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Thread: Extended Oil Life Guidelines - 7,500miles

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    Default Extended Oil Life Guidelines - 7,500miles

    Just FYI -

    DETROIT - Most major automakers agree: The adage that you should change your car‚s oil every 3,000 miles is outdated, & even 5,000 miles may be too often.

    FoMoCo became the latest manufacturer to extend its oil life guidelines, making public that it is raising the recommended oil change interval from 5,000 miles to 7,500 on its newly redesigned '07 models & all subsequent redesigned or new models.

    The company, like many other manufacturers, said Tuesday that higher oil quality standards & new engine designs were responsible for the change, which affects vehicles driven under normal conditions.


    „The oils have advanced a lot since the days when 3,000 miles were the typical oil drains,‰ said Dennis Bachelder, senior engineer for the American Petroleum Institute, an industry organization that sets quality standards. „They‚re certainly more robust than the oils of 10, 15 years ago.‰

    These days, motor oils start w/a higher-quality base oil than in the past, & they have more antioxidants that make lubricating properties last longer & other additives that keep deposits from forming on engines, Bachelder said.

    Pete Misangyi, Ford‚s supervisor of fuel lubricants, said the company conducted numerous fleet & laboratory tests w/newer oils before it raised the interval.

    „That allows more comfort, if you will, in extending the intervals using the new oils,‰ he said.

    Some manufacturers, such as Honda & GM, have stopped making recommendations on all or most of their models, instead relying on sensors that measure oil temperature extremes & engine revolutions over time to calculate oil life & tell drivers when to get the lubricant changed. Oil can lose its lubricating properties if it runs at too low or too high of a temperature.

    Peter Lord, executive director of GM‚s service operations, said oil can last 12,000 miles or even more for many drivers who don‚t run their vehicles in extreme heat or cold or tow heavy loads.

    „It really does depend on the individual customer & how they‚ve used the vehicle,‰ he said.

    Ford said it has found that its customers like a set mileage for service rather than wait for a sensor to tell them what to do.

    For those who don‚t believe the sensors, Lord says GM has reams of data showing that they‚re reliable, & they notify drivers far in advance of when a change is necessary.

    „We are absolutely confident of the technology. We back it w/a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty now, so there‚s no doubt in our mind that this technology works,‰ he said.

    The longer oil life can save customers money. Ford estimates that drivers would save $600 over a 5-year period by going from 5,000 miles to 7,500 between oil changes.

    „From an environmental perspective we can save an enormous amount of oil,‰ Lord said. „There‚s no point in wasting precious oil changing it prematurely. And we don‚t have to dispose of so much waste oil, either.‰

    When to change oil is not w/out controversy, tho.

    Toyota reduced its change interval from 7,500 miles to 5,000 in '04 in part because it found that more drivers ran their vehicles under severe stop-&-start & short trip conditions that cause oil to deteriorate more quickly, said company spokesman Bill Kwong.

    Toyota also had an oil sludge buildup problem on less than 1% of its '97-'02 model year vehicles, Kwong said. Changing the oil more frequently prevents the sludge problem, which he said was caused by owners going more than 7,500 miles before changing oil.

    The company lengthened warranty coverage on the affected engines to handle the problem, even before some owners filed a class action lawsuit, Kwong said.

    Nissan recommends changing oil in its Nissan & Infiniti vehicles every 7,500 miles or 6 months ˜ unless the vehicle is used mainly for towing, trips of 5 miles or less in normal temperatures, 10 miles or less in freezing temperatures, stop-&-go driving in hot weather or low-speed driving for long distances, in which the oil should be changed every 3,750 miles or 3 months, spokeswoman Katherine Zachary said.

    And for some engineers & mechanics, 5,000 miles is too long to wait.

    Drivers must take the weather & how much freeway driving they do into account before deciding when to change their oil, said Danny Beiler, part owner of an auto repair garage in Sarasota (FL).

    Freeway driving is less harmful to oil than driving in the city, but in Sarasota, the heat places nearly all cars under severe driving conditions that warrant more frequent changes, Beiler said.

    „I have a problem w/telling people 7,000 because you know they‚re going to go over that. I‚d rather err on the side of being cautious & tell them to do it early.‰

    Dewey Szemenyei, marketing manager for passenger car motor oil additives for Afton Chemical Corp., said he still changes the oil in his '98 Toyota Sienna minivan every 3,000 miles.

    „I really feel it‚s great insurance,‰ said Szemenyei, whose company makes additives that go into motor oils & who chairs an SAE committee on engine lubrication.

    „There‚s not what I consider a right answer. However, if you go w/the owner‚s manual recommendation you should in general not have any problems,‰ he said.

