First oil change? When?

True. But most cars will go 200k no matter what oil you use. And people really don’t want to deal with all the other problems that arise when you pass the 200k mark. So it isn’t all that reasonable to use Mobil 1 as it would be for say a Porsche. Because Porsche is a high performance engine that needs that particular high performance oil to protect all the time unlike the typical average American car. People won’t really care, I don’t think, at the end of the day if the car is burning some oil or burning very little oil.

I have a 1995 Saturn SL with 325k. I had to put in 2 radiators, many brake jobs and so many other things that anyone else who can’t work on their own cars and who doesn’t want all the expensive maintenance bills will gladly say enough is enough at 200 to 250k. But for people like me who want their money to go the distance and who don’t necessarily mind the inconvenience then it does make a difference.

So I think Honda is calculating all of those factors and has made the most reasonable one all around. It makes no sense for the average car driver to use Mobil 1; but I’m not the average car driver. I drive and drive until my cars are no more.

Were not saying you shouldn’t use Mobil 1. I drive a 2000 Toyota Camry V6 and I use Mobil 1. We’re just saying you should follow the owner’s manual.

First off I’m not complaining.
I have bought 3 new cars in my life and this is the first time I’ve come across break-in oil. So I was investigating about this break-in oil to see if there was a newer way of breaking in the engine that I hadn’t heard of before. Come to find out that Mobil 1 has that same Molybdenum Disulfide in their oil as well. I don’t think it is anymore than just that additive so as to insure that the engine makes it safely thru even for those who don’t take particular care on how they drive in the first 5000 miles. Peoples lives are too busy to really care about what’s best for their cars.

I agree with you that following the owners manual is going to give everyone the basic desired result: 200k or more. And really that’s all people really expect out of a car. But I’m looking more than 250k I’m looking for 300k or more. So my goal is different than most of the people who buy cars.

Well, its good to know that your car will be well taken care of.

Please make sure you service your transmission at about 40K miles. That is the one place in the owner’s manual that this forum mostly agrees is wrong as most manufacturers either say don’t worry about it or wait until 100K miles to change the fluid. Also, by service we mean a pan drop with filter change. Not a tranny flush.

Best of luck!

I don’t know what you guys do or did for a living, except in a few cases. I worked in a large international corporation for over 30 years. They make decisions not based on divine powers of intelligence, but usually based on some sort of statistical and mathematical algorithm. Or, of course, in worst possible cases, some high ranking management person takes a wild guess.

In the case of car companies, I am going to be generous and say I suspect it is with statistical and mathematical studies, but in the end management and marketing people make the final decision, not engineers who supply the curves which measure oil change frequency vs. motor life expectancy.

After the studies are done, they pick a point which is a trade-off between excess oil changes, and long motor life. It might be they want the motor to last 100,000 miles; or maybe 200,000 miles, or ? I really doubt they are striving for 300,000 miles, but I am sure Honda wants more than 100,000 miles. They do not tell us that important item in their decision making process.

As long as they won’t tell us where that trade-off is, I for one am not especially interested in their decision. I certainly do not view it as being etched into stone tablets coming down from a mountain peak as some of you seem to do.

I now believe in oil testing for your own driving pattern, and go by that, as long as you change the oil as often as they tell you UNTIL THE WARRANTY EXPIRES.

I am now at an 8,000+ mile change cycle. My Sienna has 174,500 miles on it, engine is in good shape, which you can also tell from the oil test, and at 8,000 miles the Mobil-1 EP is also still in good shape by all tested parameters. My driving is mostly highway driving south of the Snowbelt.

When we bought this Sienna in Oct. 2001, there was an article on the dealer office, which reported a man had driven a Corolla 800,000 miles without engine repairs (excluding maintenance, of course.) If anyone here thinks he did that by following factory recommended oil changes, I have some land for sale really cheap, please bring a rowboat to view it.

