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Old 2004-09-24, 01:50 PM   #1
JJuggle
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Oil Changes

What's the deal with oil change frequency for cars.

Some people say every 3,000 miles some every 5,000 and I usually end up getting it done at 3,500 - 4,000 miles.

We have two Honda Civics with automatic transmission and drive under normal conditions, i.e. don't haul anything, mostly use them for our modest commutes and local motoring with a once or twice a year lengthy trip of not much more than 600 or 700 miles.

So when should we be changing the oil?

Automotively challenged,
Matawan, NJ
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Old 2004-09-24, 03:07 PM   #2
mikepenton
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and mine's every 20,000 miles or every year, whichever happens first - a bit worrying really
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Old 2004-09-24, 03:44 PM   #3
evil-nick
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I've got a '99 Civic, I do the oil ~ every 6000 miles. I use fully synthetic oil though, Mobil 1. My last car was a '92 Honda Accord, I usualyl changed the oil on that every 3000 miles, but that was because my first year with the car I only changed the oil once, after about 13 or 14 months, and around 23,000 miles... But the car lasted until 260,800+ miles before I traded it in for the Civic.
I actually work in a quick-change place, and it's safe to say that over 3000 miles is safe PROVIDED YOU ACTUALLY CHECK THE OIL. Oil burns eventually, my Civic (with 100,000 miles) burns about 1/4 a quart of oil every 6000 miles. My Accord at the end was burning about half a quart every 3000 miles. A lot of people come in after 3000 or 4000 miles, and are shocked when there is no oil showing on the dipstick.

Check the owners manuals, they prolly say change it every 6500 miles... It's something like that on Hondas.

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Old 2004-09-24, 06:01 PM   #4
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my tracer wagon with 180K is going strong, i definitely believe its because I change the oil every 2500 - 3000, do it yourself and it costs about $8 - $10, a small investment comparing it to a blown motor. I learned the hard way on my first car....
JJuggle lets ride sometime, peace out
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Old 2004-09-24, 07:56 PM   #5
JJuggle
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Quote:
Originally posted by banjo125
JJuggle lets ride sometime, peace out
Yes, we should. Right now I'm nursing a knee injury that doesn't seem to be improving much and I've not ridden in almost a week.

Also, banjo125, I may retract that offer of giving you the banjo that's been sitting in my basement all these years. Talk of people learning banjo may have motivated me to take it up.

Time will tell.

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Old 2004-09-24, 09:08 PM   #6
Krashin'Kenny
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In my humble opinion (Master Cadillac Tech for 33 years) I would recommend changing your engine oil every 3.000 miles. It is cheap insurance to provide a long life for your engine. On your automatic transmission, every 30.000 miles should be sufficient. This is what we recommned for our customers. Some of the newer GM products don't require a transmission service until 100,000 miles. This concerns me a little bit.
Pull the dipstick out of your trans and the fluid should be clean and red in color. If it is brown or has a burnt smell to it, I would recommend changing the fluid and filter soon. The torque converter in most American made cars does not have a drain plug and holds up to fours quarts of fluid. This fluid remains in the converter during a normal fluid change. See if you can find a reputable shop in your area that has a transmission flushing machine. Although it may cost a little more, the machine actually flushes ALL of the fluid out of the transmission and replaces it with new fluid. I think here at the Cadillac dealer where I work, we only charge about $80 for a transmission flush service. Hope this helps enlighten you a little
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Old 2004-09-25, 05:09 AM   #7
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Re: Oil Changes

Quote:
Originally posted by JJuggle
What's the deal with oil change frequency for cars.

Some people say every 3,000 miles some every 5,000 and I usually end up getting it done at 3,500 - 4,000 miles.

We have two Honda Civics with automatic transmission and drive under normal conditions, i.e. don't haul anything, mostly use them for our modest commutes and local motoring with a once or twice a year lengthy trip of not much more than 600 or 700 miles.

So when should we be changing the oil?

Automotively challenged,
Matawan, NJ
Changing your oil? You shouldn't be changing your oil! You should be driving an alternative fuel vehicle and reducing the US dependence on oil. Do you realize that because of people like you always changing your oil we are going to have to start drilling in the barren wastelands of Alaska? We may have to go into Iraq, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to take over their oil fields as well. How many soldiers are you willing to sacrifice so you can change your oil. You should be ashamed.
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Old 2004-09-25, 05:44 AM   #8
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heres a little trick i have picked up.

dont change your oil!

approximately once a year (i guess it really depends on how much you drive) you will find that there is no more oil left in the car (or none that shows up on the dipstick). when his happens, put two new bottles down the chute. this method works extremely well as nasty old oil is not recirculated and the car is always running on fresh oil. yum.

some people tell me that this is bad for the car. fooey. i never had a single problem.
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Old 2004-09-25, 11:43 PM   #9
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3000 miles has been a general rule of thumb for many years. When in doubt, 3000. And of course oil change places are going to recommend 3000 as well, even if your car's owners manual says you can go 5000 or more. Many newer cars have longer intervals between changes.

