Oil changes






Do a search on oil change, you’ll find lots of different answers. My opinion - the car computers are now able to combine your driving history, engine temperature, etc, to come up with a good estimate of oil life. GM’s been doing this for years, with apparent good success. If I had one, I would follow the indicator. If it bugs you, change it earlier, no harm done.

p.s.-turn off your caps lock, it’s interpreted as shouting.

Holy mackeral dude, I can’t read that.

Please turn off your caps lock key. It means that you are SHOUTING! - and its very hard to read.

You will get a range of opinions on these boards from just following the computer to just change it according to what you find reasonable (3K? 5k?)

Personally, I don’t like the oil life monitors. I have one and ignore it. No oil stays in my engine more than 5K miles. So I still change every 3-5K.

How long do you want to keep it? 3 or 4 years and then trade it in? Just follow the computer? Want to still have it to pass on to your grandkids? Change it more frequently.

I have the GM Oil Life Monitoring System (OLMS)on my 2010 Cobalt. If I followed the OLMS the car could go 9k before it’s first change. I usually change the oil at 4k, based on the OLMS I’ll stretch it out to 5k, but no further. That’s my personal preference, an extra oil change or two is a lot cheaper than a new engine.

Ed B.

I have a 2006 Pilot that I change the oil on when the monitor reaches 0%. It currently has 85k miles on it and runs perfectly. Honda put a lot of money and research into developing that system and it has been proven time and time again to be an accurate system. I have yet to to hear about any premature engine failures resulting from the use of the system (provided the oil level was actually maintained properly).

EDIT: I also might add that the oil monitor system also keeps track of your other maintenance items as well, when it reaches time to perform the oil change the dashboard with display a code (Like A1) that tells you what needs to be done. In the case of an A1 an A means oil change and 1 means tire rotation. All the codes should be defined in the owner’s manual.

Honda Zen. Just follow the maintenance minder and drive in peaceful bliss.

…and to assure that I’m just pounding on you since others already stated it …but being the typical herd member …always wanting to distinguish myself and assert my two cents due the pathetic nothingness of my life.

TURN OFF THE CAPS!! IT’S INTERPRETED AS SHOUTING!!! - there, now I truly feel that I had a purpose here. I just dumped some displaced anxiety …that I have ample amounts of just laying around, on a target of opportunity. YOU. :smiley:

The purpose of the computer monitored oil change frequency is to reduce waste oil and still protect the car’s motor. The modern Honda runs very clean and doesn’t containminate the oil nearly as fast as older cars.

If you follow the dealer’s advice you’ll use less oil, the motor is protected by “good” oil, and you’ll save money by bringing in the car for service less frequently. In your case follow the dealer’s advice and ignore the old habit of changing your oil every 3K or 5K miles. It’s hard, but you can do it!

I got to ask “Please turn off the CAPS” It is really hard to read and considered shouting.

In the old days oil changes were required a lot more often than today. Modern oils are far different as are modern cars.

The computers can factor in a number of things to get a more intelligent number than without where the recommended change interval had to be set to the lowest likely driving conditions.

The dealer is telling you what Honda says. I would not worry about following that advice, but if it worries you, then change it at 6500 miles (just don’t have a fast oil change place do it.) It will not hurt the car. Don’t forget other maintenance.

If you don’t like the OLM interval use every 5000 miles and have them reset the indicator.

The OLM with a long interval means your driving type is easy. Basically we had an old approximation at best that severe is 3750 miles and normal is 7500 miles. Your OLM narrows it with actual engine data.

Just FYI I drove my Honda Civic driven 95% highway 230k/9 years without any engine problems using an oil change interval of 5000-7500 miles. Honda recommended 7500 miles normal. I believe the next owner was approaching 300k when the car got hit and totaled still without engine issues.

After 120k I used Walmart’s quick lube $15 special for oil changes also.

No matter the make/model, first oil & filter change should be done at no more than 1000 miles or 20 hours using petroleum oil. Second oil & filter change 3000 miles later, third when you have another 3000 on it to finish out the break-in period then use a high quality 100% synthetic like Amsoil. When going to the synthetic, change the “filter only” every 4000-5000 miles, top the oil off as necessary when changing the filter. Oil and filter change will then be done somewhere between 15,000 and 25,000 miles depending on how clean the engine runs and also if you install a secondary microfilter that can extend some oil change intervals to 30,000 miles or more.

