Oil Change Interval?

Messages
259
Location
WI
I currently have over 128,000 miles on my car. In the past I have always had the oil changed every 3,750 miles, which was considered "severe maintenance" according to the owner's manual. After doing some research on the internet, I was wondering what people thought about going with the "normal" maintenance schedule versus the "severe" one. Obviously, by cutting the oil changes in half, I'll be not only saving money, but also the environment (less oil waste). I do not meet any of the "severe" criteria listed, so do you think it would be fine going with oil changes every 7500 miles instead? I use Purolator oil filters and regular dino oil. According to most motor oil companies and mechanics, they recommend changing the oil every 3000 miles or 3 months. Obviously, it's in their best interest for people to do that.
 
Messages
300
Location
toronto
I used AMSOIL 20W50 in my jetta. I used the oil for 15 months (5 months in storage) I put on 6K on the motor 11 race events. all my city driving was stop and go with lots of pedal to the metal. UOA showed very little wear after 15 months of usage. I never even changed the oil filter! Right now I am using AMSOIL 5W40 on my other car. I am planing to go one full year which is about 20K. I will change the filter after 6 months just to be on safe side. Use the best quality oil and filter and change it once a year.
 
Messages
542
Location
South Central Texas
I would follow what your owners manual recommends for normal service, if you fall under that category. But since I have become edumicumated about oil here, I would do the Auto-RX clean and rinse first. Then go to the "normal" service, with a maintence dose of LC, and the original dino oil you were using. It sounds as if you have done a great job so far. Good luck.
 

sjlee

Thread starter
Messages
259
Location
WI
Thanks... I should point out that up until recently, I've had the dealership do all my oil changes. Don't ask my why, but even though I knew how to change oil (I've always done it on my motorcycle), I never did it on my car. In any case, it seems that they used Castrol GTX and Honda filters (from Canada, which I recently found out are nothing more than Fram filters) on my car. Well, I recently bought a pair of jack stands and decided to start doing the oil changes on our cars ('01 Cavalier and '96 Integra). I changed the oil on the Integra last week. Like I said before, I used a Purolator Premium Plus filter and 4.5 quarts of Mobil Drive Clean ($1.08/qt at Advance Auto Parts). I also recently picked up a case of Quaker State Peak Performance for $0.69/qt (after mail-in rebate). Is there anything wrong with either of these two oils if I plan on going 7500 miles between oil changes?
 
Messages
4,630
Location
Decatur AL USA
1. Car - Year, Make, Model, Engine. 2. Climate 3. Driving Conditions as close as possible. 4. Any leaks. 5. How much if any oil does the car currently consume. 6. Brand and Weight of oil currently used. All of these are critical aspects. However the bottom line is if you are going to do 7500 mi on a regular Dino PCMO (Passenger Car Motor Oil) I would do a couple of UOA to prove it. Now a Dino HDEO (Heavy Duty Motor Oil) would be much safer in my opinion if you were going to do this without a UOA. There are synthetics on the market that will easily do a 10,000 mi OCI on most vehicles. Gene
 

sjlee

Thread starter
Messages
259
Location
WI
quote:
Originally posted by Gene K: 1. Car - Year, Make, Model, Engine. 2. Climate 3. Driving Conditions as close as possible. 4. Any leaks. 5. How much if any oil does the car currently consume. 6. Brand and Weight of oil currently used. All of these are critical aspects. However the bottom line is if you are going to do 7500 mi on a regular Dino PCMO (Passenger Car Motor Oil) I would do a couple of UOA to prove it. Now a Dino HDEO (Heavy Duty Motor Oil) would be much safer in my opinion if you were going to do this without a UOA. There are synthetics on the market that will easily do a 10,000 mi OCI on most vehicles. Gene
1. 1996 Acura Integra GS-R, 1.8L VTEC engine; 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier LS, 2.2L engine. 2. We live in WI, so we get all four seasons. 3. Both of us drive at least 5 miles to work (one-way). I'd say the majority of the time we're in the car for more than 10 miles each time. We're on paved (concrete and asphalt) roads 100% of the time. 4. Neither car leaks oil... at least not that I'm aware of. I've never found any oil on our driveway or in the garage (unless I've spilled it). 5. Any amount of oil that is consumed between oil changes is minor (if any). I've never had to add oil to either car between changes. 6. 5W-30 in both cars. I just put in Mobil Drive Clean in the Integra. I also have a case of Quaker State Peak Performance which I'll use after the Mobil is used up. What's a UOA and how much does it cost?
 
