Video: How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

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ROBERT TAYLOR

Subject: OIL CHANGE

First off I am an ASE MASTER CERTIFIED AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICIAN. Yes oils have improved over the last 20 years, however almost daily I see the inside of engines that either went by the oil life monitor or simply ignored it. These engines are full of sludge and carbon deposits. I feel that is insane to go 10K miles without an oil change. I would recommend no more than 5K because I see the damage it can do. Im sure some people will disagree with me but when you get high mileage don't scream warranty. engines today use active fuel management that uses oil to activate not to mention variable valve timing that also uses oil to activate. goes back to the old saying, pay a little now
or a lot later

Jason

Subject: Oil changes

A topic that has driven me crazy for soooo long. Bottom line is
Check your oil regularly; know what dirty oil looks like.
Yes, the type of driving you do can have an impact on this.
Dont get sold on the "your oil has broken down" or "this oil performs better because its more resistant to breakdown".
Truth is oil-breakdown is not the issue of concern and technically speaking is not possible.
Oil can burn up, it can get dirty, and these things change the oil's viscosity and ability to lubricate.
I am in my 40s and have customarily changed my oil twice a year. A partially synthetic oil does improve performance at little increase in cost. Fully synthetic is too expensive and does have drawbacks depending in climate. And once you go fully synthetic you "are not" supposed to go back to normal weights.
I cant stand hearing people wasting their money on constant oil changes or for that matter tire rotations every 3000 miles.
Use the Owner's manual recommendations as as a min/max Rotate new tires every 5 to 10k. Change oil every 8 to 12k. But the exact deciding factors should be visual inspection of the oil and the tires. Yes, i said new. Old tires may need special needs or nine at all. Just be safe and make sure the tread doesn't get past the wearing bars on the tire.
Most mechanics will do visual inspections at no charge.
Let someone you know help if you cant have a back bone to call oil change store's bluff.

Donald W. Rea

Subject: motoroil

I've been working on cars and machinery since my teens. I did Learn a lot from
an old time mechanic many years ago. Out of all the comments, I did not see anyone mention the practice of viewing your oil and level every month. Also
everyone can learn to do the same inspections that take place during an oil
change. If you have the motivation, this learning process can save you money
and much grief on maintaining your auto or motorcycle. Don

jim

Subject: Oil Changes

I use Amsoil synthetic. I change my oil every 25,000 miles. All 5 of my vehicles are 2002 and older. They all run great and mileage ranges from 112k to 180K.
The Lesabre with the GM 3800 gets 34 miles per gallon on the highway at 66 miles per hour. It has 180k on the odometer.

Mark

Subject: Amsoil and Synthetic Oil Changes

I too, change mine at 25,000. But I add DuraLube every other oil change. I had a '91 Ford Ranger with a 2.3L 4 cylinder for years. I sold it to one of my employee's 15 years ago. That same motor is still going strong with 800,000 miles. The rest of the truck is falling apart, but the motor has never been touched other than normal maintenance items. Putting premium oil and filters on your vehicle is like a nice insurance policy.....only cheaper.

With some smaller oil filters, you may be able to only get 10 - 15k out of a change.

NOTE: The Amsoil Ea Oil Filters are the ONLY filter on the market with guaranteed filtration. DO NOT run other filters for more than 10 K miles or you will be sorry.

Old Engineer

Subject: Oil Change Experience

I have owned three cars powered by GM's 3800 Series II engines; all three have exceeded a quarter million miles without any internal repairs or oil consumption; 2 of the 3 delivered 30+ highway mpg consistently after the initial 4,000 mile break-in period. I changed the oil promptly when the instrument panel indicator lamp came on; usually at 7 to 12,000 miles.
I used high-quality non-synthetic oil meeting OEM specs and saved a bit more money. Oils, filters, materials, and engine controls have all gotten much better since my early days of driving, allowing longer service life even with extended change intervals.

Roger Halstead

Subject: Oil Change

My old 4-Runner doesn't get driven a lot, but almost all driving is 10 miles or more so the engine is thoroughly warmed up.. That works out to 3000 miles or close to once per year. Iy's approaching 100,000 miles and burns no oil.

So farm, my only worry has been the auto transmission. About 5 years ago the intercooler failed and let the transmission and radiator fluids mix. I apparently caught it quickly. The garage replaced the intercooler, and flushed the transmission several time. They had me drive it for a week and then flushed it again. It's been doing well for close to 5 years since. It's approaching the point where maintenance Vs new will determine whether I keep it or not.

