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Old 12-19-2009, 11:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Best Time to Change the Oil in a Newer Model Car?

Hi gang.

Tonight I got a real interesting email about a comment I had made about making oil changes in cars like my 2009 Chevy Cobalt XFE. I had just got used to changing oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, and I was itching to get my break-in oil out of my new engine when I noticed my computer on the dash board telling me my oil was like 55% used/good (Not sure if that is 55% good, or 55% bad!) - So I got out the manual, something like most other men I HATE to do, but I had to find the answer. Sure enough Chevy tells me that in the newer design of engines that is is not necessary to change oil as few as 3,000 to 5,000 miles, even when brand new. Instead it said the computer would calculate how you drive and the conditions of everything BUT the actual oil condition! - In order to estimate the ideal time to change the oil.

A member here emailed me about a study done by a popular import car company which concluded 50% of all damage to an engine happens within the first 10,000 miles due to all of the metal fragments as the engine is broken in, building up and rubbing/damaging other engine parts. I gather the study leaned to a more old school oil change of 500-3,000 5,000 miles etc for a spanking brand new engine.

So who is right? Because Chevy lead me to believe one thing, and I was broke, I waited until I had a little more than 6,000 miles before I had the oil changed and a lube job (I love saying "lube job" - fire, fire...he he..).

I will share this: Ever since I bought my 09 Cobalt XFE, which is paid off by the money I got from the time my brakes failed me in my pickup truck (yeah, now my rates are real nice, and GEICO has yet to pop up with a wad of cash near me!!) I'm happy to own a car outright new and hope to enjoy a longer time of no repairs needed- cuz I suck at turning wrenches anyway. So, what does GM do? GM has tried to sell me everything under the sun after the sale!!! Do I want to pay $3,00 for XM radio (at least they do lower the price over time)? If I have On Star for FREE for a year, why the heck do they bother me after one month to get me to pay for another year?

And if On Star has a MICROPHONE inside my car (Can you say "room is bugged"?) and can track my speed and location at all times, why the heck would I want to fork over my CAR INSURANCE POLICY #?? to these same good heated people? They keep bugging me for that info! "Hello, AAA, one of your customers is going 95 MPH in a 70 zone currently, as per our agreement we are alerting you. Also our car diagnostic has detected the IF Frequency of a radar detector in use." - Car Insurance Rates Triple! (On Star could NOT even unlock my parents doors in their Cadillac after trying 3 times, and they were not even in the mountains near me! So give up the idea of crashing in the mountains and On Star calling for help, you will be lucky if somebody drives by and sees some smoke!) And the one that TOPS MY LIST IS CHEVY'S EFFORT TO SELL ME THEIR 100,000 MILE EXTENDED WARRANTY FOR ABOUT $750!!!! - GM HAD BETTER BE MAKING CARS TO LAST 100,000 MILES OR THEY ARE DEAD MEAT IN THE MARKET PLACE!! ARGH!!!!!!

So I have to wonder if GM/Chevy could profit somehow by leading customers on to believe we can drive a brand new car 20,000 miles (based on my computer!) before the first oil change! It seems to me the engine would most likely have to be damaged somewhat by tiny metal fragments, as another good member here emailed me about found in the conclusion of a study.

Opinions on when to change oil in a newer model car?

Thanks.

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Old 12-20-2009, 02:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Why agonize so much over an oil change?

If YOU want to change your oil early, because it's your first XXXX miles, do it. The net costs is.... a gallon of oil and a filter?

The OnStar Police won't go hunt you down and beat you with a rubber hose if you change your oil early. At worst, it'll just cost you ONE OIL CHANGE because you might have left the oil in longer. At best, you might extend your engine life, like you were surmising.

If you've got the cash in hand to do the change, don't sit on it.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Jammer,
maybe you should drop your cell phone in the next garbage can you see too?
Not sure what the rant about ONSTAR has to do with oil changes......
And sorry that the implication was that INFINITI had do a test, Infiniti did not. I had stated that ON THE INFINITI forum (which is actually NICO and not associated with Nissan/Infiniti) here is the post New Engine Coming...Proper break-in? Catch can?: M-Series Forum / Fuga Forum: Nissan Forums / Infiniti Forums - NICOclub

as ChrstphrR said "Why agonize so much over an oil change?"
so few of us get a new car. I was just trying to give some helpful advise.....

here is a post from a VW site with the oil analysis form a new car at 5k miles
http://pics.tdiclub.com/data/4323/Us..._2009_VW_s.pdf
note the high levels

here is an oil analysis on a new 09 integra. he has done 3 oil changes in 11,000 miles. Note the wear numbers at the first oil chang3
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...34#Post1676834