Messages
4,630
Location
Decatur AL USA
UOA - Used Oil Analysis You can buy a package of 3 without TBN for $30 ($10 a piece) If you are going to extend the drains though it is pretty nice to be able to have a TBN (This tells you how much acid neutalizing ability is still in the oil). Another advantage of this is it tells you about problems like internal engine coolant leaks and leaky air intake ducting before major internal damage is done to your engine. For a budget 5W-30 oil many of us like the Motorcraft / Conoco Oil as it appears to be a Group II/III Blend (Semi-Synthetic) marketed as a Dino for $1.42 QT. Neither of the cars you have is super hard on oil so I would consider investing in a $20 pump at the local CAT equipment dealer to confirm engine condition and oil condition. Then you can pull samples and send them at 3750 mi without dumping the oil. If everthing looks good you can go to 7500 mi and pull another sample and pay extra for a TBN on your UOA. If everything is good then you can just pull one UOA a year at 7500 mi on each car to check engine condition and only go back through the mid term test if you change oils. Gene
 
Messages
558
sjlee, the last 4 or 5 vehicles I've purchased came with owners manuals that recommended 7,500 mile oil changes for normal driving conditions, which you state yours is (as is mine). I do believe the designers, engineers and builders know something about what they are doing and that those intervals are safe. A relative just bought a Chevy Suburban with a recommended OCI of 10,000 miles. And, this is with any SL rated motor oil. I, personally, much favor doing UOAs on mine, as has been suggested to you, although you should be able to safely do what the manufacturer tells you to do. I just like the safety a UOA provides. So, extend your oil change intervals and happy motoring.
 

SWS

Messages
390
Location
Tennessee
I am no oil expert, but I don't think that 7500 miles on any Dino is good plan. Especially in your climate. Maybe 5000 miles. You are planning to extend your OCI when your high-mileage engine needs a little tender-loving-care. To me, this sounds a little odd, since you obviously know what it takes to make cars last a long time! I also want to extend my OCI, but I have just switched to Mobil 1 Synth to accomplish this safely. Best Wishes as you motor along! SWS
 
Messages
3,118
Location
San Antonio, TX
I don't think the additives in those oils will be there the last 2000 miles in a 7500 mile run. Use the small bottle of Valvoline Maxlife additive at 5500. Joe
 
Messages
2,768
Location
Tn
3,750 is a good interval. I would never exceed 5k with these two oils. My uoa show that the manufacturer may be overly optimistic about oci, even with the engine in top shape. Full flow oil filters can only limit insolubles to a degree. 7.5K is a stretch for DriveClean and Quaker State.
 
Messages
1,381
Location
Southeast Kentucky
My favorite oil has become Chevron/Havoline dino 5w30. It appears to be nearly identical to Chevron which is made from group 2 and 2+ base with a nice addative package and is easy to find almost anywhere that sells good oil. 5,000 miles is about right for a dino used in normal service, I don't see a need to push it past that interval.
 
Messages
51
Location
OH
I used to do the oil change every 3K routine, but then went with synth oil (10W30 Mobil 1 [usually] year around) and Pure 1 filters that I let go for about 7K. So I do 1/2 the work for about the same cost. This is with an '87 Nissan 3L (140K) and an '83 Toyota 1.5L (220K?). Oil use has declined to about 5-6K/qt and maybe 9K/qt (use a PCV jar). Now using 1 qt MarvelMysteryOil in the Nissan to try to cure a lifter tick...notice that the oil is dirtier than usual at this point. Best to do an oil flush before going to synthetic oil?
 
Messages
3,333
Location
Bolivia
Gene had the right questions, and I agree with everything he said except that I wouldn't bother with the mid-way oil analisis. Make your next change around 4,000. Analize it, and based on the results you will see whether it can be extended. Winters can be rougher due to condensation. The rest of the time should be ok. We don't have that much of a winter to contend with, just heat in the lower altitudes (120+ F)and cold in the higher altitudes (-10 F) almost any time of the year. The more highway travel you do, the longer the intervals can be. The better the roads, lesser the load on the engine.
 
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
quote:
Originally posted by Gene K: ...For a budget 5W-30 oil many of us like the Motorcraft / Conoco Oil as it appears to be a Group II/III Blend (Semi-Synthetic) marketed as a Dino for $1.42 QT...
Wherever did any of you get the idea that there's Group III in Motorcraft 5W-30?
 
Messages
4,630
Location
Decatur AL USA
Could be because the back of the bottle says, "Blended with our Hydrocracked/Synthetic Basestocks" I guess it could be Group II + Group IV or V but I would not think so. Gene
 

sjlee

Thread starter
Messages
259
Location
WI
Thanks for everyone's input. I appreciate it. I guess I'll stick with the 3750 mile OCI, since that has gotten my car to 128,000 miles. My desire to extend my OCI was two-fold... to save money and to minimize the amount of oil waste (i.e. help the environment). Of course, I don't want to do it if it'll end up costing me more (by damaging the car) and essentially do the opposite of what I was trying to accomplish. I noticed that quite a few people here don't really care for Mobil Drive Clean, Quaker State Peak Performance and a couple other brand oils (e.g. Valvoline All Climate). I'm not really tied to any particular name-brand... I usually just pick up a name-brand that is usually on sale. Are there other brands that people usually stay away from? BTW, Havoline (dino) went on sale this week for $0.69/quart at Checkers, so I guess I'll stop by and pick a case up.
 
Messages
1,759
Location
Elizabeth City NC
Most regular dino oils are good to around 5000 miles. They start to really thin out before this point so you should not push them beyond 5000 mile changes. 5000 is safe but not 7500 miles. Synthetics are good for around 7500 but a good analysis will tell you if all is well at this milage.
 
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