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(Edmunds)   American automotive service industry: You should definitely change your oil every 3000 miles. American automotive consumers: Uh ... nice try   (edmunds.com) divider line 129
    More: Unlikely, Americans, Honda Fit, loan servicing, Jiffy Lube, design engineer, waste management, american car, window stickers  
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7081 clicks; posted to Business » on 27 Jan 2013 at 8:43 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-27 11:35:34 PM

Mr. Eugenides: stiletto_the_wise: lc6529: I've always change at 5K because it is easy to remember, - 10K, 15K, 20K, etc...

I used to always change my own oil but with the price of oil and the hassle of having to drive a sloshing container of oil to the recycling center, I found I am only saving about $20 from having the local Toyota dealer change it so I let them do it.

I do it myself, but not to save money, I do it to make sure that it gets done correctly. When you turn your car over to the stealership, how do you know they're even changing the oil? Do you check the dipstick each time? How do you know they're using the brand/type of oil you want? How do you know they tightened the oil drain plug to the correct torque and didn't cross-thread it or something?

Because it's documented in their service log. You may know it's been done right, but if something breaks the dealer has no idea if you've done routine maintenence. As for cross threading the drain plug, that did happen and they ended up replacing the oil pan because I could show from their own records that they screwed it up.


My Chrysler/Dodge dealer (for my van) is a complete screw up at service. Their long time service manager died and the rest of the clowns don't know what they are doing. I had an older van so many times just changed the oil myself. Plus was so tight, I ended up stripping the thing trying to get it off. I went to the dealer and they got it out and replaced it and told me I shouldn't do that. So I told them their idiot mechanic was using an impact wrench on the oil plug. Yes an impact wrench. Who the fark uses an impact wrench on an oil plug? They wrecked it before I even got to it. He was going to argue with me but then looked over and the guy was doing it to someone else's vehicle. So how about you try not putting 100 ft-pounds of torque one something that should be tightened with a hand wrench.
 
2013-01-28 01:13:11 AM

TiiiMMMaHHH: going on 16,000 since i put in a 10k filter, lucas oil stabilizer, and 5w-20 synthetic. Added a quart a week ago just to get through the coldest weather. My car has 264k and counting, not even an engine knock. The oil stabilizer is the shiat. $11 well spent ($40 or so doing my own oil changes.)

/Usually, I shoot for every 10k to 12.5k, just too damned cold and I'm lazy.
//Drives 30k anually, usually highway mileage


Watch out for "oil stabilizer" additives... nothing wrecks an engine faster than foamed oil.
 
2013-01-28 01:20:56 AM

Mister Peejay: Newsflash: If a shop charges $30 for an oil change and spends a half hour at $100/hour labor rate plus $20 in materials costs, how much profit is there in an oil change?

On the other hand, changing the timing chains and guides at 60k because of lack of maintenance is very profitable.

/if we were interested solely in making money, we'd tell people to do nothing until it breaks


>>>>>>if a shop charges $30 for an oil change

??? Jiffylube, the cheapest around here, charges $40

>>>>> and spends a half hour at $100/hour labor rate

Really? Jose or Lenny, the high school drop out and occasional glue sniffer, gets paid $100 per hour? I don't think so.

>>>> plus $20 in materials costs,

??? My friend at Jiffy Lube says that oil filters (bought in bulk) cost them $2.00 and oil they get (in bulk) for $3.00 a gallon.

>>>>> how much profit is there in an oil change?

Quite a bit. $40.00 less $2.00+$4.50 less maybe $8 to $10 in labor, IF that, is a decent gross margin percentage.

>>>>/if we were interested solely in making money, we'd tell people to do nothing until it breaks

Major repairs are random. A stable of 5,000 sheep-like customers bringing their cars in at regular intervals averages out into a nice weekly bread and butter business.
 
2013-01-28 05:14:15 AM
The main reason I won't go to lube shops for oil changes is that SO many of them suck the oil out through the dipstick channel.

The reason is they hire such idiots to do the work that drain plugs kept getting left off, and then they'd be lawsuited for the cost of the new engines. So they changed procedures to cut down the lawsuits.

But aspirating the oil doesn't get rid of the worst of the settled crud at the bottom of the pan quite like yanking the drain plug does. Plus they use awful cardboard Fram oil filters that leak dirty oil back into the engine, because they're cheap.

If I do my oil with my pocketbook, I take it to a real mechanic.
 
2013-01-28 06:14:03 AM

poorjon: I've got a Passat with the 1.8T. If you've got a VW turbo and don't make oil changes a religion, the engine will leap out of the hood and try to devour you.

