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Posted: 12/27/2003 10:39:15 PM EDT
So, I was reading this thread on glocktalk about oil changes...

www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=ac18be994320b1d1c86efaaae483a6c2&threadid=209092

And that got me thinking about my own maintenance schedule. Normally, I change the oil and filter in my truck every 3,000 miles or every 3 months, whichever comes first. However, for the past two years I only drive the truck 10 miles a week or so, so I now change the oil every New Year's Day, whether it needs it or not.

Is that a mistake? I drive it less than 3,000 miles a year now.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 10:44:23 PM EDT
I would change it every 3 months regardless of miles driven.
Stop and go driving is a killer on oil (due to heat), so is off road driving (particles of dirt).
Good investment in your vehicle for $20.00.



Link Posted: 12/27/2003 10:44:59 PM EDT
Mistake?  No.  ACtually you should be changing it every 6 months at least.  Time also breaks down oil additives and time puts contaminates into the oil.

SGtar15
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 10:48:53 PM EDT
I had a feeling you guys would say that. Okay, two or three times a year then. [:D]
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 11:03:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sgtar15:
Mistake?  No.  ACtually you should be changing it every 6 months at least.  Time also breaks down oil additives and time puts contaminates into the oil.
SGtar15
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As my high school auto shop teacher used to say, "Oil changes are cheap insurance."

I change mine every 3k miles and have never had engine problems in the 500k miles I've driven over the years. If you don't drive much, change at least every 6 months.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 11:44:20 PM EDT
What kind of car is it? Older? Newer?  Rice Burner?

Many of the newer foreign cars are able/recommended to go about 7,500-10,000 b/t changes, as the advancements made in metals and synthetic lubes are far above what your dad's car used.  I have a hard time believing people that profit from oil changes, when it comes to a time frame.  Every 3,000?  Not on my car.  
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 11:52:42 PM EDT
Excellent point.  Read the manual.  Many will say to start off with the 3,000 mile cycle, but then after so many miles the interval is extended.  Of course, it can't hurt to change it sooner, and considering the price of some of these vehicles these days, it's a small price of preventative maintenance to pay.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 2:50:49 AM EDT
The truth?

IT DEPENDS ON YOUR DRIVING SITUATION AND ENVIROMENTAL CONDITIONS.

I don't care if the service manual says the engine can go for 50,000 miles between oil changes, if you live in the boonies and drive a dusty dirt road 20 miles to get to the nearest paved road or if 99% of your driving consists of starting up the car and driving less than 6 miles to and from work everyday or if you live in some hot and humid shithole where even your asshairs sweat you are going to have to change the oil sooner than the recomended interval.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 3:39:20 AM EDT
I usually change my oil every 4000-5000 miles all highway driving. The car I use around town is changed about 2-3k because of short trips and probably never gets warmedup. So far all our cars except our new Caravan have 100k+ on them without any engine problems. Oil is cheap insurance. That being said we did have a beater Olds Cutlass that once went 50K without an oil change and we managed to get 145K out of it before the tranny let go but the engine still ran ok. BobK
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 4:21:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2003 4:29:04 AM EDT by cyanide]
There is no way that was a engine with only 30,000 mile on it . They said it had one oil change at 15,000 miles.

Something is up I have seen a engine on a Lincoln that was never oil changed , just had dino oil added, it was no where near the mess as that, something is up ??? I go 10,000 miles with synthetic oil all the time, check it constantly, looks just like it does at 3,000 miles, not like jello. Truck drivers almost never change their oil , it does not junk up after 100,000 miles -- b meter is pegged.In any event what if I showed you a engine with 50,000 miles on it clean as a whistle, just a little varnish -- the internet -- land where a picture  and a story is enough to change a persons life, go figure.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 4:35:19 AM EDT
Actually there is a documented problem with the V-6 engines that Toyota uses for the Camry.
The oil return passages are too small, so when the oil gets gunky and deposits form in the return passages the oil gets stuck and does not return to the pan which causes the main bearings to lock up.

