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???

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.

Yes, really.

Honda’s engineers took the time to research this issue and give you a clear recommendation. Why question it?

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.

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

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I guess it’s my habit to quesstion things, especially when they seem extraordinary. DM

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate the reassurance. DM

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…

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.

I believe Honda does normally use a break-in oil. I wouldn’t change it early, personally.

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.

I had a problem with this when I bought my 2002 Sienna in 2001. The manual said to break the engine in by driving at varied speeds for quite a while, but not driving fast. That certainly implies a break-in, or at least that is the way I took it.

If it is indeed a break-in, then something has to change. A motor can’t break-in without polishing or smoothing or changing tolerances somehow, thus there has to be something metal moving around in there. Maybe not filings, but at least powder of some sort.

I knew in a few days I was going to be driving across the country, and it was going to be at 70 mph when the law allowed. So, I went on drives north of McAllen on less busy highways, for example out by old Moore air base, changing speed as they said, to get my miles on.

And, at 1,000 miles I took it to the dealer to get the oil changed, and they promise to use all genuine Toyota parts. The guy looked peeved that I would change my oil at 1,000 miles. And, when I picked up the car, it said Pennzoil, which I am sure is not a genuine Toyota part, the last time they ever changed my oil.

To me, it was simple. Either the car needs a break-in, or it doesn’t. And, if it does, then there is metal in some form, even if only microscopic powder form, because break-in has to do something. So, I changed the oil.

And, it was my car and I can do that, right or wrong. And, whatever opinion you have, I feel the same is your right. Synthetic; dino oil; change every 3000 miles or not until it blows. It’s your vehicle, unless you pass it off as a used car. That is exactly what liberty is supposed to mean. People talk a lot about a free country, and it has long been apparent most have no concept of liberty as also applying to your right to change you oil as you want, without being hounded and harassed by those whose views are different.

The other issue is using synthetic. Some folks have said not to put in synthetic until maybe 50,000 or more miles, because if you put it in too soon, the motor won’t break in.

Let us use our brains for a minute to think about that. I admit they fooled me, too, for a while.

If, and I repeat, if, the synthetic makes things so slippery it can’t break in, then it sure seems obvious that it makes things so slippery that it really doesn’t need to break in.

Once I realized this, I realized this was another of those myths made up by those who really don’t think about what they are saying.

If I ever buy another new car, it will get synthetic at the first oil change.

“I guarantee you there in NOTHING that actually monitors the condition of the oil.”

Honda probably uses something similar to the GM system. They monitor several pieces of engine data to determine when the oil is spent. I’ve used the oil monitor on my 2003 Olds for the last 90,000 miles and still never have to add oil between changes. Something must be going right. California uses the oil monitors on it’s cars and trucks to determine when to change oil. They have saved a lot of money. And they checked it out to make sure it wasn’t a false economy. Their state motor pool is sophisticated enough that they can check the systems to see if they work. Cali even encourages citizens to use the oil monitor in their car. They say it works, based on their studies.

BTW, what if the owner’s manual says to do what the oil monitor tells you to do?

Thank you, all, for your input. I will reply to some of your questions. My 2009 Honda Fit is equipped with an Oil Life Monitor that also monitors fuel uptake and probable mileage, as well as providing the odometer and trip odometer, all in the same device on the dash. I now have about 5500 miles on the car; and after my next trip, it will have 7500+ miles. The service mgr. told me today that the first service will not be necessary until I return. He claims the engines now do not require the same careful break-in that we used to have to do. When I bought the car on 9/27, I packed it and left the same day for Yellowstone, then off to Bozeman, and back home in 14 days, 3000 miles. I was told just to vary my speed of travel, and thanks to lots of road work in Nevada, I did. Thanks again. DM

I agree with some of the others, follow Honda’s recommendations to the letter. Just make sure you check the oil regularly, we’ve had folks post here who were surprised to find out they should have been checking their oil between oil changes (multi-quarts low!).

I have a 2004 accord and changed their oil out at 2500 miles. I have 82K on it now and no oil issues. I change it with dino or syn blend every 2-3K. just my opinion

My opinion is there are so many opinions, that in the end it is YOUR opinion which matters to you, period, end of debate. I am serious. I pity the newbie who comes on here and has no idea what to do with oil changes. Heh, heh. I have a different plan now, since testing, but I do consider those who change every 3,000 miles to have made a valid decision since it suits them, and it is their car, and they can sleep nights without worrying about sludge and excessively dirty oil, so why not?

In my Sienna, the manual did say to drive slowly with varying speed. The only deviation I made was to change the oil sooner than they said. See above comment.

irlandes; glad to here you actually went ahead and tested you engine oil to determine the proper change interval. Fleet owners do this all the time, of course to optimize the trade-off between maintenance and repair costs.

When I last tested my oil on a 305 V8 Caprice, there was only 50-60 parts per million of wear metals when changing the oil at 3000 miles. That’s with using a block heater in the winter and lots of highway driving. EXXON condems oil at 200 parts/million! The other indicator, viscosity change, carbon, water, and gasoline were all way below below the allowable. I’m sure you measured all these!

Armed with this info, I was able to go to 5000 miles and still sleep nights, knowing that my car’s engine would not wear out prematurely due to infrequent oil changes.

In another post you state that some countries “mandate” long oil change intervals to reduce waste oil. That’s true in Europe. I recently rented a Vauxhall in England, and the manual had an unbelievable 20,000 MILES interval for oil changes. The oil specified was similar to VW and BMW oil, but even in a non-sludging engine, this really shortens engine life.

In a similar post here there is an argument about the role of the marketing department. Of course, car makers want to advertise the longest drain interval that gets the car past the EXPIRATION of the WARRANTY without failure claims. The engineers have very little say in this other than give some statistical figures about the risk of engine failure at these various intervals.

As another poster pointed out, the manual’s figures are MINIMUM and OK for the guy who trades cars every 3-4 years. To cover their buns, most manuals also refer to a SEVERE operating regime; that’s more the one to follow.

Toyota pulled back from 8000 miles a few years back to 5000 miles now for all their vehicles because of these premature failures during severe operation.

As one poster wisely remarked; “oil changes are about maximizing engine life, not oil life”!