Charlotte

Subject: frequency of oil changes

You may not need an oil change as soon as 3,000 miles but when you go for the oil change they check for other problems. I went yesterday to the dealer having reached the 3,000 mile mark after 5 months and found there were three issues needing fixing which could have caused a breakdown on the highway: they included a severe axle leak and transmission fluid that had gone bad.

Lou Taint

Subject: Oil changes

For forty years I have changed my oil every six to nine months. I drive very little but averaged about 2,500 miles a quarter. My cars have all lasted me 7-12 years at which time they were sold at a premium due to low mileage. The subsequent owners (which are always friends lining up for that cream puff of a "little old lady drives to the market" car still have the cars after 20 + years. 7500 miles or six to nine months has been a charm using regular oil in both highway and harsher conditions (no dirt roads or towing).
I think it is misleading information to say it used to be easy to know every 3,000 miles and end saying that a rule of thumb is every 3,000 - 5,000 miles for those using conventional motor oil.Every 3,000 miles. Sounds like the people who swear by using hi-test gasoline which most cars get no benefit from save maybe an extra mile or two a tankful.

dennis smith

Subject: reg-prem gas

I get about 2 miles per gallon better milage using midgrade unleaded in my gas guzzeling truck. (2000 s-10 4.3 6 cylinder)
Doesn't help but it is much better than 2 miles for a tankfull. My Prizm gets about the same milage gain. This is using Rock station gas. I am thinking the gas is different although they say the same amount octane on the pump. One is more expensive.I know this has to do with the oil company. I have also caught it when using premium that regular gas was actually better than premium. I know that also has to do with the oil company and trucks and what they put in each tank underground.
Sound suspicious? It is. I was around in the 70s during the crunch. Same thing was going on.Also water gets in the tanks by condensation occassionly. That was a big thing in the 70s and was the main reason for vapor recovery systems although they tell you that trapping the vapors in a separate line saves fuel. It does but you pay for that savings.Today double and triple containment lines are used in gas station tanks.Fibreglass tanks and lines.So water dumped into them is rare off the truck. But the refined fuel actually being loaded into the tank can be different and can come from a different area. But there is no doubt that a difference in milage occurs between grades a lot more for different vehicles more than just rarely.

Lou Taint

Subject: Oil changes

For forty years I have changed my oil every six to nine months. I drive very little but averaged about 2,500 miles a quarter. My cars have all lasted me 7-12 years at which time they were sold at a premium due to low mileage. The subsequent owners (which are always friends lining up for that cream puff of a "little old lady drives to the market" car still have the cars after 20 + years. 7500 miles or six to nine months has been a charm using regular oil in both highway and harsher conditions (no dirt roads or towing).
I think it is misleading information to say it used to be easy to know every 3,000 miles and end saying that a rule of thumb is every 3,000 - 5,000 miles for those using conventional motor oil.Every 3,000 miles. Sounds like the people who swear by using hi-test gasoline which most cars get no benefit from save maybe an extra mile or two a tankful.

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?

Hi, i worked in the automoble field for 8 years, I was the CIO of a large 8 location dealer group.

 

 Frankly, i would be leary of doing business with a company that is still pushing paint protectant or undercoating.  Undercoating is BIG no no as it will actually cause rust.  It traps water between the steel and the undercoating causing corrosion, it plugs up the door and rocker panel drains as well as drain holes in the uni-body frame rails.  The dealers cost for the undercoating is about 250.00 including man hours, it is a huge profit booster and nothing more.  Although Paint Protectant will cause no damage, it does no good.  It is nothing more than an acrylic polymer protectant which can be purchased at an automotive store...cost for the dealer including man hours, 75-100 dollars.  It is nothing more than a profit booster.

 

 Gap insurance is worth it, if you are involved in a collision and your car is a total loss, the insurance company generally pays you the trade value for the car.  Gap insurance will pay the difference between what the insurance pays you and how much you owe on the car.  for instance, if the insurance company pays you 2k dollars and you owe 3k, the gap insurance will pay the difference of 1k.  However, if you are finanacing 75 percent of the vehicle cost, then gap is not needed.

 

  Here is my best advice, pay for the car and not a single additional item.  Pay no more than 10 percent over cost, ask to see the dealer invoice, add 10 percent and pay that price.  Gap insurance can be purchased through the finance company after the purchase.

 

 So, if the invoice states the car cost the dealer 20k, you offer 22k and not a dime more as that is a fair profit for the dealer.  Puschase no other add ons, none.  If they wont show you the invoice, there are plenty of honest dealers that will.  I would be very careful with this dealer.

