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  • Which is a better oil change

    Which is better?

    Regular oil every 3000.
    Synthetic every 5 or 6000 miles.
    GO COLTS!!!

  • #2
    Most modern SM rated conventional oils are good to 5000 miles. Follow what your owner's manual/oil life meter/whatever keeps you from waking up screaming at night. Synthetic is good but you don't need it if you are following your manual, and not operating in extreme cold, extreme heat, high load or trying to go for long drains. Really, if your manual says you can do it on the oil specified by your manual or better, do it. I have seen guys running plain Pennzoil/Valvoline/Castrol out to 10,000 miles in certain Honda models by the oil life meter's recommendation, and still getting good results.

    The actual process of the oil drain takes the contaminants out, the limiting factor of oil is the amount of additive in it and how well it stays in grade. I do 3200 mile oil changes on conventional oil when a formula given to me by a lube engineer says I am good out to 5400 miles, but I am comfortable with paying the extra bit to change at 5000 km.

    The formula I was given is (oil rating)(average miles per gallon)(size of sump in quarts)(displacement in cubic inches/horsepower) = miles for oil change interval.

    This is backed up by lots of oil analysis with a variety of oils in a mixed fleet, and the numbers it gives me seem to make sense based on trends I have seen from used oil analysis and oil change recommendations.

    The oil rating is a factor, and they are working on a way to quantify it right now, but say your regular Pennzoil/Valvoline/Castrol GTX/Quaker State are a value of 50, something like Pennzoil Platinum or Mobil 1 is 80, and some extended drain oils like Amsoil Series 2000 are rated at 150. This is based on real world analysis.

    For my car here is how it worked out:
    (oil rating of 50)(19.2 miles per gallon)(4.7 quarts)(189 cubic inches/155 horsepower) = 5400 miles approximately for oil change interval.

    My car recommends 3000 miles for severe service, and 7500 for "light" service so 5400 is right in the middle.

    This takes into account many more variables. Fuel consumption factors in both run time and load, if your mileage goes down, so does your oil change interval accordingly. It factors in how much oil is inside your engine. A heavy duty highway diesel truck might have as much as 45 gallons of oil in its lubrication system, so it would have a much different change interval than a four cylinder Toyota that is overfilled with one gallon. As well, engine horsepower versus displacement gives an idea of how heavily loaded the engine is.

    I am waiting for them to develop a formula to compute out the ratings for oil based on things like additive levels (total base number, how well it can neutralize acid) and a few other things. Once it matures to that point, it will be a very good tool to work out what oil life should be. Although it has the real world science, and the math I do time and time again for varying applications seems to give a reasonable response for interval.

    You should do the math and see what it does for you.
    "I kill for the code to disarm this mess..."

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    • #3
      The supposed need to change your oil every 3000 miles is the result of marketing by the quickie oil change industry. No big surprise there.

      When deciding the frequency of oil changes, please remember that the 3000 mile oil change wastes resources and creates polluted material that must be disposed of in some fashion.

      Changeing the oil every 5000 miles is a compromise between 3000 and 7500 recommended by car makers, and that's the schedule I use.

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      • #4
        Mobil One is said to be good for 12,000 mile intervals if you change the filter at 6,000 because their full synthetic additives stay active longer under extreme heat and contamination. The filter change removes the abrasive particles. Bill Cummings of Mobil said that.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Fueler
          Mobil One is said to be good for 12,000 mile intervals if you change the filter at 6,000 because their full synthetic additives stay active longer under extreme heat and contamination. The filter change removes the abrasive particles. Bill Cummings of Mobil said that.
          It depends on the flavor of M1 and the application in which it is used in for the 12,000 mile intervals. The 0W-40 if it works for a given application is an oil I would certainly believe it could go that distance. 0W-40 is by far the best off the shelf oil street oil Mobil makes, and it has an additive package strong enough to make it suitable for light diesel use.

          Unless I had an 8 quart sump or an engine extremely easy on oil, the 5W-30 which is a more common grade is something I likely wouldn't take out to that distance. As well, there is Mobil 1 Extended Performance (red cap) and the silver/green cap regular breed with the EP supposed to be good for the extended drains.

