oil change on time or miles

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May 30, 2002
I put on 1500 miles in 3 months. Should i change my oil at 3 months, or can i wait until 3000 miles which could be in 6 months. There have been a week at a time when the vehicle was not even started. The oil is Havoline 5w-30, and the vehicle is a 95 4.0l Jeep Grand Cherokee. Now at 1500 miles, the oil looks light brown to clear. Why the 3 month changes even if you don't have enough miles????
The label under the hood of my japanese camry says: 15,000km or 12 months whichever is sooner.  - What does your manual say?
The oil companies would like you to change every 3 months but going 3000 miles or 6 months is standard pratice. Allthough I fell this only benefits the place that is selling you the service or the oil. The 3000 mile oil change is, in my opinion, one of the biggest scams on the American public ever. Our fleet at work has been going for 5000 miles and no time limit for the 30 yrs I worked there. each driver was responsible for havign the work done, we had no company shops to go too. We had 1000's of vehicles and changing oil at 3000 miles was an unnecessary expense. My 1999 Subruban K2500 was in severe service, it idled 8-10 hrs a day, pulled trailers all the time, yet whe I retired in Oct it had 95,000 miles and no one engine problem. It never used any oil between oil changes. Due to time contraints and budget issues I was forced to use the quick lube places 99% of the time. They gave us a fleet price, could drive in and be out in 15 min. without any hassel. Had to watch them like a hawk though, they sometimes would not lube the chassis, not change the air filter or change it every 5000 miles etc. btw-No synthetics were allowed, I always insisted on Havoline 5W30 and one place kept it in stock just for my trucks (had 2, 1999 Subruban and 2001 Dodge E. Cab 2500, both 4WD) [ January 09, 2003, 10:08 AM: Message edited by: Mike ]
I think you have to apply the lws of common sense. Let's say your manual says 3K or 3 months (easy driving) or 7.5K or 6 months (severe conditions). If you drove 10 miles of very severe driving would you change oil at 3 months??-don't think so. Its obvious that oil can sit in the crankcase for 6 months because the "easy driving" says it can. Your answer: "don't change at 3 months". Especially since your un-scientific test (looking t oil) seemed to show the oil was not black and smelly [Smile] .
My maual calls for 7500 miles or 6 months for "normal" service. And 3000 miles or 3 months for "severe" servise. I have 6 quart capacity and do not consider my service severe, but i do tow in summer, but i am easy on the tranny and engine (staring slowly, no stop and go) and in winter i maybe idle for 5-10 minutes if my wife goes into the store for something. Otherwise my commute to work is 5 miles of 45-50 mph with no stops. And i park in a heated garage at home and at work. I am in MN (cold)
My general rule is 6000 km or 6 months. The engine that gets too little miles gets an accumulation of moisture in the oil, and if it sits for a while the additives to fight rust and corrosion that sit where there is a little get used up and that corrosion spreads. We see that a lot in tractors and harvesters that sit. I was going to analyze the oil in my wife's BMW, but since she overheated it and cooked everything, it was obvious what I would have seen.
Hell, I change mine in my 4.0 GC once per year, with filter changes every 6 months. I use the Amsoil 10W-30, and perform analysis at the end of the year to make sure all is OK. My wear levels are very, very low. The 4.0 (242) is a very durable motor, and is quite easy on oil. About the only problem with the motor is piston slap (but to no apparent detriment) and premature failour of the rear main seal. If your weather isn't too cold, this motor seems to like 15W-40 oil. Helps to quite the piston slap. Before I switched to synthetic, I ran Chevron Delo 15W-40 with success. Good luck, It's pretty hard to kill the 4.0. The tranmission is another thing altogether.
When in doubt follow the manf. recommendations....when you want facts get the oil analyzed. I would say go 6 months if it's only 3K miles, but see what condition the earl is...
I went 8 months on 2900 oil change. there was no engine problems whatsoever. I did have to add a quart oil cuz of the oil burning. but overall no problems. this is for a 92 car with 109k miles. I changed the oil back in october, it's january now, and I have only put a 1000 miles on the oil. I checked the oil the other day, it was full and still light color brown. so I believe the longer the interval, the additives in the oil wear thin and I had an increased oil consumption. but I start school soon and will drive more often
About an hour ago a lady I work with brought up the topic of oil changes (Patman started wringing his hands in glee!) and she mentioned that she rarely drives her car. She had gone in for an oil change because it was 6 months since her last one, and her emissions test was coming up so she wanted everything to be perfect. But listen to this, the oil change place didn't want to change her oil because she had only gone 200 miles! They eventually did change it for her on her insistance, however. It's not that she drives short drives, just that she only uses her car occasionally and most of the time takes the subway. So her car might get driven 20 miles then shut off for two weeks. [ January 10, 2003, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: Patman ]
3/3 is a rule of thumb. So is any other "guideline". If I were towing heavy, I'd change it. If I were out running dirt roads, I'd change it. If I were forced into a lot of extended idling in 100F weather, I'd change it. If I were driving very few miles in nasty, cold, wet weather, I'd change it. And so forth. In the end, oil changes are cheap. As are any other fluid changes. If the car is used in a consistent manner, then oil analysis would, by far, be the best tool to establish a schedule by which to plan intervals. And it is always good to know "where" you are.
just follow the manual. In my manual for my honda, its 10000 mi for normal service and 5000 mi for severe service which i follow. My oil held up well on the break in(2002 civic ex 5 speed) at 5000 mi and no quart was added. If i used a synthetic, then id probably push it to 7500 mi.
JonS: I have a 2002 camry V6 which I only drive 4 miles each way to work each day. My consideration for oil changes is the build-up of water in the oil (I can actually see the white goo on the dipstick soon after an oil change). For this reason I change the oil every 3 months, regardless of the mileage. If I were you, I would watch for two things: 1) an over accumulation of water in the oil. 2) darkening of the oil -- if it gets dark and smelly its worn out. If either of these two conditions are present in your oil I would change the oil before engine damage sets in.
The problem can come from bearing corrosion. Here is my 99 4Runner turbo diesel. http://american.netfirms.com/Analisis_de_Aceite/Corrosion/corrosion.html In the latest sample, it got 4,000 km in 7 months. When I am with it, those are 100 per day. then it sits for 2 weeks, gets started to charge the batterie, sits 2 or 3, etc. Note the bearing corrosion. So my rule is 6 months or 6,000 km. I am going to stop the practice of having the engine started for battery charging.
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