I have a Chrysler 200 that is new enough to keep me informed of how much oil life remains, but can I trust it? It’s been 6000 (easy) miles and 15 months since my last oil change (synthetic) and my car is saying that 25% of the oil’s life is left. I’m inclined to believe it since I think that automakers are overly conservative with regard to oil change intervals. Should I change the oil when the car says 5% left? 10%? Or do you recommend a mileage or time interval?
Most vehicles today are at least saying to change the oil every 12 months . Look in your manual at the service schedule . Why take a chance ?
This is from your owners manual, NOTICE the 12 MONTHS
Most manuals will tell you at least once per year no matter what the OLM says .
Once again, I am mystified that so many people can’t seem to wrap their heads around the “x miles or x months, whichever comes first” proviso in the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.
To me, this lack of comprehension is… puzzling.
Personally, I change oil every 5k-7k miles for N/A engines with port injection, no more than 5k miles for D.I. engines or engines with forced induction.
Most manufactures with OLM’s state that 10k miles OR 12 months (whichever comes first) is the max no matter what the OLM says.
I’m curious why you’d follow our recommendation but not the requirement printed in your owner’s manual.
Yup, we’ve said all this before. I change mine at 5000 miles which is usually 6 months.
The curious fact though is if that OLM is so accurate, why would it still be at 25% after 16 months. It should have zeroed out at 12 months. So that’s why I just use it as a guide and don’t trust it.
+1 to Bing’s comment.
My car doesn’t have an OLM, but because I accumulate miles… slowly… nowadays, I change the oil every 5 months, and that represents ~4k miles.
If your objective is to keep the car on the road for a long time, suggest to not go longer than 5k miles between oil and filter changes. You can never save enough $$$ by deferring the oil changes to pay for the increased chance of engine damage. As long as the job is done properly an oil and filter change will only help, never hurt.
Using oil unnecessarily is bad for the planet, so that’s a factor to consider as well.
I stick to 6 months or 6000 miles, whichever comes first. And I run synthetic in both of our cars.
Works for me and it’s simple.
Thanks for all of the great suggestions to read the manual. There’s a lot of good information in it! I have a few more questions: 1) for those on fixed intervals, do you vary the mileage interval depending on the type of oil, synthetic v. mineral oil? 2) since the OLM doesn’t know what kind type of oil I use, isn’t it going to be very conservative when a synthetic oil is used? 3) if you use a conservative mileage or time interval then using synthetic oil is a waste of money, isn’t it?
The first thing to determine–via the Owner’s Manual–is whether the mfr specifies that synthetic oil must be used. If the mfr specifies synthetic oil ONLY, then you shouldn’t even be considering the use of “dino” oil.
That being said, all oil–regular or synthetic–gets dirty at the same rate, and that is why vehicle mfrs specify the same oil change interval for their engines, regardless of the type of oil that is used. Synthetic oil definitely has some advantages, but it can’t magically remain “clean” for longer than regular “dino” oil.
I consider the OLM to be optimistic rather than conservative, I usually do mine at 20%.
When the OLM hits 20%, it’s time to schedule the oil change. Don’t go to 0%. If you don’t get to 20% remaining in one year since the last one, get the oil changed anyway.