Do you change the oil on your vehicles?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Beeman, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    If you maintain your vehicles you probably either change the oil or have it changed regularly. Most people worry more about what brand of oil to use instaead of learning what weight oil and what brand oil filter they should use.
    Do some research about YOUR vehicle and what weight oil should be in it, don't just go with what your Dad or your friend recommends. Be sure to use a high quality filter, not all filters are created equal. A filter that the manufacturer uses is usually a safe bet (Motorcraft,AC Delco) if not then a Wix or a NAPA gold is a good choice. Beware of quicklube oil change look alike filters. I know Wal-Mart uses Fram filters that are not the same as the Fram filters they sell off of their shelves in the store. It looks similar but is specially made for their shops and is different internally.
     
  2. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    IMHO oil and filter qualify don't matter as much as changing on a regular basis. I have always used 3,000 miles to replace oil and filter. When I change oil I put a small paper tab on the cover over the speedometer with the next oil change mileage. When I change oil I also add one bottom of the oil additive. Many say it doesn't help, but I don't think it hurts either.

    Ken Scharabok
     

  3. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    My recommendation is to change your oil yourself. My recommendation is not based on saving a few bucks....which is debatable....but I believe everyone should spend some quality time under the car and under the hood. I know people who have their oil change who rarely if ever look at the internal workings of their vehicle. It's a pity, they don't know what they are missing.

    During an oil change, it is a good time to check your running gear, shocks, tires, belts, hoses, fluid levels, lube the stearing joints, and look for leaks, etc.

    Yep, people should have a close relationship with their vehicles. Don't let some pimply-faced high school kid maintain your car. The one time I had an oil change done for me, the kid stripped the threads for the drain plug. The next morning when I went to the shed to start the truck, I noticed a large pool of oil under the front end. If I hadn't noticed that, there was a good chance that I would of blown the engine of my new truck!
     
  4. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ................I , change my oil , in both my 99 PSD diesel(15 quarts) and my 77 f250(6 qts). The only problem is finding a place to accept my old oil . I've also done a fair amount of work on my 77 2 f250 truck bringing it back to life . Prior , to the 77 rennovation I had only done work on brakes and switching out alternators and water pumps . The one area that I would really like to learn in detail is tunning the engine , both the carb and dist'or . I guess I need a mentor to oversee my effort(s) ...fordy... :)
     
  5. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I believe it is the law that any place that sells oil should have a place for you to return your used oil to.

    The brand of the oil hasn't seemed to make a difference in the last 10 yrs. or so. On the other hand the weight or grade of the oil makes a BIG difference especially on cars made in the last 10-15 years. After cutting open almost every brand of oil filter I can tell you that brands and quality of filters can matter. A cheapo oil filter can actually either starve your engine for oil or not filter the oil at all.
    Definetly changing your oil on a regular interval makes a difference in the longevity of all of the mechanical parts in an engine. 3,000 mi. is a very good interval for most every type of driving. You can get by with 4,000 mi. but I can say that after 5,000 mi. the oil being drained out tends to feel less slippery than oil at lower mileages.
    Another tip is to drain the oil when it is hot. It sure is easier to work on a cold engine but the oil doesn't flow and tends to leave contaminants behind. If only the motherless engineers that put the oil filters in such awful places would have known that when they designed the car.
     
  6. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    You must realize that the car manufacturers dont make it easy anymore. My '89 Festiva for example sticks filter on backside of engine where you have to get the car blocked up in the air and access the filter from underneath. No way to get at it from the top or side unless you are a double jointed midget. Hardly encouraging for the average person.

    Anybody gets one of these modern wonders, I strongly suggest they install a filter relocation kit that not only places filter where its easy to get to, but also allows the use of a much bigger filter. I swear some of modern oil filters look like they belong on a lawn mower, not a vehicle. You cant get much filtering in a package the size of a hockey puck. Can get filter relocation kit for around $50 from JCWhitney and many other such places. Price for same kit varies widely. Shouldnt have to give over $50.

    Personally for oil filters, I like Wix and STP (sold under many brands including the Walmart store brand). There are websites put together by people who tear filters apart and report on whats inside. The regular Fram (and those filters that are relabled Frams such as Penzoil and QuakerState) is bottom of barrel and not recommended. The premium Fram filters are acceptable, but way overpriced.
     
  7. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Well-Known Member

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    Well according to most people I'm doing it wrong.

    I change oil and filter every 7,000-10,000 miles. Always use the same filter the factory did. But, always use full synthetic oil at several dollars a quart. I also run one weight heavier than the factory.

    My daily commute is 37 miles, but, I live a mile from the expressway. I drive 37 miles, but, only stop 5 times.

    The truck I retired last fall was a 94 GMC Sonoma. 4 cyl, automatic tranny. Retired it at 284,000 miles. It's still doing daily duty on a friends farm and still not using any oil. He blew a head gasket on it last winter. I was told when the head was pulled you could still read the part numbers stamped into the top of the piston.

    So much for doing things wrong.
     
  8. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Woodsrunner,
    Obviously you didn't do anything wrong, synthetic oil while costing more allows for higher mileage between change intervals provided you use a quality filter. Using a heavier oil in a synthetic is not much of a problem or variance from a factory recommendation as most synthetics flow much easier than regular oils. You also said you used the factory filter which is what I mentioned in my post was an excellent choice. Synthetics cost more but do give you the advantage of less frequent oil changes and less friction in the motor. Less friction also means less heat to wearing parts and increases the oils ability to cool the parts it lubricates.
     
  9. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I can hardly change my oil for the price of what I can get it done at the local Quick Lube joint.

    When I consider what I pay for oil and a filter, grease for the grease gun, and various shop supplies I MAYBE could save 5 bucks. Maybe.

