So far we're all reviewing/refreshing common sense knowledge
gained over time. Sign of us getting old? I quit doing all
those things crawling under car. Buy a new car, visit dealer
when service code comes on. Drive until odometer hits ~200K miles,
go buy another car trading in the old one. I have two more new
cars to buy now. One for me, one for wife.
Now I have to go, get med. exam. to renew my license for another 5 years.
I've been working on cars for well over fifty years and it's sort of a
habit. I figure it's sort of a test. When I get down on the ground and
have to call a neighbor to help me up it's time for the exit plan.
Besides with the bikes I'm a little paranoid. More than one person has
had an unexpected exit from this vale of tears because a mechanic forgot
to replace an axle nut, etc. I'm not saying I've never screwed anything
up but I don't need professional help to do so.
Ditto. I like having a look under the hood/car routinely just
to get an idea of anything that *might* be happening there
(out of sight, out of mind?)
It's also sort of a pleasant puzzle to learn more effective
ways of doing these sorts of things.
E.g., on my car, to change the back plugs, it's far easier to
pull the front wheels off and go in through the wheel wells
than to try to work around the exhaust manifold, etc.
Likewise, SWMBO's old vehicle was easier to remove the oil filter
by turning wheels right and reaching in *front* of rightmost
wheel to (just barely) get your had on the filter. Trying
to do so from above was a fool's game (firewall too close).
Out of the dealer, SWMBO's vehicle had a noisey headliner. Hell, car
is just a few days old, let *them* fix it! Got the car back with
grease stains, extra screws in the cup holders, etc. Doesn't do much
to build confidence in the SERVICE you're getting!
Not to mention situations like when the Toyota Tercel first came out
and lube shop drained the transmission instead of the engine, then
added 4 quarts of oil to the already full engine. Car was low on
power and smoked badly - transmission was shot by the time the
customer got to our dealership to complain. We had several variations
of that situation in the first year- - - - .
Yes, the service light is a reminder to change your oil. It flashes
momentarily at 4500 miles when you startup your car and stays on at
5000 miles. It can be reset by holding the trip zero button for five
seconds while turning on the car.
There is a Check Engine light for other maintenance codes that the
computer spits out.
10K is a good number for synthetics. But, you're best to consult the
recommendations of the auto maker for specifics. Esp if the vehicle
has any factory warranty remaining (some dealers want to see proof
that you've adhered to the maintenance schedule).
Our last vehicle saw oil changes every *3000* miles -- simply because
*6000* would have been "once a year" (I'm not comfortable with that
sort of time -- given the fact that ALL of our driving is "short trips",
"stop 'n' go", with much of that spent in temperatures above 100F!
I figure the cost of the materials (oil + "genuine" filter) was peanuts
(Our 13 year maintenance costs for the vehicle -- not counting oil
changes -- was < $1K). So, throwing an *extra* $30 into the car each
year (two oil changes instead of one) didn't feel extravagant.
You should also investigate *how* the "maintenance minder" is driven.
Some are mileage/time based. Current car appears to actually note the
type of driving that we do (and, perhaps, the fact that the car is brand
new causes it to be more aggressive on the "first service").
*Do* keep a written log of your service. More than once it saved
my ass when the maintenance light turned on (given our 3K service
practice, it should NEVER have turned on -- unless something was
REALLY broken!). Having the log allowed me to look at the current
odometer, the recorded odometer from my last service *and* the
odometer from the service BEFORE THAT!
"Ah, this is 5000 miles since the service BEFORE the last
service! I suspect I *forgot* to reset the indicator at the
last service and the car now thinks it's time for the *last*
service! Just reset it and watch to make sure it doesn't
I then started adding another notation to each service entry:
"reset service indicator" as "proof" that I'd done so!
The trucking company I drove for pulled samples and had them analyzed.