You are absolutely right about forum agreement that transmission fluid needs to be serviced much more often than the factory recommendations. However, there is not unanimity that the only valid choice is to drop the pan. That is one valid choice, and is your choice, which is cool. Over the years on this URL, other car owners have received good benefits by other choices, such as Drain and Refill Often, or yes, even the flushes if done often enough, depending upon the make.

I guess my disagreement centers around your use of the word, “we” which is inappropriate. “We” have had many discussions on this over the year, and different people do different things with success.

My Sienna, 174,500 miles shifts like new, has never had the pan dropped, but does get a drain and fill of 3 quarts far more often than 30,000 miles.

Yeah, he probably did it by not going 8000+ miles between oil changes! :slight_smile:

You don’t think they have an ax to grind? Do you think that they might be only wanting to cover their Warranty and extended Warranties so they put that break-in oil to guarantee just that? Why should they want your car to go 300k or more - of what benefit does it get them? You don’t think that they are not at all thinking of the bottom line? Then why does Porsche and Corvette to name a few use Mobil 1 as their break-in oil. Maybe Honda should contact Porsche to show them how it should be done i.e. Honda’s special break-in-oil way.

No, if Honda had some special superior way of protecting your engine better than anyone else, I wager that most of your top name car companies would probably be doing the same.

Here’s where your thinking falls apart- you assume all engines are identical, that their designs, materials and processes used to construct them are essentially identical and therefore can be treated in the same manner. To use your example, Corvette engines use completely different rings than came in your car. They can seat to the cylinder walls even if synthetic motor oil is used from hour 1. If you’ve ever BUILT a motor, you’d know about various ring materials, cylinder sleeving materials, honing patterns, lubrication requirements and so on and how they interact.

Honda, based on their design and materials, has determined that moly added to the break-in oil helps their engines to break in properly and suspend particulates in a way that helps them to last longer, even in spite of owner ignorance during this period. That is, until and owner out-thinks them and drains it away. It’s ironic that your goal is to MAXIMIZE the life of your engine and you’ve done something out of ignorance that will likely reduce your chances of achieving that goal.

Honda’s goal is owner satisfaction so that you will return and buy another and also tell everyone you know how great yours is. They have a lot to lose if you’re dissatisfied despite the conspiracy theories your proposing.

28 posts…Had this thread been titled “When should my 16 year old daughter change her oil” it would have 50 replies by now. If the word “Synthetic” was used, 75 replies easy…

The FACT is, the TRANNY will fail long before the engine, sending the Honda to the scrap yard regardless of when the oil was first changed…

it all basically comes down to the same answer as 40% of all the questions. Read your owners manual. In this case it says:
Break In Period
Help assure your vehicle?s future
reliability and performance by paying
extra attention to how you drive
during the first 600 miles (1,000 km).
During this period:
Avoid full-throttle starts and rapid
Avoid hard braking for the first
200 miles (300 km).
Do not change the oil until the
scheduled maintenance time.
Do not tow a trailer.
You should also follow these
recommendations with an
overhauled or exchanged engine, or
when the brakes are replaced.
When will people realize that the manual is written and included with the car for a reason.

I once worked on a customer’s 2001 Chevy Suburban, which had 481k miles on the odometer. I asked them a lot of questions about how they maintained the truck, what kind of major work they had done, etc. to find out what the secret to the longevity of this truck was, especially considering that on the test drive the vehicle drove like new and had plenty of power. They stated that they followed the maintenance schedule and had only had to replace tires and brakes as they wore out. They were in the shop for brakes and an oil change when I worked on it. As far as the oil they used in the engine, they said they only used Valvoline 5w30. I think maintenance by the book and sensible driving play a more crucial role in the longevity of an engine than anything else. If a Chevy 5.3L LS motor can go half a million miles without incident on plain old dino oil, pushing around a 6,000lb truck, and getting oil changes and maintenance as required by the manual, obeying the owner’s manual is probably the way to go.

