I rarely change my oil

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Some people smoke two packs a day until their 90s and never get cancer, does not mean it's a good idea or not risky.
I had a few very old patients that smoked. Used to smoke anyway. A lot of them smoked a 'roll your own' after lunch and another one after dinner when they were younger. Some of them drank too. Had a bottle for Xmas and sometimes tipped a few at their brother's and sister's weddings.

None of them were pack a day smokers and none of them were obese.

Smokers don't always die of lung cancer. In my experience more of them die from heart disease and chronic lung disease - which are also associated with smoking.
 
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There's a difference between engines that leak oil and engines that burn oil.

My theory (I have no evidence) is that an engine that leaks a lot of oil, maybe a quart every 500 or 1000 miles could get by with only a filter change once in a while (say every 7500 miles). You can think of it as having a regular drain and fill, just not all at once. And an engine that burns oil needs to have its oil and filter changed regularly, nearly as often as an engine that neither burns nor uses oil.

My theory is that most debris doesn't pass the rings or valve seals and is accumulating in the oil. Only "good oil" is getting burned. Its additive package would stay more current than if no oil was being added however.

That's my theory. I might be right and I might be wrong. I'd like to see an oil analysis of representative examples of both types of engines.
 
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I'm not going to really beat on the guy because I think he's a Chad for pulling the power move of joining a forum where people are super anal about changing oil and then straight up says he never changed the oil and still got 13 years out it.
 
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While I'll assume the OP is one of the usual ever-returning trolls, I'll opine on the question, for anyone else who might be interested.

IMHO the most important thing about oil in your engine, is that your engine has oil.

How often it is changed, what kind of oil it is, etc., is greatly secondary to the issue of it having oil at all. So topping it off as needed was the big deal here.
 
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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.
I read this as a confession that he was lazy and dumb in the past but these days he follows the oil life monitor. Not sure the point of making someone feel bad for what they did in the past?

To me it reads as he's wondering how it survived all that time?

I can confess that I'm the most OCD about oil changes out of anyone but I also had my time of stupidity. When I was a kid in the 80s and early 90s (born 83) my parents were busy building our house, lots of unforeseeable things caused budget overruns and basically they had no money or time and things got forgotten...like the1981 3hp Briggs push mower that my dad and I mowed several acres with and later a 74 8hp Briggs tractor (well it burned enough oil to replace it all actually), my 79 Honda xl75 and a 79 impala. None of those got regular oil changes for several years and kept running. The 3hp Briggs went several hundred more hours like that. My parents took good care of stuff before and after that time but there was a good 10 years probably where nothing got regular maintenance except my mom's car (the most expensive/important vehicle we had).

Later on I would learn my lesson on a different Honda...an 86 XL250R, which I rode on the property several years until getting my motorcycle license and then I rode it everywhere. I bought it with about 12,000kms and out another 12,000kms on it in a couple of years. The motor grenaded on that one. Pretty sad as I think the previous owner babied it. It was not out of oil, it did need regular top ups because of a leaking head gasket but inevitably something let go inside. Turns out they were not the most rugged engine (RFVC 250cc with twin carbs) but it likely could have survived if I took better care of it. I think I actually did change the oil twice but the filter only once on that one but I didn't realize it should be done more often than on a car as it shared the oil with the trans. Plus I rode the crap out of it.
 
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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.
Years ago I worked with a mechanic who did that with a 79 f150. The truck was rusted out so he put the used 3k oil from his newer truck in it. The 302 ran fine at the start apparently but after a few years of that it would fill a jug under the hood with oil from blowby and had a knock.
 
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If you are adding a quart every 400 miles.....you ARE changing your oil. As for your filter, I am of the thought that they can go easily 20k. I have a similar situation, quart every 1200. So once every 18k, I do a full change. Most people on this site over-maintain their cars. I don't bother because I live in a salt state and rust and aging will get them well before I hit 200k miles. Not to mention I prefer to have a car that is not TOO far out of today's technology. I found out the hard way my insurance was higher on an older car than a newer one that had recent safety features.
 