Do a Google search.


Originally Posted By cyanide:
There is no way that was a engine with only 30,000 mile on it . They said it had one oil change at 15,000 miles.

Something is up I have seen a engine on a Lincoln that was never oil changed , just had dino oil added, it was no where near the mess as that, something is up ??? I go 10,000 miles with synthetic oil all the time, check it constantly, looks just like it does at 3,000 miles, not like jello. Truck drivers almost never change their oil , it does not junk up after 100,000 miles -- b meter is pegged.In any event what if I showed you a engine with 50,000 miles on it clean as a whistle, just a little varnish -- the internet -- land where a picture  and a story is enough to change a persons life, go figure.
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Link Posted: 12/28/2003 4:43:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KA3B:
Actually there is a documented problem with the V-6 engines that Toyota uses for the Camry.
The oil return passages are too small, so when the oil gets gunky and deposits form in the return passages the oil gets stuck and does not return to the pan which causes the main bearings to lock up.

Do a Google search.


Originally Posted By cyanide:
There is no way that was a engine with only 30,000 mile on it . They said it had one oil change at 15,000 miles.

Something is up I have seen a engine on a Lincoln that was never oil changed , just had dino oil added, it was no where near the mess as that, something is up ??? I go 10,000 miles with synthetic oil all the time, check it constantly, looks just like it does at 3,000 miles, not like jello. Truck drivers almost never change their oil , it does not junk up after 100,000 miles -- b meter is pegged.In any event what if I showed you a engine with 50,000 miles on it clean as a whistle, just a little varnish -- the internet -- land where a picture  and a story is enough to change a persons life, go figure.
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View Quote

Toyota has a engine problem it seems.



Link Posted: 12/28/2003 5:16:45 AM EDT
If you only drive the car 10 miles a week then their is no reason to still change the oil every 3 months, or six months for that matter. Doing it once a year with those kind of miles is great and won't cause you any problems. You are actually driving with cleaner and less broken down oil then you were when you were changing it every 3 months or 3000 miles before. Oil will break down super slowly over time while it is sitting in your oil pan. I would recommend allowing the car to warm up well before driving it especially when you are only driving it 10 miles per week. Give the oil a chance to lubricate the engine and that is the best thing you can do for it.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 5:29:39 AM EDT
First off, I recommend spending the extra few bucks to use a fully synthetic oil.  They last longer and simply lubricate better.  Now for intervals:

In low-usage vehicles (under 10K per year), changing 2x per year is normally fine.  You don't want to go less than 2x as climate changes will promote some slight water accumulation in the oiling area.
In anything more than that, every 4-5K miles unless there is prolonged driving on dirt.  Synthetic oils don't start to thermally break down until around 275*F (IIRC, I may be low), so unless you have a SERIOUS cooling problem, your oil isn't getting anywhere near that.

But, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.  YMMV (literally, in this case)
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 5:35:17 AM EDT
I was blessed with a lube center job for 4 years. I havent changed my oil since quiting 3 years ago. Pour in more when it needs it. Gawd I love my $100(+plus state got$178) Dodge.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 6:01:10 AM EDT
I change my car and van oil every 5000 miles. I have a ranger that only gets drove about 2500 miles a year. I change it once a year.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 6:32:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2003 6:34:04 AM EDT by KA3B]
What planet did you learn this on?

You might not wear out the oil, but hell man, especialy living in a humid armpit like Florida you will never burn off the condensation that forms in the crankcase or stop the corrosion that will occour.


As an engine sits idle, not being used, it is subject to day to day changes in ambient temperature and humidity. Internal engine components, as well as the oil in the engine itself, are subject to moisture accumulation caused by natural condensation from these changes. If an engine is not run for an extended period of time, the oil film, that was left on any individual component within the engine at the last shutdown, deteriorates to a point that allows the accumulated moisture to make contact with the surface the oil was on. Corrosion of that surface will result. At the same time, accumulated moisture in the engine oil reacts with deposits in the oil that have developed from normal engine operation. This reaction can cause the engine oil itself to become acidic and corrosion on the part that the oil is trying to protect will result.

