How about from the car manufacturer???
The manual for my 2002 PT Cruiser says Schedule "B" - 5000KM or 3000
miles oil change interval is required "If you usually operate your
vehicle under one or more of the following conditions:
-Day or night temperatures below 32F (0C)
-Stop and go driving
-Extensive engine idling
-Driving in dusty conditions
-Short trips of less than 10 miles (16km)
-More than 50% of your driving is at sustained high speeds during hot
weather, above 32C (90f)
-Taxi, delivery or police service (commercial use)
-If equiped for and running E85 fuel
NOTE - ONE OR MORE.
Well, I drive less than 16km per day, 90% of the time - and that is
split into 2 or more trips - so I am DEFINITELY in the "Schedule B"
During aproxemately 6 months per year night temperatures are below 0C,
so EVERYONE in Waterloo falls into the "Schedule B" category half of
Anyone driving during rush hour is in gridlock for a good part of the
comute - putting them in the "schedule B" category.
In the summer, if long distance commuting, a good part of the drive
(say from Waterloo to Toronto) will be sustained high speed driving
during the summer - which is also getting pretty close to "schedule B"
This is a decent list. Nothing like it is in my owners manual.
However it still has undefined words like "usually", and "extensive"
that make it hard to determine if it applies. The first five of those
apply to my driving sometimes, but the manufacturer's onboard computer
still tells me to change at around 7000 miles. So my very typical
driving does not apparently qualify as severe.
Some the auto manufacturers, GM being one, have gone "all in" with
their oil life monitors.
My '97 Lumina manual has 2 oil change schedules, similar to above,
even though the car has a monitor.
It says use the schedules to determine when to change the oil.
The '98 Lumina manual doesn't have a schedule, and says go by the oil
These seem widespread now.
You can find out how the monitors work by googling.
The GM system uses engine inputs to an algorithm.
I've seen that Mercedes uses a sensor to measure electrical
conductivity. That might just be one part of their system.
I figured the GM system can't detect dust, and thought I had them on
Nope. They mention that in the '98 Lumina manual and say to change at
3000 miles in dusty conditions.
I'll continue doing 3-4k mile oil changes, but if the light comes on
before that I'll go by the light. Not a big deal.
The monitors are a good idea if people actually pay attention to them.
Even girls usually ask somebody about it when a light come on.
I've noticed my daughters mention check engine lights to me within a
week or so of them going on.
And I've heard people brag about doing 15k mile oil changes.
Have you read what Clare as written? Perhaps most in So. Cal. are not driven
in "severe service" but in much of the rest of the country they are, at least
according to the manufacturer's definition of "severe service".
Why make up stuff?
None of the auto manufacturers ever said any of that in describing the
You're just inventing conditions to suit your own prejudice.
BTW, I go MONTHS without getting on the highway.
But in your world I suppose that's impossible.
You have to look at the big picture, not just your little world.
By who? You?
What you made up is just bullshit, and shows you know nothing of
engine operation, and nobody should follow your advice.
Evaporation occurs from heat, not a "highway trip."
Learn a little bit how a thermostat works.
Engines get to operating temp without seeing a highway.
I'm guessing that most cars newer than 10 years old don't even have a
Starting in 1998 the Chevy Lumina manual didn't.
They say go by the oil change light.
The exception was dusty conditions, where they say 3000 miles.
I'm not going to tell anybody when to change their oil.
Up to them.
Look, you said a car doing a highway trip once a week excludes it from
severe service because that evaporates moisture from the oil..
That's all I need to know you're basically a no-nothing about engines.
You made that up.
I have no problem understanding items on a "severe" list.
I don't even know why you're talking about oil change "schedules."
I drive Chevys. Since 1998 there is no schedule in the owner manuals
I already posted both schedules for my 1997 Lumina.
The "severe" schedule reads nothing like the bullshit you made up,
and my driving pattern qualifies for 3000 mile changes. Namely,
"Most trips are less than 5 to 10 miles (8 to 16 km).
This is particularly important when outside
temperatures are below freezing."