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Old 12-20-2009, 11:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you are worried about the current oil having something in it that helps brake in, then change the filter to get any grit, metal bits or whatever might be in there out and top off the oil with the recommended oil, or call your dealer and ask them if the brake in oil is special and needs to stay in there.
Most new cars, in the owners manual tell you to change your oil every 7,500 miles, unless you are driving in a way that causes extreme wear, like stop and go driving, towing, off road driving, if you look at it from a time standpoint rather then a miles standpoint then you will notice that you should change your oil closer to every 120-150 hours of use.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrews View Post
Jammer,
maybe you should drop your cell phone in the next garbage can you see too?
Not sure what the rant about ONSTAR has to do with oil changes......
And sorry that the implication was that INFINITI had do a test, Infiniti did not. I had stated that ON THE INFINITI forum (which is actually NICO and not associated with Nissan/Infiniti) here is the post New Engine Coming...Proper break-in? Catch can?: M-Series Forum / Fuga Forum: Nissan Forums / Infiniti Forums - NICOclub

as ChrstphrR said "Why agonize so much over an oil change?"
so few of us get a new car. I was just trying to give some helpful advise.....

here is a post from a VW site with the oil analysis form a new car at 5k miles
http://pics.tdiclub.com/data/4323/Us..._2009_VW_s.pdf
note the high levels

here is an oil analysis on a new 09 integra. he has done 3 oil changes in 11,000 miles. Note the wear numbers at the first oil chang3
SynPower 5W30: 3,640 Miles - 09 Acura RDX Turbo - Bob Is The Oil Guy
I am happy you emailed me. The On Star thing was meant to be funny more than anything else, but I see nobody found it funny, so forget that. But you mentioned in the email how car companies like it when we do not change our oil often enough- remember? The ON Star rant was lumping together how GM keeps trying to make $$$ after the sale.

And you too have to repeat the quote "Why agonize so much over an oil change?" Well for starters YOU cared enough to email me about it for starters!!

I do wonder why you bothered to email about that report then come on the public forms and ASK ME why I care? Is that not strange? You cared enough to email me.... So I'm now asking what others think. I never named your name until you came out, but YOU must think it's important enough to email me about that report. I stand corrected over who did the test- big deal.

mcrews: Maybe you think you are helping me here, but that is not how it comes off. So I ranted about On Star, is it the first time anybody went off topic on this site? I was hoping the On Star rant would make some people think while giving people a good laugh too. And I made a mistake about who the report was from, am I the only member to make a mistake here? Yes I have a new car, and I was glad to get your email about when to change the oil because I want this car to last as long as possible, but why do you need to DIS me on the forums here and go along with the quote: "Why agonize so much over an oil change?" - DUDE YOU ARE THE ONE THAT BROUGHT IT TO MY ATTENTION? I could ask YOU the same question! How about a little REAL help and less striding on the fence?

If it makes anyone feel better, it's not like I have had many new cars, and I am in no way trying to say "Hey I got a new car". A car is a car and I want it to last as long as I can, no matter how many miles or on it.
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Last edited by Jammer; 12-21-2009 at 12:34 AM..
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrews View Post
Jammer,
maybe you should drop your cell phone in the next garbage can you see too?
Not sure what the rant about ONSTAR has to do with oil changes......
And sorry that the implication was that INFINITI had do a test, Infiniti did not. I had stated that ON THE INFINITI forum (which is actually NICO and not associated with Nissan/Infiniti) here is the post New Engine Coming...Proper break-in? Catch can?: M-Series Forum / Fuga Forum: Nissan Forums / Infiniti Forums - NICOclub

as ChrstphrR said "Why agonize so much over an oil change?"
so few of us get a new car. I was just trying to give some helpful advise.....

