Oil Changes

There is so much to talk when it comes to what kind of oil you should use for your car that I would not be able to do it justice here. So many people have so many different ideas on what constitutes good maintenance intervals and to what kind of oil to use. But what I can do is tell you what I use and also some industry standards  that are now being changed to a more realistic time frame.

It use to be just a few years ago that people were programmed to think that they needed to change their oil every 3000 miles or so or their engine would get damaged using just regular Dino oil. This was entirely propaganda from the oil companies to get folks to spend more money. At the very least you should get 5000 miles out of your oil in normal driving conditions, especially with the new formulations that are coming out now. But of course if you drive your car hard and keep high revs on the engine you might want to do a 3000 mile interval.

To increase this interval even more you could move up to a synthetic blend of oil that is part synthetic and regular oil. This can be a real boost to your engine as the synthetic molecules are smaller than the regular oil and tend to lubricate better and handle heat better. This can take you into the 7500 to 10000 mile range of change intervals. While this oil is more expensive it will offset the need for more oil changes and usually pays for itself while giving better protection for your engine.

The next level is the pure synthetic oil that offers the most protection and gives the longest drain interval. As an example I use an oil from Amsoil that has a 35000 mile interval. Since I don't drive that much in a year I change it just once a year. This oil is quite expensive at $10.50 a quart and the synthetic oil filter is also expensive at $17. It costs close to $100 to do a change after I add in the cost of labor to have a shop do it for me. While this sounds expensive it really is not. If I was to use regular oil and do 4 oil changes a year the cost could easily be over $100. Not only that but the level of protection is incredibly superior to regular oil. These pure synthetics were first created to be used in turbine and jet engines in the 1950's to withstand very high heat and not breakdown. One of the great attributes of this oil is it will not sludge in your engine. They have tested engines to a 100,000 miles and tore them down to find almost no wear and no sludge build up. If you have a new or newer car I would highly recommend switching over to a pure synthetic.

One thing I should mention is that I have read that older engines with lots of miles on them probably should not switch over to a synthetic as the molecules are so much smaller that they can leak out through worn seals and gaskets. I don't know if that is true or not but you should check with your mechanic or dealership to see if it is a good idea. I switched my car over after it was broken in at around 7500 miles and have been using it ever since. If you have a new car check with the dealer to see when it would be ok to switch.

1 comment: