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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got my first oil analysis from Blackstone labs. Oil was almost 2 yrs old and in that time I put 13,000 miles on the car.
Car was driven probably half highway with my cross country trip from NY to Vegas and back. And half hard NYC miles, with mostly short trips under a few miles each way. Car was stored for 3 months and 2 months during the two years.

I only added oil during the last month of the 2 years as I noticed I was below the low level. Added about .3 to .5 quarts.

During this time I did notice that one of my air filter clamps opened up and the air filter housing was open a bit, not sure what this could have done.
The only issue I see is high Sodium. This may have been from the prior oil change (not sure what was put in the car before I owned it) as I did not level the car when removing the oil which probably left over .5 quarts. It could also be because of the air filter housing coming loose and living near the ocean in NYC??

I used to do 3500 mile oil changes years ago but when I realized that was a scam I only do extended oil changes. I aim for changing the oil every two years and I wouldn't care if I had as much as 24,000 miles in that time.
From almost every oil analysis report I read it seems that oil can last many years and many thousands of miles.


Oil used was 0w20 amsoil signature series with amsoil oil filter.
Car has 165,000 miles.
Hard to line up columns because forum deletes spaces.
--- My OIL --- Universal Averages at 8,400 miles
ALUMINUM --- 8 --- 5
CHROMIUM --- 1 --- 0
IRON --- 22 --- 12
COPPER --- 15 --- 9
LEAD --- 0 --- 1
TIN --- 0 --- 1
MOLYBDENUM --- 113 --- 159
NICKEL --- 1 --- 0
MANGANESE --- 0 --- 0
SILVER --- 0 --- 0
TITANIUM --- 0 --- 0
POTASSIUM --- 0 --- 1
BORON --- 48 --- 64
SILICON --- 18 --- 12
SODIUM --- 109 --- 22
CALCIUM --- 3446 --- 2214
MAGNESIUM --- 36 --- 127
PHOSPHORUS --- 673 --- 710
ZINC --- 802 --- 859
BARIUM --- 0 --- 0
------------ MY VALUES ------ SHOULD BE VALUES
SUS Viscosity @ 210°F --- 56.8 --- 46-57
cSt Viscosity @ 100°C --- 9.3 --- 6.0-9.7
Flashpoint in °F --- 395 --- >385
Fuel % --- <0.5 --- <2.0
Antifreeze % --- ? --- 0.0
Water % --- 0.0 --- <0.1
Insolubles % --- .3 --- <0.6
TBN --- 1.8 --- >1.0


BLACKSTONE COMMENTS
Thanks for the note about the oil you added. Was that the same brand of Amsoil SSO that was already in the sump? Amsoil typically doesn't use sodium as additive, so the sodium here could have been additive from another type of oil. If not, this could show coolant, but we see no other signs of that. Silicon might be dirt, so check air filtration. Metals look good for your long oil run (averages are based on ~8,400 miles of oil use) and the TBN is fine at 1.8. As long as the air filter is clean and you're not losing coolant,
two-year intervals look okay. Try 15,000 miles next oil.
 

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Interesting....... Did you notice any chance in engine noises, ticks, clacks, rattles, etc when you change the oil?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting....... Did you notice any chance in engine noises, ticks, clacks, rattles, etc when you change the oil?
I didn't pay attention to this and I also noticed nothing. I assume since I did not notice anything there was no change.
If the oil did not lubricate properly to cause noise, I would think that the metals in my oil would be really high due to excess wear which was not the case.

I'll go another two years on this oil change and hopefully I put a lot more miles than 13,000 to prove my point that oil lasts a very long time.. I'm using Amsoil extended oil change oil that is good for a lot of miles. It is rated for up to 25,000 miles. My TBN was also fine even after two years which means the additives were still effective in the oil to protect the engine.


AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil is recommended for extended drain intervals in unmodified(1), mechanically sound(2) gasoline-fueled vehicles as follows:
•Normal Service(3) – Up to 25,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first.
•Severe Service(4) – Up to 15,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first.
 

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.... and hopefully I put a lot more miles than 13,000 to prove my point that oil lasts a very long time.. I'm using Amsoil extended oil change oil.....
I think the key element here is that your using a very expensive synthetic oil, and *that* is why the oil can last as long as it does.

Jim.
 

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The European SVRS system will allow up to 16000 miles between changes, depending on usage.

Honda's standard recommendation for models without variable servicing is 1 year or 12500 miles here. So 13k is just a smidge over normal. That's with any oil meeting their specification. Despite this, Hondas in the UK have the lowest engine failure rate of any manufacturer (well under 1% for models 3-10 years old).

Just sayin'...

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Im all for saving money too, but its your call if you want to pay up front run the same oil for a few years or do it yearly or depending on how you drive.

