6th Jun 2011, 13:43

I like synthetic in low mile engines or if the manufacturer started with it. Higher mile engines, I use good regular oil. I certainly would stay on one or the other, not switch back. Either way, I change it frequently and the filter.

No comment was made on those that live on dusty roads or very short daily commutes where the car never truly warms up. I know some that change every 4 months because of that issue. If you over-change your oil your engine will not be upset. Overextend it, and it can be a lot higher than a filter change.

I change mine myself on Mobil 1 changes on 2 of my vehicles. My C5 Vette is 6 1/2 quarts and is super easy to change, and the filter is straight down. Piece of cake. I like Castrol and Napa Gold Filters and ZDPP on my 70. My newer low mile Silverado also easy to change, and it's on synthetic. I have changed Trailblazer oil, and it's just harder to access, and the bottom protective plate needs removed. To me it's a pain. It is just easier to take it in and much less time consuming. That's my GM 2 cents on oil changes.

7th Jun 2011, 12:12

When reading about oil changes, I'm reminded of a friend of mine's daughter. She was single and knew not the slightest thing about a car. In the mid-70's she bought a brand new Ford Torino with the 351 Cleveland engine. 5 years later at 56,000 miles, the engine locked up. It turned out that she had never had the car serviced or even had the hood open in all those 5 years!! I'm surprised the battery lasted that long. I do, however, believe that if her car had had synthetic oil, it would have gone a lot further than that.

8th Jun 2011, 08:47

My brother in law did the same thing. He never heard of changing the oil. Ha ha ha. That being said... when a car seizes up from lack of oil, it usually has been coming for a long time. The amount of dirt in the oil builds up and eventually just fills the block with sludge. Why people think synthetic oil doesn't get dirty like conventional is beyond me. Yes, it is better overall, but if you really think you can drive 56K miles on the same oil, no matter what type it is, then you will be spending a lot of money on new engines. Even if the car still runs at that mileage, the amount of sludge in the engine will be pretty severe, and the performance will be suffering greatly.

This isn't an argument for me really though. I change my oil every 6 months, or at 5K miles or less. To me, a 20 minute job that costs about $18 is a ridiculous thing to skip if it could save me $thousands down the road. Plus, like I said before, doing 10K mile or more mile change intervals is going to be costly if your engine fails even under warranty, because guess what, at that interval, you no longer have a warranty.

8th Jun 2011, 09:31

I had a coworker with a company car that changed his oil twice in 50000 miles. I know I would not want to buy that car afterwards. Now its tracked better and we are lucky to even still have company cars. I prefer no blue smoke out of my exhaust, even though the car still runs. Again, I pity the next buyer who buys a neglected car due to not caring about it.

9th Jun 2011, 10:28

Synthetic cost a bit more than $18, but I totally agree with you. I use it as my cars sit. There little chance of the sludge issue as with conventional oil. I always go with very good filters. My do it yourself changes run close to $50 synthetic with filter. To me that's not super high. One of my vehicles costs over $100 just for a tank of gas. I also use Stabil and Startron to prevent ethanol breakdown issues in my tanks. I also use that in my boat.

Blue smoke coming from your tailpipes, now that's attractive to see. We have strict emissions tests; 2 part tests on exhaust. Fail that and it costs at least $100 for an approved licensed emission motor vehicle listed station to test and possibly correct. My state may be strict on emissions, but I see a lot more of that coming for other states as well. Pay the $18, and at least change your reg oil and filter often. It's smart and cheap insurance for a very costly modern motor.

9th Jun 2011, 13:32

Comment 10:28 sounds pretty much like my experience. I spend around $50 per oil change (which I always do myself) for Castrol Syntech and a high-quality filter. I change at 7,000-12,000 mile intervals. With synthetic there is no sludging, so mileage between changes is not that important. One of our vehicles has what is called an "oil monitoring system" that turns on a light when the oil has degraded enough to require changing. It very seldom comes on before 11,000 miles.

I have torn down engines that were run 50,000+ miles on regular (non-synthetic) oil, changed at 3000-5000 mile intervals, and found the engine components covered in thick sludge. I have torn down engines at 50,000+ miles run on full synthetic, changed at 10,000 mile intervals, and found the engine components glistening like a polished mirror with a thin film of clean, non-contaminated oil.

I have never seen any smoke from the exhaust of any of our cars, including the poor quality imports. Nor have any of our cars except for Honda ever used a drop of oil. With full synthetic oil, there really is no reason to be at all concerned about going 10,000 miles between changes. The campaigns by oil companies to sell more oil has really created an urban myth about this. Most domestic manufacturers owner's manual recommend 7000-7500 mile change intervals, even with cheap oil. All of our domestics recommend 7000 mile change intervals, except the one with the oil monitor system, which tells you when you should change based on oil degradation. That one generally cues us in to the need to change around 11,000 miles, so I assume that is plenty soon enough. If an engine shows no sludging or build-up after 50,000 miles using synthetic oil changed at 10,000 miles or more, that is all the evidence I need. I see no rational reason to change any sooner.

10th Jun 2011, 09:24

There are many examples of misinformation that keep on recurring on these and other posts. One that I was reminded of yesterday was the urban legend that SUV's are MORE dangerous than small imports. This myth was no doubt started by import PR people, but it has never been anything but a myth.

A huge headline in a national newspaper caught my attention yesterday. It basically stated that the safest vehicles on Earth were (as we knew all along) larger SUV's. It went on to state that the latest tests and surveys (among many) clearly showed that you were 3 times more likely to die in a crash in a small car than in a roll-over in an SUV.

Small car maunfacturers have advertised "crumple zones". What they don't tell you is that the "crumple zone" stretches from the front bumper to the back bumper, and in a collision anything between the two bumpers will be squished into jelly.

Until the U.S. outlaws vehicles weighing over 2500 pounds (as they should), there is no way to repeal the laws of physics. Big vehicles are and always will be much safer.