I've looked at 2 post-1997 Chevy manuals.
The 1998 Lumina and the 2005 Malibu.
Neither have oil change schedules.
They both say go by the dash indicator.
The 2005 Malibu instructions are below.
If I get one of those I'll change the oil at 3-4k miles unless the
change light comes on first.
I suppose most people will go by the light.
That's okay too.
Engine Oil Life System
When to Change Engine Oil
Your vehicle has a computer system that lets you know
when to change the engine oil and filter. This is based on
engine revolutions and engine temperature, and not on
mileage. Based on driving conditions, the mileage at
which an oil change will be indicated can vary
considerably. For the oil life system to work properly, you
must reset the system every time the oil is changed.
When the system has calculated that oil life has been
diminished, it will indicate that an oil change is
necessary. A Change Oil Soon message will come on.
Change your oil as soon as possible within the next
600 miles (1 000 km). It is possible that, if you are
driving under the best conditions, the oil life system may
not indicate that an oil change is necessary for over a
year. However, your engine oil and filter must be
changed at least once a year and at this time the system
must be reset. Your dealer has GM-trained service
people who will perform this work using genuine GM
parts and reset the system. It is also important to check
your oil regularly and keep it at the proper level.
If the system is ever reset accidentally, you must change
your oil at 3,000 miles (5 000 km) since your last oil
change. Remember to reset the oil life system whenever
the oil is changed.
As far as I'm concerned, anyone can change their oil as often ar as
seldom as they want on their own cars.
Advising others to ignore the recommendations of the manufacturer, and
go farther than recommended on an oil change is irresposible, at best.
As a professional mechanic, it was my responsibility to advise the
customer to follow the proper maintenance schedule for their driving
When called on to check out a vehicle when someone is considereing
buying it, ONE of the first things I want to see is the service
record. If the change intervals are on the longish side a physical
inspection of the engine - pulling a valve cover, etc. is required
before I'll recommend the car. If it's clean as a whip inside it could
still be a "buy" recommendation. Any signs of "crud" or excessive
varnish, and it's a "no-go" or a serious reduction in price.
My own cars never go over 6000km or 6 months - which ever comes first
(and it is generally the time that runs out first)
What's all this fuss about oil change. If you really take care of your
engine, do a periodic oil analysis. It will tell the whole picture your
engine. Today's oil is rather chemical soup> not like non-detergent
single viscosity bygone day's oil. Formulating today's oil is quite a
Yes, it is a REAL science to make an oil "meet" all requirements,
without exceeding them by enough to raise the cost. It is a REAL
science to make an oil that protects the engine adequately without
crossing the line with the EPA - giving enough extreme pressure
protection without including too much zinc compounds, etc.
It is a REAL science to make an engine oil reduce friction, flow
without restriction, and still protect the engine - still meeting all
In ABSOLUTE terms, many of the oils from a decade or two back are
actually "better" oils than the oils sold today, when it comes to
lubrication and engine protection.
On 8/30/2011 9:49 PM, email@example.com wrote:
AMEN! And i haven't used multi-viscosity oils since the mid 80's.
Everything i own gets straight 30, year 'round. I'm a 30+ year ASE
certified master technician, and i've seen the inside of plenty of
engines. (except my own). Never needed to open one up.
remove the "not" from my address to email
But yopu'd never get away with straight 30 year round where I live
----. Gotta run a minimum 10W30 spread - I usually run 10W40 winter
and 20W50 summer except the PT which has run it's whole life on
That's a mark of a true professional. Unfortunately, too many service
writers at dealerships and shops try to sell all sorts of service that is
questionable. Their compensation package is tied to sales dollars.
On Tue, 30 Aug 2011 23:10:18 -0400, "Ed Pawlowski"
I was straight salary, and all my men were straight time - no
"incentives" - and the shop was busy enough I didn't need to go
looking for work. A 115% +/- retention rate will do that for you.
With 600 vehicles in the "active " files, being seen 3 times a year,
just the regular scheduled service is 1800 work orders a year - or 7
customers per day. That was about the lowest volume we did over the 10
years - when I left there were over 900 vehicles in the "active" file
- so 2700 work orders - or 10 customers per day.
