Oil Change intervals
Are you changing your oil to often?
01/08/12-- It seems California is at it again with trying to lead the nation in a greener path when it comes to the
Automotive industry. According to a recent news story they have introduced a public service campaign encouraging
car owners to stretch out their oil change intervals. While this does in fact make sense, it should be more of an
awareness issue. Changing your oil every three months or 3000 miles has been the standard most of us have learned
to accept. From the 40's through the early 90's it was practical advise.
In the last decade not only have motor oils evolved and become far more durable, the auto manufacturers have
greatly improved the performance of the internal combustion engine. From modern electronics and monitoring
systems to tighter tolerances and better seal materials, it is possible to get much more life out of your motor oil today.
The best advice any mechanic can give in my professional opinion is to follow the manufacturers recommendations.
Many new engines are perfectly capable of 5000 to 8000 mile runs now between oil changes and some out there are
even longer. Changing your oil every 3000 miles used to be a good rule of thumb however in today's economy it's
possibly a large waste of money. Since some oils cost as much as $8.00/qt. However the oil change is cheaper than
internal engine damage. Long and short is get your moneys worth out of your oil but be mindful that neglect will cost
you in the end. Only you know how and where you drive so change your oil accordingly.
Dusty driving conditions, many people that travel dirt roads or farm fields know that their air filter takes a serious
beating however many forget that the oil is also subjected to dust through the crank case ventilation system. Dusty
conditions = more frequent oil changes. Hauling extra weight? Even though your vehicle has a towing capacity the
service intervals don't generally take the extra work involved with towing into consideration. This is where reading the
owners manual becomes helpful. If your vehicle was intended to tow things they will have service information for
How many of you (automobile owners or drivers) have actually read your owners manuals? Sure we have all read
about some of the features were not familiar with like how to adjust the clock on the radio or how to access the
driver info screen on the dash, or maybe you looked up what the different icon lights mean that pop up and scare you
when your 25 miles into your first big trip and wonder if your about to be stranded on the side of the road. Maybe
you've even looked up where the fuses are and which one operates the power outlet after you blew it with your
electric coffee cup.
Did you know that many owners manuals suggest different oil viscosities for different temperature ranges? Or that
driving habits and conditions change the intervals for changing the oil? You might ask why? Let me try to explain
some examples. I had a customer that lived in town and worked approximately 5 blocks from home. They drove
back and forth to work and occasionally to the grocery store. This car hardly ever got to normal operating
temperature. It would warm up just in time to be shut off. This driving habit caused tremendous amounts of
condensation to build up in the engine. We all know oil and water don't mix well, this led to premature engine failure a
hard one to explain to someone that barely drives 1000 miles a year. More frequent oil changes could have helped
but ultimately going for a nice Sunday drive and burning off the excess moisture would have been better.
Did you know that some vehicles won't start if the oil isn't right? In the last tech tip I mentioned the importance of oil
to the diesel injector function. However even in gasoline engines today they use engine oil for more than just
lubrication. Variable timing cams use engine oil as the hydraulic source to operate these performance functions. With
worn out oil or the wrong oil your new car or truck may not run.
For More Information Contact:

Northern Michigan Diesel Inc.
2528-B Preston Dr. Traverse City, Mi 49684
Tel: 231-947-1774
FAX: 231-935-3760
Internet: jjacobson@northernmidiesel.com
Northern Michigan Diesel Inc.