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Ray's newspaper column: Synthetic oil change intervals

Not sure which section this belongs in.

In Saturdays newspaper column (7-15-17) Ray answers a question from Susanne who was confused about oil change intervals. Her Toyota Camry used synthetic oil. Ray reasoned out a very good response, but in my opinion, left out an important recommendation of reading her owners manual and finding out what Toyota says! I understand that paper editors can and do edit columns for space and maybe they cut out that info.

Should Ray have mentioned the owners manual oil change recommendation?

yes, he should (my opinion). I tried to add a comment to that (online) editorial but could not.

also warrantee considerations, ie, you should not increase the change interval from that in the manual, synthetic or not.

I also thought the advice was a little misleading. To maintain the warranty Toyota requires the use of 0W20 SN spec full synthetic changed at least once a year and 12000 miles. If you use a non synthetic 0W20 it has to be changed at 6 months and 6000 miles and this should be only done if the synthetic is not available.

Of course you are free to change it more often if you wish.

Huh. Where in the world do you read Ray’s newspaper column? Not anywhere around here. At any rate sure, check the owner’s manual but then make your own decision. I had a conversation with the Acura Service Manager who insisted that their computer program was based on years of research and experience and could be relied on. I remained unconvinced and change synthetic oil at 5000 mile intervals when the oil monitor says about 50% used. Are we really going to start this oil change conversation again though? We’ve whipped this dead horse already.

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This is a car messageboard/forum. This is one of the subjects we discuss.

My '99 Monte Carlo manual recommends changes at 7,500 miles. For a few years I followed the 3000 mile philosophy but the more I read about oil life I realized I was throwing money away. I now change at 5000 miles. Now my new car is a 2017 Chevy Volt and most miles the engine never starts up! So miles are meaningless. It has an oil life moniter, I have almost 7000 miles on the car and am only at 50% oil life!

You can delay the oil change until the additives are depleted. Additives buffer the oil solution and keep it from becoming corrosive. The only way to know for sure is to have your oil tested. To do that, obtain a sample and send it to a testing company. Do a web search for motor oil testing. If you don’t want to do that, follow the auto manufacturer’s recommendations.

OLMs have been around rot decades. We have 3 GM cars with OLMs and use them for the oil change. When the remaining life drops below 20%, I start thinking about changing it. My highest mileage GM car is 14 years old and has 170,000 miles on it. Following the OLM has not resulted in engine damage yet.

It seems there should be a limit on how many times oil changes should be discussed because they all are the same . Goes for what kind of tires, wiper blades or fuel octane should be purchased.