When I first started the oil changes were every 12,000, about once a
month, which runs about $120. After going to the Detroit 60 engines,
they increased the interval to 20,000. I was talking to the shop foreman
and he said they weren't seeing significant degradation at 20,000 but
they weren't comfortable going past that or the drivers never would get
an oil change.
Of course, a diesel is not a gasoline engine.
I don't have any details, didn't ask. A friend of mine
from church used to sell some kind of oil processing
unit which installs onto trucks. Makes the motor oil
life time pretty much forever.
I'd guess with the big rigs, that oil changes are
expensive, my friend said some thing like 5 or 6 gal
of Shell Rotella or other diesel oil per oil change.
Even if you do it at your own shop, that adds up.
The Detroit 60 takes ten gallons of oil and three filters, counting the
fuel filter. I started using Rotella T6 in one of the bikes and will
swithc the others over on their next change. If you watch sales
sometimes you can get a gallon for close to $20. The non-synthetic
Rotella isn't that much cheaper. Even if you buy a 55 gallon drum it's
over $10 a gallon.
Assuming a truck puts on 120,000 miles a year you can see why a 20,000
mile interval is preferred to the traditional 12,000. The savings will
be enough to buy a couple of tires and a taco.
Thanks, I didn't know there was so much money involved
in the oil change. Gives me a different perspective
on long haul driving. Lot of hidden expenses.
Of course, most business are like that. Plenty of hidden
Most of them aren't all that hidden. Back in the '90s tires were going
for around $270 a pop and there's a lot of them. When you're driving at
least ten hours a day you have plenty of time to think about things, so
I investigated buying a rig rather than being a company driver. My
conclusion was most owner operators thought they were making money
because they were better drivers than bookkeepers. The golden age of
trucking was long gone by then.
Consider fuel. Fuel economy has improved but then you were doing good to
average 6 mpg and you could run about 600 miles a day legally assuming
you could get the loads. So you're buying 100 gallons about every day.
At least you get a free shower most times.
I thought about hot shots:
The lower entry and operating costs are attractive. The biggest problem
is the areas where hot shots are most feasible are places I don't want
On Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 11:56:18 AM UTC-4, badgolferman wrote:
Today 10K is very reasonable, probably on the conservative side, for
synthetic and typical driving conditions. BMW for example was
at ~15K with normal driving,
though I think they more recently cut that back to 10K and I'm
comfortable with that. BMW like many other autos today use your
actual driving conditions to come up with the exact number for
the change interval. Porsche was at 15K too, think they pushed
it to 20K more recently.
IMO, if you're using synthetic and changing it at 3K, or 5K,
you're just tossing the extra money for synthetic out the window.
We're using Castrol High-Mileage oil (which I think is partly synthetic)
in our 13-yr-old (140K miles) Chrysler and doing oil changes at about
4000 miles. The owner's manual doesn't mention synthetic lubricants but
specifies a time period after which oil should be changed -- "x miles
or x months, whichever comes first."
If you take a lot of short trips the oil can get contaminated with
moisture as it is not heated up enough to get rid of it. Over time
things can start to gum up, I'm told, thus the 6 month recommendation.
My wife's car used to be changed once a year. She never hit the miles
On Sat, 29 Aug 2015 14:15:24 -0700 (PDT), Uncle Monster
$tellite or induction hardened seats were used with leadfree
gasoline. A secret for keeping old original engines running with
leadfree gas is to put as little as 1 guart of AvGas in the tank every
5 or 10 tanks of fuel. That's all it takes.
On Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:56:12 +0000 (UTC), "badgolferman"
I'm using synthetic on both my 2003 3 liter Taurus and my 1996 4
liter Ranger. I change the oil twice a year. Thr Taurus has 96000km,
the Ranger has 337,000km.
Do the math.
I'm using the premium synthetic from Canadian Tire (formula 1)- 5w20
for the winter and 5w30 for the summer. It is produced by Shell and is
virtually identical to the Shell "formula" 100% synthetic oil.
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