Synthetic Oil..color..longevity



He buys what he wants for his reasons, not yours. James Healey, a retired auto journalist for USA Today, once said that if he could afford it, he would buy a Range Rover Sport. He liked the SUV so much that he didn’t care how much he had to pay for repairs and maintenance.


My son had a 2012 BMW. I warned him to trade before the warranty ran out but didn’t listen. He was shocked at the injector repair bill after it stalled on him. He traded for another BMW but got the extended warranty this time. I don’t think he’s going to tell me if he has problems though.


I have written my theory that companies are recommending extended oil changes in recent years, not to sell more cars, but because engines which burn much better actually do less damage to the oil. In other words, when a man here reported that Toyota extended the oil change to 10,000 miles it was a correct decision.

It is not just better metals and better oil. But, the systems seem to be burning much more clean than in the past.

In another thirty years there will still be people insisting oil should be changed every 5,000 miles. It is hard to change opinions that are not based on reality.


It’s also hard to change people’s opinions by insulting them.

People have preferences, many based on decades of experience, many based simply on the sum total of knowledge and experience, many holdovers from the past. There’s no need to insult people with snide comments. It doesn’t change a single mind.


I stand by my comment. I don’t use synthetic so it’s a moot point for me. If I did then I would follow my owner’s manual recommendation.


I agree with your comment. And I consider changing oil earlier than necessary to be perfectly acceptable… and having just read another thread about a prematurely failed timing chain, possibly prudent. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I like 5,000 mile interval for my cars. It isn’t due to a lack of recognition of “reality”. It’s a preference. Changing oil too frequently cannot cause my engine to not live the full possible length of its life. Changing oil too INfrequently might. I’ll err on the side of having the oil too fresh.


Using a 5,000 mile interval also makes it easy to remember to do it. If you change your oil every 4,000, 6,000, or 7,500 miles, you have to either put a sticker on your car or look at the odometer and figure out if the readout is divisible by any of those numbers. If you change it every 5,000 miles, the math is a lot easier. If the odometer is a multiple of 5,000 or 10,000, you know it’s due.

That’s the real reason I change mine every 5,000 miles. I’m too lazy to religiously track my maintenance. I won’t be switching to 10,000 miles until I get a car that has a maintenance schedule that says I can change it that often.


LOL, that’s true! And in my case I can use all the memory help I can get! :crazy_face:


Anybody else decide when to change their oil this way? I use dino oil, not synthetic, and change the oil appx every 5,000 miles. But the reason I change every 5,000 miles isn’t b/c I’m watching the odometer; it is b/c I’m checking the dipstick every couple weeks, and around 5,000 miles the oil color has darkened enough to change it.


I change oil every 5K miles, because it’s easy to remember

At the same time, I change wiper blades, rotate tires and perform a general inspection


I check my level a few times a week. I’m retired & disabled. I get bored. :smile:
I bring the oil up to the FULL line whenever it gets even a little bit below FULL. I never let it get to the FILL line. I’m hoping this will be the last car I ever have to buy.


Do you grin and bear it when you wash and wax your Scion? It’s immaculate.


Sincere thanks for the compliment.
The answer to the question is… yup, I grin and bear it.

I’ve learned that the best way to keep a car clean and shiny is to keep it clean and shiny… and waxed. Dirt on the surface allows the surface to get surface scratches and get slowly ground away as the car is used. I have the long-handled brushes etc. necessary to clean my car regularly without pain, and I wax it at least twice a year, once in spring and once in fall… with some pain. Seeing as how the bumper and rocker panel skins are plastic, I just do the best I can.

I also use lots and lots of water when I wash it. Soap doesn’t wash dirt away, water does. Soap only breaks the bond.

I should in full disclosure admit that I have the usual bumps & dings, and I’m starting after 12-1/2 years to see some breaking down of the clear coat on the bumpers. The flex agent they add to paint the plastic causes earlier breakdown of the paint from the sun.

The rims I simply painted. And I use ceramic brake pads, because they produce less brake dust. It’s impossible to get brake pad dust off of wheels. I’ve tried absolutely everything. I’ve found to my pleasant surprise that the paint actually has less of a tendency to retain this dust. I don’t know why, but it seems to be true.