The only true protection we have against any of these corrosive elements is keeping the engine oil moisture and acid free and physically on the internal parts of the engine. This allows the oil to prevent corrosion from occurring.

Driving the car and engine long enough to develop an oil temperature of at least 160 degrees fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes will remove almost all corrosive elements, that build up in the oil from its non use and exposure to the atmosphere. This process also provides a fresh renewed protecting film of oil, that contains little or no moisture or acids, on all internal parts of the engine at shut down. This film of oil does not last forever and if enough time elapses between engine runs, the internal parts of the engine will become subject to corrosion all over again. The only way to prevent this is to drive the car, as prescribed, fairly often. This will repeatedly burn the moisture and acids out of the oil, as well as providing a continuous renewed film of protecting oil.

Another consideration of the ability of the oil to protect against corrosion, is the amount of combustion by products and engine produced deposits that are present in the oil. As previously mentioned, running the engine will remove most of the harmful contaminates present in the oil. However, it will not remove all of them. The longer an oil is run in the engine, the more contaminants it has a chance to absorb. The more contaminants present in the oil increases the likelihood of a reaction with those contaminants that can cause corrosion. Consequently, changing you oil frequently will help reduce the possibility of corrosion as well.
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Originally Posted By whywork40:
If you only drive the car 10 miles a week then their is no reason to still change the oil every 3 months, or six months for that matter. Doing it once a year with those kind of miles is great and won't cause you any problems. You are actually driving with cleaner and less broken down oil then you were when you were changing it every 3 months or 3000 miles before. Oil will break down super slowly over time while it is sitting in your oil pan. I would recommend allowing the car to warm up well before driving it especially when you are only driving it 10 miles per week. Give the oil a chance to lubricate the engine and that is the best thing you can do for it.
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Link Posted: 12/28/2003 8:30:43 AM EDT
Basic maintenance is just a little insurance against premature failure. It's like a shooter that fires off thousands of rounds through his AR15, never cleaning it. He may never have a problem with reliabilty, but you wouldn't like to chance it if your life was at stake. Not changing the motor oil won't kill you, but it could kill your motor. I've seen many neglected cars come in my shop, some have no oil related poblems and others have serious oil related engine failures. Those pictures posted on GT remind me very much of a late '90s KIA Sephia that I'm working on right now. This car has about 60K on it and they said they never changed the oil but always added oil when the light came on. I wish I could post a pic of it, it looks just like the toyota.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 9:35:39 PM EDT
How about the other oils like the differential?  I was at a qwickylube, and the guy shows me a swipe of my differential gear oil, it was a brown smear.  I asked him how important it was to change it, did I really need to.  He said most people don't even know it's there, much less change it.

Get this, I work for the Airforce and in an effort to reduce the multitudes of lubrication (and other hazmat) products, they have switched to just using 30weight for everything - engine, differential, hydraulic, etc... We sure are burning a lot of differentials out (since we don't use 90w anymore).  I'm not sure about all the other products, places, or equipment, but this is the new rule our company is being forced to operate under.

Other anecdotes.  I like Mobil-1 synthetic, it's a lot more expensive, but handles temperatures better than most.  Consumer guide did a study and found most all oils to be about the same, only a couple were inferior, and the synthetics were better.  I bought an old Cutlass Supreme one day and used some duralube/slick 50 type product, and it really did make a difference in my compression and gas mileage.  However, it doesn't last, has more effect on aged engines, and is nice incase you your engine dumps all your oil and you got to make it to the next closest place to repair and refill.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 9:41:41 PM EDT
1) Oil changes...

It's not just lubrication properties that the 3000mi oil change 'rule' comes from... As your engine runs, crap builds up in the oil... Chemically reactive crap that can damage the insides of your oil system just by sitting there... Changing the oil flushes it out...

