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Old 05-05-2004, 02:03 PM   #1
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Should I change my oil?

I'm 1,400 miles into an oil change and I'm heading off on a 3,000 mile trip. Should I change the oil before I go or when I get back? I don't want to do it on the road.
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Old 05-05-2004, 02:32 PM   #2
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Decent engine, doesn't burn oil, good filter? If so I wouldn't worry about it, 4400 miles isn't that bad. I read about a guy that bought a motor home with 20,000 miles, it used a quart of oil every 400 miles. He added oil as needed, changed the filter every 3000 miles. At 120,000 it began to use a quart every 200 miles and he pulled the engine to rebuild. No real damage from just replacing instead of changing the oil. 4400 should be a piece of cake.

John
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Old 05-05-2004, 03:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Garrison
I'm 1,400 miles into an oil change and I'm heading off on a 3,000 mile trip. Should I change the oil before I go or when I get back? I don't want to do it on the road.
I'm not sure what your tow vehicle recommendation is but you should be fine. Keep in mind that your trip won't be as hard on the oil as stop and go driving.

My Honda has turned 111,000 miles and gets its oil changes between 5,000-5,400 miles. 90% is pure highway miles. As a matter of fact I'm still on the original front brake pads....although its down to about 20% at this point.

Today's dino's are really well equipped to take you past the usual 3,000 mile mark, unless you are one of those folks who never gets your vehicle warmed up or does the things under severe conditions.

Towing might be considered severe but I gauge this by where I tow to. If you are in hot climes or doing some mountain climbs, I might consider the oil change. You know oil is cheap, engines aren't. I run semi-synthetics to give me a little better heat and cold start protection.

Jack
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Old 05-05-2004, 03:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
My Honda has turned 111,000 miles ..... As a matter of fact I'm still on the original front brake pads....although its down to about 20% at this point.
Jack

That has to be some kind of record.

John
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Old 05-05-2004, 04:18 PM   #5
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My dealer was pretty surprised also until I told him that most of this was highway miles. My father taught me early to treat the brake pedal like an egg shell and to anticipate my stops.

I've always been able to extract some good mileage on my brakes, even before I did all the highway driving.

Jack
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Old 05-05-2004, 04:40 PM   #6
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my wife's last car got 90k on the original front brakes. 40 miles to work...no traffic, 1 stop sign between the house and the office. so...yeah. should get 90k

that was a Ford Taurus...probably heavier than an accord, but I don't know that for a fact.
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Old 05-05-2004, 04:45 PM   #7
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Oil Changess

Hi Jamie,

As other have said 4,400 miles should be just fine. I do have some additional points however. Depending on what tow vehicle you have it may have a "Engine Oil Life System Monitor" - my 2003 GMC Duramax Diesel has. BUT there is a lot of controversy over when I should change my oil. The dealer and GM say that even pulling my 34 footer I will not void the warranty if I wait until the Monitor tells me it is time which could be anywhere from 2,000 - 7,000 miles. Apparently the monitor know all the various factors and I gather was added to save owners from changing the oil too often - ie every 3,000 miles.

Another BUT, most dealership mechanics I have spoken to "one on one" say to change it every 3,000 miles. They say it is the safest way to do it especially when towing a big trailer. Also a small cost for an oil change versus a huge cost for a new engine or serious work on it.

One says yes and one says no!! Confusing information even from those who should know - the dealer.
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Old 05-05-2004, 05:26 PM   #8
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Don, my GMC Vortec 6000 engine in my new van has the same monitoring system and the manual states that dependent upon your driving habits the indication may not illuminate even when you go as long as one year between changes (assuming that your mileage is within the 2,000-7,000 mile range). In those cases it says change the oil anyway.

I am curious what the algorithms are and whether its a mileage and time factor, or whether there are other sensors that can determine the quality of the oil.

I personally have heard from mechanics that the 3,000 mile oil change interval is really a means to generate more income and that modern oils and engines can go much further than that "recommend" 3,000 mile interval. As a matter of fact my Honda dealer told me upon delivery of my Accord, not to believe the oil change intervals in the manual and always use severe conditions as my criteria. How does he know how I use my vehicle? As far as I'm concerned its a cop out for reading your manual and a means to get me back to spend money on needless oil changes. In fact I'm a prime candidate for Honda's extended duty change requirements which are in the manual and I follow.

I'm a firm believer in watching how I use my vehicle and changing oil based on the vehicles use rather than an arbitrary number. In some cases 3,000 miles is great. In other cases you are just flushing $$ down the drain. For those who don't want to look at these things, 3,000 miles may be the safest way.

Jack
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:35 PM   #9
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Hi Gang,

The GM Oil Monitor system on the gas engines is a simple but fairly effective system that monitors number of starts, duration of run, and engine temp attained during run. There are no particulant detectors or other oil contaminate detection systems connected to the computer. I would be very surprised if the warning light would not come on with less than 7000 miles in a year. Infrequent driving or short distance driving is heavily weighted in the system as that type of driving is very hard on the oil and the engine it is trying to protect.