here is a post from a VW site with the oil analysis form a new car at 5k miles
http://pics.tdiclub.com/data/4323/Us..._2009_VW_s.pdf
note the high levels

here is an oil analysis on a new 09 integra. he has done 3 oil changes in 11,000 miles. Note the wear numbers at the first oil chang3
SynPower 5W30: 3,640 Miles - 09 Acura RDX Turbo - Bob Is The Oil Guy
Someday we might awake to the news that a company with so much power *might* be selling tracking information to an insurance company- Does not anyone else wonder why a company such as On Stars asks for your car insurance policy #? - See I was trying to get people to see the obvious here, that sort of information, when all combined, can be abused. Don't be surprised when you find an MP3 site of private in car conversations too. Even today we have plenty of video from cams stuck in bathrooms, and lots of video from security cams which is mainly posted as some kind of porn- however I do not understand the interest in such stuff. Gosh we even have tons of sites dedicated to CRANK PHONE CALLS. Nobody can tell me there is not a market for recordings made from the On Star microphone without the driver's knowledge. It might be hard to prove who violated the law too. My tie-in was with a company trying to make after sale sells. Perhaps by using a computer that advises a customer to wait 20,000 miles before the 1st oil change it will damage the engine which may not appear until the warranty has expired. I can not see much of another motive to tell customers to wait soooo long for an oil change, can anyone else provide another motivating factor for waiting so much longer than before?

So, the On Star stuff was said for a few reasons, such as a rant that was suppose to be funny by pointing out the obvious conflict of interests some companies have. If you rather make fun of ME for posting it, then I wish you would expand your mind a little bit and ask yourself how much is your privacy worth, ' would not car insurance companies love to have the GPS tracking on cars so they can always monitor our speed etc??Yes it was off topic, but for this site that is nothing new.

My question about the oil changing still remains, as nobody here really shared their thoughts on the matter because most in this thread were too busy telling me, more or less: "Who Cares?" - Like nobody cares about maintaining a car here?? I was curious about the COMPUTER claims vers regular oil changes- Does anybody know if there is anything to the computer being even close to right when it says something like Oil = 55% (Good I guess)- Nobody, not one person bothered to address my real question. Even the person that emailed me is mocking me. Whats up are the Holidays getting to people or what? Shesh.

Thank you to the member that/for mentioned changing the oil filter, which was done.

Me
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Last edited by Jammer; 12-21-2009 at 12:43 AM..
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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maybe you need to take a breath......

I am sorry if you have misread my intention and comments...I can't speak for the other posters

The 'who cares...." has to do with your ranting.
Of course we care about your oil change but let's stay focused and quit casting you 'corp one world order' on us also.
Also, maybe the posts require some thought process and conclusions that only you can come to? If you stay focused on the "THEM" and the computer you miss the facts.
1. FACT: as the Acura lab sheet showed, the majority of wear occures in the very early stages of an engines life. given 2 equal cars, your cobalt for example, if car A changes the oil 3 times in 10k and then follows the computer and car B only follows the computer, car B will have more wear at 20k than car A.
2. The computer is not (IMO) programmed for the breakin period as one set of perameters and then the life of the car for the second. I would bet that the computer is only programmed to measure viscosity....i don't know.
3. I have only had 2 new cars and I am 53 yrs old (uot of 17 cars). you totally misunderstood the comment. The point was that I would love to have a new car were i can make a difference in the wear over the next 200,000 miles . I just bought my daughter a new Kia Sportage. I changed to oil 3 times in the first 3k miles. I didn't give a hoot what the manual said.
4 finally, I send a simple 7 line email concerning wear and I get 50 line reply that is completely off track. So I think to myself, wow, I need to give him some facts to digest so he can make up his own mind.... If you felt disd the maybe over a 150 lines of text brought it on?
5. Maybe, just maybe, if you had spent 30 minutes googling 'initial engine wear' (like i did to HELP you)you would have answered your own question. I even found one link to an invention that does what I THINK (but not sure) your onboard computer does. But hey, I didn't post everything I found about YOUR question.
6. If it was my car, I'd do it.

Merry Christmas,

mcrews
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrews View Post
maybe you need to take a breath......

I am sorry if you have misread my intention and comments...I can't speak for the other posters

The 'who cares...." has to do with your ranting.
Of course we care about your oil change but let's stay focused and quit casting you 'corp one world order' on us also.
Also, maybe the posts require some thought process and conclusions that only you can come to? If you stay focused on the "THEM" and the computer you miss the facts.
1. FACT: as the Acura lab sheet showed, the majority of wear occures in the very early stages of an engines life. given 2 equal cars, your cobalt for example, if car A changes the oil 3 times in 10k and then follows the computer and car B only follows the computer, car B will have more wear at 20k than car A.
2. The computer is not (IMO) programmed for the breakin period as one set of perameters and then the life of the car for the second. I would bet that the computer is only programmed to measure viscosity....i don't know.
3. I have only had 2 new cars and I am 53 yrs old (uot of 17 cars). you totally misunderstood the comment. The point was that I would love to have a new car were i can make a difference in the wear over the next 200,000 miles . I just bought my daughter a new Kia Sportage. I changed to oil 3 times in the first 3k miles. I didn't give a hoot what the manual said.
4 finally, I send a simple 7 line email concerning wear and I get 50 line reply that is completely off track. So I think to myself, wow, I need to give him some facts to digest so he can make up his own mind.... If you felt disd the maybe over a 150 lines of text brought it on?
5. Maybe, just maybe, if you had spent 30 minutes googling 'initial engine wear' (like i did to HELP you)you would have answered your own question. I even found one link to an invention that does what I THINK (but not sure) your onboard computer does. But hey, I didn't post everything I found about YOUR question.
6. If it was my car, I'd do it.