/Maybe not getting a VW next time.


I just looked up the oil change interval for my 2002 Eurovan, and it's 10,000 miles. Now I feel like a schmuck...
 
2013-01-28 06:35:58 AM

NFA: I work with a number of PhD mechanical engineers.  One of which worked for Ford developing engine control systems for the Triton engine line.  He claims that it is a well known fact among auto design engineers that many of the claims made by the synthetic oil industry are false.  He said that there are research papers published showing that synthetic oil increases engine wear in cars driven in stop and go traffic but reduces engine wear when driven at highway speeds.  He said he personally does not use any synthetic oils but uses standard mineral oils changed at 3000 mile intervals.  He said if he does a lot of stop and go driving in unusually hot temperatures, he changes the oil more frequently.

I've read the research papers but to be honest I couldn't make heads of tails of them they're written at a level beyond my engineering knowledge and comprehension.

I've also spoken with Harley Davidson mechanics who have been wrenching for 30 or more years.  They claim they see a higher rate of spun bearings in engines which use synthetic oil.

I had a Jeep Wrangler which from the first oil change to the last, I used Mobil 1 synthetic oil.  I babied that vehicle, never drove it hard and changed the oil myself religiously at 3000 miles.  At 135,000 miles the engine stopped pumping oil the the cylinder head and spun a cam bearing.  This happened in the 258 cubic inch inline 6 engine which is known to be virtually indestructible.


I put Mobile 1 in my Jeeps I6 every 10,000 and she has more than 150,000 on her, not exactly sure since I drove it with no speedo for 6 months after I tore off the sensor while offroading. A sample size of 2 doesn't mean much and 1 or both could be outliers. The first Jeep off roading group I joined was mainly automotive mechanical engineers, they recommended synthetics at 10,000-12,000 intervals.
 
2013-01-28 06:37:25 AM
Recommended for my 2009 Kymco Grand Vista 250 is every 2000km which translates to 1242mi. I've been changing it every 1000mi because that's easier to remember. I use Mobil 1 Synthetic because it's the only oil that gets a synthetic rating due to being highly refined (the rest get it through adding additives, which is a source of engine sludge). With that and "Oil chemistry and engine technology have evolved tremendously in recent years" in mind, I wonder if I switched to changing my oil every 2000mi (3220km), if it wouldn't make a difference in engine wear.
 
2013-01-28 07:56:28 AM
Is there anybody under 80 that still does the 3000 mile interval thing? I haven't had a car in 20 years that recommended less than a 5000 mile interval. And this thread has mostly devolved into a debate about synthetic vs mineral, not time frames, so it doesn't seem like there's really anywhere here doing it.

brandent: My Chrysler/Dodge dealer (for my van) is a complete screw up at service.


To be fair, why should they put much effort into hiring quality mechanics when they're never going to see a car that lives beyond 60,000 miles anyway?

/ I keed
// sort of...
 
2013-01-28 08:40:50 AM

DemonEater: Plus they use awful cardboard Fram oil filters that leak dirty oil back into the engine, because they're cheap.


WTF happened to Fram, anyway? They used to be one of the better filter brands, back in the '70s/'80s.

/takes Honda to the dealer when the maintenance minder gets down around 10%, roughly 9-10k miles in my case
//they do a good job and haven't tried to rip me off, so I'm happy
 
2013-01-28 08:57:20 AM
The motor has oil in it?
 
2013-01-28 09:19:41 AM
Is there an absolute time limit for oil quality? I rarely drive my car more than 3000 miles in a year, and I usually change my oil once a year. Could I go 3-4 years without changing oil given the same driving pattern?
 
2013-01-28 09:44:10 AM

offmymeds: Bigger Leftist Intarweb Schlong: I go whenever the sticker on my windshield tells me to go. They also check and change all the other assorted engine fluids. Last time they replaced one of my taillights for me that I didn't realize was out, free of charge.

I love my mechanic.

This.

We've been taking our vehicles to the same mechanic now since '99. Honest and reliable. That's hard to find anymore.


I had one of those, I used to drive a Chevy, the a Ford and both were higher mileage beater cars as i am currently driving 35-45k miles a year. He understood that I just wanted the things to run reliably and not like new so he often told me what parts could be re-manufactured or even junk yard pulls and which ones i were better off buying new. Just about every one of his jobs came in under his own estimates and were significantly below what other places quoted for the job. It was this little run down shop run out of a garage out in the middle of no where in town, there is no way you would know it existed unless someone recommended it run by a guy and his wife. I would have never even considered trusting my car to the place based the outside until someone told me to give it a try.

