Oil change @ 5000 km

It is a waste of time, money and environmental pollution too

There’s a continuous debate whether we should follow manufacturer maintenance intervals or to deviate locally, based on varying opinions of dealerships, lubricant companies and service stations.

In the first place they got NO right to change / determine the maintenance intervals (including oil change) without written guidance from the manufacturer.

Doing more or less, both are bad,

and it wastes your money, time and environment as well.

Internal combustion engines has changed its precision and efficiency largely by way of reducing the internal friction along with several other technological advancements. Furthermore extensive idling is a today’s need and majority experience, anywhere in the world. So been well considered and adhered as normal!

even the layman knows the world automotive industry raises the bar in emission standards. Europe is at the level of Euro 6. What does this means, cleaner tailpipe emissions as a result of many improvements to the combustion of both fuel and oils with added control mechanisms.

In meeting with the automotive manufacturer needs lubricant makers too continue raising the bar with stringiest quality measures, primarily to reduce emissions, rather the burn.

Now, in a tier 1 automobiles meeting with EU standards (or with similar like EPA & Bharat) the amount of degradation of oil is much lesser than we experienced in the past.

Atop all this, auto manufacturers have classified certain conditions as severe conditions. And its a fact that driving conditions affect the life of engine lubricants. The quoted list is from a manufacturer and the chart is from an expert.

Local (Sri Lanka) traffic conditions or extensive idling is nothing compared to these since our ambient temperature is moderate to high and we don’t run colder engines for long.

Quote < Driving less than 5 miles (8 km) per trip or, in freezing temperatures, driving less than 10 miles (16 km) per trip. Driving in extremely hot [over 90° F (32°C)] conditions. Extensive idling or long periods of stop-and-go driving. Trailer towing, driving with a roof rack carrier, or driving in mountainous conditions. Driving on muddy, dusty, or de-iced roads.> unquote

Even with all above severe conditions the recommendation with most “Tier 1” manufacturers are at 5,000 kms or more! NOT LESS. And now we see that our conditions are nowhere near aforementioned severe.

Most newer cars build today (2018/9) are capable of going twice of that for engine oil change according to the owners manual. A 2006 built Diesel Hilux is now with 400,000 kms with 10,000 km oil change intervals.  not too sure of the Indian Altos precision, but the Japanese, or in this case the ones built in Thailand.

There is another point atop precision and standards, higher the crankcase capacity longer the interval is! Still don’t forget the 6 month time lapse, whether you run or not.

There’s no problem at all with Mineral oils as far as its multigrade, you are good to go as per the manufacturer handbook. Better than having synthetic with a longer interval. Get it in the right context and application.

More frequent oil changes are not only an overkill it’s a pathetic waste as well! Many spoken of the same many a time, but the mafia over-weighs. The engineers who made smaller engines with automatic start-stop will laugh-out these if they ever listened to these false guidance.


Oil change indicators in some cars are a differing measure, the writing applies only to the cars without. Still the owners manual is the rule of thumb for such.

And ensure that you use a global and reputed oil brand which meets with the manufacturer specifications (given in the owner manual). We repeat, follow the spec, not the brand recommendations.

Don’t miss to use a good filter, need not to be the manufacturer brand but not a FAKE please. As example VIC is a good global brand, an OEM filter, still beware of the fake VIC in the market.

Finally…….don’t be a slave of cars or a victim of up-sells, auto manufacturers have defined it all. As we all learnt during our engineering days, do RTFM.

Having different opinion? Leave a comment below.

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