Oil changes

oil

#1

I recently moved to Washington State from New Jersey. The quick oil change guys here can’t believe I wait to change my oil every 5,000 miles. I tell them Click and Clack recommend 5,000 mile oil changes. The oil changers tell me they’re wrong and that my car will suffer. At the last oil change the guys put in synthetic oil (and charged me a fortune) because they’re so worried about my awful treatment of my car.



I never had a problem in Jersey.



Has something changed? Am I really messing up my car by waiting?



Thanks,

Confused in the Emerald City


#2

You have not stated you make, model and year of car, nor you driving pattern.

Unless you do only highway driving and/or have only trips of more than 10 miles, 5000 miles is too long. Somewhere you probably misinterpreted Tom & Ray’s advice.

Oil change intervals are a function of your driving style and the weather mostly, NOT the type of oil you put in. Your service station gouged you by putting in an oil that is good for extremely low or extremely high temperatures; Washington state does not fall in that category.

Synthetic oil has the same additives as regular oil, and oil change interval is mostly determined by the additive depletion. Your owner’s manual will not give a longer interval for synthetic oil!!

For normal mixed driving you could use the least expensive oil and change it and the filter every 3000 miles for best economy and engine life. Unless you have a German car; those have different requirenments.


#3

The quick change guys you just visited are not really concerned about your car…they’re concerned about their revenue stream. Find a reputable local garage and go there instead.

Your Owner’s manual is the definitive ruling on how often you should change your oil. Go there for the information you seek. The guys that wrote that know more about your car than Click, Clack, me, and all the other posters here combined.


#4

Unless you do only highway driving and/or have only trips of more than 10 miles, 5000 miles is too long. Somewhere you probably misinterpreted Tom & Ray’s advice.

5k miles is the recommended oil change interval of Toyota, Nissan and Honda…all recommend using regular Dyno oil.

The ultimate authority is the owners manual. Check your manual. The quick-change guys are trying to drum up business. If they can get ALL their customers to change the oil at 3k instead of 5k that’s a 60% increase in business for them.


#5

If I were you, I would be MUCH more concerned about the chance of having your engine/transmission/differential/brake system destroyed by those quick oil change guys than I would about what they thought of my regimen for maintenance.

Each week, nationwide, Jiffy Lube pays for the replacement of several engines or transmissions or…because the poorly trained teenagers who they employ do not have the knowledge or the experience to know where to put fluids on every different make of car. And, of course, since they are incredibly rushed, this adds to the mistakes that occur.

So–my suggestion is that you continue to change your oil at 5k intervals–unless your driving habits fall under the “Severe Service” conditions listed in your factory maintenance schedule. But, be forewarned–MANY driver’s motoring patterns fall into this category, so it may actually be necessary for you to do 3k oil changes!

And, no matter whether you change your oil at 3k, 4k, or 5k, don’t go to a quick oil change place, whether it is Jiffy Lube or one of its clones, unless you want to continue to court disaster for your vehicle. As one of the veteran members of this board says–“Don’t go to a quick oil change place–even for directions!”


#6

Here’s an actual article from the guys: http://www.cartalk.com/content/columns/Archive/2001/April/08.html

Maybe things have changed, but I haven’t heard.


#7

Finding a good mechanic is scary. As a woman, I’m always treated as if I don’t know a thing about my car.

Until I find a good mechanic - I don’t have a lot of options.

I guess I really just need those guys from Jersey to move out here…


#8

Well, if you recently had your oil changed, then you have a few months to locate a trustworthy mechanic. Begin asking friends, co-workers, relatives, neighbors, etc. for recommendations now, before you need a mechanic urgently.


#9

Or check the Mechan-X file on this site for recommendations in your area.


#10
Keep away from the quick change places.  We hear far too many horror stories about them.  Some may be fine, but many pay the help little, demand fast changes and that results in a high percentage of errors. Too many live by selling you something you don't need at inflated prices.  

Find a good local mechanic and stick with them for your needs.

Don't go to the quick lube places, even for directions.

For information on how often to change your oil and what kind of oil, check your owner’s manual.


#11
Keep away from the quick change places.  We hear far too many horror stories about them.  Some may be fine, but many pay the help little, demand fast changes and that results in a high percentage of errors. Too many live by selling you something you don't need at inflated prices.  

Find a good local mechanic and stick with them for your needs.

Don't go to the quick lube places, even for directions.

For iinformation on how often and what oil to use see your owner's manual.

#12

“Find a good local mechanic” that’s the difficult part. I’ve lived too many horror stories with mechanics that have taken my money and destroyed my cars.

How would you find a good mechanic?


#13

I looked up my area, but why are these mechanics recommended? Is there testing, anonymous internet voting, payments to the Car Talk mafia? I’d like to trust the internet, but I don’t.


#14

Ask around like VDCdriver suggested. I’m a 22-year-old female with some knowledge about cars (I can understand mechanics and troubleshoot to some extent, but I’ve never done any work on my own), and I’ve experienced both the mechanics who won’t take me seriously and the ones who will listen to what I think. I’ve found the good ones through family members and friends.

The Mechan-X files are based on recommendations from Car Talk listeners. We’ve noticed they won’t post bad reviews, so take even those with a grain of salt. They’re helpful, but I’d still take a personal recommendation if you can find one.

Like others have said, avoid the chains. I’m sure some are perfectly fine, but others will hurry you through, recommend all sorts of things you don’t need, and make mistakes because they hire less skilled mechanics. Find a smaller shop that’s been in business for at least a decade or two if you can.


#15

I don’t see a reason to change oil in today’s vehicles with good oil more than every 5000 miles, and I second staying away from the quick lube joints.

Check you manual for the proper weight of oil and number of quarts it needs with a filter. Synthetic in most cases is just more money.

If it’s any consolation, I once had an F150 with a 300 6 cylinder that I ran between 5,000 and 8000 miles between changes and never had a problem with it. I had 180,000 on it when I wrecked it. So no, I don’t think you’ve hurt your motor.

I’m a firm believer in Havoline oil products for gasoline engines. My grandpa ran a 302 gas engine in a coal truck hauling 20 tons of coal around for over 1,000,000 miles using Havoline oil. In that time he put 2 sets of heads on the engine and replaced the short block once. Most gas engines would never see that kind of punishment, and he swore by Havoline.

Skip


#16

“My grandpa ran a 302 gas engine in a coal truck hauling 20 tons of coal around for over 1,000,000 miles using Havoline oil. In that time he put 2 sets of heads on the engine and replaced the short block once.”

LOL. that’s a pretty good variation on the “my grandfather’s ax” story.


#17

They’re being recommended by people who visit this website. I recommended one in NH. Find one and try it. If you don’t like the service find another one. Far better then trusting your service to the Quick Lube places.


#18

'm a firm believer in Havoline oil products for gasoline engines. My grandpa ran a 302 gas engine in a coal truck hauling 20 tons of coal around for over 1,000,000 miles using Havoline oil. In that time he put 2 sets of heads on the engine and replaced the short block once. Most gas engines would never see that kind of punishment, and he swore by Havoline.

I use to use Havoline when I lived in the south…Almost impossible to find it here in NE.


#19

The best way I know is to ask everybody you know and work with who they use and who to avoid. One name may pop up as good and a few as ones to avoid.


#20

Ever since Texaco merged with Chevron, the Texaco gas stations in the Middle Atlantic States have disappeared, and subsequent to the merger, I have not seen any Havoline motor oil sold in stores in NJ. The only Texaco product that I have seen in stores over the past few years is their anti-freeze/coolant.