Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Mileage for first oil change

Is 8000 miles the right time to make the first oil change on a new car? According to the Honda dealer my new Honda Fit should get the oil change when oil is 15% clean. It now has 4000 miles and is 60%clean. I'm about to take a 1500 mile trip. They say there are "break-in" additives in the original oil that should be allowed to continue working. Really????


  • edited December 2009
    If this is the recommendation in your owner's manual, I would go with it. There is a lot said about engine break in, etc, and I realy don't know who or what to believe, so defaulting to the manufacturer's recommendation is prudent.
  • edited December 2009
    Yes, really.

    Honda's engineers took the time to research this issue and give you a clear recommendation. Why question it?
  • edited December 2009
    A 1500 mile trip is very easy on oil and car. I would not fret much about this.

    Honda does put some sort of additives from the factory to help break in. But if you get the itch to change it do so.

    Your OLM is basically a more accurate depiction of the 3000 or 5000 mile oil change.
  • edited December 2009
    Thanks for your reassurance. I've always been told to make the first oil change early to remove the engine filings. But now I guess they must do that before we get the cars. I am also considering using synthetic oil when the first change occurs. Do you consider this a good idea or not? Thanks again for your time and comments. DM
  • edited December 2009
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I guess it's my habit to quesstion things, especially when they seem extraordinary. DM
  • edited December 2009
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate the reassurance. DM
  • edited December 2009
    How do you determine if it's 15% "clean" or 60% "clean"?? Is there some amazing Driver Information Screen that displays what it's program tells it to display?? I guarantee you there in NOTHING that actually monitors the condition of the oil..Honda uses an alumasil block, a process that eliminates steel cylinder liners. The factory MAY use a special "break-in" oil to protect this delicate technology during the critical (for Honda) break-in process..So I would follow the OWNERS MANUAL to the letter..
  • edited December 2009
    50 years ago engine manufacturing was rather primitive by today's standards, and "iron filings" were indeed present in such quantity that oil and filter had to be changed early. Your Honda is the result of an extremely sophisticated manufacturing process which requires virtually no break-in driving past the initial 1000 miles.

    However, I would go by what is in the OWNER'S MANUAL, rather than what the dealers says. My Toyota, for instance did not have any special break-in oil and I ran it 5000 miles as per the instruction manual.

    As others point out, your car is already broken in, and the trip will be easy on the engine.

    Have a great trip!

    P.S. Most experts recommend to hold off using synthetic in your type of engine till the 3rd oil change; reason given that regular oil is less slippery and allows the rings to seat properly (wear in) so the engine will not use oil. This makes theoretical sense, and you have nothing to lose by doing it.
  • edited December 2009
    I believe Honda does normally use a break-in oil. I wouldn't change it early, personally.
  • edited December 2009
    My preference is to do oil changes every 4k, but I've never had a car with an oil monitor. I'll bow to the majority on this one.

    One suggestion, get into the habit of checking the oil level on a regular basis. Most Owner's manuals say to check the oil at every fillup. I check mine every 2 weeks or so.

    Most cars will not use much oil between changes, but there are exceptions. More than a few posters have had newer cars with damaged engines due to low oil. A common thread in these occurrences is a failure to check the oil level between changes. It only takes a minute to do this and is also a good time to check for anything amiss under the hood. For example, during oil level checks on my 2000 Blazer, drops in the coolant level were found to be due to a leaking intake manifold gasket and a leaking radiator. Both times, the problems were fixed before any major damage occurred.

    I would also bring an extra quart of oil for the road trip just to be safe.

    Good luck,

    Ed B.
This discussion has been closed.