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Old 07-08-2008, 09:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Oil change recommendations?

I am planning on a getting my oil changed tonight. I normally go to a Valvoline Instant Oil Change place. My 2000 Honda Civic VP has just over 140000 miles. I have gotten my oil changed about every 3000 miles using conventional oil. But I see so many recommends here for synthetic oil, that I am thinking of giving that a shot. VOIC always recommends Max Life oil since my car has over 75000 miles. I see that Valvoline also makes a Max Life full synthetic oil. Any value to using Max Life over non-Max Life oil?
When I looked up in the owners manual of my car today, I was kind of surprised to see they recommend getting the oil changed every 7500 miles. So I guess following VOICs recommends, I have maybe been going overkill on the oil changes, and making them a little bit richer in the process.

So what I am thinking is going for either Synthetic or Max Life Synthetic, and reducing my oil changes to every 7500 miles. Of course using the 5W30 recommended for my car.

I have been told the engine in my car can last to 500,000 miles. So I try to take care of it. My last Honda (a 1990 Honda Accord) lasted to 235,000 when the valves fried. And I think that was related to it's burning oil that started when the water pump failed a couple years oil. I am still pissed off at the service that DIDN'T replace the water pump when they replaced the timing belt! *&#*!!!!!

Any comments, concerns, or recommendations on my oil change?

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Old 07-08-2008, 09:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i run (motorcraft) synthetic in my DD, but cheap dino-oil in my old truck. a few extra bucks every several thousand miles isn't that bad. but i really don't feel that it makes much difference, i just feel better about it.

01 ford explorer sport, 105,000 miles, synthetic oil/filter changed every 5000. no engine problems other than pcv valve and egr valve (and regular maintenance items, of course).

but, my parents had.....

94 explorer, 298,000 miles, oil changed every 5000, but used cheap walmart 10w30. finally cracked a head (or maybe head gasket), but no other real problems. sold it to a guy that had it running again in 2 days.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wasn't Honda using 0W20 in 2000?

That Max Life stuff is thicker and will slightly decrease your mileage.

Best thing for mileage would be 0W20 synthetic. Look into the extended interval oils. Go well beyond 7500 miles between changes.

Also, just wondering why anyone who hypermiles would change their oil more than absolutely necessary? Seems counterintuitive to me. Wasting money on oil changes but trying to save money on gas?
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I haven't been hypermiling long. Also, if I fry my engine, the cost would far outweigh any fuel savings!

And my owners manual recommends 5W30.

I guess I will skip the Max Life stuff if it is thicker.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd do two rounds of Auto-Rx Engine Cleaner with the cheapest API SM oil you can find and follow it up with a real PAO synthetic like AMSOIL, Mobil1, Red Line, or Royal Purple.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
I guess I will skip the Max Life stuff if it is thicker.
Well, based on your other responses (don't want to blow up the engine is a good one!), maybe you should look into the Max Life stuff a little more.

I mean, if the thickness and other crap they put in there helps prevent an oil leak, maybe that makes up for a small decrease in mileage.

BTW, I saw a dynorun once where just switching from 40 weight oil to 30 weight oil on a Civic gained 2 hp. So the weight of the oil makes a measurable difference, but not a huge difference (maybe that was a 2% gain in hp).
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Oil change interval depends upon vehicle driving cycles. If you're going to use the 7500 mile interval, you'll not be doing many short trips. The longer trips, say 20 miles, allow the oil to evaporate water condensed in the oil while cooling. High water content is not your friend.

Use regular dino oil and change it at nearly the longest interval that is recommended. Changing a little early isn't a bad idea, but every 3000 miles just costs you more time and money, and creates more waste oil for the shop to heat thier place with in the winter.

****If you really want to know how long you should use your oil, contact an oil analysis lab. It is often done by mail, so it's convenient too. The analysis is often less than $20 and could safely allow you to double your mileage between changes, paying for itsself in less than a year! Plus you aren't doing this blind, you'll have lab results backing up your decision, not some peoples guesses on an internet forum.

Contrary to what others state, I continue to believe that dino oils are so good these days that synthetic only might have an advantage if you have an optimal driving cycle to keep water content way down, and have really excellent (and more expensive) filtration. If you do all that you can still get really long life out of cheaper dino oil. Synthetics are best used in very high performance engines where greater heat and stress demand more consistency and reliability from an oil that what dinos can provide.

Big rigs use dino oil while getting many hundreds of thousands of miles from the engine. They also use filtration down to 1/10 micron. Typical good quality automotive filters go down to 10 micron, cheapies are 20+.

Our generators at work use 100 gallons of oil per change. We have 5 of them. Change them about every 3 years depending on the oil analysis results.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Got off on a topic.
At this point use regular oil if you're not using oil between changes, the maxlife stuff is for engines that burn a little bit.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Are any hypermilers switching to 0W20 synthetic to get that last little 2% mileage increase?

I mean, Honda does it! That's one of the sneaky little things they do to get such great mileage from their cars (along with VTEC, thinner sheetmetal, undersized brakes, mechanical lifters, timing belts, etc.)
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks all. I have been reading on the net, and have read everything from switching to synthetic will make your car run better, to that it will start your engine leaking like a sieve. Scary stuff.

I decided to pass on Valvoline Instant Oil Change at least this time around. I made an appt for my car to get an oil change at the local Honda dealer. I will see what they recommend. I think they are actually cheaper then VOIC anyway.

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