          There have been guys running Pennzoil Platinum out to 10,000 miles with some success as well.

          If you had an engine or were in conditions that would warrant a 5W-40 oil, something like Mobil Delvac 1/Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck or Shell Rotella T Synthetic would have the quantity of additives to go this distance and an exceptional price performance ratio.

          Pennzoil Platinum is relatively cheap, especially with places like Advanced Auto Parts having it priced buy one, get one free occasionally, has shown itself to be an equal to Mobil 1 (although it is a hydrocracked oil rather than PAO "true synthetic") in most circumstances, and if you are uncomfortable with running your vehicle out to 7500 miles on a conventional oil if it is recommended, I would use the Platinum and run the 7500 miles as a compromise between comfort, getting the value out of the oil you are using, and a conservative estimate of oil performance.

          As well, good filtration is they key. Wix and Purolator filters are much better than Fram as far as quality control, I personally use PureOnes in my vehicle but have used Wix for years. Very solidly built products. Amsoil offers some neat filters that use a synthetic media Donaldson makes for heavy duty filters that offers better flow and more consistent protection (imagine your oil filter as a microscopic window screen with synthetic media rather than as a pile of randomly laid out strings) and are assembled to specification for them by Wix. They aren't cheap but they are warranted out to 25,000 miles if you use the matching oil. 10,000 miles with them should be comfortable.

          If you are really curious about what is going on in your engine, for $22.50 you can get Blackstone Labs to analyze a sample of your drained engine oil with a brief explanation of what they think is going on. Make a baseline run with your favorite oil to a distance you are either comfortable with or interested in, say 5000 miles, send it away and see how good of shape the analysis says the oil was in.
          "I kill for the code to disarm this mess..."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Fueler
            Mobil One is said to be good for 12,000 mile intervals if you change the filter at 6,000 because their full synthetic additives stay active longer under extreme heat and contamination. The filter change removes the abrasive particles. Bill Cummings of Mobil said that.
            Did Bill happen to mention how to change your filter without changing the oil?
            It's impossible, that's sure. So let's start working.- Phillipe Petit

            Talent borrows, Genius steals. - Pablo Picasso

            Ah, there's nothing more exciting than science. You get all the fun of sitting still, being quiet, writing down numbers, paying attention... Science has it all.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bombardier R142
              Did Bill happen to mention how to change your filter without changing the oil?

              Turn the car upside down.
              Center Grove Trojans
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Truth Detector
                Turn the car upside down.
                That was my first guess, does Bill have a rig I can use to do that?
                It's impossible, that's sure. So let's start working.- Phillipe Petit

                Talent borrows, Genius steals. - Pablo Picasso

                Ah, there's nothing more exciting than science. You get all the fun of sitting still, being quiet, writing down numbers, paying attention... Science has it all.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bombardier R142
                  Did Bill happen to mention how to change your filter without changing the oil?
                  Remote mounted filters make it an easy thing to do.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you have a vehicle with a vertically mounted filter (open end straight up) it's pretty easy, just pull the filter and then top off the oil to the full line.

                    That isn't as common as it used to be but most oil pans are designed so you can remove the filter without taking much more than the oil inside the filter with it. Replace and top off.
                    "I kill for the code to disarm this mess..."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All oil gets dirty. All oil gets combustion by products in it. Not all dirt and by products get filtered out. All oil gets condensation from short drive trips. Change your oil. The more frequently you do it, the less wear you will have. I lease an Odyssey, it gets oil changes at 6000. I own my Mazda 3, 2.3l; it gets it at 3000.
                      Third Gen Indy Fan

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                      • #12
                        ARCO Graphite.


                        ...---...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Marc P. Gregoire
                          It depends on the flavor of M1 and the application in which it is used in for the 12,000 mile intervals. The 0W-40 if it works for a given application is an oil I would certainly believe it could go that distance. 0W-40 is by far the best off the shelf oil street oil Mobil makes, and it has an additive package strong enough to make it suitable for light diesel use.