I use Castrol GTX in my car and bike... A study on car and bike oils for use in cycles showed some major differences in anti-corrosive additives (see above for why this matters) between SuprTech (Wally World-brand oil), Valvoline, Spectro (high-end bike oil) and a few other brands. Castrol was the best of the auto oils reviewed...

It's on the net, but I forgot the length

2) Diff grease/tranny fluid... IIRC GM reccommends a change every 50k...
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 10:02:27 PM EDT
OK how often should I change the fluid in the Rear Diff In my P/U?
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 10:19:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By whywork40:
If you only drive the car 10 miles a week then their is no reason to still change the oil every 3 months, or six months for that matter. Doing it once a year with those kind of miles is great and won't cause you any problems. You are actually driving with cleaner and less broken down oil then you were when you were changing it every 3 months or 3000 miles before. Oil will break down super slowly over time while it is sitting in your oil pan. I would recommend allowing the car to warm up well before driving it especially when you are only driving it 10 miles per week. Give the oil a chance to lubricate the engine and that is the best thing you can do for it.
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What?  How does not changing the oil keep it cleaner?  Engine oils are required to do a multitude of things besides lubricate.  They have to remove moisture and acids, they have to carry debris from the innards of the engine to the filter and to a point they help cool.

The only difference between regular oil and "fully synthetic" oil is refining.  "Synthetic" oil is still dino oil thats refined to a higher degree and a higher quality oil.  The important part of oil is a very long hydrocarbon string.  The longer it is the higher the viscosity is.  Synthetic oils are refined to include more of the fully intact strings and less of the ones that are broken. These strings break as the oil deteriorates through normal use.

The way they get dual weight oils is through the use of a polycarbon string.  The strings are coiled up at low temps and hence have lower viscosity.  As they heat up they unwind to artifically elevate the viscosity.  Its very similar to the way gas companies add methanol to gas to raise the octane ratings.  The larger your oils range of viscosity the more of the polycarbons are added.  The more polycarbons you have the less actual oil you have and the quicker the whole breakdown process is.

Oh and oil doesnt actually lubricate as most think.  It lubricates through adhesion.  It sticks to metal parts and creates a film that the part slides on so there is no metal to metal contact.  The higher the viscosity the better it protects.  For oil to actually "lubricate" it has to have something like molybdenum added.  The Mobil 1 that has "energy conserving" on the label has a good amount of it added.  The only downside is you cant use that in any vehicle with a wet clutch.  All the import motorcycles aside from ducati's and aprilia's have wet clutches so thats a no-no in them.  
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 10:26:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AK_Mike:
How about the other oils like the differential?  I was at a qwickylube, and the guy shows me a swipe of my differential gear oil, it was a brown smear.  I asked him how important it was to change it, did I really need to.  He said most people don't even know it's there, much less change it.

Get this, I work for the Airforce and in an effort to reduce the multitudes of lubrication (and other hazmat) products, they have switched to just using 30weight for everything - engine, differential, hydraulic, etc... We sure are burning a lot of differentials out (since we don't use 90w anymore).  I'm not sure about all the other products, places, or equipment, but this is the new rule our company is being forced to operate under.

Other anecdotes.  I like Mobil-1 synthetic, it's a lot more expensive, but handles temperatures better than most.  Consumer guide did a study and found most all oils to be about the same, only a couple were inferior, and the synthetics were better.  I bought an old Cutlass Supreme one day and used some duralube/slick 50 type product, and it really did make a difference in my compression and gas mileage.  However, it doesn't last, has more effect on aged engines, and is nice incase you your engine dumps all your oil and you got to make it to the next closest place to repair and refill.
View Quote



Gear oil is a different ballgame.  A differential has a much lower heat range during operation than the engine.  Heat is a major factor in oil deterioration.  Diff's are much easier to maintain since they are a small contained area with a good seal.  Theres little condensation possible inside.  It still should be changed but its far more hardy than engine oil.  You dont even want to know whats in the friction modifier that you add to engine oil to use it in the diff.
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