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    My wife's Chevy HHR was purchased last July. It monitors the 'oil life' in percentage left. It had reached 10% about two weeks ago but I changed it anyway because I couldn't stand it any longer. 6550 miles and it still showed that it had more 'oil life' left.
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    Default Thinking About it...

    Thinking about it....

    Back in 1962 I had an Oldsmobile StarFire Convertible. The recommended oil change interval was 3,000 miles or 3 months.

    That beauty got about 8 mpg around town and it would deliver about 13 to 14 mpg on the highway.

    At 8 mpg - that engine would pump through about 375 gallons of leaded gasoline and it's associated air in that 3000 mile distance. At 14 mpg that's about 214 gallons of gasoline..

    Of course we change oil not so much because it wore out - but because it becomes contaminated while circulating within the engine. Unburnt fuel, carbon deposits from combustion and even the lead from the fuel all contaminated the oil and reduced its ability to lubricate the moving parts of the engine.

    Today - as the article states - automotive lubricating oils are far superior to the one's used 45 years ago. Plus that HHR should be getting at least 18 mph in town and 25 or 26 on the highway. At 18 mpg the engine in the HHR will pump about 167 gallons of gasoline and its associated air through that engine. That's about 55% less for in town driving... and 120 gallons of gasoline for the same highway use or 44% less at highway speeds..

    Even without considering the vast improvements in lubricating oil technology over the past 45 years, as well as the elimination of Lead Contamination from the fuels - it makes perfect sense to me that 6,000 or even 7,500 mile oil change intervals are perfectly well suited to todays cars..

    Nonetheless, I'll maintain the 3000 mile change interval for my 240-Z's.... as they are at least 35 year old cars now..

    FWIW,
    Carl B.

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    Lets not forget that in modern cars, the constant refinement of the A/F ratio keeps gas out of the oil too. As many of our Zs are Carbureated we may get close, but we can't effectively tune the engine on every fourth revolution as many modern engine management systems can. Many books on Engine management system attribute a healthy percentage of the extended life of an efi based engine to the tuning if the A/F ratio that keeps the gas off the cyl walls and thereby out of the oil. Even The Jags that Run V8 conversion manual mentions it in speaking of suitable engines for transplant-in relation to the salvaged high mileage variety.
    I change the oil in my drivers every 3000 miles, and in the Dodge truck, it takes six to eight months to get there(at 11 mpg city, I leave it parked until I NEED hauling capacity)The truck is almost four years old and has just over 23,000 miles on it. I need to study Time vs viscosity! I don't wait for mileage to change the oil in a car parked longer.
    Will
    A Z is beautiful from any angle, I just happen to prefer to view from the drivers' seat!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01 View Post
    My wife's Chevy HHR was purchased last July. It monitors the 'oil life' in percentage left. It had reached 10% about two weeks ago but I changed it anyway because I couldn't stand it any longer. 6550 miles and it still showed that it had more 'oil life' left.

    Hi Stephen,

    Dumb question here. How does the car know when you've changed the oil? Reset button of some kind? Just wondering.

    FWIW, I use the 3000 mile interval on my vehicles. The Xterra is on Nissan's 7500 interval but something about a hard working truck engine with an oil filter smaller than an orange and only 3.75 quarts of oil makes me change it at 3000.

    Thanks for the article Carl.

    Chris A.
    1973 240Z HLS30-156693

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    Here in Phoenix, even in the cooler seasons I'm a 3,000 mile guy for all my vehicles. I've always figured it was really cheap insurance. It's also easier to keep track of because of the even, round number. And though I recycle all my used oil at Autozone, here's something I haven't considered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beck View Post
    Just FYI -

    „From an environmental perspective we can save an enormous amount of oil,‰ Lord said. „There‚s no point in wasting precious oil changing it prematurely. And we don‚t have to dispose of so much waste oil, either.‰

    My wifes BMW X5 gets the engine oil changed once a year. The Dealer uses whats called a Super Synthetic that's good for 12 months, I don't like it but she wants to follow the Manufacturer's requirements. The transmission has a "lifetime" fliud and they won't change it even though I've asked. I guess I'm having a hard time merging old habits with new technology.

    Bruce
    HLS30-004880

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    I've been using Mobil 1 in my '96 BMW, and changing it by the service lights. That amounts to about once every 8,000 miles for our use. A bit scary, but not too bad.

    The 240Zs will get changed a lot more often than that though, I too will do the 3000 mile changes on it, as that's what it was designed for.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA View Post
    Hi Stephen,

    Dumb question here. How does the car know when you've changed the oil? Reset button of some kind? Just wondering.
    Chris A.
    I didn't answer so I will now. Not a dumb question at all. I had to look up the procedure in the manual. You scroll through the 'Driver Information Center' with the buttons on the steering wheel until you get to 'Reset oil life' and press and hold the reset button until it displays 'oil life reset'. And then I go for a brisk drive in my Z to deprogram myself.
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