\then i bought a SAAB
\\Was told that he wont touch them as he doesnt have the experience and they do a lot of things strange
\\\Learning quite a bit about auto repair
\\\\Replaced turbocharger last winter myself
 
2013-01-28 09:46:45 AM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: What pisses me off is when you get an oil change at a dealer and they put that little sticker on your windshield saying to bring it back in 3000 miles...even when the cars manual states that it should be every 5000 miles or whatever...and that dealer SELLS that same car. Seriously, scumbags and assholes, the lot of them...


Just hit this with my Ford dealer. My Epxedition has about 32K miles on it. They recommended transmission fluid, radiator flush, differentials, all totally like $700.

I asked them why the manual said the fluid were good to 100K miles and they just sort of blinked. Dirtbags.

So I got the oil change, and there it is, the 3K reminder sticker.


sigh..... this is why we can't have nice things.
 
2013-01-28 10:00:12 AM

brandent: Business Idea/Question.

So the whole thing with the jiffy lube type places is to be fast and cheap right? Well that's because on a 3000 mile interval the whole experience is annoying and going to a dealer would be twice as annoying. The article (and pretty much any factual analysis) seems to indicate the average person really only needs 1 or 2 a year at most. It would seem that there is a niche for a higher end experience there. I.e. charging a couple hundred bucks and it's all inclusive. You get a nice waiting area. Maybe snacks. Your car gets an oil change, tire rotation, all applicable fluids filled or flushed. The car gets washed and vacuumed. A little scent. All the way up to a full detailing. Sort of a yearly refresh. I know these places exist but maybe they will become more popular and the insta lube places will go the way of the dodo.


That's what I got with my 2013 Hyundai Tucson I just bought. Five years of full maintenance, wash and vac, bumper to bumper extended from 36K to 60K, alarm turned on (love that one), fully stocked coffee and danish bar, Wi-Fi, and 1.9% for $2K. The savings from the interest rate drop that I came pre-approved with alone paid for it. I think it also has the Auto Butler yearly wax treatment but that stuff gets everywhere and they dont get it off the black plastic and rubber very well. Had it on a prior vehicle and its not worth it. The local wash shop does a better job at hand waxing.
 
2013-01-28 10:02:26 AM
It's crazy that all cars don't have oil life meters like Honda sticks in their fleet (my Fit goes about 11k miles before it says the oil needs to be changed).

Not to subscribe to conspiracy theories, but the only reason car makers give you a flat number in the manual of when to change the oil (as opposed to an oil life meter) is to create reasons for you to visit the dealer.
 
2013-01-28 10:14:54 AM
I wait to change my oil until I can no longer see the car behind me through the blue smoke.
i.l.cnn.net
j/k
 
2013-01-28 10:18:20 AM

thornhill: It's crazy that all cars don't have oil life meters like Honda sticks in their fleet (my Fit goes about 11k miles before it says the oil needs to be changed).

Not to subscribe to conspiracy theories, but the only reason car makers give you a flat number in the manual of when to change the oil (as opposed to an oil life meter) is to create reasons for you to visit the dealer.


yah, but they don't work.

there are reasons to change your oil, but time or distance aren't them.

/additives
//flushes
///some grime is good
////protect your valves and lifters in different weather, people.
 
2013-01-28 10:19:45 AM

SpectroBoy: sigh..... this is why we can't have nice things.


wait, are you talking about Romney, Obama, gun control, or the fiscal cliff? I can't tell.
 
2013-01-28 10:43:16 AM

thornhill: It's crazy that all cars don't have oil life meters like Honda sticks in their fleet (my Fit goes about 11k miles before it says the oil needs to be changed).

Not to subscribe to conspiracy theories, but the only reason car makers give you a flat number in the manual of when to change the oil (as opposed to an oil life meter) is to create reasons for you to visit the dealer.


Do you know how that "oil life meter" in your Fit works?

No, it doesn't test the oil itself. AFAIK, only Mercedes ever bothered with a system like that, and I don't even know if they still bother to use it.

The "oil life meter" in your vehicle is nothing more than checking with the vehicle computer to determine how you're driving, and then it just determines an oil change interval based on that. If it gives a percentage of oil life, it's only counting down based on mileage (a mileage interval based on how you drive). It's a slightly more technological version of a few printed lines in the manual.

If you think they print the manual to make you visit the dealer but they don't program the vehicle computer to the same ends, well, you haven't thought your conspiracy theory all the way through. Manufacturers aren't as interested in driving oil change traffic to the dealers as they are in showing their vehicles to be long lived with a low cost of ownership to get you to buy the damn thing in the first place.
 
