I replaced air filter , PCV more or less annually. It kept going. It got 25MPG. I was thrilled. The transmission ultimately went out. I had a better job, I let it go.

I know this is a strong, forgiving engine. And this will be part of the answer.

Why do people think this was possible?.. This goes counter to most of what I have read about oil changes.

Anticipating a few questions.. Yes the car did burn a bit of oil. It leaked more than it burned. The MPG was still ok, so thats all that I was worried about.
I now have newer vehicles. When the change oil light comes on. I change the oil.
I still do have in the back of my head my old beater and how I literally beat it up. Are these frequent oil changes on newer cars really needed?

I dont have an weird axe to grind re: oil changes. just sharing experience and looking for some answers..
thanks
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2003
Messages
2,347
Location
GA
How often and how much oil did you top it off with? How many miles were on it when you got rid of it?
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
764
Location
Missouri
Well, there's a lot to unpack.

I'm going to start on an assumption that the oil leaked and/or burned about 1 quart of oil per 1,000 miles. At that rate, it's getting replenished pretty regularly. I would have loved to take a peak at the oil filter and under the valve cover
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
2,273
Location
Texas
Had to have had the oil replenished at a fast enough pace to not sludge but the filter probably clogged with contaminants but probably didn't sludge. Probably just bypassed all the time by 2006. You don't really have to change oil if it burns it fast enough but at least change the filter every 10k, those cost nothing. Yet you still found the budget and time to replace the air filter and pcv a lot. even though the pcv lasts longer than that and can be cleaned cheaply instead.

That was bad allocation of money, time, and effort in terms of vehicle service.

Also modern cars are just known to be more fragile especially with the timing chains and cam phasers. You can get away with it in an old school simple belt driven sohc engine. Also that trans (i assume the 4spd auto) probably would've lived longer if youdve given it a fluid change.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Messages
460
Location
AZ
So he came to a forum where most people are really fussy about changing their oil regularly to point out to the world that he is really lazy and kind of dumb? Sorry to offend if anyone reading this is lazy or dumb.A whole twenty-five bucks or so. It is very hard changing oil for some, I just do it in fifteen minutes after dinner while watching the sun go down. Giving it a few minutes to drain well. With my truck, you don't even have to jack it up.
Maybe he is lucky that older Hondas were very reliable.
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
15,979
Location
Central NY
one of my vehicles leaks an entire oil change over the course of a 3000 mile OCI. Why change? Just change out the filter and top up every tank of gas.

For a while, it was a top up the gas, fill the oil type of deal with my truck
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2019
Messages
452
Location
Sun and snow
I think he’s just like a lot of people, only he admits it. No doubt an oil change is not much. But if you are poor it’s just another brick in your backpack to deal with. And the straight 30 is another clue. Things are different now for him. And good for him to get on with making a life for himself. Very few of those in this world who struggle with all of life’s challenges give s..+ about oil for their car. How are the kids doing in school, do I have enough for health insurance, rent or mortgage, how much can I save for a college fund?…….and on and on.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
970
Location
KY, USA
In the late 80's-early 90's I had a '76 Chrysler that I used for a work car to/from construction sites. It burned/leaked a quart about every 300-400 miles as I recall. I figured it was on it's last leg so I stopped changing the oil in it and was topping it off with oil that I'd drained from my better vehicles at oil change which was 3K miles. When I sold the car to a friend that had just got married and needed cheap transportation it had been 31K miles since it's last oil change. I told him about the car's history before selling it to him and he still wanted it since I was letting him have it for $200 and letting him make payments as he got the money. Whether he changed the oil or not I don't know but I know he drove the crap out of it for another year or two before finally scrapping it because it wouldn't pass emissions testing that had just went into effect in that area. I'd never let one of my better cars go like that but the Chrysler's body was rusting out, interior was in poor condition and was leaking/burning a significant amount of oil. I could afford to buy something else if it did blow up but it never started knocking and oil consumption increased very little if any at all. I know the engine in it had some sludge even though it was getting regular oil changes previously. At a quart every few hundred miles and a capacity of 5 qts. the oil was basically changing itself about every 1500-2000 miles even though it was 3K mile old oil I was topping it off with. Maybe oil changes are overrated but I'm not going to stop doing them to find out.
 

DogNamedTed

Thread starter
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
8
In the late 80's-early 90's I had a '76 Chrysler that I used for a work car to/from construction sites. It burned/leaked a quart about every 300-400 miles as I recall. I figured it was on it's last leg so I stopped changing the oil in it and was topping it off with oil that I'd drained from my better vehicles at oil change which was 3K miles. When I sold the car to a friend that had just got married and needed cheap transportation it had been 31K miles since it's last oil change. I told him about the car's history before selling it to him and he still wanted it since I was letting him have it for $200 and letting him make payments as he got the money. Whether he changed the oil or not I don't know but I know he drove the crap out of it for another year or two before finally scrapping it because it wouldn't pass emissions testing that had just went into effect in that area. I'd never let one of my better cars go like that but the Chrysler's body was rusting out, interior was in poor condition and was leaking/burning a significant amount of oil. I could afford to buy something else if it did blow up but it never started knocking and oil consumption increased very little if any at all. I know the engine in it had some sludge even though it was getting regular oil changes previously. At a quart every few hundred miles and a capacity of 5 qts. the oil was basically changing itself about every 1500-2000 miles even though it was 3K mile old oil I was topping it off with. Maybe oil changes are overrated but I'm not going to stop doing them to find out.
You bring up a great point about emissions.
I live in an area where we do not have emissions checks.
I am pretty confident that my honda would would have never passed any emissions evaluations..
 

DogNamedTed

Thread starter
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
8
How often and how much oil did you top it off with? How many miles were on it when you got rid of it?
I bought it with 80k. Which was low for the time. The car was towed behind an RV for most of its life until I got it.
Odometer broke at 250K, . Vehicle had well over 350K when it gave up the ghost.
 

DogNamedTed

Thread starter
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
8
Well, there's a lot to unpack.

I'm going to start on an assumption that the oil leaked and/or burned about 1 quart of oil per 1,000 miles. At that rate, it's getting replenished pretty regularly. I would have loved to take a peak at the oil filter and under the valve cover
It definitely leaked a bit of oil. those engines seem to often have cam cover gasket and cam seal issues.. I did address those.. For most of its life it didnt leak too much. The last few years, I stopped caring and would only park on street.. where I still have oil spots..
In general, I would say the car burned more oil than it leaked though.. I seem to remember every other payday, once a month checking oil..
 

DogNamedTed

Thread starter
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
8
Most of us here are pretty religious with their oil changes, however I have lost count of how many cars I see that are completely neglected yet make it past the 300K mile mark.
Thanks for your response. I am not alone.
I am relieved I have not been met with negative comments.

I understand I am heathen in the church of correct, regular car maintenance..
 
Top