 

 Dealers also make money on financing.  for instance, they submit your loan for approval, the bank comes back and approves the loan at 6 percent interest.  The dealer will add 2 or 3 points charging 8-9 percent interest and the dealer gets the money for the points at the time of sale. Ask them how may points they are adding to the bank rate.

 

 I summary, be careful.  dont fall in love as there are many dealers with the same car.  Offer 10 percent over the dealer invoice and purchase nothing else.  if the dealer gets defensive, fails to show you the invoice, or pulls other sneaky tactics...WALK.  go to another dealer.

 

 I strongly recommend visiting visit www.edmonds.com to find the dealer cost for your car as well as many other informative car buying tips.

 

 

?

If it is the original timing belt, then yes - check your owners manual for the recommended changing frequency, but from a quick web search (not knowing your exact engine model) it looks like 60,000 recommended internal, and typically last 80-100,000 miles to failure if not changed.

The most frequent comment (and a red note items on manufacturer's website) is that you probably have a "zero-clearance" engine, an idiotic design that means if the valves are not fully closed when the piston come to the top, it hits the valves and breaks or bends them or punches a hole in the top of the piston. Talk about planned obsolescence !

In short, if that is the case and your belt breaks or gets so loose it strips the "teth" off it or slips, your valve timing will be off, and could cause catastrophic engine damage that would require a complete engine overhaul or replacement !

Unfortunately, after looking at a video on how to change the belt, they build it so almost all the auxiliary equipment has to be taken off to change the belt - the alternator, water pump, radiator upper hose, power steering pump, air conditioner, etc - so rough cost is $800-1200 ! If you are getting it changed, it is also recommended to replace the water pump while it is off.

Hopefully some Montero mechanic will hop on this question and expand on this, but NO engine belt of any type should be trusted to go 115K miles.

?
A great deal depends on the use of the vehicle.  If you do a lot of mountain driving or heave towing, then a flush would be necessary.  Under normal driving conditions, a flush is NOT necessary at 46K miles.  The shops make money on flushes, that's why they recommend them.  Most transmissions are good for 100,000 miles before requiring maintenance.  Your owners manual should say.....if not then leave it alone.  Maintenance is debated between a flush and a fluid drain and fill.  Both have merits and down sides.  Alternative Car Care is not a fan of flushes and will not do them.  We would rather drain the fluid and change the filter.
?

Assuming automatic transmission:

At a quick lube type place, with unknown brand of fluid - from about $30-60 depending if done as part of a general fluid change package or all by itself. If transmission fluid filters need replacing too (usually are changed with fluid change on an automatic transmission), more like $75-125 range.

At dealer, using OEM parts and fluid, about twice to triple that. Normal auto repair shop about halfway in between those two. One reason for higher price is they will not (if reputable) extract the old fluid through the dipstick tube and put in new - they will remove the pan or maintenance panel (which commonly has to be done fgor filter replacements) and clean the pan at a minimum regardless.

This assumes you do not need band or continuously variable shift friction surface replacement or adjustment, which can crank it up from $50-100 for band adjustment to several hundreds more for replacements.

Do NOT let some shop convince you to pay for a transmission flush - not only is it unnecessary, but usually uses contaminated fluid from other cars or harmful chemicals (sometimes even tap water or diesel fluid) and can seriously damage your transmission. If your transmission filters were not doing their job or you smoked your transmission fluid, the proper cure (assuming not bad enough to require transmission overhaul) is to change to new fluid and filters, then replace them again in a short time - typcially 50-250 miles recommended by manufacturers, to let the new fluid pick up the dirt and sludge and transport to the filters for cleaning.

IF manual transmission - from about $40-75 for one with drain pan and no filters, to as much as $200 range for one with filters that requires removing side panel to change filter and clean it out. Again, higher end at dealers.

My recommendation - ALWAYS require OEM fluids be used for all but engine oil - mixing brands and additives in equipment is just not a good idea, as they can react with each other and cause serious degradation of the lubricating properties, and even cause gel or sludge in the fluid. A transmission, transfer case, differential, etc should be able to run at least several hundred thousand miles without maintenance if you change the fluid as recommended and use only the same OEM fluids in it. The small amount you will save using cheap fluids is not worth the mega bucks to repair or replace a damaged unit. If you go to an auto shop, find out your required refill quantities and buy the fluids at the dealer and tell them to refill with those - just be sure to get enough to allow for a bit of spillage.