Merry Christmas,

mcrews
OK, thanks for breaking it down.

Still, after GM going bankrupt and all of that mess, I keep wonder why they would put a computer on the dash that tells a new owner to wait for so many miles before changing the oil? I'm trying to understand what possible motive GM/Chevy would have for that, and all I can come up with is, indeed, it may cause major engine defect or at least a serious problem many miles down the road. Thats all I can figure, and that is what lead me to the off topic stuff- I was pointing to all of the stuff they are doing to make after market sales, and I simply do not have the money for anything else, not even satellite-radio. GM is hitting me up for XM Radio, which expired after 3 months, but their price is still too high for my needs, XM Radio has drove me crazy as an ape because they never let up. And then Chevy has the nerve to try and sell me a 100,000 mile warranty where I'm sure most people on this site feels that a new car which is properly maintain should be able to make it past 100,000 miles easily without major issues. And they wanted upward near $1000 for that too!! (I think it was over $750)

From what I can gather, I am unaware of any other brand of car using a computer to calculate the time to change the oil- Am I wrong here? Do other brands of cars also have computers calculate when your SUPPOSED to change oil? What gets me is that the computer does not even look or examine the oil, according to a friend that changes oil everyday for a living, GM cars are looking at the condition of filters, how many times the ignition switch is used (and driving in EOC my ignition switch is used far more often than normal, yet my first oil changed may not be due until after 20,000 the way it's going). To my mind, without even quoting the reports, it makes little sense. How can a car company say 3,000 to change break-in oil one year, and the very next year say it's overkill and to do what the computer says- which is a large difference! In fact, upon my last oil change the guys did not even reset my oil gauge, I'm not even sure if they know how, I suspect it is a GM Dealer's secret for now. So I will be curious how many miles I get too, and how many oil changes I really have done, before the computer tells me to change the oil.

You know how computers are, it's difficult to tell sometimes what mood or context a messenger wishes their words to be taken in. It's easy to misunderstand online, so I see no sense in carry things on further at this time. Based on the last post my posts did not make the points I was striving for... so I'm no longer going to bother trying to explain my POV much more.

I tend to be long-winded, it's my personality.

I need to read those reports too.

Merry Christmas to everyone on the site.

Me

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Old 12-21-2009, 10:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The engine in my 2002 Corolla was shot at 46,000 miles (it had a faulty oil pump, read the rest of the story in my profile sometime) and I had a shortblock done.
I wanted the "new" engine to last, so I changed the oil at 200 miles, 1,000 miles, 2,500 miles and 5,500 miles, and changed the oil myself (I always do). The oil for the first change (200 miles) was 25% Marvel Mystery Oil, because of the lapping agents (wear inducing), I wanted to smooth out the engine as soon as possible and keep it that way. At 1,000, 2,500, and 5,500, it was 100% dyno oil. At 10,000 miles on the new engine (56,000 on the ODO), I changed to full synthetic, and now change the oil every 10-20K. The engine runs like a top, and has over 100K miles on it now (148,XXX on the ODO).
I don't change the filter in the middle of the oil changes, or anything strange (I think it's strange anyway) like that, but I use Castrol Syntec 5-w20, and a Fram (OMG, don't flame me and get me started) Xtended Guard 10,000 mile filter (the company I work for makes the filter paper in it, I helped design it, so I know what it is capable of) and just drive easy. I don't think the car is going to last as long as this engine, judging from the other repairs I have made to it. So when I buy my next new car, I intend to do the same thing.
Do with the information provided what you may, but don't attack those that try to help you when they ask you a question on a public forum, even if they contacted you in private. The individual usually wants to bring an item that they deem important into light so it may be discussed with other enthusiasts and get conversations started/continued. I'm sure there was no harm intended in the act, so let's all just get along.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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All you need to know is manufacturers don't want their engines to get a bad rep for early failure THUS their oil change recommendations are in the interests of maximum engine life and most economical oil use that also considers worst case scenarios.

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