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Wed Nov 14, 2012, 06:51 AM

FYI: Stop Changing Your Oil......environmental issue

Oil chemistry and engine technology have evolved tremendously in recent years, but you'd never know it from the quick-change behavior of American car owners. Driven by an outdated 3,000-mile oil change commandment, they are unnecessarily spending millions of dollars and spilling an ocean of contaminated waste oil.

Although the average car's oil change interval is around 7,800 miles and as high as 20,000 miles in some cars this wasteful cycle continues largely because the automotive service industry, while fully aware of the technological advances, continues to preach the 3,000-mile gospel as a way to keep the service bays busy. As a result, even the most cautious owners are dumping their engine oil twice as often as their service manuals recommend.

After interviews with oil experts, mechanics and automakers, one thing is clear: The 3,000-mile oil change is a myth that should be laid to rest. Failing to heed the service interval in your owner's manual wastes oil and money, while compounding the environmental impact of illicit waste-oil dumping.

ttp://www.edmunds.com/car-care/stop-changing-your-oil.html?mktcat=maintenance-article&kw=stop+changing+your+oil&mktid=ob61762858&msite=w

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply FYI: Stop Changing Your Oil......environmental issue (Original post)
mfcorey1 Nov 2012 OP
bongbong Nov 2012 #1
handmade34 Nov 2012 #2
bongbong Nov 2012 #10
CreekDog Nov 2012 #16
bongbong Nov 2012 #20
Uben Nov 2012 #3
bongbong Nov 2012 #11
srichardson Nov 2012 #4
intaglio Nov 2012 #5
bongbong Nov 2012 #12
intaglio Nov 2012 #13
bongbong Nov 2012 #14
CreekDog Nov 2012 #18
bongbong Nov 2012 #21
pintobean Nov 2012 #6
kooljerk666 Nov 2012 #7
ananda Nov 2012 #8
1-Old-Man Nov 2012 #9
LeftyMom Nov 2012 #15
bullwinkle428 Nov 2012 #17
Panasonic Nov 2012 #19
mikeytherat Nov 2012 #22

Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:00 AM

1. Oil change requirements

 

Many variables figure into the actual need for oil changes.

One of the factors that many people are unaware of is oil aging. Oil breaks down in use, and one of the (sub)-variables that influences that is where the oil comes from. The best oil (lowest sulfur and best breakdown resistance) is from Pennsylvania, which is why for many years a mechanic's secret was that Pennzoil brand was the best oil to use in cars. Those days are long gone, since Pennsylvania is pretty much tapped out.

There are too many areas to address on the subject of motor oil, but one general rule is to use synthetic. It can last a long time. Check your oil frequently, not just for level but for color, odor, and presence of gasoline and/or coolant.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:02 AM

2. slow but...

I have noted car dealers and mechanics are starting to make note... when we picked up our car last year the dealer made a note to tell us approx every 6,000 or so

and then there is "CAR TALK"


"RAY: ...you may want to stay with the full synthetic. It's great stuff. It is more expensive. But because it lubricates so well and doesn't break down as quickly as conventional oil, you don't have to change your oil as often.

TOM:So that means we have fewer quarts of used oil to recycle or dispose of, fewer empty oil containers in our landfills and, not incidentally, less foreign oil we have to import.

RAY: And if you spend $40 on four quarts of synthetic and change it after 10,000 miles, or $20 on four quarts of a blend and change it every 5,000 miles, you end up spending the same amount -- on the oil. But you save money on the filter and what you pay Pokey Lube for the labor. And you can skip the tailpipe polishing they inevitably sell you once they've got your car up on the lift..."

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 09:45 AM

10. Click & Clack

 

They're entertaining, but about 10% of their advice is wrong, mostly when they address complex parts of a car like automatic transmissions or the computer.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:10 PM

16. yeah, they are correct on this and you dont' even say whether you think they are right on this

even though they are.

and furthermore, they frequently give environmentally friendly car advice, and they've been doing it long before it was fashionable.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:27 PM

20. I hinted at it

 

Sorry if I didn't explicitly say they were right, but in this case they (mostly) are. I have to throw the caveat "mostly" in because there are way too many variables in the usage of a car to make a hard-and-fast statement. In another post of mine in this thread I pointed out it is important to occasionally inspect your motor oil.

I use synthetic oil, and 10K is probably OK. Synthetic oil is not all the same, either. Now they sell 50-50 mixes, since pure synthetic is getting very costly.

Motor oil is recycled now, and has been for years. They have come very far in filtering & refining used oil well enough for re-use.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:07 AM

3. That's partially true, maybe even mostly true......

I change oil between 5-7K miles. While it is true that engine oil has evolved greatly since the 3K rule, waiting for 20K could have dire consequences for car owners. Lubricity factors for engine oil have improved greatly with synthetics, but engines still "wear" and that leaves metallic particles in your oil that become llike sandpaper on the cylinder walls and bearings. While your oil's viscosity and lubricity may remain at a safe level, it would still harbor the metallic particles that do the harm. Engine blocks are still made of cast iron or aluminum, both of which are relatively soft and subject to wear.

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Response to Uben (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 09:51 AM

11. Somewhat true, but .....

 

> t engines still "wear" and that leaves metallic particles in your oil that become llike sandpaper on the cylinder walls and bearings.

The oil filter & the magnetic drain plug (if your car has one) are designed to take care of this. If the filter gets plugged up, there is a bypass circuit that senses pressure & will re-route the oil around the filter, but it has to really be gunked up for that to happen.

> Engine blocks are still made of cast iron or aluminum, both of which are relatively soft and subject to wear.