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When stationed in Korea for a little over a year, I bought a $300 Hoopty (Daewoo Royal Salon). Although looked like a POS, it was more reliable than cars costing 20x more that my coworkers bought. It leaked and burned about a quart every 2 months so I only did one filter change a year. Iand wouldn't do this with a nicer car though. My kid sister when she was young and bought her first (brand new) car, didn't know cars needed oil changes and over 20k on the factory oil made from some interesting looking sludge.
 

SammyChevelleTypeS3

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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.
Right.... timing belts.... cam position sensors etc..... what next... ? Cars that blow your nose. Its crazy how fast technology is changing our world. Both for the better and the worse. .... Cam position sensors! O2 sensors.... ECUs... NOT our grandad's autos for sure. In all fairness I learned to drive in an old 1953 Chevy with three on the tree! WOW What a fun "big old army tank" that thing was to drive around in. Think it had something like a 250cui motor?
 
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While I'll assume the OP is one of the usual ever-returning trolls, I'll opine on the question, for anyone else who might be interested.

IMHO the most important thing about oil in your engine, is that your engine has oil.

How often it is changed, what kind of oil it is, etc., is greatly secondary to the issue of it having oil at all. So topping it off as needed was the big deal here.
Yup, most complete engine failures where the engine siezes or throws a rod happen from neglecting oil changes is because the engine starts consuming oil as the wear accelerates from dirty oil, then it runs super low and bam....goodbye engine.
 
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Right.... timing belts.... cam position sensors etc..... what next... ? Cars that blow your nose. Its crazy how fast technology is changing our world. Both for the better and the worse. .... Cam position sensors! O2 sensors.... ECUs... NOT our grandad's autos for sure. In all fairness I learned to drive in an old 1953 Chevy with three on the tree! WOW What a fun "big old army tank" that thing was to drive around in. Think it had something like a 250cui motor?
“Blue Flame” six cylinder in the ‘53 Chevy, ahead of its‘ time! You think electronic engine controls, better watch out for lane avoidance warnings, radar assisted cruise control, rain sensing wipers, ”autopilot”, and other guaranteed to break options!
 
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Right.... timing belts.... cam position sensors etc..... what next... ? Cars that blow your nose. Its crazy how fast technology is changing our world. Both for the better and the worse. .... Cam position sensors! O2 sensors.... ECUs... NOT our grandad's autos for sure. In all fairness I learned to drive in an old 1953 Chevy with three on the tree! WOW What a fun "big old army tank" that thing was to drive around in. Think it had something like a 250cui motor?
Yeah we've gone over the edge. My early 2000's gmc are technologically advanced enough but my 2021 escalade is gonna be a pos in the future but Its fine since I planned on not driving it much.
 
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Also modern cars are just known to be more fragile especially with the timing chains and cam phasers.


I guess it depends on what you mean by modern. Timing chains are nothing new, they were around before timing belts became the norm. The industry decided to revert back to chains.

Cam phasers and other parts have been around for a long time.
 

SammyChevelleTypeS3

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“Blue Flame” six cylinder in the ‘53 Chevy, ahead of its‘ time! You think electronic engine controls, better watch out for lane avoidance warnings, radar assisted cruise control, rain sensing wipers, ”autopilot”, and other guaranteed to break options!
LOL ... Yes , we have the radar assist cruise control so now my wife trusts using it. Never did before even though I told her 10000 times... all u got to do is tap the breaks and it is OFF.
 
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Yeah we've gone over the edge. My early 2000's gmc are technologically advanced enough but my 2021 escalade is gonna be a pos in the future but Its fine since I planned on not driving it much.
I agree. My 2005 has enough technology to turn off the lights if I forget them, unlock the drivers door if I try to lock it with the key in the ignition, tell me if I try to drive with the parking brake on or a door open etc..has an oil life monitor, etc. I don't need much more than that.
 
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I guess it depends on what you mean by modern. Timing chains are nothing new, they were around before timing belts became the norm. The industry decided to revert back to chains.

Cam phasers and other parts have been around for a long time.
Timing chains on old style pushrod engines are almost never an issue but they are much more common to have issued on modern ohc engines with long chains and tensioners. They were shot on my mom's old 2010 Taurus at 250k miles when the internal water pump started leaking. All Highway driving an very short oil changes.
 
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