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Old 03-10-2010, 12:25 PM   #1
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Frequent oil change

I have just had our toad for an oil change at Walmart. Nice and fast service - just the way I like it!

I come out with a sticker on my windscreen saying that ny next oil change is in 3 month or 3.000 miles whichever comes first.

In Europe, most car are sold with a recommendation of an oil change once a year or between 12,500 to 15,000 miles whichever comes first. This is a significant difference, especially taking into consideration that the engines in many cases are the same.

Here is now the 1 million Dollar question? :

Are the American consumers wasting money and resources by changing oil and filters when sticking to the retailers recommendation or are the Europeans not looking after their cars properly? One one side we have to be environmentally friendly and not waste our natural resources, and on the other side we have to look after our cars or they won't last as long as we would like them to. Which is it or is the ideal really somewhere in between?

I will have to add that the price for an oil/filter change is a lot more expensive where I normally live. If I go to the gas station and buy 1 liter (which is close to 1 quarts) of reasonable quality motor oil, I will end up paying around $20 per liter . Yes - you read this correctly - around $20 for 1 quarts of motor oil. The filter would cost you another $20.

Also, you couldn't just drive up and have an oil service done where I live. You will have to book a time like you would for a full service at your dealership. Furthermore - you won't get much change out of $150 if you get an oil/filter change here .

Looking forward to hear your comments.
The Great Dane
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Living in Denmark - visiting the US whenever possible.

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Old 03-10-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
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Are the American consumers wasting money and resources by changing oil and filters when sticking to the retailers recommendation
Without a doubt, yes.

Auto manufacturers design, build, warranty engines and specify maintenance intervals. They know best.

Retailers and dealers alike are cashing in on the decades old practice of 3000 mile oil changes.
Adios, Dirk - '84 Real Lite Truck Camper, '86 Wilderness Cimarron TT, previously 4 years as a fulltimer in a '07 DSDP

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Old 03-10-2010, 01:08 PM   #3
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After talking with a mechanic friend of mine he said that most oil changes can be closer to 5,000 miles. Unless you are driving in a fashion that puts significant stress on the engine you should be okay at the higher interval.
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:46 PM   #4
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"The cheapest thing you can do for your car to make it last is buy expensive oil."
While not strictly true in the fullest sense, the sentiment is smart. Regular oil changes w/good quality oil beats any other cost formula for practically everybody.

With that said, most vehicles have around a 5,000 mile interval per the mfgr as stated above. More frequent changes cost more in terms of cash & used oil fiddling, but are probably a teeny bit better for the engine. I think a good practice is to check oil every 1k, and change no later than 5k but no sooner than 3k. Changes will probably be closer to 5 than 3 if you use the above, but that'll work in most cases.

My 06 Vespa scooter manual says every 3,750 miles. It takes a full liter, but revs to 7,000 or so on its single cylinder. Not a lotta oil to make for large safety factor. Says something about engine tolerances & quality of oil these days.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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Most new cars have a light that comes on to tell you when to change the oil. My GMC light came on at 12,000 miles and my Honda CRV at about 8,000 miles. Both of them should be changed at 7,500 per the manuals. If manufacturers are willing to warranty their engines with these parameters, why should I change oil at 3,000 or even 5,000 miles?
Wayne & Roberta

08 Winnebago Destination 39W Gas UFO Workhorse Chassis......It's really weird being the same age as old people. I thought getting old would take much longer.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:43 PM   #6
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I think that the frequency depends on many things; idle time, operating temps (both cold and hot) and towing. My new Ford Flex shows every 10K in the book. Dane, you have to remember, we are a disposable society, we use paper plates, plastic grocery bags, plastic water bottles and in some cases Depends.

We think nothing of a few extra oil changes, that was until the economy changed. I now like to eat what's on sale at the store. Who would have thunked it! But I digress, yes, we waste money and lot's of it. Where was that new do-dad RV Catalog I was just looking at?
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:46 PM   #7
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Walmart, Sears, Bubba's Clam and Lube are in the business of selling oil and service. Remember, the guy giving you the lousey service and trying to sell you an air cleaner and checking your brake fluid was slinging pizza last week. CAVIAT EMPTOR, LET THE BUYER BEWARE
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:05 PM   #8
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Also, the dealer service writer/team leader/etc. is also a salesman.
Adios, Dirk - '84 Real Lite Truck Camper, '86 Wilderness Cimarron TT, previously 4 years as a fulltimer in a '07 DSDP

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Old 03-10-2010, 04:10 PM   #9
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My Ford Escape Hybrid recommends 7000 Miles in the manual.

Jiffy Lub says 3000.

I usually do it around 5000 because when I was younger and cars were made from less tolerant materials that was the recommendation.

I would think with the improvements in materials and oil it would be at 10,000 by now.

But if you can talk folks into changing more often you make more money. But as a society we need to dispose of more used oil. Should turn it into K2 or Diesel! Perhaps they do, anyone know what happens to it?

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Old 03-10-2010, 04:40 PM   #10
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My father in law used to say that reengineered used motor oil was better than the original product? I never saw any for sale so never knew if he was right or not. Anyone else ever hear of used motor oil that's been made like new again?
Steve & Nancy
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:25 PM   #11
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My 04 CRV manual says 10000 miles under normal use. I follow Honda's recommendations.

F53 chassis for the MH says 5000 miles under normal use. I follow Ford's recommendations.

The blanket recommendations put out by Jiffy Lube and such is outdated advice given to line their pockets.
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:38 PM   #12
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Here's the thing. If the manufacturer says change the oil every 10,000 then 5,000, 7,000 and 9,000 are all wasted money changes. Our coach oil change recommendation is 15,000 miles or once per year. I am not going to change it any sooner than that no matter how much money Jiffy Lube wants to cheat you out of.
My toad vehicle has an indicator that tells, based upon how I drive, when to change the oil. When the light comes on I change the oil and not a minute sooner. Follow your owners manual and not the propaganda on TV and you will do just fine.
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:50 PM   #13
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There must be some movement here, my Liberty manual says 6 months or 6,000 miles,,,,,

Dealer still uses the 3k3m criteria.....but I follow the owners manual 6k6m
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:58 PM   #14
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3000 mile oil changes are designed to make money for the service provider. It is a service that is not normally required. Go by the manufacturers recommendations, but make sure you note any difference between Normal Duty and Severe Duty Cycles.

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