Should you change your oil every 15,000 miles? Here's how to decide

Dancers live longer and have fewer joint problems because very few of them weigh 300 pounds…Or 250 for that matter…Have you ever looked at the people in front of you in the check-out line?? Look at what they are buying? We are really screwed…

Well I am thinking that my parents car has over 20 k miles on the mobil 1 synthetic oil change, I will know for sure sunday, if in fact I am correct it was last changed in 2009.

It may have been changed by the garage who did the timing belt but I am not sure, I can tell for sure when I see the oil filter. My father also thinks he changed it but I have my doubts. We will see sunday.

I know my parents are terrible about maintaining their vehicles and thats why when I changed it last time I put mobil 1 in, because I knew it would be in there longer than it should be.

If this is true I am not saying 5 years and 20k miles is ok,
but I will take the oil and send it in for analysis if it appears that I was indeed the last one to change it.

You did a generous and considerate thing using synthetic because you knew they were not disciplined in checking their oil. I tip my hat to you. Whether or not it actually made a difference, it was a good-hearted thing and that’s important.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to pay $25 to $50.00 to have an oil analysis when for the same price or less I can change my oil and filter.

So how do we know that this “Motoramic” person/site has any knowledge about oil, internal combustion engines, etc…
You can read all kinds of hype on the internet and believe what you want, but until it is proven by more than one guys opinion, and a bunch of corporate hacks, I’ll stick with the old routine.

They also think Nessy exists, and Bigfoot, and a Swamp Creature…so why not 15’000 mile oil changes. Oh I forgot little green men.

Who’s going to analize my oil, a real scientist, or some kid fresh out of highschool looking for an easy job. Or maybe workers that couldn’t handle doing the job right at Jiffy Lube.

Besides Motoramic sounds like a saturday morning kids cartoon.

I just got done reading all the article headings from Motoramic and I don’t see a one that actually involves fixing a car in any way. These are just like articles in any car magazine to push a new car or truck or idea. Any good reporter from “Good housekeeping” could have done as good a job on these articles. THey are given a pile of info and they line it all up into a nice shiny story for the reader.



Don’t you see compromised morals here, in 1.?

1. Whether you use conventional oil or synthetic oil, "Your engine will probably outlast your interest in the car."

Because, what I see, is:

1. Go ahead and change your oil less often…and the resultant worn-out engine will only manifest itself after you’ve unloaded it. Caveat emptor, sucker!

Besides, who says some geekish gearhead can accurately surmise my–or anyone else’s–motives in owning a vehicle? My '94 F-150, for instance, has 174k mi on it, and I’d like it to last until I’m too old to perform any sort of work that requires a pickup truck…and I’m 42.

When was the last time any of you read about an engine failure due to oil breakdown? Not oil pump going out, not drain plug falling out, but the engine failing because the oil either conventional or synthetic failed to do it's job.

Gee, @WheresRick, driving amongst the urban poor, I see a disproportionate number of fairly newish cars that emit blue smoke under throttle…the telltale sign of worn rings, attributable to either oil neglect and/or running without air filtration.

And there’s the rub: accelerated engine wear doesn’t necessarily mean that a car is scrapped sooner…it may well mean that it spends its second (or third) life burning far more oil than it ever needed to. This “extend your OCI” malarkey is a excellent strategy for some bourgeois environmentalist to feel as smug as possible about the car he drives…then, when he unloads it at 60,000 miles, it goes on to spend the next 80,000 miles as a gross polluter, enveloped in blue smoke.

(Of course, by that time, Mr. Bourgeois is driving yet another new toy, that he neglects…the continued existence of that oil-burner on the street just gives him an excuse to feel superior to the working Joe driving (his) old heap.)

This whole thing epitomizes what’s wrong with modern environmentalism–rapidly becoming the PC means of being a class-conscious snob!

I fully agree with @Whitey’s opening post.

For those who are contesting it, do you disagree

  1. That much of the world successfully moved on to extended oil changes long ago?
  2. That many of the top synthetics available here in the US (like Mobil1, Valvoline SynPower, Pennzoil Platinum) meet the ACEA standards?

“For the average Joe who already neglects oil changes, doing it the right way can extend the life of the engine.”

