Oil changes

Old Jul 5th 2012, 10:03 pm
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Default Oil changes

Firstly I know nothing about cars. The only maintenance I have ever done is to open the bonnet and fill the window screen squirty thing.
I've owned cars since I left university 20+ years ago, and have taken them to a dealer/garage for servicing every 10K-15K miles or annually. Never had any problems or seized up engines.

Now I emigrate to the US and find I am meant to change the oil every 3000-5000 miles, and find there is a whole industry dedicated to this procedure.

Why?

Is the oil in America not as good as the stuff in the UK?
Or do we use synthetic oil in the UK and that lasts longer?

Will the engine of my automatic/petrol Korean car seize up unless I regularly visit Oil Can Henry??
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: Oil changes

Originally Posted by AddyLaddy View Post
Firstly I know nothing about cars. The only maintenance I have ever done is to open the bonnet and fill the window screen squirty thing.
I've owned cars since I left university 20+ years ago, and have taken them to a dealer/garage for servicing every 10K-15K miles or annually. Never had any problems or seized up engines.

Now I emigrate to the US and find I am meant to change the oil every 3000-5000 miles, and find there is a whole industry dedicated to this procedure.

Why?

Is the oil in America not as good as the stuff in the UK?
Or do we use synthetic oil in the UK and that lasts longer?

Will the engine of my automatic/petrol Korean car seize up unless I regularly visit Oil Can Henry??
I can remember my husband saying what nonsense and what a rip off that is. Our cars use synthetic oil...changed at 10K miles minimum...or so my husband tells me.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: Oil changes

Simple answer. If the car is under guarantee change the oil as directed. If it isn't under guarantee change every year or 10/12000 miles, and use synthetic oil.

Mind you apart from bigger engines and hence lower revving, I wonder just how much a 3 monthly oil change contributes to US engines going well over 100,000 miles, or a lot more.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: Oil changes

Hmm, my dad always taught me I must check the 'fluids' in my car before & after a long car trip. That means check the windscreen wash fluid, the coolant level, and check the oil with the dipstick for both level & colour. If the oil is too dead-black & dirty (not viscous & lighter), it may need changing in the future . . . but yeah 10K miles sounds right. My husband has changed the oil himself--it's messy but easy enough (usually).

The engines of people that *never* change the oil do actually sometimes seize up. I had a friend that happened to. So . . .it's best to either check the things you can check on your own, or else take the car in for a servicing on a regular basis to a garage you trust--if there is such a thing. We haven't found the latter yet, so we are careful to check everything ourselves. That includes checking tyre pressure & trying to diagnose any strange sounds or symptoms.

Eternal vigilance is needed if you want to save money by monitoring your own car.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Oil changes

I just found this CA site which looks up the manufacturer's recommended interval;

http://www.checkyournumber.org

For my 2008 Kia Sedona it says 7500 miles. With the caveat that it is for 'normal' driving.

Anyway, that interval is better, but still twice as often as I would have done back in the UK.

It seems that the 3000 mile interval is a "rule of thumb" passed on from generation to generation of American motorists. I would assume engine manufacturing and technology has improved significantly since Mr H Ford got started or the 1980s even?
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: Oil changes

Originally Posted by AddyLaddy View Post
It seems that the 3000 mile interval is a "rule of thumb" passed on from generation to generation of American motorists.
No it is the result of marketing done by the companies that provide quick oil change services.

There was an article in the L A Times last year describing how California is attempting to educate motorists about this issue.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Oil changes

The new one is that you're supposed to change your shocks every 50k miles.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 11:52 pm
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Default Re: Oil changes

Out of interest, did anyone rotate their tyres back in the UK? (and I don't mean them rotating while driving )
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 12:00 am
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Default Re: Oil changes

No I'd never heard of rotating the tyres back in the UK either. I did sometimes have the front ones moved to the back though, as I guess they got more wear?

I've just had the transmission fluid changed on the Sedona @ 60K miles. But I've never owned an automatic before, so who knows if that was necessary or not.

Next they tell me the timing belt is due at 60K too. But who can you trust/believe in this country!
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 12:07 am
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Default Re: Oil changes

I used to have a Fiat that automatically changed the oil for you on a regular basis. Then I got the rusted through oil sump replaced.
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 12:34 am
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Default Re: Oil changes

Originally Posted by cluedweasel View Post
Out of interest, did anyone rotate their tyres back in the UK? (and I don't mean them rotating while driving )
Yes, evens out the wear.
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 12:36 am
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Default Re: Oil changes

Originally Posted by AdobePinon View Post
The new one is that you're supposed to change your shocks every 50k miles.
Hubby's just had to have wheel bearings replaced after 30K miles. Fortunately the car is still under warranty.

Originally Posted by cluedweasel View Post
Out of interest, did anyone rotate their tyres back in the UK? (and I don't mean them rotating while driving )
Originally Posted by AddyLaddy View Post
No I'd never heard of rotating the tyres back in the UK either. I did sometimes have the front ones moved to the back though, as I guess they got more wear?

I've just had the transmission fluid changed on the Sedona @ 60K miles. But I've never owned an automatic before, so who knows if that was necessary or not.

Next they tell me the timing belt is due at 60K too. But who can you trust/believe in this country!
Yes we did...even I know about rotating tyres.
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 12:36 am
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Default Re: Oil changes

Originally Posted by AddyLaddy View Post

Next they tell me the timing belt is due at 60K too. But who can you trust/believe in this country!
If you've ever had a timing belt go and had the valves smash into the pistons, I think you might think that one a good piece of preventative maintenance.
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 12:50 am
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Default Re: Oil changes

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
If you've ever had a timing belt go and had the valves smash into the pistons, I think you might think that one a good piece of preventative maintenance.
That is only for interference engines>

http://www.aa1car.com/library/timing...ce_engines.htm
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Old Jul 6th 2012, 12:53 am
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Default Re: Oil changes

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
If you've ever had a timing belt go and had the valves smash into the pistons, I think you might think that one a good piece of preventative maintenance.
Yes - if you have an interference engine then you really do want to pay attention to replacing the timing belt - with a non-interference engine you won't wreck the pistons and the valve gear, but the sudden and complete loss of power can still get you into a dangerous situation when driving.
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