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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is an interesting article in Yahoo named "3000 mile myth oil change".
According to the article, GM, BMW, and Mercedes cars actually analyze some variables of the oil to determine when the oil needs to be replaced. Our FJ has a light to indicate when an oil change is needed. My question is, does the light on the FJ comes on at 5,000 miles intervals regardless of the condition of the oil or is it more sophisticated, like those other brands?
Thanks
 

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AFAIK, it's just a tripometer setting, not dependent upon any oil analysis...
 

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The cars themselves do not analize the oil, that is done by a tech at the dealership. When you come down to it changing oil is like insurance for your engine. Oil lubricates and also carries away dirt and also metal particles etc. Changing your oil and filter can range from say $20-$50 depending on what you use.

To me changing the oil at 3,000 miles is no great expense. Changing after a particularly dusty trail run is also something I do as well. I recycle the oil and the plastic containers so where is the down side?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The-3-000-Mile-Oil-Change-Myth- Yahoo! Autos Article Page--

I guess that is how you link to the article.
In any case is in Yahoo right now.

NCFJ, I agree with you completely about the interval and the expense. What is interesting in the article is that it says clearly that the car system analyzes the oil and that is what triggers the warning light to come on on GM, BMW and Mercedes.
 

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Remember that Toyota lowered the oil change interval after getting burned by the engine sludge class action suit. I used to have a 1990 4Runner V6, it had a 12 month or 7,500 mile interval. I ran Mobil 1 and never changed the oil any sooner than that, put on almost 400,000 km before I sold it. Ran fine

When Toyota got the sludge settlement, they lowered the interval - in North America - to 6 months or 5,000 miles. I had my dealership bulk oil tested, that crap I wouldn't trust over 3,000 miles. Even my Prius has a 6 month or 5,000 mile interval, which some Prius owners defend like the Constitution. Despite the fact the same Prius sold in the EU has a 12 month, 10,000 mile interval

The FJ and Prius sold in Canada do not have a dummy light for oil changes. AFAIK the oil reminder light comes on regardless of how the vehicle is driven

The GM oil life monitor looks at cold start cycles, idle time, rpm at cruise, to determine when to remind for an oil change. It does not monitor the oil

VW cars sold in the EU have a 24 month or 30,000 mile maximum oil change interval. The monitor will examine basic oil properties, obvously we have a ways to go before we can do onboard, real-time nitration, oxidation, viscosity, TBN, and metals analysis. At least in a solution that doesn't cost as much as the car itself

Our API oil standards are very weak, which is on purpose. They purposely ignore very cold operation, such as cold stuck rings, cold black sludge, and offer only marginal protection against cold gellation. The API oil specs are only designed for a 4,000-6,000 mile service life

The API has also been very good at promoting frequent oil changes. As the API sets the standards *and* promotes the industry, that is clearly a conflict of interest. Why would the API demand tough specs and an oil capable of 24 month service, when it would impact all the kwik loob places?

The ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles) sets far stricter service specs. The ACEA is represented by light duty and heavy duty engine makers (Saab, VW, Opel, Scania, MAN, Iveco, Mercedes, etc) with no input from oil companies.

The EU engine makers have full authority to demand a particular grade of oil. That would never happen here unless the Magnassun Moss Warranty Act was repealed.

Even the bare minimum ACEA A1 spec is designed for a 12 month or 10,000 mile service life. It also offers protection against cold start conditions that are ignored by API/ILSAC. If you change your oil often enough, perhaps even the no-name generic oil is good enough for average conditions.

However, it's an illusion to pretend there is total chain of custody after an oil change. All that waste oil generated, the old filters, there is a lot of spillage. The chain of custody is far better than it used to be, but it's far from perfect
 

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The-3-000-Mile-Oil-Change-Myth- Yahoo! Autos Article Page--

I guess that is how you link to the article.
In any case is in Yahoo right now.

NCFJ, I agree with you completely about the interval and the expense. What is interesting in the article is that it says clearly that the car system analyzes the oil and that is what triggers the warning light to come on on GM, BMW and Mercedes.
Its on the internet so it must be true! :rofl:

Probably just the models with the Infrared or Mass Spectrometer option.
 

