Which is the better way to go?

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Mar 5, 2003
Which is the better way to go? Frequent oil changes with a good quality oil (like Chevron?), a good but low cost oil filter (like the SuperTech oil filters at Wal-Mart), maybe 3 oz. of Auto-RX in the oil, and 2000-3000 mile oil changes? Or extended oil changes using something like Schaeffer's Oil, a high quality oil filter (like Mobil 1, K&N, Amsoil), maybe 3 oz. of Auto-RX in the oil, and oil changes of several thousand miles?
As a recovering Oilaholic, I'm now "at peace" with my opinion that the 3K/3month mantra is overkill perpetuated by the industries with the most to gain. Likewise, for my application (relatively low miles in average climate) I think synthetic oil is overkill. I think for most drivers it's a solution looking for a problem, once again driven by marketing. I mean, how many people want to drive a car to 300K (if you do, I admire you but I just don't see me doing it:) Look around and you'll see that cars streaming blue smoke from the tailpipe are beaters that need to be put out of their misery anyway. Never mind what abuse or lack of even basic maintenance ("like, you need to CHECK the oil?") they've seen to end up like that. Plus, when the rest of the car is a pile of orange dust, are you going to take the engine out and use it for a paperweight? For normal cars that people actually drive for transportation, I think we have a pretty good balance between engine and body/interior longevity. That said, I'm going to run 5K mile / 6month interval using Pennzoil 10W-30 and STP/supertech or other mainstream filters. My guess is that in 8 years (car's already 6) I'll be praying for it to die so I can go get something else [Smile] I imagine I could use Amsoil and generate one or two less gallons of waste oil per year, but I think that "problem" has been overstated as well. As always, follow the money. If it was such a crisis you'd have to pay to get rid of the stuff...but people still take it for free and find a good home for it. Of course there's the "Let's reduce our dependence on foreign oil" deal prominently displayed on Amsoil's sites (aplenty). As I said in a previous post, we'd reduce our dependence on foreign oil a lot more by keeping our tires inflated, WALKING once in awhile, driving more reasonable vehicles, and (gasp) using mass transit than by getting a slight increase in economy by using synthetic oil. It's funny how everyone blasts Ford and Honda for manipulating oil viscosity to squeeze out half a MPG (for CAFE), but then let people say we need AMSOIL to save our MPG. I've run synthetic for about 60K miles now and haven't seen enough gains to justify all the additional cash it would cost me (again, for my application). Feel free to tell me I'm on crack. This wasn't meant to be a flameout! [Freak] I'm glad this site is out here...never would have known how good Pennzoil was without it. PS- I wonder how much used motor oil gets burned to generate the electricity that we use to log on to talk about motor oil...
Thanks! I think forums are a great way to air out ideas/opinions to see if they are really any good after all. Plus that way I don't have to subject my (extremely patient) wife to it [Cheers!]
I'd be willing to bet that if you run Schaeffer Oil at 6k intervals you'll get less overall engine wear than if you do 3k intervals with cheaper oil. Try both methods, do UOAs, and the wear per 1000 miles will be less with Schaeffer Oil. Their additive package really does work well.
I think it also depends on the car and your usage. I've got an 15 year old car with over 140K miles on it. I don't know know how long the car will last, and things are pretty dirty, so a fairly inexpensive oil, and frequent changes, 3000 miles, seems like a better choice for me. However my last car was newer and in better shape, and I knew it wasn't going to just up and die on me, so the Mobil 1 stuff, and 5K-6K oil changes seemed better for that car.
No flames here Matt89! I tend to agree with most things you stated. It's all what makes you feel comfortable. No doubt synthetics are better, but most cars are sold, owners get hit by a beer truck or other parts fall off around the engine before the majortiy of people see the long-term benefits of synthetic oils. This site is a great tool to determine which oils are good and which ones are a waste of money. Doing oil analysis for me is impractical and expensive as I am just trying to get the best lubrication for the cheapest price.
ryansride 2017, even if a person does not send oil samples to labs, this web site is really useful, because you can find out from what other people have learned by getting oils tested. If people at this web site find out that the best conventional oil is Chevron, then I want to use Chevron, even if the quality difference is slight. You also find out about useful products that actually work, such as Auto-RX. I am thinking about going to 6000 mile oil changes using Schaeffer's Oil and K&N oil filters. However, I do have one concern. Some modern day cars, vans, and perhaps trucks and SUVs, are sludge monsters. The vehicles run so hot that conventional and even synthetic oil breaks down and sludge forms. Perhaps 3000 mile oil changes and use of Auto-RX is justified in these vehicles. I guee I should bring this up as a separate topic of discussion.
Ok Matt, I'll disagree then. I've put a few old cars in the junk yard with good running engines and understand your point, but what are the reasons why we strive to maintain our engines? First, I would like the engine to run as close to the way it ran when it was new as long as possible. It's not so much a matter of how many miles I drive it, but how well it runs the last year I drive it. Second, no matter how many years I drive my current car, and no matter how many miles, I don't want it to fail before I'm done with it. Rather than drive it until the engine fails I would rather never know how far it would have gone. Third, as the engine ages I would like it to lose horse power at the slowest possible rate. Forth, I don't like oil spots on my driveway. If sludge contributes to oil leaks then I'm interested in reducing and removing sludge. Fifth, I agree that 3k oil changes are overkill, but I also know that I can get better engine protection at 3k than I used to get with 3k changes on past vehicles. So there, I have made my points. That's all I wanted to do. As a disclaimer I do admit that I will be increasing my oil changes from 3k to 4k based on the information I have learned here, and am waiting for two oil analysises to show up that I expect will support my extended oil change plan.
For right now I feel locked in to frequent oil changes for my 02 Cavalier, at least frequently enough to meet my obligations under the warrentee. That sounds like dino and lower priced oil filters if I could find one in the oddball cartridge it takes. Another argument for frequent oil changes is that it gets me under the car and a look at what drained out besides oil. Also what about grease and all the fluids I check? Yeah I could do all that other stuff if I was using synthetic and K&N or something, but would I? The big question in my mind, now is should I continue to cough up for Pennzoil or go to something cheaper? If I switch to something else, will it still be available at a reasonable price next year, 5, 10 years from now? I might abandon Pennzoil, but I am not going to be grabbing whatever is cheap this month.
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