2013-01-28 11:44:45 AM

DubyaHater: This is why I don't go to those JiffyLube places. I only go to the dealership for proper maintenance.


I chuckled at that.
I've never had a good experience at a dealership shop
 
2013-01-28 11:57:55 AM
brandent:
Business Idea/Question.
So the whole thing with the jiffy lube type places is to be fast and cheap right? Well that's because on a 3000 mile interval the whole experience is annoying and going to a dealer would be twice as annoying. The article (and pretty much any factual analysis) seems to indicate the average person really only needs 1 or 2 a year at most. It would seem that there is a niche for a higher end experience there. I.e. charging a couple hundred bucks and it's all inclusive. You get a nice waiting area. Maybe snacks. Your car gets an oil change, tire rotation, all applicable fluids filled or flushed. The car gets washed and vacuumed. A little scent. All the way up to a full detailing. Sort of a yearly refresh. I know these places exist but maybe they will become more popular and the insta lube places will go the way of the dodo.


Seems like a good tie in with a hotel. You and the lady check in, do your business, and we'll have your personal vehicle ready in the morning. (hotel contract with real mechanics, obviously)
 
2013-01-28 12:22:57 PM

Dear Jerk: brandent:
Business Idea/Question.
So the whole thing with the jiffy lube type places is to be fast and cheap right? Well that's because on a 3000 mile interval the whole experience is annoying and going to a dealer would be twice as annoying. The article (and pretty much any factual analysis) seems to indicate the average person really only needs 1 or 2 a year at most. It would seem that there is a niche for a higher end experience there. I.e. charging a couple hundred bucks and it's all inclusive. You get a nice waiting area. Maybe snacks. Your car gets an oil change, tire rotation, all applicable fluids filled or flushed. The car gets washed and vacuumed. A little scent. All the way up to a full detailing. Sort of a yearly refresh. I know these places exist but maybe they will become more popular and the insta lube places will go the way of the dodo.

Seems like a good tie in with a hotel. You and the lady check in, do your business, and we'll have your personal vehicle ready in the morning. (hotel contract with real mechanics, obviously)


The airport parking service i use when i fly offers all those services, they can do most maintenance as well as a full detail of your car while  you are out of town, for a fee of course.
 
2013-01-28 01:08:47 PM

Lost Thought 00: Is there an absolute time limit for oil quality? I rarely drive my car more than 3000 miles in a year, and I usually change my oil once a year. Could I go 3-4 years without changing oil given the same driving pattern?


My dad gets a full synthetic change every 2 years, he puts about 3k a year since he retired, his car is 12 years old and running fine.

I do a full synthetic with an extended mileage filter change once a year, usually that is about 10k miles, but its been as high as 19 and as low as 6. My car is 12 years old, rusty in spots from northern winters, ratty on the interior because I'm a slob, but the engine doesn't burn a drop of oil.
 
2013-01-28 01:27:49 PM
I've run synthetic oil in my 1996 TDI Passat since I purchased in 2003. I've put nearly 235000 miles on it since, changing the oil at 5-6 k and the timing belt every 80 k - the damn thing just keeps running. No problems with the turbo.

anyone with the 1.8T engine should switch over to synthetic oil to alleviate the sludge build up problem common in that motor
 
2013-01-28 02:09:27 PM

Dear Jerk: Changing oil or plugging a flat are two things you should know how to do yourself, or sleep with a guy who does.*

*disclaimer: I will consider trading light automotive work for sex.


For the $12.00 it costs the local guy i'll let him plug the flat
 
2013-01-28 03:27:11 PM
We've gotten this far into it and nobody bothered to mention that this is an article from 2010?

/Let's have a tipping thread next!
 
2013-01-28 04:01:00 PM
"I don't have to change my oil - my engine is air-cooled!"


/said the VW owner in the 60's.
//csb
 
2013-01-28 11:25:48 PM
Just looked it up and my current care has a 7.5k interval on the oil change. Nice, that works out to just about normal for me with this car.
 
2013-01-29 03:02:07 PM

Mister Peejay: Newsflash: If a shop charges $30 for an oil change and spends a half hour at $100/hour labor rate plus $20 in materials costs, how much profit is there in an oil change?

On the other hand, changing the timing chains and guides at 60k because of lack of maintenance is very profitable.

/if we were interested solely in making money, we'd tell people to do nothing until it breaks


Hahahaha... right. Shops do no-profit oil changes in order to get the customer in the bay, so you can sell them on 80 other things.... and there is always something else to sell.

/Worked quick lube for 6 years
 
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