Hope this info helps.

Take care,
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:17 PM   #10
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I think you would be OK. Me, I'm a bit A.C.Dish, so I'd change it just for the heck of it.

Now my brakes don't last that long, but I can tell you, that my '80 Olds now has 165,200 miles on it. Burns not one drop of oil, runs like a champ and has since new. It's towed a boat, and been used under what the factory shop book calls extreme duty. The car does not have synthetic oils and will be 25 years old in a few months (from date of production). The body, well, let's just say it's got personality!

The car has had it's oil changed regularly at or before 3,000 miles. For the $1.75 for the AC Delco filter and about $5-6 for oil, in my case it's been a very cheap thing to do and the results, well, for nearly 25 years, it's been real good to it.

My vote...change it if you have the time and it doesn't cost you more than $10- $15.
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:37 PM   #11
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to change or not to change, that is the question!

Here's what years of experience tells me about oil changes. I own a repair/fast lube business and have seen almost every vehicle on the road. **disclaimer** I am not trying to promote business or sway anyone into spending money for un-necessary upkeep. I just would like to tell you what I've seen with my customers. I firmly believe that you should change your motor oil every 3,000 to 3,500 miles. period. Even with the better oils available today, you still get thermal breakdown (normally within that mileage time frame) The cost of an oil change is cheap compaired to engine replacement or rebuild.

I have one customer with 4 delivery vans, most are 1987 Chevy 1 ton cargo vans with a 350 (5.7) engine. They all have over 500,000 miles without having any internal engine repairs done to them. I have had to replaced the oil pans at least twice on them. Simply because the oil plug was worn beyond retapping, again. The bottom half of his motors were spotless, looked like a fresh rebuilt motor. His trick to getting his vans to last? He changes oil every 3000 miles religiously. I don't remember him ever going more than 100 over.

On the other hand I have customers that go 6000 to 7000 on an oil change and have nothing but trouble. Once the filter gets blocked up it is designed to allow oil to bypass filtration, this results in unfilter oil lubrcating your engine. Dirty oil makes the engine run hotter and harder, over a period of time (be it years) you get a gunk built up in the top end which blocks oil returns, starving the engine for oil.

I realize that the entire engine doesn't block up, just some of it. But that still causes internal damage. We carry 7 different brands of motor oil some work better than others, bottom line I think you should change your oil every 3000 miles. Again just my opinion. To be perfectly honest with you, the fast lube was a side line for customer convenience. I make alot more money on engine repair. I my area I only make about 8 dollars profit above the cost of supplies and that doesn't include paying employees, uncle sam, electric, etc. I probably make about $0.50 or less when it's all said and done. ( it's called a loss leader)If you don't want to pay to have it done then DIY, the supplies should only cost you around $13.00 (for good oil and fram filter). Most garages will take your waste oil (but check first), we do at my garage. Waste oil is free heat.

Jamie, to answer, if it were me I would change the oil before heading out, or at least sometime during the trip. The side mileage always seems to creep up on me, a 3000 mile jaunt ends up closer to 3500 with side trips shopping, etc. I hope you enjoy a safe trouble free trip.

whistler
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:50 PM   #12
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Some might call me anal, but in my gasoline motors, I change the oil every 2500 miles in West Texas.
The air here is full of small particulate sand, much of it 2 microns or smaller that is capable of passing through an oil filter.
Also, at each oil change I change the air filter, AND oil the new air filter with a spray on fiber air filter oil such as K&N Air Filter Oil. This stops the entry of small particles into the motor from the breather catching most of the smaller than 2 micron stuff that gets in that way.
You say 2 microns...big deal!...Yup, it is a big deal....most jewelers rouge is less than 2 microns and it will polish rough spots in metals down to a smooth mirror shine...it will eat on the working parts of your motor the same way.
Doing maintenance this way, I have typically gotten 275,000+ miles from a GM gasoline motor without any major mechanical problems.
As my Uncle J.C used to say on the farm...."Boy, grease is cheaper than iron."
I have found it to be so.
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:55 PM   #13
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I'm with Whistler on this...the only area I balk is on the Fram filters. They are total junk. Sitck with AC Delco or some of the other brands. A guy did a test of oil filters and the Fram line across the board got the worst ratings. I myself had a Fram go totally south on my after only a few hundred miles.

If it says Fram on it, RUN, don't walk.

Here are some links from others that have info to share on the Fram issue:

http://www.mnfbody.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4406

http://impalassforum.com/noncgi/ulti...=005741#000004

http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/...c;f=6;t=001541

http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/...c;f=6;t=000513
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:56 PM   #14
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This was the best one about the Fram filters:

http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilterstudy.html

Eric
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