Don’t hurry to change your oil
Chemistry and technology have made huge advanced over the past couple of decades. This is especially true for engines. Manufacturing tolerances, and emission regulations are both tighter.
Engines have to withstand increasingly tough testing cycles during the design and development stages. Lengthy warranties, and consumer confidence surveys have ensured engines have to be bullet-proof, for hundreds of thousands kilometres – with minimal maintenance.
Emission regulations got rid of leaded gasoline. Engines now run cleaner. Tuneups are no more and maintenance involves changing fluids at 60,000 – 100,000 km. Computers and sensors monitor hundreds of facets of the engine. They automatically make adjustments for wear and other factors. Most manufacturers use oil life monitoring systems. These tell you when an oil change is needed, based on the way the car is driven and the conditions.
Similarly, there have been serious advances in the lubricants used in a modern engine. On average, oil change intervals have stretched to the 12,000 – 20,000-km range depending on manufacturer. The same people who set these recommended service intervals are the ones who have to pay, under warranty, if the engine fails.
Yet many consumers are still wasting their hard-earned money and changing the oil in their new vehicle every 3,000 – 6,0000 km!
Save your money! It is not necessary to change your oil more often than required by the manufacturer.
Following the manufacturer’s recommended oil change schedule from new should result in an engine that consumes very little oil between changes. Do not get caught up in dealer recommendations for oil changes. These are merely a way to get you back to their shop for extra business. The manufacturer sets the terms of the warranty, and when and what maintenance must be performed. Follow the recommendations in the owner’s manual closely and keep all receipts.
Checking the oil level every second or third fill-up with fuel, will alert you to any issues. Consumer Reports, recently reported that certain Audi, BMW, Subaru and VW engines use enough oil that the level should be checked frequently. They may need to be topped up between recommended changes.
Changing oil before it is necessary is not only costing you money, it has an impact on the environment. The California Integrated Waste Management Board says 153.5 million gallons of used oil is generated in that state alone, but less than 60% is recycled.