Im not that fond of changing oil, but it gives you an excuse to inspect the underside of the car and remove anything that maybe floating in the oil the filter didnt get and its too big for the pick up tube grill.

Ive tried letting oil go past its recommended changing time and miles and I end up with new engine noises. Once I change the oil they go away.

I was driving 300 miles a day and my geo metro recommended a 3000 mile change. I wasnt changing oil every 10 days. :) It burned a qt a tank of gas, so I just kept adding it in assuming it was fine and I changed the filter every 3000 miles.

Well, the engine started to rattle, knock, etc like it was due for an over haul. I visit my mechanic friend and he recommended changing the oil. It was black, lumpy and didnt look like engine oil. Well, I added new oil, started it up and all the noises were gone. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cobb, I would say that the problem with the Geo Metro was not because you did not change the oil, it was probably something else seriously wrong with the car.

If the Geo turned your oil to sludge like that then that is obviously the reason for the noises. If your oil was sludge then it probably failed to lubricate properly.

A properly running car with no antifreeze or other contaminants getting into the oil will last a really long time.

I would say that maybe if you are nervous about it then don't do 2 year intervals, but if you are changing the oil less than 1 year and under 12,000 miles and using synthetic you are really just wasting your time and money.

I honestly think more can go wrong with frequent oil changes do to mechanical error than the oil actually causing a problem.

I also found that engine wear is usually almost never the reason why cars go to the junk yard, it is usually due to transmission and rust issues.

I used to be very anal about oil changes and used to worry about the conditions of my cars and especially ruining them by lack of an oil change. When I heard about extended oil changes and researched it to death and read so many reports and forum posts about it. I have yet to find any evidence that frequent oil changes help anything. Everything points to that oil can even last much longer than people would ever believe. I even read reports of truckers pushing ridiculously high 100K+ oil changes without any noticeable wear in the engines. However, they may use bypass filters to help better filter the oil.

The only thing that I wonder about is if the insights low oil capacity of 2.6 quarts means that the oil is used a lot more than a car with a higher oil capacity. Or does the small insight engine mean that the oil is being used less? Or does this not matter at all?

519,000 Miles Without an Oil Change
 

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I agree on extended drain intervals. Also Amsoil is not too badly priced. I think with current pricing from the distribution center up the street, I'm a bit under $15 per oil change.

Keeping the air filter clean and the oil filter changed (or use a larger filter) will keep everything working well. On my old V8, I would do filter every 3k miles on odometer and oil every 10k (could go much longer though). On the Insight with the small stock filter, 5k on the odometer means filter change and 10k on odometer means oil change. Oil changes are simple with the fumoto valve so keeping track of changes based on the odometer, and the relatively low cost of oil changes, it makes sense for me to do it this way. I do between 10-12k miles per year, so the 10k oil change matches up with the severe duty of traffic, and the 1-year "recommendation".

I'm sure I could do 5k filter changes and only do the oil every 2 years/20k miles. Maybe I'll try that once my car breaks 100k miles. At 10k I will send for analysis and go from there. Of course, the cost of an OA is counter-intuitive to saving money. A lot can change in 2 years so what might test well one time doesn't mean one shouldn't do an OA after another 20k miles.

I do believe that Amsoil thickens up more than other synthetics though. I know this is a "complaint" by some people who run 10w30 in their non-Insights. For the proper oil weight, it may be a good idea to change more often. Yours was getting pretty thick. Bobistheoilguy of course has all of this information.

Amsoil is increasing in price though. The 25k mile/original stuff I purchased boxes of for under $5/quart. You have to add the account costs with Amsoil to this though. I buy many of their products so it doesn't come out to being that expensive for a 10 year account. Doing oil changes on my previous daily driver with 3k filter changes/10k 5qt oil change made the cost of oil changes still half that of doing full 3k changes three times. I was saving roughly $30 per year in oil changes. I also buy quantities in boxes though. To me, cheaper oil is just good for engine flushes (such as head swaps where some coolant can get into the crankcase).
 

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I'm impressed at the condition of the Amsoil after 2 years. I'm also surprised at the relatively low cost of the oil ($15 / oil change). Extended intervals were devised for businesses with vehicles because a vehicle down for a routine oil change means lost $$$. I can side with those that sometimes enjoy changing their oil and inspecting things under the car. Personally I go 7 - 8k. I can see both points of view but take comfort knowing my oil is always in great condition and that I changed it correctly.

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I can side with those that sometimes enjoy changing their oil and inspecting things under the car
I'm always messing with cars, so I get more than enough observation of everything underneath. Removing certain components and applying a good moisture-resistant grease can help prolong the life of components, and delay dryrot by some time. Other than that, just blowing things out with compressed air keeps the undercarriage more clean. Both cars when I got them were filled with crud behind the front splash shields. One was full of leaves and one full of sand.