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not sure where some are getting information but the newer cars from SAAB, BMW and Mercedes do in fact do a type of oil analysis through crankcase temp, moisture, and combustion chamber events to determine oil longevity...and now even oil condition but is very sensitive to the type of oil used and may not identify all contaminants just the main ones attributed to engine wear. This may be one reason the BMW cars now do not have a dipstick...and only BMW approved oil is authorized for use if engines are equipped with this technology. The system monitors oil level in addition to the condition of the oil based on analysis of oil and driving conditions. They are fine tuned to the engine and oil combination and how the engine reacts under various conditions.
An algorithm is used by the most basic oil life sensors...that is also fine tuned to each engine and is accurate within 5-10% of mileage life reflected.
Most if not all also have a 2:1 safety factor built into the systems....so if your oil life monitor is counting down to a 7000 or even 10000 mile oil change...then in reality you likely can reach 14000-20000 mile oil change before oil reaches point of losing viscosity and protection against contaminants.

If you want some info do some reading on engineer sites or books in library if you shy away from internet research. GM did one of the first oil sensors back in early 80s (GM OIL LIFE MONITOR) I think and it was highly effective with no failed engines based on results of algorithm they developed....and now two decades later it has evolved into a very very accurate system.....and like mentioned...BMW and MERCEDES are using true contamination sensors in their cars.
Believe what you want.....but no reason to change oil at 3000 miles. If the oil still has its heat protection, wear protection, and is able to suspend contaminants so the filter can pull them out of system.......that is why the synthetics get longer intervals...less wear, less suspended particles in oil, better lubrication and heat sheer resistance....and with a high quality filter (as important as oil you use) to remove contaminants...it can go 15,000 miles or more depending on driving conditions.

Good luck...
 

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Analysis was the key word in my statement. The on board units do not analize they merely monitor specific criteria and when certain levels are reached that is when the computur turns on the change ol light.

I'll continue to change my oil often and not rely on what an on board computer may tell me. The off road environment adds far more dirt to all your systems and I'd prefer to err on the side of safety.
 

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i have a friend that only changed his oil once in his tacoma, and hes @ over 100K miles with no problems, altho his oil leak forces him to add about 1 quart per month. He acts proud of it, i think hes just plain stupid. But it still makes you wonder how important oil changes are! I personally change every 5K with synthetic, and dont think much else about it.

-Mike:)
 

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I once knew a fellow who never changed his oil. He used synthetic oil and would just change the filter every 5000 miles and replace whatever oil necessary to bring oil level to full. Had over 220,000 miles on it when he traded it. A little extreme for me, I change my Mobil 1 and Toyota filter every 5000 miles.
 

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I usually change the oil in my truck and the FJ every 4000. It only costs about $22 to change (@ Brakemasters). That is cheap insurance and peace of mind if you ask me. I do believe that it is not required right on the "3000 mile mark or else", but why try and push it. Change it, get done with it, and drive happy. :)
 

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I change my oil and filter every 5K miles. I treat it almost like an insurance policy on my engine. I think it is interesting that the owner's manual says the oil and filter need to be changed every 6 months or 5K miles, but the dealers try to sell you doing the change every 3 months or 3K miles.
 

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I went 11,000 miles before my first oil change in my BMW. It was kinda of weird, I even called the dealer a couple of times asking if the car would be okay. They told me the car will tell me when it needs an oil change!
 

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Remember that Toyota lowered the oil change interval after getting burned by the engine sludge class action suit. I used to have a 1990 4Runner V6, it had a 12 month or 7,500 mile interval. I ran Mobil 1 and never changed the oil any sooner than that, put on almost 400,000 km before I sold it. Ran fine

When Toyota got the sludge settlement, they lowered the interval - in North America - to 6 months or 5,000 miles. I had my dealership bulk oil tested, that crap I wouldn't trust over 3,000 miles. Even my Prius has a 6 month or 5,000 mile interval, which some Prius owners defend like the Constitution. Despite the fact the same Prius sold in the EU has a 12 month, 10,000 mile interval