Cast iron & aluminum are never used in car engines where there is high-stress metal-to-metal contact like pistons and cylinder walls. Liners and other high-alloy surfaces are used where wear () is expected.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:15 AM

4. I only change my oil every 12,000 miles.

That is actually what my owner's manual suggests. It's also a monetary issue. Living paycheck to paycheck, an oil change is sometimes a luxury. And in no way do I blame that on Obama or the economy. My blame lies with the GOP who feels teacher's deserve shitty pay for indoctrinating their children. (sarcasm intended)

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:33 AM

5. Flaming Nora!

The US motor industry seems to be ripping Americans off right, left and centre.

Europe, modern cars get a service every 10,000 miles or so. With a new car the oil might be changed at the first service but after that it is usually every 20,000 and these are the manufacturers guidelines. Leasing companies will stretch that even further (12,500 + for the Ford Fiesta my company supplies)

BTW modern lubricating oils have nothing to do with their source, at least over here. Many are entirely artificial and even the mineral oils are produced to standards restricting pollutants (of the oil) by law.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 09:54 AM

12. If you buy a new car...

 

> With a new car the oil might be changed at the first service

It's good to make the first oil change on a new car with around 1000 miles on the odometer, depending on how you flogged the engine in those 1000 miles (there should be no flogging when it's new!)

If you have a new car, check the oil at 500 miles or so. It will look like an older car's oil with 10K+ miles on it.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:27 PM

13. That advice is so old

First service on my Jan 2012 leased Ford Fiesta was at 12,500 miles because the lease company did not see any need for it any earlier. This is a big Auto leasing company that keeps good resale values on the vehicles. The oil was changed. The next service will be at 25K and then 50K. We submit these Fords to a lot of work averaging 2 - 3,000 miles per month on roads that vary from motorway (70 mph) standard through to poor farm tracks.

On modern vehicles the engines are no longer the poor tolerance iron lumps that dominated through to about 1990, nowadays they are high tolerance and CNC machined to better than 1/10,000. This is why you no longer "run in" a vehicle for a month. The only reason to change oil at 1000 miles is if you have one of those old, poor tolerance lumps or when you need to check for shavings caused by damaged bearings or poorly matched piston rings following a rebuild.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:57 PM

14. Might be old advice

 

But it's still true.

I changed the oil on my 2010 the first time with 850 miles on the odometer. It was black as ink, and kinda thin as well.

Engines have a lot of microscopic bits come off in the first few hundred miles. That was true, is true, and shall be true. Maybe not for handmade engines or cars with blueprinted engines, but I'm not talking about that.

> This is a big Auto leasing company that keeps good resale values on the vehicles.

They don't really care what happens to the car at, say 150,000 miles. Hell, they don't care after 50K. What they care about is low costs, and changing the oil infrequently helps that. Doesn't help the engine, tho'. It'll run fine for them up to the time they unload them.

> nowadays they are high tolerance and CNC machined to better than 1/10,000

On a production car, very few parts have a tolerance of a tenth (which is what people in the biz call a 10,000 of an inch). CNC machining is not a measure of finish, it is a type of control process. A human operator can always make a part as good or better than a CNC-machined part as long as the operator is trained.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:11 PM

18. speaking of oil, you sound like a dinosaur

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:29 PM

21. LOL

 

I'm a Komodo Dragon.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:45 AM

6. My vehicle's computer tells me when

to change my oil, depending on my driving history. It's usually between 5,000 and 7,000 miles and my driving is mostly city. I put a rare earth magnet on my drain plug to keep the metal shavings from circulating.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:18 AM

7. Everything you ever wanted to know about Oil..............

 

is here http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/

I learned Amsoil is the Best & Shell Rotella is cheap & pretty good.

We use Amsoil XL type in most cars good for 10,000 miles or 6 months.

The signature type is good for 25,000 miles or 1 year, 15,000 miles of severe duty or lots of short trips.
Amsoil make oil filters good for 15k-25K miles & the best air filters on earth.

The M/C oil is the only thing I would ever use in any of my bikes & coolant is good for 5 years 750,000 miles.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:21 AM

8. The Honda Civic Hybrid has an oil percentage display.

You don't change it till it gets down to 10% and that takes a long time.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:31 AM

9. I have been having my oil tested for years, its saved me a bunch of money on oil changes

I send out samples of my old oil (yep, I always change my own on all of our vehicles) for testing and as a result of it over time the company recommends an oil change interval for me as well of warning me about up-coming problems. It cost $25 per sample and you don't have to do it with every change if you don't want to. Its a great service, particularly in its ability to diagnose irregular levels of various materials in the old oil and use that to predict problems. We changed the water pump on our diesel truck as soon as they spotted parts per million of antifreeze in a test sample for instance, that saved us what would likely have been a costly road-side break-down.

On edit: I forgot to mention, most of the changed intervals have been increased by a factor of about 3 by the testing company (Blackstone Labs) as well. If you do you own changes and are a bit of a gearhead you might want to look them up on line, you'll love the service.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:05 PM

15. Oil is cheap, engines are expensive.

I'm a wee bit suspicious about reduced maintenance being advised by the people who would sell you another car (or a replacement engine) if their advice reduced the lifespan of your existing vehicle. Especially since the problems created would show up after the warranty period and would not cost them anything.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:10 PM

17. You can buy recycled oil for your car, if you're concerned with environmental impact.

I use Valvoline NextGen regularly on my car, and it has over 300,000 miles on it, so I'd say it's working just fine for me!

http://www.valvoline.com/products/consumer-products/motor-oil/conventional-motor-oil/124

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:13 PM

19. My Honda service people said when the oil is at 15%, bring it in and change it.

 

I've driven over 3,000 miles plus in the past year, and only had oil change once.

Oil is at 40%.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:32 PM

22. Use a high-grade synthetic oil, change oil every 12 months, replace filter every six months.

easy-peasy

mikey_the_rat

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