I’m guessing the inside is just as clean and immaculate. Very nice car you got there TSM. My Corolla still looks pretty good on the outside, but the inside is a horror show. I lost the last issue of Hot Rod magazine I put in there, still haven’t found it. :wink:

Hopefully you don’t find this question too personal TSM, but what’s the nature of your disability? I ask b/c I’m definitely feeling sign of arthritis developing myself. Mostly affects my knees and hips. So far it is a two-aspirin a day variety. Apologize to you younger folks out there, my old geezer complaints I know aren’t that interesting … lol .


I own a 2013 Subaru Legacy, uses full synthetic 0-20 oil. For 2 years now I have used Amsoil that calls for changing at one year or 30,000 miles whichever comes first. I think they may have dropped the mileage to 25,000. That is their top of the line oil and it costs about half of what Mobile charges for its annual change oil.
The way to tell the difference between color change and dirty oil is easy. Take a white tissue paper and wipe the dipstick. Dark, but clean oil will not leave any black on the paper, while the dirty oil will. It is really easy to see the difference.


Sincere thanks. The inside isn’t as clean… mainly because I can’t contort myself enough to clean a lot of it. Tight areas, and upward-facing areas (like the headliner) are impossible for me to clean. But there’s good news… nobody’s ever smoked in it, and I love to open the roof and windows weather-permitting, and I stay away from air fresheners and other sorts of perfumes, so the inside air is clean. And I keep the glass clean… I hate dirty windows. :rofl:


I got those words in an e-mail notification, and wondered what insult I was accused of, so I came to see. Any insult in my posting is in your decision on interpreting my posting, not in my posting.

A fact based decision on oil changes would be based on manufacturers oil change requirement during warranty. Change the oil as stated, right or wrong, or it’s your motor, period.

And, to continue the warranty required changes over the life of the car, could well be described as fact based, even when you don’t know the factory was correct. Often someone here credits that warranty requirement as being made by engineers who know so much more than the rest of us. In my own experiences over 30 years in the corporate environment such decisions are made by top management for a variety of reasons, and they may or may not be engineers. They do usually get recommendations from the engineering staff. But, there is no guarantee they follow it.

I don’t trust those factory recommendations. I am aware of the Ford Explorer tire pressure recommendations, and I am not forgetting the Space Shuttle Challenger engineers who told them not to fly in the cold, and managment over-rode their recommendations. I follow them during warranty period, for legal reasons, not because I waited on the mountain side for the stone tablet.

Another fact based decision on oil changes would be based on an oil lab test with full information on actual condition of oil at different mileages for your driving pattern. After years of this debate, on my 2002 Sienna, I had the oil tested for my drive cycle, and at 8800 miles it had 30% of its oil life remaining. Always someone will eventually comment, “If you really care for your car…” and push their own decision.

Almost everything else is pure SWAG, with the more conservative SWAG being safer for the car.

I have repeatedly said over the many years we have had these ad infinitum, ad nauseum discussions on oil changes, that I will never criticize anyone for a SWAG based oil change policy. Even if the oil is changed too often the cost is negligible compared to the cost of the car. And, if the car owner can sleep better with any decision, it works.

Not to mention that my own political views this becomes a personal liberty issue. If you can pay for the car and the oil, it’s no one’s business when you change your oil.

When I strenously object is when someone attempts to present his SWAG as some sort of scientific thing, which is almost always present during these discussions.

A lot of people come here, hoping to get usable information from the people here. They deserve factual information, not personal preferences based on guesses. I certainly don’t object to those who report they change oil based on something like 5,000 miles, even when factory recommends 7500 or 10,000 miles, or any other personal opinion. But, when they get hostile as in this case when it is made clear their opinion is just that, it is a totally different ball game.


SWAG is scientific, otherwise it is just a WAG. :wink:


Fair enough. What follows is the post that I considered to imply that those of us that still prefer 5,000 mile intervals do so out of lack of knowledge. I consider that to be an inference of ignorance. And I believe it was meant that way.


If someone asked me about when to change oil I will say Nissan says 5000 miles or 6 months for our Frontier , Volvo says 7000 miles or 1 year . Then I tell them to either go by their manual or do what makes them feel good, but do not stretch it out past the recommended service schedule.