Example 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L engine currently with 268,000 miles on it: filter change every 5k miles, oil & filter change every 20k miles, no major repairs and still gets 21 mpg. 100% synthetic Amsoil & Amsoil/Fleetguard filters. You get what you pay for, crappy filters/oil don’t work properly resulting in engine damage and excessive waste generation. Nothing goes to waste here because the used oil from the engine goes into my machine shop further reducing my waste generation.

Once again there is a post about oil changes…one buys a $30,000 vehicle and debates whether or not to spend about $ 30 changing the oil at 5000 miles…routinely most new cars can go 5000 - 7000 miles between changes. These dash board devices can also make one forget to routinely check the oil level…

Opinions will vary.

Many have been following the on-board oil monitors since they began to show up on cars. I’ve yet to see evidence of engine problems for those who do follow them.

Change it more often if it helps you sleep better at night.

No matter the make/model, first oil & filter change should be done at no more than 1000 miles or 20 hours using petroleum oil. Second oil & filter change …

Not bad advice, but it is dated. It is safe to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on this matter. Engines and oils have changes a lot since grandpa’s day.

Following Mark’s advice with one possible exception should not hurt anything. That exception: It may not be a good idea to use non-synthetic oil. Check the owner’s manual and make sure any oil you use meets the specifications listed in the manual. Failure to do so could invalidate your new car warranty.
Modern engines are designed for modern oils.


Non-synthetic oil should be used for all break-in’s no matter if it’s an IC engine or a gearbox - reason being is that everything needs to wear-in properly and 100% synthetic or a semi-synthetic will prevent propert break-in because of the high anti-wear properties. Once all the components have been properly broken in (I prefer the term “run-in”) going to the full 100% synthetic will provide excellent wear protection.

Forget the on-board monitor, if you really want to know what’s going on with the oil, pull a sample and have it run through a professional oil monitoring service (cost is normally between $10 and $40 per sample depending on how in-depth the testing is). I have seen many problems with on-board monitors resulting in excessive repair costs of damaged vehicle components. No matter how much we want to rely upon modern gadgets, they often cause far more problems than they cure - I have developed fleet maintenance systems for more than twenty years and there is no other viable option than to pull samples at regular intervals or just put the equipment on a known good preventative maintenance schedule.

Most new engines are good and can get by on 5k-8k oil changes but ONLY if the filter is changed at proper intervals which may be 2 or more times before the oil is changed. Most oils are of a quality that they do not break-down within 5k miles, the fail because the filtering is insufficient to keep the oil clean.

In response to your claim that the oil should be changed by 1000 miles or 20 hours, Honda specifically states as part of their break-in procedure in the owner’s manual not to change the oil early (they don’t say recommend, they say DO NOT in bold lettering). In addition, the idea that synthetic oil prevents proper break-in is a decades old myth and while I don’t know about other manufacturers I know Honda states that it is ok to use synthetic from the first oil change in their vehicles (they don’t require synthetic, but the owners manual specifically states that you can use it if you want to).

Maybe every car on the road needs to be equipped with the same device in the dash that 2 of my cars have:

An oil level indicator.

In my Boxster, when I first start the car, if I wait 5 seconds, it will tell me my oil level.

In my gf’s Crossfire, if I push the trip odometer a couple times before starting the car, it will also tell me if the oil level is OK, too high, or too low.

I prefer the Boxster’s system personally, as it is automatic.
I check the oil level before EVERY engine start.


Markkw, I thought I was the only one here using that kind of oil change interval. I usually change the oil (non-synthetic) and filter twice a year (in the past roughly 15,000 miles). Once or twice it went a whole year (>25,000 miles). I know I shouldn’t, and definitely wouldn’t recommend it. But it’s done well enough for me; in spite of the abuse, she’s given me 300,000 miles with no engine problems.

I’ve never won much in the lottery, but I’d call my automotive experience luck.

Regarding the question, I’d follow the computer if my car had it. But whatever you do, don’t do what I’ve done. (I still change it every six months, but I’ve slowed down a bit, so it’s less than 10,000 miles now, almost all highway.)