Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Oil change

I recently purchased a 2012 Sonata and would like to know when I should have the first oil service. Some people say 3K, while others say at 5K. Others say the initial service should be done at 1K. What is recommended? Please advise.
Thank you.

I would go by what the the Owner’s Manual/Service Schedule suggests. Whatever you decide to do, get into the habit of checking the oil level on a regular basis. According to the manual for my wife’s 06 Sienna, increased oil consumption could occur during the first few thousand miles of operation. This did not occur, but I still check the oil level on a regular basis.

Ed B.

Is this car showroom new, couple hundred miles or so ?
Or ‘new to you’ used, demo or otherwise had an oil change already ?

Many ( including me ) like the very first oil change to be a bit earlier than the rountine future oil changes. It doesn’t hurt , then folow the book after that.

You will get varying opinions on this but mine is that a new car should get an early oil change (say 1k miles) and the oil should be changed afterwards depending on driving habits and environmental conditions.
If you do a lot of short hop driving with dusty or humid condition every 3k miles or 3-4 months may be called for.
If most of your driving is highway use then I don’t have a problem with 5k miles/6 month intervals.

(For what it’s worth, I live in OK and it’s very dusty here. The manual on my lawn tractor says to change the oil every 30 hours and that ain’t gonna happen. It gets changed every 10 hours at the maximum and even by that point the oil is filthy and black. Servicing the air filter on that tractor is something that must be done before every single use. That may help illustrate how enviro conditions come into play.)

I recommend that you go by the owner’s manual recommendation. And keep your copies of the shop orders in th efolder with your owner’s manual. Should you need to use the warranty, it’ll be good to have the proof.

I vote for what is recommended by the manufacturer of the car. I have read opinions on why you might want to change it more often or less often. Generally. With few exceptions I will suggest that the difference between what is recommended in the owner’s manual is not something you need to worry about.

A little more often or less often is not likely to case any problems. However I would not recommend changing it less often until after it is no longer covered under warranty. I would not change my oil any less than recommended in the owner’s manual.

Per the usual, I have to respectfully disagree that the factory always knows best. :slight_smile:

The factory recommendation from Toyota about oil changes (which led to sludging complaints) and GM’s revamping of the dashboard oil life minder which created some engine problems are a couple of examples of why the factory doesn’t always know best.

One of my personal favorites; the response from Subaru corporate when queried by a car owner about transmission fluid change intervals:
“I researched previously with our Technical Services Department as to when these fluids need to be replaced. They advised: The transmission fluid in your Subaru should be replaced if it is really black and smells burnt.”

That’s about as ludicrous as it gets and if the fluid is that bad then someone doesn’t need a fluid change; they need a new transmission.

I’m mostly with ok4450, though it depends a little bit. When my mom got a new Malibu we talked about the oil changes & the GM OLM. I just asked if she expected to try to keep the car as long as possible, or if she would probably keep it 3-4 years and then trade it in on another. I mostly knew the answer since my parents have always been the type to get rid a car at the first sign of an issue. They’d rather always be making a car payment and driving a newer car with a warranty rather than mess with repair and unpredictability. When she confirmed that was probably the strategy I said follow the OLM. But said if she thought she might want to just keep it rolling indefinitely, she should ignore the OLM and go about every 5-6K (appropriate for their mostly rural highway/highway driving).

I too agree with going with the manual…but having said that, 3k, a little earlier then usual will do no harm and may make you " feel" better. Remember that how long you plan to keep a,car is often more depended upon body maintenance then oil change intervals. Generally, the motor far outlast the condition of the body regardless of the initial oil change interval as far as the original owner is concerned when it comes to trade in value.

Oh no! It’s the dreaded “dinosaurs vs geeks” argument again!!! The dinosaurs always win by chanting “Toyota engine sludge, Toyota engine sludge”. Coming up next week the dinosaurs will tell us why cars are more dangerous today than 20 years ago. Stay tuned!!!

Having spent my whole professional life around “geeks”, I’d put my money on the dinosaurs.

Sorry that you haven’t found the agreement among professionals that you were seeking. I used to do oil changes whenever the feeling hit me. That was because I used to buy a used car every eight months and sell them whenever I got bored with them. I got more serious when I started keeping them for years.

I never destroyed an engine by neglecting the oil changes. I destroyed one because it leaked and I let it run dry. Feel good about whatever you choose to do as long as you can sleep at night. Please feel free to give oil change advice here; it’s variety that spices up this site. You don’t even have to explain your advice; somebody will do it for you.

For a 2001 Honda Civic - it was recommended to go by the owner’s manual - and the interval was quite long - change after 10K miles I believe. I was told it was important to leave that first oil in the car for that long because it had some beneficial ingredients for the engine. Not exactly those words - anyway, I would follow the owners manual - and keep the warranty covered.

@sinah - Remind me not to take you to Las Vegas. Dinosaurs are extinct…

If I’m reading this correctly, the “geeks” are the same ones that bring the world “lifetime” transmission fluid. If the geeks are brilliant enough to design transmissions & fluid specs that never require any servicing, then I suppose I shall bow to their brilliance and blindly follow orders. I mean, you know, those unserviced transmissions never fail.

Or wait…

1000 miles is old school thinking from about 40 years ago.

3000 or 5000 or what manual recommends are all good times. Do what you feel comfortable with.

The most important things about oil are changing it periodically and checking(level) periodically. If you can manage these two things the cars engine related to oil will outlast likely your will to own the vehicle. (Over) Stretching or low oil level both lead to shorter engine life.

@cigroller - I love ya like a brotha but you are a dinosaur!!! One thing is for sure, you are usually on the money.

@bloody_knuckles - ROFL - still laughing. Backatcha geek.