Let’s not forget that the average Joe who already neglects oil changes is probably driving on bald tires, worn out brakes, a yo-yo suspension due to worn struts, and so on

So even if the engine life is extended, the rest of the car is probably in terrible shape

the very best thing we can do for the environment is increase forest cover and natural landscape.

we all have common sense lets use it when we consider this and forget all the hype.

  1. trees produce the bulk of our atmosphere s oxygen, the atmospheres oxygen content is decreasing. without oxygen we die.

  2. forestation decreases global warming. forget the science. use common sense. on a hot sunny day, stand in a field, or parking lot. feel the heat. then walk into a wooded area and feel the difference.

  3. if you clear cut trees in some areas, they can rapidly become deserts. a big part of the wars in the middle east s history involved burning the enemies lands, it was not always so barren. this is still happening today as we clear lands. china and Africa have examples. our own dustbowl was caused by sod destruction.

  4. if you doubt that we can effect our environment, try this simple experiment in microcosm.
    go into your garage, shut the door, start the car. see if you can change the environment in the area.


In regards to number 4 . . .

I don’t think anybody on this website specifically said we don’t affect our environment

Respectfully, I believe you got a little ahead of yourself there

JoeMario, what I disagree with is trying to go far more miles between changes than the manufacturer recommends. Using oil analysis to do this is folly, but if someone chooses to do so I support their choice… for them only. . Recommending it to others is just plain bad advice.

you may be right DB, that s why I said if.

it s also why I don t like either party enough to join. both of them say things that just are not true to satisfy their donors.

be they the car and oil industry

or the environmental and union donors

  1. I would argue that the motivation behind this is top-down ecological mandates, manifest in taxation strategies that make an oil change multiple times more expensive that here in the US. The technology exists to make that strategy “good enough,” considering that, in the UK (for instance) a car lasts about 120k mi before scrappage.
  2. ACEA-grade oil might be better, but on a bang-for-buck basis, I doubt I’d get enough back from the longer OCI to cover the higher purchase price. Also consider that EU cars run a different blend of gasoline, and generally run leaner (we care more than they about NOx, so that rules out lean burn…and thus make fuel dilution and soot a bigger deal here.)

If the goal of the long oil change intervals is to save money…you’ll be wasting much more by doing and oil analysis every oil change.

Engine manufacturers have done extensive tests of their own also. They also want to seem as those their engines are very durable and cheap to own. It’s to their own best interest to advocate 15k or longer oil changes…and the DON’T. Gee I wonder why. They also know that a vast majority of new car owners don’t keep their vehicles past 150k miles. So why wouldn’t they advocate 15k oil change intervals?

Many of us in this forum keep our vehicles well past 150k miles. Usually more then double that. I for one will not change switch to 15k oil changes.

I never use mileage to decide when to change the oil. I use my own style of analysis.
I only buy used cars. I observe the oil and receipts if available.
in my better half s cougars, they have been well maintained. they are usually one owner cars that have been serviced regularly and only been gotten rid of because their were minor problems, mostly cosmetic and the owner wanted something trouble free and new

in my truck, it was badly neglected.

so in her cars I would just do normal oil changes, when the oil got dirty, once or twice a year as she did not put many miles on the cars.

my truck was another story it was filthy inside so I changed the oil frequently at first. every two weeks for the first few times. then a couple months later. after that, when it stopped burning oil, I went to spring and fall changes. now, that I rarely drive it once a year should be fine. even two years would probably be ok, as that would only be a thousand miles or so.

maybe I m wrong, but it seems to work

They also know that a vast majority of new car owners don’t keep their vehicles past 150k miles. So why wouldn’t they advocate 15k oil change intervals?

I tried 15K oil changes (generic oil) and got sludge at 38K. I was surprised, mainly because the oil never did get black, not even very dark brown. I had assumed the oil would get black before sludging.

There are about 1.1 billion gallons of motor oil used in the USA annually. Delaying the use of 550 million gallons of motor oil annually is a huge savings. And while much of the oil is recycled, it is mostly used for asphalt or industrial heating processes. This is a very good reason for increasing the oil change time interval.

that is strange…

“Delaying the use of 550 million gallons of motor oil annually is a huge savings.”

For whom? For the car owners? How is saving on 2 oil changes a year a huge savings?

yeah, you can t really just cut it in half like that either. much of the oil is leaked or burned. much of it is used for racing and changed after every race. many many other uses other than the average car owner doing oil changes