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 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 have changed their precision and efficiency largely by way of reducing the internal friction along with several other technological advancements. Furthermore, extensive idling is 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. 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 than the burn.

Now, in 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 it’s 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 the above severe conditions, the recommendation with most “Tier 1” manufacturers are at 5,000 km or more! NOT LESS. And now we see that our conditions are way better than the aforementioned severe conditions.

Most newer cars build today (2018/9) are capable of going twice that for engine oil change according to the owner’s manual. 2006 built Diesel Hilux is now with 400,000 km 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, the higher the crankcase capacity longer the interval is! Still don’t forget the 6 months 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 speak 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 this false guidance.

There’s nothing to debate here, Just follow the owner’s manual.

do not fall for oil sellers, service places, and even some local dealerships who contribute to this Mafia.

Oil change indicators in some cars are a differing measure, the writing applies only to the cars without. Still, the owner’s manual is the rule of thumb for such. Here is the manual for Maruti 800 where the oil change interval is at 10,000Kms but we do at 5,000!

And ensure that you use a global and reputed oil brand that 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, needs not to be the manufacturer brand but not a FAKE, please. For 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 learned during our engineering days, do RTFM.

Having a different opinion? Leave a comment below.

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