                          Unless I had an 8 quart sump or an engine extremely easy on oil, the 5W-30 which is a more common grade is something I likely wouldn't take out to that distance. As well, there is Mobil 1 Extended Performance (red cap) and the silver/green cap regular breed with the EP supposed to be good for the extended drains.

                          There have been guys running Pennzoil Platinum out to 10,000 miles with some success as well.

                          If you had an engine or were in conditions that would warrant a 5W-40 oil, something like Mobil Delvac 1/Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck or Shell Rotella T Synthetic would have the quantity of additives to go this distance and an exceptional price performance ratio.

                          Pennzoil Platinum is relatively cheap, especially with places like Advanced Auto Parts having it priced buy one, get one free occasionally, has shown itself to be an equal to Mobil 1 (although it is a hydrocracked oil rather than PAO "true synthetic") in most circumstances, and if you are uncomfortable with running your vehicle out to 7500 miles on a conventional oil if it is recommended, I would use the Platinum and run the 7500 miles as a compromise between comfort, getting the value out of the oil you are using, and a conservative estimate of oil performance.

                          As well, good filtration is they key. Wix and Purolator filters are much better than Fram as far as quality control, I personally use PureOnes in my vehicle but have used Wix for years. Very solidly built products. Amsoil offers some neat filters that use a synthetic media Donaldson makes for heavy duty filters that offers better flow and more consistent protection (imagine your oil filter as a microscopic window screen with synthetic media rather than as a pile of randomly laid out strings) and are assembled to specification for them by Wix. They aren't cheap but they are warranted out to 25,000 miles if you use the matching oil. 10,000 miles with them should be comfortable.

                          If you are really curious about what is going on in your engine, for $22.50 you can get Blackstone Labs to analyze a sample of your drained engine oil with a brief explanation of what they think is going on. Make a baseline run with your favorite oil to a distance you are either comfortable with or interested in, say 5000 miles, send it away and see how good of shape the analysis says the oil was in.
                          I use Mobil Delvac 1 in my Chevy Crew Cab Diesel Dually, I started using it from day one. I had read an article where they were running it in a fleet of trucks, and not changing the oil, they just kept checking the oil quality and at each test it exceeded manufacturers recomendations.

                          I have used the regular Mobile 1 in every car since I bought my first car in 1979.
                          Man to Man is so unjust... there's no Man you can Trust.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Air filter and oil filter efficiency play a big part to determine oil changes. Dirt breaks down oil faster than any other source of contamination. The next trend in oil change shops with the cost of oil will be "oil cleaning" stations recycling your car oil and pumping it back in. It's not accepted today because the oil companies need you to buy their products. That will change as oil prices climb and private oil services look to make a buck. You can take most any brand name oil with 5,000-10,000 miles on it (in a motor running correctly), clean it and reuse it. Zinc will breakdown somewhat but new EPA mandates are reducing it in the first place. You can add small portions of zinc, etc to boost the used oil.

                            We have run synthetic oil in a 650hp dry sump race engine that redlines at 8000 rpm for an entire season. It has inline screens and filters throughout the system. Remember, the Cup/Indy motors run over 500 miles at 180-200mph+ without stopping for oil changes. They put more stresses on their oils than 99% of any passenger car would do in 5000 miles. It's all in the marketing-

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                            • #15
                              It's been about 10 years and I suppose technology (engines and oil) have changed a lot, but Consumer Reports put various brands in NY taxis. Their report said that any good brandname oil changed at 6,000 mile intervals is fine. I've used synthetic since I can remember and change it at 5,000 miles. I saw Team Penske using what looked like a regular plastic bottle of 20-50 Mobil 1 in Paul Tracy's car at Long Beach in the early 90s and figured if it was good enough for a race engine, it was good enough for a 4 cylinder Toyota. I try to find it on sale and then buy it by the case. OEM filters. I know WIX are good but read somewhere that their great filtration makes for higher oil pressure.
                              "The Internet. Where fools go to feel important" - Sir Charles Barkley

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