Its done. Don’t live your life in doubt, the engine will be fine. Agreeing or not agreeing with your decision won’t change anything at this point.I have faith in the civic motor.

Thanks for the encouragement. Today I came to the conclusion that changing the oil at 170 miles was probably a wrong idea until tonight when I read Mr. Allen on breaking in a new car at Popular Mechanics. He changes the oil at 20 miles and then 1000. He also says that those who say not to use a Synthetic oil because it is too slippery and will not properly seat the cylinder walls is rubbish. To tell you the truth I can’t say who really has the corner on the truth about this matter; but I will continue to learn even if it means showing me that I was wrong on the matter. I still can’t believe that leaving in the metal filings in the first couple of hundred miles can be a good thing for your engine. The main reason for switching over to the synthetic was to minimize the cold start as much as possible. Still can’t understand why nobody has come up with an ingenious method to get the engine warm to avoid cold start yet.

They have…It’s called a “pre-lube pump”, electrically driven, mounts on an adapter under the oil filter…Driver turns on key, then depresses a button which activates the pump. Wen normal oil pressure is observed, driver starts pre-lubed engine.

By they STILL go through the shredder when the automatic transmission fails, the engine running like a watch, $100 worth of German Castrol in it’s crankcase.

If you want to REALLY obsess about oil, there is a special web-site called “” where you need a snow-plow to push through the BS…Amzoil makes a special spray-on coating for the blade so it will slide through easier…

So you’d crush an otherwise perfectly good car just because the tranny failed? I had the impression you were more handy and fiscally responsible than that.

The debate is not about what is the weakest link in the car, it’s about ignoring specific instructions from the manufacturer because you read some yokel who said it was OK. Hey, it’s your money do what you want. I’m. More concerned about people who run across this thread in the future and take the same advice…

There are lots of opinions and subjective data on when to do the 1st oil change, but no real studies I’m aware of that either tore down the motors (you’d have to have several baseline motors and several with various oil change protocols) to do measurements of wear of critical parts. These motors would be either test stand run, or on a track to rack up the miles and hours. This would cost money for equipment, fuel, drivers, test monitors, etc. So the costs would be high therefore it isn’t done.

This allows unsubstantiated claims for oil and no real consensous on the 1st oil change, and even the oil change intervals for the rest of the motors lifespan. My practice for years with many company cars was to make the 1st oil change somewhere after 1,000 mies and before 1,500. I never had any motor problems with these cars and they were traded at about 60K miles. I purchased 2 of them for personal use and both went beyond 150K miles with no motor problems. I think this practice works and makes sense. The original oil works a bit harder, is depleted faster, and there is the get the metal shavings out factor as well.

I bought a new Honda Civic in ‘03 and read the break-in process in the manual. Somewhere I learned about the specific break-in oil. For this car I deviated on my previous practice. I did leave the Honda oil in until the 1st service which the manual says is 10K. I drove a lot of highway miles, 9,970 miles in 5 mos. of the “break-in” period. I just turned 100K miles this week. The Civic uses -0- oil between changes, the oil stays clean and clear on the dipstick. So far the motor has needed no special service, oil changes, 1 set of spark plugs (95K), and had the 110K recommended valve adjustment done at 96K with timing belt/water pump job. This study of 1 seems to confirm Honda’s protocol. If I, and the car, make it to 200K I’ll post an update. Its a 5spd manual so a crapped out auto trans won’t be the end for this Civic. If it ever needs a clutch it will get a new one and keep truckin’ on.

This was my last new car. If I were to purchase another I would likely go with my previous practice, unless it is a Honda. In the case of Honda I’d go by the manual. To my knowledge Honda is the only mfg’r using a specially formulated oil for the new cars they ship from the factory. Therefore if I bought a Ford, or Toyota I’d read the manual and see if they had a special oil. If not, then 1,000 miles it is for the 1st change.