The FJ and Prius sold in Canada do not have a dummy light for oil changes. AFAIK the oil reminder light comes on regardless of how the vehicle is driven

The GM oil life monitor looks at cold start cycles, idle time, rpm at cruise, to determine when to remind for an oil change. It does not monitor the oil

VW cars sold in the EU have a 24 month or 30,000 mile maximum oil change interval. The monitor will examine basic oil properties, obvously we have a ways to go before we can do onboard, real-time nitration, oxidation, viscosity, TBN, and metals analysis. At least in a solution that doesn't cost as much as the car itself

Our API oil standards are very weak, which is on purpose. They purposely ignore very cold operation, such as cold stuck rings, cold black sludge, and offer only marginal protection against cold gellation. The API oil specs are only designed for a 4,000-6,000 mile service life

The API has also been very good at promoting frequent oil changes. As the API sets the standards *and* promotes the industry, that is clearly a conflict of interest. Why would the API demand tough specs and an oil capable of 24 month service, when it would impact all the kwik loob places?

The ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles) sets far stricter service specs. The ACEA is represented by light duty and heavy duty engine makers (Saab, VW, Opel, Scania, MAN, Iveco, Mercedes, etc) with no input from oil companies.

The EU engine makers have full authority to demand a particular grade of oil. That would never happen here unless the Magnassun Moss Warranty Act was repealed.

Even the bare minimum ACEA A1 spec is designed for a 12 month or 10,000 mile service life. It also offers protection against cold start conditions that are ignored by API/ILSAC. If you change your oil often enough, perhaps even the no-name generic oil is good enough for average conditions.

However, it's an illusion to pretend there is total chain of custody after an oil change. All that waste oil generated, the old filters, there is a lot of spillage. The chain of custody is far better than it used to be, but it's far from perfect
That can't possibly be true. I suppose you don't believe the earth is flat either.:bigthumb:
 

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If I follow the computer in my Silverado, it will have me doing 10,000 miles between changes. I have been changing it when it gets to 70% remaining, which is 3K miles out of 10K. However, I have been stretching it towards 4K and more. Even though I don't use the oil as long as I could, immediately after the change the truck feels faster and seems to rev smoother and quicker.
 

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My '05 Accord manual specifically said NOT to make the first oil change until 10,000 miles because they wanted a special additive to stay in the car for that period of time. After that, the manual says to change it every 10,000, so I usually do it between 8,000 and 10,000. And I've had several cars that have made it to 100,000 with these kind of oil-change intervals and no adverse effects.
 

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my mothers bmw does in fact take a few factors into account and calculates an oil change time. my last truck, an 05 silverado, did something similar. and my fathers 911 does the same. that thing doesnt have a dipstick as well.
 

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I had a buddy that worked in the car business and changed his oil for free every month. When they looked into the cylinder heads to see wear and tear there was minimal damage to the head. So needless to say the more frequently you change it the better off you are. I would not go with a companies maintenance policy that told me to bring my car in every 5000, 7500 miles, or one that said the car actually monitored the oil itself. Take it every 3000 miles and everything should be fine.
 

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I had a buddy that worked in the car business and changed his oil for free every month. When they looked into the cylinder heads to see wear and tear there was minimal damage to the head.
I had a 1990 4Runner V6, purchased new. After the first 10,000 km, I ran Mobil Delvac 5W-40 in it, sometimes Mobil 1 15W-50 when I had it in Utah and Nevada.

I'd change the oil filter twice a year or every 12,000 km, the oil once a year or every 24,000 km.

Some of you might recall Toyota had a recall on that motor due to head gasket issues. I never brought it in, as I always worried they'd bugger up more than they fixed.

In 1999 at 380,000 km I finally brought it in for the free head gasket job. They were convinced I had changed the motor, they guessed it had maybe 80,000 km on it. The dealership quite frankly did not believe that was the original motor

Naturally, it ran like s*** after they touched it. Before I agreed to the work, it idled smooth and quiet, afterwards it had a rough skaky idle and made a knocking sound. They claimed it did that when I brought it in, bulls***.

I sold it shortly after. Moral of the story: if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
 
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