Oil change dilema - now or at 5K?

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Aug 6, 2003
Terra firma
The wife has a 03' Civic. Purchased on 7-30-03 and it only has 2.7k miles on it.

The manual says leave the initial fill in for 5k but at this rate 5k won't roll around for several more months and I'm concerned with the oil breaking down.

Her commute is 3.5 miles each way. It is stop and go with about a dozen stop lights. The engine gets up to operating temp but I'm convinced that the oil doesn't get hot enough to burn off all the cooties.

So do I change it at 6 months regardless of mileage on the original fill or do I just wait til 5k?

This is in SoCal and this upcoming change will take her through summer where the temps are 90-100 degrees. Add the AC and stop and go and I think it could be classified as severe wear. I could be wrong, though.

I've got oodles of GC sitting around but I'm also thinking of trying M1 0W-30 if someone can give me a good reason (slightly thinner?) Regardless of the oil, I already have the M1-104 (80mm oversized) filter. The M1-110 is rather dinky.
Your engine is broken-in, just change it now with synthetic and never look back.

100% of my driving is stop-and-go around town. Once a week I go for a trip of 30+ miles on the freeway over 75MPH and burn off any gas in the oil!
Honda...keep the breakin oil for the full 5k. Take the car out on the highway once in a while for a long, thoroughly warm run.

I went through the same thing with my new Honda. Honda is adamant about the first oil change being at 5000. Whether it is better or worse has been discussed here for longer than I have been here. You might try a search.

I finaly decided to leave it in like they said. It probably can't hurt anything and if I do have a warranty problem I can say I followed their recommedations exactly.

Next time you can change it any time you want.

Good luck.
Flashlightboy, Change that oil! Honda wants to leave the factory stuff in there for 5K. Do a search here through the UOA forums here, the only special thing about this oil is about 450-500ppm of moly. Chevron 5w20 runs about 250ppm and Pennzoil 5w20 runs almost 200ppm. It's not THAT big of deal like Honda makes is out to be. Change that oil!

We just purchased an 2004 Saturn Vue which has the Honda 3.5L V6 motor. The dealer gave us the same song about oil changes. I just said "thank you". I've already changed the oil at 750 miles with Pennzoil 5w20 and plan on changing it at 2500. Starting at 5K, this motor will see Amsoil 0w30 for the remainder of its life.

Most consumers have not a clue like we do on this board. Thus the reason for "don't change it until 5K". I doubt you'll subtract engine life from your vehicle by not changing it until 5K, but I think it's better to be on the safe side.

I find this amusing. Honda had to change the engine in my car. After telling me it's a good thing I left the breakin oil in the engine.
After the change, I asked what oil they used and got the GTX bulk. I called the Honda line and asked if breakin oil was special, and got the line about voiding the warranty if drained etc.
I told them that I'd like a letter to that affect because my dealer had just service my new engine with GTX. They hung up.
I'd like to know the real truth. I've built hundreds of engines and never let new oil run over 500 miles.
I'm sure that my Honda will blow up most any minute now.
Change it to dino for a short while and then at 5000 mi switch to your 6 month synth of choice.
I changed the oil in my '03 Accord at 3800 miles (5 months). My next oil change, I got a very good oil analysis result. I don't feel I hurt anything by changing the oil out sooner than 5000 miles.

BTW, Honda's recommendation is 5000 miles OR 6 months (whichever comes first). So change it out at 6 months regardless of miles.

Don't sweat it. :)

Originally posted by timzak:
BTW, Honda's recommendation is 5000 miles OR 6 months (whichever comes first). So change it out at 6 months regardless of miles.

Don't sweat it. :)

If they recommend to change it out at 6 months, regarless of mileage I have to believe the worry about an early changeout is misplaced. If it is ok to change it out at 6 months with relatively few miles, it's ok to change out at 2 weeks with the same miles.

for my 02 civic: dropped the factory fill on mine at 3k. ran pennzoil 5w20 with m1 no. 110 oil filter for 3k oci until it had 10,000 on it, then went to amsoil 5w20 with m1 no. 110 filter until last oil change. coming up on 30k good so far
I say if in doubt, drop it out....what is the worse that could happen? You don't put enough wear on the engine?
If that were my car I would have changed the oil when I got the car home to a CF-2 SAE 30 then ran the bag out of the engine for the next 500 miles to seat the rings.
When and if the engine ever wears out or blows up, replace it with a real engine using an Amecican made Dart block and have some fun.
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