Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Oil's not well...  

I use synthetic oil and change every 10,000 miles in my cars. It's my own regimen based on the example of the big engines on  my farms, operating in extreme environments, and manufacturer recommendations of 250-500 hours.

The idea a small car like my Equinox needs new oil every 3000 is absurd.

It turns out there is a tug-of-war between oil companies and the auto industry over this bad habit.
Our oil change addiction also comes from the erroneous argument that nearly all cars should be serviced under the "severe" schedule found in the owner's manual. In fact, a quiz on the Web site maintained by Jiffy Lube International Inc. (owned by petrochemical giant Shell Oil Company) recommends the severe maintenance schedule for virtually every kind of driving pattern.
The argument that most people drive under severe conditions is losing its footing, however. A number of automakers, including Ford and GM, have contacted Edmunds data editors to request that the maintenance section of Edmunds' site substitute the normal maintenance schedule for the severe schedule that had been displayed.
About the only ones that really need a 3,000-mile oil change are the quick-lube outlets and dealership service departments. In their internal industry communications, they're frank about how oil changes bring in customers. "Many people...know when to have their oil changed but don't pay that much attention to it," said an article in the National Oil and Lube News online newsletter. "Take advantage of that by using a window sticker system [and] customers will be making their way back to you in a few short months."
Another National Oil and Lube News article tied the frequency of oil changes to success in pushing related products and services. For a midsize SUV, the stepped-up oil change intervals will bring in $1,800 over the life of the car, the article says. "A few extra services [or oil changes] can go a long way toward increasing the amount of money a customer will spend during the lifespan we estimated here," the article concludes. [More]
I use an app to track mileage and service intervals. It has become habit to enter the odometer readout and gallons each fill up. I set my service interval at 10K. Warranty be damned.

What's weird is how diligently I watch the mileage now.

(27.7, in case you were wondering)


Anonymous said...

We have went to using the dash oil life notice,when it gets to 10% or less we change and use synthetic and are getting 10,000 miles or more per change,used to do 3 in same time frame -gas motors about $50 and Diesel pkp. $100+...just use those quik lube type places-regards-kevin

Dave said...

I have a little car (honda civic) and after 150K miles changed to synthetic and increased the oil change interval. YES motors that fully soaked in regular oil do leak when switched to synthetic and tightening the bolts doesn't help. I run 4000 miles change the filter, between 5000 and 6000 miles it "burns" 1 quart of oil, between 6000 and 7000 miles another quart of oil and I change oil and filter at 8000 miles. The sythetic oil starts to lose it's lubricity at 5000 miles. Suggest you go back to your navy training.

Chuck said...

I change the oil in my car and pickup about every 10K. As you said, that puts me right in that 250-500 hour range. No oil burning at 140K and 80K miles respectively.

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