Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Engine oil life

How long between oil changes?

All the self-proclaimed “oil experts” say that you can extend oil change intervals and extend engine oil life simply by switching to synthetic oil. If only it were that easy. Engine oil life is dependent on many factors; miles driven is just one of those factors. How you drive and under what conditions affects engine oil life more than miles driven. Don’t believe me? Read this recent service bulletin from GM

Think you can extend your oil change intervals simply by switching to synthetic? Think again. Read this latest Toyota service bulletin

“Recent studies by GM engineering have revealed conditions that affect the longevity of engine oil lubrication properties and its effectiveness on long term use. These factors are; cooler air induction (ambient temperatures), humidity, direct injection systems, short driving trips not reaching operating temperatures for proper evaporation of condensation and condensed water, which affect oil quality/oil life durability.

The engine oil life monitor system (OLMS) calculates oil life by monitoring: engine revolutions, engine coolant temperature, and time. But it does not take into account the cold weather with high humidity which may dilute some of the engine oil additive protection agents.

Under certain driving conditions, and with extended oil change intervals, engine oil degradation could occur.”(PI0777, Aug 2, 2012)

So GM has issue a new software package that takes the environment into account when calculating engine oil life. This isn’t the last you’ll see of this issue.

Shops are seeing a dramatic increase in engine failures caused by extended oil change intervals. Specifically, they’re finding sludge buildup, worn camshaft lobes, stretched timing chains, and clogged oil pump pickup screens. Owners are shocked to discover that the advice they got regarding 10,000 mile oil changes really doesn’t apply across the board.

No oil company can give you a set number of miles to drive between oil changes because no oil company knows how you drive. If you do lots of stop and go city driving, short trips that don’t give the engine enough time to get up to full operating temperature, starts in cold weather, you MUST follow the severe oil change schedule shown in your owner’s manual

©, 2015 Rick Muscoplat





Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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