You talked about not changing oil in car. It was so good to hear you mention my husband Malcolm Wells today on show # 1008. My husband died November 27,2009. He had a 1992 Ford Escort in which he never changed the oil because of knowing the army tanks ran better in WWII without changing the oil. His Escort had 112,000 miles on it when he had to give up driving. The car had plenty of rust spots that he covered with duct tape but the car kept on running. I felt your mentioning him put a smile on my face. He was a great guy and you can read how great he was on his website. There you will find his obituaries in The N.Y.Times and The Boston Globe, They were put on his website www.malcolmwells.com. Thank you! I LOVE your show
I think we all need to reflect on the fact that the people we talk too, advise. at times berate, are real people that have families, have done great things, lived lives with both happiness and sorrow. It is all to easy to just think of dollars and getting ahead.
One can hope that there is an oil leak on an engine which never gets an oil change. This way, the person knows he / she has to put oil in to replenish the leaked amount. This maintaining of the oil level, is introducing fresh oil into the old; thus, getting some oil “changed” (by replenishment).
This could be a beneficent “curse”: “MAY YOUR ENGINE LEAK OIL!”
Back in high school I worked in a gas station pumping gas. One of our customers never changed his oil either. If I recall his words correctly, he told us: “I always keep my cars 100,000 miles, change the oil filter every 25K, and never change the oil. I’ve never had a problem.”
While that maintenance philosophy was not something any of us in the garage endorsed, who were we to argue? They were his cars and it worked for him.
I had a customer 30 years ago who grew up in NYC. He had never needed a car until he got out of college and took a teaching/coaching job at the local high school in my small midwestern town. He bought a well used Ford station wagon. I have no idea when the oil was last changed, but when the oil pressure light came on he visited me. He’d owned the car five or six years. Checking the dipstick revealed oil (or something) at the proper level. Yes. he’d added oil. He knew about the dipstick. The goo in the engine was quite dark and thick. I recommended an oil change. It was as though he’d never heard the term. When we lifted the car up and pulled the plug, NOTHING came out. We added a quart of clean solvent, ran it for five minutes, and drained it. We replaced the oil and filter and recommended that he bring it back for another change in 500 miles. Never saw him in the shop again, although he and the car were still in town two years later.
In the fifties and sixties there was a company selling a filter cartridge casing that would hold a roll of toilet paper. This was marketed as to do away with changing oil!! Just change the filter every 1000 miles and top up the oil with one quart.
As you might have guessed, this amounted to an oil change every 4000-5000 miles, and a filter change every 1000 miles!
There were many testimonials of drivers who “had not changed oil for 100,000 miles”!
In fleet maintenance the oil analysius sheets have a space for “oil added” and this is calculated in with the other wear data.
As mentioned, if you leak enough oil, you are changing it constantly, except for the guck that accumulates at the bottom of the oil pan.
King Louis XIV of France caught a cold while having a bath; he then concluded that taking a bath was bad for you! He never took another one!!! Many of his courtiers followed his example, and B.O. became a real problem. They French solved this in their own unique way by creating the now famous Perfume Industry!!!
Docnick–in the late '60s I remember seeing in the J. C. Whitney catalog–I think it was–an oil filter for a VW Beetle that used a roll of toilet paper for an element. Could this be what you’re talking about?
It was the “Frantz Oil Cleaner”…You can still get them today. These are partial flow filters that use a roll of toilet paper. Correctly installed and serviced, they kept the oil very clean. But like others have said, because of leakage, normal consumption and the quart lost with the filter, you were always, slowly, changing your oil…
Oil does not wear out, especially the old single grade oils…They just get contaminated with combustion blow-by. If this contamination can be completely removed, the oil will last forever…The “full-flow” filters used in modern cars don’t begin to do that…
When I was a kid, my family didn’t have much money. My parents would buy junkers for next to nothing and basically drive them for around two years or until they were undrivable. They never did any maintenance but because they were always leaky, pieces of junk, they would constantly top off fluids.
It wasn’t the most environmentally friendly system in the world but they got a lot of life out of them for very little money.
I sure wasn’t in the military in WWII. But, in 1964/5 I was with the 6th BN, 32nd Arty at Ft. Lewis until I escaped to Crash Rescue at Gray Air base, and I assure you the oil was changed in the 8 inch howitzers. At inspections, the Battery XO checked the maintenance records and heaven help them if it wasn’t changed per schedule. I am curious if there is a source which documents this increased performance without changing the oil. Sounds strange, but I sure don’t know everything in the world.
by the way, I don’t want anyone to think our XO was smarter than a rock. He would look under the smaller vehicles, and if he didn’t see grease on the zerks, he made us grease them again. Maintenance manuals said to wipe them clean to avoid collecting dirt, an absolute no-brainer, but we learned with that moron we had to deliberately smear grease around the zerks just before inspection, then clean them before going to the field.
Caddyman, I agree that the base oil (about 75% of modern oils) lasts forever, unless it carburizes (overheats). That’s why recycled oils with fresh additives are OK to use.
Unfortunately, the additives (25%) get depleted and have to be replenished. No amount of high quality filtering or centrifuging can take out acids and other liquid impurities, and RESTORE the additives. European drain intervals are very long, but the oils have greatly enhanced additive packages.
The toilet paper filter did a good job removing solid impurities, and the 1 quart added every 1000 miles kept the additives from being depleted. If the engine did not overheat, it could go a very long way without oil changes. There was still the sludge at the bottom of the crankcase that would form over time and would EVENTUALLY do the engine in.