Add tires, brakes, clutches, oil leaks, exhausts, sticky door handles,
electrical problems etc, plus all the off-brand customers and the used
car lot and I kept my guys busy.
On Tue, 30 Aug 2011 22:23:48 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Steven (SMS) has been at this for years. Fetish of his.
Deeper psych problem than the simple habit of doing 3k oil changes.
I'm not in the penny-wise, pound foolish camp.
I'm in the 3k cheap insurance camp. Change my own oil.
When I was in an apartment for a while I went to a quick change.
Except for my 3k rule, schedules are meaningless to me.
Once, sometimes twice a year I drive 1200 miles to Florida.
Then for 2-3 weeks it's all short trips to get bait or groceries.
Then 1200 miles back.
Do I subtract the 2400 miles highway driving?
Nope. Why complicate things?
In most cases damage because of long oil change interval
is hard to prove or disprove.
Toyota burned itself by having a 7k interval in their manual.
Lots of sludged engines.
But it happened to some who did 3k changes too. Design flaw.
Steven seems to be a basically honest guy.
I hope he would mention to a private buyer of his Toyota that he uses
the long oil change schedule.
But he probably trades for another Toyota at the dealer before any
problems show up.
Plenty of the Toyota owners with sludged engines had bought used cars
I've only bought for myself and cars for my kids. All used Chevys, an
Olds and a Pontiac since 1975.
Only one guy had maintenance records.
Didn't mean anything to me.
I always just pull the filler cap for a sludge check, and never found
serious sludging. You'll get some sludging on older engines.
Never had an internal engine problem since a 350 rod knock 30 years
ago. Even 3k oil changes didn't prevent that.
Got plenty of use out of it before the rod knocked.
But I paid $900-3500 for these cars, and since I stick to GM, know how
the engines and transmissions are supposed to sound and act.
Only car I would ever recommend to non-family who asked me - usually a
girl or woman - is a new Corolla/Prizm. Safe bet I thought.
Now I wouldn't even do that, but nobody asks me anyway.
Even my kids just go out and plunk down $30k for a new SUV.
I can't understand it.
That's not the only thing. The engine runs richer when cold - which
means more gasoline in the oil. Not nearly as bad as in the days of
carbs and chokes - but still a factor. Boiling the gas out of the oild
does not totally eliminate the effects - and any acid deposited in the
oil is only condensed - not removed. Again, there is less acid
buildup today with lead free gasoline - but it is still an issue.
Add to this the FACT that engine bearings are smaller today, on the
whole - and the effects of acid are amplified because of that - so the
differences come close to balancing each other out.
Multi-Grade oil has no positive effect in this case. Multi-grade oils
break down FASTER than single weight oils under extreme conditions -
and non-detergent oils were gone before the 'sixties.
Not a myth - and not promoted exclusively by the oil change industry -
it is REQUIRED (or at least strongly recommended) by the
The extended oil change capability is a marketing ploy - and a
concession to the EPA. Everyone has to out-do the next guy in lowering
the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)
Which costs as much as, or more than, the oil change. And used oil,
properly disposed of, reduces the amount of raw crude that needs to be
converted to oil and other industrial used - and re-refining takes
less energy and produces less polution than processing raw crude - to
the point that the "extra oil used" is a whole lot less than many
would have you believe, as is the "waste oil".
The standard USED to be every 1000 kiles for severe, 1500 for "normal"
Changing oil too often is a bit hard on the drain plug, but has no
other detrimental effects on an engine. 3000 miles was determined BY
THE MANUFACTURERS to be a safe oil change interval target.
Many owner's manuals, including mine, don't include the definition of
severe service. They say to change the oil when the engine oil
monitor says to, or 7500 miles, whichever comes first. The later is
apparently to cover the possibility of a failed monitor.
For my rather typical driving, which often includes some of the items
on the severe service list, my monitor tells me to change oil at
around 7000 miles.
"The List" is hard to apply to a specific car and driver.
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