There has been one MAJOR change in automotive engines/oil over tha
last 40+ years. And that tis the introduction of lead-free gasoline.
That is the only MAJOR change that has worked to make extended oil
change intervals viable, because with unleaded gasoline there needs to
be less Phosphorous and other additives to keep the lead from forming
harmfull deposits. This reduction has reduced theacid level in the
crankcase - allowing the buffer additives to last longer (which
allowed the oil companies to add less to the oil, getting you back,
basically, to pretty well the same point.
The other, lesser change, was the introduction of fuel injection,
which controls fuel mixture better and reduces fuel dilution of the
oil - which allows winter change intervals to more closely track warm
For short trip, widely varying temperature and humidity conditions,
3000 mile 3 month oil change intervals still make some sense. These
conditions constitute "extreme" duty - as do trailer towing or
extended high speed high load operation. Aproxemaetly 30-50% of north
american driving falls outside of these parameters, making extended
oil drain periods acceptable.
My car generally drives 3-5 km at a time, 3 times a day, 5 days a
week, with an extra 15Km twice a day (one of those days)once a week
and an occaisional 100km drive every couple of weeks. Every couple of
years it gets a couple thousand KM put on over a 2 week period. 5000km
(3000 miles) is 5 months of winter driving, and 7 of warm weather
driving in a normal year.
My wife's car got about half as many trips of the same length per
week, and mabee twice as many 100km trips, with one 3000km trip over
the last 9 years. It's 16 years old and just turned the 160,000km
(100,000 miles) 2 weeks ago - for an average of 10,000km (6000 miles)
per year with 60% or more of those miles in the first 5 years, before
we bought it.
Is 2 oil changes a year per vehicle a waste of time, money, and other
I think not.
suit yourself. you're probably right, given most you yuppies won't keep
the vehicle long enough to matter. Might just as well not change it at
all if you're only gonna keep it 50,000 miles or 2 years. Why bother.?
remove the "not" from my address to email
FYI, my current 1996 Jeep Cherokee has 166,000 miles and uses less than
a quart of oil between 6000 mile oil change intervals. My previous 1978
Chevy pickup, which I bought used in 1986 and kept til 2006 when I bought
the Jeep, had over 250,000 miles on the original 350 V8, and I was never
really conscientous about changing the oil in that truck either. BTW
the engine was still running well when I sold the truck. I got rid of
it because the bed and cab were pretty much disintegrated from rust.
Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler. (Albert Einstein)
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
I don't know how often the oil was changed on the Grand Am my daughter
bought with 120K on it. I *do* know that for the next 120K she
changed the oil when the car told her to. [probably 5-6-7K]
At 240K the suspension & body were beyond her comfort level so she
traded it in-- but the engine in that thing was perfect.
I've pretty much 'waited for the light' since 1995 when my Taurus had
one. When the light hadn't come on for 5k the first time I checked
with my mechanic & he said the computers in modern cars are smarter
than the drivers- listen to them.
The Taurus got traded when the transmission got unbearable [150k or
so] -- The impala has had the same treatment and is at 130k and never
Your experience is much the same as mine. Engines today are incredibly good
compared to the rest of the machine. Automatics transmissions are far
better than the old Power Glide, but still not as good as the typical
I bought a LeSabre in 2001. I really like that car for the first 40,000
miles. Then, heated seat was first to go. Dealer wanted $675 for replace
it. Both rear windows had broken mechanisms and would slide down so I
propped them up with wood braces. Brakes lines rusted out, transmission
was rebuilt, climate control went nuts. Cold on one side, hot on the other
and varied with the heat or AC. Wheel bearing went, a $300 repair. A few
other not serious but annoying problems happened.
Gave the car to my grandson after 10 years, but the engine still ran smooth
as the day it was built.
Not necessary to get your back up, Steve. You claim good results at a
3000 mile interval, and no one doubts that. Many if not most posts
here are claming similar results at longer intervals. This is
consistent with guidance from many if not most auto manufacturers. So
when you make the declarative statement:
it begs to be challenged.
By the way, this yuppie has never sold or traded a car before
if you actually READ the owners manual, you'll see they suggest 3,000
mile intervals for sever service. Most all of our daily driving will
fall into that category. I don't trade vehicles at all, i junk them.
And I change oil at 3,000 miles. Many of my vehicles have gone beyond
300,000 miles and don't use ANY oil. ('cept that bigblock chevy, LOL)
remove the "not" from my address to email
Doubt it. Just thinking about my neighbors, of nine cars I know of. three
fit into the severe category. Of ten cars at work, two definitely do, two
are questionable. While my informal survey is not scientific, it is a far
cry from the 95% figure you use.
Fact is, no one can give an absolute number of miles for large groups of
people. The best way, of course, would be oil testing. Some cars to have
some soft of algorithm that does give you a time to change based on driving
habits, miles, etc. If the people that are covering the warranty give
higher miles, I'd say they are rather sure of the numbers.
On Sun, 28 Aug 2011 22:47:51 -0400, "Ed Pawlowski"
I was a dealer service manager for 10 years. At that time.
aproxemately 10% of my 600+ regular customers' driving patterns fit
the "normal" schedule, while about 70% were definitely "severe" and
the other roughly 20% were borderline - or they met several of the
requirements for "severe" at least part of the year. There is not
just the two extremes - so some customers stretched the change
interval part way - changing at 4000 miles (6000km) etc.
Now there is another claim that's going to need some backup.
I think I'm a pretty typical driver, and the system built into my car
usually says it's time to change at around 7000 miles.
There may not be a precise definition of "severe service", but I'd be
skeptical of any definition that came from anyone selling oil or
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