It shouldn't do any harm to change your oil more frequently. Dirty oil accelerates aging of your engine. Make sure your used oil gets recycled, so Bugman doesn't give you a hard time about that.

BTW, what do you drive, Bugman? I would love to have a viable alternative to my fossil fuel-burner. I read something that said Toyota is possibly going to come out with a hybrid version of the Sienna, which is what I drive now. That would be cool. Of course an all-electric would be much cleaner, but those so far can't compete with their non-electric counterparts.

And I ride to work when I can, though it should be more often. I understand some of us may have jobs where this is impossible.
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Old 2004-09-26, 12:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by johnfoss

BTW, what do you drive, Bugman? I would love to have a viable alternative to my fossil fuel-burner. I read something that said Toyota is possibly going to come out with a hybrid version of the Sienna, which is what I drive now. That would be cool. Of course an all-electric would be much cleaner, but those so far can't compete with their non-electric counterparts.
On the surface, electric seems cleaner, but when you examine it slightly deeper, it isn't. Batteries don't last forever, and they are much, much more volatile than whatever your current Internal Combustion Engine releases. If all of the USA used electric, yeah, the air might be a bit cleaner, but we'd all be overwhelmed with millions of tons of battery waste materials after 5-10 years.

The best current alternative to petroleum is to get a diesel engine and run it on grease or vegetable oil. Most fast food places will gladly give you, if not pay you, to take their used grease from making french fies and such off their hands. Or you can run off of biodesiel. I have a few friends who do this. the only problem is you have to make your own biodesiel out of vegetable oil.

Interesting Fact: The desiel engine was originally invented for British Peanut farmers. The inventor intended for the farmers to run the engines of their tractors and other vehicles off of their waste peanut oil, of which there was plenty. The nice thing about this was it was free and the engine consumed exactly as much oxygen as the peanut plants put out when they grew. Environmentally sound and economical! It couldn't last. Soon, some oil companies decided to modify the engine to take fossil fuel, and you have the current polluting monsters of today.
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Old 2004-09-26, 12:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by johnfoss
BTW, what do you drive, Bugman? I would love to have a viable alternative to my fossil fuel-burner. I read something that said Toyota is possibly going to come out with a hybrid version of the Sienna, which is what I drive now. That would be cool. Of course an all-electric would be much cleaner, but those so far can't compete with their non-electric counterparts.
I have a Jeep. Gets an awesome 15MPG on a good day, but that won't last long. I am getting bigger tires for more offroad clearance, so that may drop 13-14MPG.

I also have a Chryler Town & Country, and my company truck is a Nissan Frontier. The Nissan has the best milage at 22-25MPG. Fortunately I only drive 6 miles round trip to the office. When I do service, I try to keep all work within 3 miles of my house. That is more out of concern for time than gas though.

If we get sidewalks or bike paths installed between my house and work, I will gladly ride my uni several days a week, but that may be a couple of years. If I tried it now, I would never make it. It would be my last uni ride.

That being said, Raphael should be ashamed of himself driving a fossil fuel car.
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Old 2004-09-26, 12:59 AM   #12
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Thanks all for your advice. All things considered I'm going to stick with the 4,000 miles between each oil change.
Quote:
Originally posted by bugman
That being said, Raphael should be ashamed of himself driving a fossil fuel car.
Chad,

You should be ashamed of yourself, period.

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Last edited by JJuggle; 2004-09-26 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 2004-09-26, 03:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by JJuggle
Thanks all for your advice. All things considered I'm going to stick with the 4,000 miles between each oil change.Chad,

You should be ashamed of yourself, period.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ
You have to admit it was easy.
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Old 2004-09-26, 03:13 AM   #14
JJuggle
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Quote:
Originally posted by bugman
You have to admit it was easy.
Absolutely. The cleverness of a pie in the face and the subtlety of a can of Raid.

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Old 2004-09-26, 03:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by bugman
If we get sidewalks or bike paths installed between my house and work, I will gladly ride my uni several days a week, but that may be a couple of years. If I tried it now, I would never make it. It would be my last uni ride.
Sidewalks in Atl. suck. So do the buses. I used to live there, and when I came to SF i finally learned what it meant to walk somewhere.
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