Oil: Which is more important? Mileage or time?

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McGregor TX
I'm pretty new to this board, and have done some searches but have failed to come up with a good answer to this question: When it comes to changing your oil, which is more important: mileage or time in the engine? My Toyota Tacoma recommends 7500/6 mo. intervals for normal conditions. I was planning to use Mobil 1 oil and change every 7500 miles, but it will take me between 9 and 12 months to put that mileage on it. Is this safe? What about for warranty purposes? Even if you stick to mileage recommendations with an excellent oil, will they throw that in your face? "You didn't change it every 6 months, Mr. Taylor...your warranty is void." Thanks! David [ July 14, 2003, 10:42 AM: Message edited by: mrdctaylor ]
 
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Pennsylvania
quote:
Originally posted by mrdctaylor: I'm pretty new to this board, and have done some searches but have failed to come up with a good answer to this question: When it comes to changing your oil, which is more important: mileage or time in the engine? My Toyota Tacoma recommends 7500/6 mo. intervals for normal conditions. I was planning to use Mobil 1 oil and change every 7500 miles, but it will take me between 9 and 12 months to put that mileage on it. Is this safe? What about for warranty purposes? Even if you stick to mileage recommendations with an excellent oil, will they throw that in your face? "You didn't change it every 6 months, Mr. Taylor...your warranty is void." Thanks! David
I vote for miles. Miles dirty the oil. TIme lets the heavy bad stuff settle out and it could allow whatever acids are formed, do their work unabated, but I think with todays oils that would be pretty rare.
 
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Gone
mrd.... You are still under warranty, right? Until your warranty runs out, I'd go with Toyota's specs for either time or distance, whichever you hit first (regardless of what any oil maker might claim). You don't want to give the OEM anything to use against you should a claim come up. For me, that is still longer than I am comfortable with...about 5K and 5 months is all I can do. That's why I am one of those guys that this board will have to "work on" until I can feel comfortable with longer intervals. These guys have lots of empirical data to point to and say, "See, you CAN do it."
 

mrdctaylor

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816
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McGregor TX
Thanks for the response. That's what I'm thinking too...just looking for validation. Also, thanks to the board admin for moving this post where it belongs. I knew it should go here, but I was in the wrong area when I posted it. D'oh!
 

ALS

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1,863
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Pittsburgh
When it comes to warranties do it by the book. If it is 6 months than spend the $30 and change the oil. I sure wouldn't want to get cheap and find out that since I didn't change my oil at the manufactures recommended intervals that a claim was denied. In few cases, Low miles as an example they would probably not hold it against you. But why take the chance that they would get anal over it if you threw a rod or the cam wore out early. GM had the soft Cam issue about 10 years ago. A lot of people ended up with more than $500 bills since they were not changing the oil as they should have. I know one woman with a 93 Grand Prix that got shafted since her son wasn't changing the oil as he was suppose to. He was pocketing the money that he was telling her it was costing to change the oil. They pulled the motor to replace the cam and when they opened it up there was sludge all through the motor. I think it was over $900 she had to pay to get the cam replaced and rebuild the motor. And that was a deal the dealer ate 50% since they realized what had happened. She fould out that he had a buddy at the garage that was generating receipts for the oil changes that he was pocketing the money for. She had the receipts for the changes but the interals of the motor said differently.
 
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4,844
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Saskatchewan
quote:
I vote for miles. Miles dirty the oil. TIme lets the heavy bad stuff settle out and it could allow whatever acids are formed, do their work unabated, but I think with todays oils that would be pretty rare.
But if you are cold starting your vehicle a few times a day and only driving short distances each time, you'll wear out your oil quickly without much mileage. I believe that's where the manufacturers "time" factor comes in. [ July 14, 2003, 02:16 PM: Message edited by: rpn453 ]
 
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I'm with rpn453 on that one. My manual also states, that oil changes are to be perfomed once a year or every 10k miles. If less than 10k miles are driven within a year, 2 oil changes are advised.
 
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Ohio
yea I"m all of you, whatever comes first, warrenty no warrenty. That's a pretty wicked story but sneaky way to make money, lol! When it comes to synthetics, I"m not real sure about the time part. I know most people here change there's between 5 and 10K miles on synthetic. AS far as time goes, 6 months sounds about right in my book, yet, I"m no expert either, lol. Yea in my book, whatever comes first, time or mileage. Just my $.02,,,,,AR
 
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1,381
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Southeast Kentucky
You obviously haven't been bitten by the oil bug yet, David. I have it real bad. [Freak] I will look at my service records weekly and greatly anticipate 3 months (usually never make it to that) or 3K so I can change that oil myself. I also use dino (conventional) oil since I figure it will perform close to a synthetic in these shorter intervals. My favorites are Castrol GTX or Chevron Supreme/Chevron Havoline.
 

mrdctaylor

Thread starter
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816
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McGregor TX
I guess I've not been bitten by it to that degree. But I am very anal about treating my car right. I always changed it every 3K miles when I used conventional. After reading about synthetics, that sounded like the way to go for several reasons. I switched my 1997 Pontiac minivan to AMSOIL a year and a half ago and am changing about once/year with a filter change at six months. The only thing I'm worried about with my 2002 Toyota Tacoma is warranty issues if I go beyond the 7500 miles/6 month recommendation. Right now I am on my second 6 month interval of AMSOIL XL7500 (their API certified oil) that I bought before it went to Group III basestocks. Since I don't want to extend my intervals too far, that's why I'm looking at something like Mobil 1 at 7500 miles. I feel comfortable that Mobil 1 oil and a good quality filter will last 7500 miles. I'm questioning whether it is a problem if it takes 9 months to a year to put that 7500 miles on the vehicle. And supposedly (this is from AMSOIL literature) the dealer has to prove that oil caused the problem if there is an engine failure regardless of the intervals you used. Has anyone had first-hand experience with this? In other words, if you go beyond the recommended interval they still have to prove that it was the oil that caused the problem in order to deny warranty claims. See, I've sorta gotten the bug. :-) Most people don't sweat it, but I want my 'Yota to last..and last...and last. You get the picture.
 
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9,448
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USA
According to Toyota's Passport to Performance manual wich ever comes first. Niether one is weighted more then the other in the owners service manual. They calculate their intervals based on 1250 miles per month or 5 months. So if you drive 2000 miles a month you will hit the millage limit before the time limit is up. On the other hand if you drive 20 miles a month the 5 month time frame would expire before the milage is up. I f you go throught that big stack of manuals that are in you glove box you will find one that has all the PM requirments laid out nicely for you from 0 miles and o months up to 120,000 miles or 96 months in both 5000 or 4 months and 7500 or 6 month intervals. I staple my oil purchase recipts and the bar code of filter box to each log entry.
 
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