    I don't have to put my car or truck up on ramps, crawl around underneath it and get dirty either. Not counting the time to pick up the supplies, getting everything ready to change the oil takes 10 or 20 minutes depending on if I have to clean out a spot in the garage. Changing the oil takes 20 minutes or so depending on if it is the car or truck and if the filter cooperates. It is going to take an hour at least when I figure cleanup. I get out of the Quick Lube in 30 minutes tops.

    I do it once in a while just for kicks though. I always tell myself I would do it at home more often if I had a lift in the shop. I may invest in one of those someday. They are really getting downright reasonable in price.

    As for oil brands I honestly don't worry about it much as long as it has the proper ratings. I use the recommended viscosities and grade. Both of mine take 5-30. Keeping it changed is probably as important as what brand of oil. I know one guy who abuses his engine by very rarely changing the oil(like every 7-10K miles), running it low on oil and only adding it when the light comes on and the thing still runs like a top with 200 K on the motor. Makes me scratch my head.
     
  10. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    Yup, I think certain engines are just built very rugged. The older Chrysler and Ford straight 6s come to mind. Obviously, neglecting the oil (either not enough of it or old oil) causes the engine to wear prematurely... but I've seen engines which were properly maintained begin to burn oil at less than 100k. Changing the oil and making sure that its at the proper level are my only concerns... I don't pay much attention to brands of oil or filters.

    cheers,
     
  11. SouthernThunder

    SouthernThunder Well-Known Member

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    Hey folks.. I found this artilce several years ago and it has saved me some money cause I know which cheapo oil filter to buy. You may be surprised which oil filter companys are in the same bed. :) Fram=Penzoil Wix=NAPA etc.. Check it out.

    http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilterstudy.html
     
  12. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    The quick oil chance places are cheap on oil & filter because it gives them the chance to gouge you on everything else they will point out you need - such as air filter, windshield wipers, transmission oil, etc. If you use one of these places always park at home where you can check the next morning for oil drips. I know several people who had an engine freeze up from either the filter or drain plug not being tight. Remember you are usually dealing with a teenage kid with an attitude.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  13. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

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    For those that have problems disposing of used motor oil, keep in mind there are also those that have trouble trying to get enough used motor oil to meet their heating needs. Many oil quick change shops will charge for used motor oil even though it usually costs them money to dispose of used oil.

    With a waste oil furnace, that used motor oil could be put to good use, to save energy that would otherwise have to be provided by another type of fuel.

    Bob
     
  14. CarlaWVgal

    CarlaWVgal Well-Known Member

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    I've been changing my own oil since I went to one of the "rapid/quick/jiffy" kinda places. I got just in front of a friends house when the oil light came on so I pulled in her driveway, got to looking around and discovered all of my oil out on the road :confused: I guess the plug fell out. Thanks alot. But it did get me interested in doing it myself...

    Check your phone book for recycling centers, it should also list those that take used oil, and other fluids. I only discovered this after I had 2 5 gal buckets full.

    Carla
     
  15. New Mexican

    New Mexican Well-Known Member

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    DH uses Frantz oil filters so he does not change the oil.........just the rolls of toilet paper about twice a year. Never CHANGES oil, just adds.

    Many years ago, he installed these in trucks (which use paper towels) and cars while in the Navy. These "refine" the oil. What we have NOW in vehicles (put in my the manufacturer) is merely a "sifter" and junk still gets through, causing wear and tare of the engines. The manufacturers plan obsolescence so these "filters" they call are all a part of the plan! We just bought two new cars in Sept. The Nissan dealership included four free oil changes (or every 3000 miles) so we will take advantage. But thereafter, he'll be installing the Frantz filters. But nowadways,he says,the engines are so jam packed in, he may have to move my battery to the trunk to fit the filter up front!

    He also uses synthetic, Mobil 1 oil only.
     
  16. kygaloot

    kygaloot Member

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    From and engineering perspective, here are some general guidelines.

    [1]Clean oil is the most important influence on the life of an engine.

    [2] Starting and stopping the engine causes the most damage. (If an engine could be left running at steady state, with a slow yet constant flow of clean oil, it would easily run for 20+ years.) There have been aftermarket kits made available that include a pre-lube pump that will circulate oil before the engine turns over. However, the cost of these add-ons have been too high to justify the investment in terms of increased engine life.

    [4] The brand of oil is irrelevant as long as it meet the latest API standards.

    [5] Never exceed a viscosity range of 20 units. For example, 10W30 is ok, 10W40 is too large of a range. The viscosity range is extended by additives. Every additive has a negative influence, a side effect if you will, on the base stock of the oil. However, if you have used say, 10W40, for years in your engine, do not change now.

    [6] Change your oil every 3000 miles if you are doing short trips unless you are using a synthetic. If you are driving longer distances on the highway (20-30 miles), then you can extend it to 5000 miles.

    [7] Always change the filter when you change the oil.

    [8] Slick 50 does nothing to improve fuel efficiency or increase engine life. For teflon like compounds to adhere to any metal substrate, they must be applied in a vacuum and on an laboratory-clean surface, neither of which describe your engine environment.
     
  17. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    I change it when i feel it needs changing. Usually I look @ the oil on the dipstick and run it through some cloth/paper and see what it looks like. I usually change it in fall so that i don't have to freeze my fingers until spring. I don't drive short trips (atleast 10-15min), so the oil is heating up good, before the engine is turned off.

    I recommend buying one of those plastic drain thingys @walmart(wherever) that have holes in the middle to hold the used oil. Very nice to use one.

    Some very high end vehicles( i believe the BMW suv) actually will tell you when the oil needs to be changed. I've read you can go 10K miiles before changing it.