One of the most enjoyable things imo that a home mechanic can do is have a lift in the garage, and keep the undercarriage clean and detailed. Even a 3ft rise helps a ton. Rust prevention means much more on other vehicles, but I like knowing that the underside of the car is not much dirtier than the engine bay.

I love how not only are these cars cheap to drive, but also reliable and cheap to maintain. With a little preventative maintenance, everything goes much further. Oil is one thing that can last quite awhile if the filtration is working, seals are good, it isn't getting diluted with fuel, and the engine isn't in a downward spiral of failure/wear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Hey everyone, I have not done an oil change in 3 years / 16,000 since the last oil analysis I posted here.

I figured since the last oil analysis, which was a 2 year interval, didn't have any issues and they said I could go longer, why not try 3 years.

Well, I'm due for an oil change after these 3 years. Would anyone be interested in how my insight amsoil fared after 3 years /16,000 miles?

Or will it of course come back fine as frequent oil changes are just a waste?

Since my valve covers leak I added probably 1/2 quart of oil over the 3 years, not sure if this is a reason for the good results.

I don't know if I would push the next one for 4 years if this one comes back fine, even though I am all for super extended oil changes.
 

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Very low mileage for three years. Must not drive much.
Added 1/2 qt. oil because of oil leak is excessive....in my opinion.
 

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People in the states are forced to change their oil so often, someone told me it's due to the fact that the fuel still has a lot of sulphur in it, which affects the oil and can form acids. Our fuel over here is better, and so is the oil. The intervals on my Renault are 18,000 miles or two years. My friend who has a Mercedes van tells me the oil he uses is good for 40,000 mile intervals, but he changes at 25,000 to be safe. He's approaching 600,000 miles! The large haulage trucks can do 60,000 between changes, but obviously they hold gallons of the stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
People in the states are forced to change their oil so often, someone told me it's due to the fact that the fuel still has a lot of sulphur in it, which affects the oil and can form acids. Our fuel over here is better, and so is the oil. The intervals on my Renault are 18,000 miles or two years. My friend who has a Mercedes van tells me the oil he uses is good for 40,000 mile intervals, but he changes at 25,000 to be safe. He's approaching 600,000 miles! The large haulage trucks can do 60,000 between changes, but obviously they hold gallons of the stuff.
Is that the reason you guys over in Europe do the extended oil changes? I thought it was the fact that the oil companies here in USA like to rip us off.

I actually started to do extended oil changes after I was living in Germany and saw that the recommended oil changes were very high. I was really surprised but I figured if a whole country does extended oil changes and they do not have issues why am I doing these frequent oil changes back in USA.

That is when I looked more into this and found out online that we over here in USA are just getting ripped off by the oil companies for years. They have pushed these 3,000 mile changes for a long time and it is like a religion here.

I then pretty much went fro 3,000 mile changes to highly extended ones. All my cars never had any engine issues. Actually, I don't think anyone I know has every had any issues related to oil changes.

Mostly other things die out way before engine wear would be an issue, usually rust and transmission issues are the things that cause problems, never engine wear.

Those darn oil companies took me for a lot of unnecessary oil changes, not only was it the money but the pain in the butt for doing them on some of my older cars.
 

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I normally do full oil changes every 10k mark on the odometer/1 year, and filter changes every 3k miles. With how busy we've been the last 18-months, my last Insight oil change was just shy of 2-years/20k miles with one filter somewhere in there. Analysis showed that the oil was still good to run longer.

I only do this as it's easier, and it makes running the original Amsoil (Signature 35k mile stuff) very cost effective. Last time I purchased some boxes of the oil, it was around $7/quart through my membership. $20 in oil and two Wix or Bosch $5 filters over the span of 2-years is great.

My other vehicles get oil and filter changes annually, even though they are driven <1k and 3k miles each year. I don't like how oil gets when driven infrequently and for insufficient duration to boil out the condensation.

More important imo - annual brake fluid changes and 20-30k trans fluid or hydraulic fluid for slushbox auto/manual transmissions. For autos, it seems many don't keep the fluid temperature at a sane <170F, so it wears quickly. With a fluid cooler, I'd be happy with slushbox trans fluid changes every 60k miles, even if the fluid can supposedly go 100k+ at low running temperatures. I've had two Insights, 90k and 120k miles on them, and both had clutch cylinder issues due to the nasty fluid in there. Every 3-4 years is my flush period on these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I normally do full oil changes every 10k mark on the odometer/1 year, and filter changes every 3k miles. With how busy we've been the last 18-months, my last Insight oil change was just shy of 2-years/20k miles with one filter somewhere in there. Analysis showed that the oil was still good to run longer.

I only do this as it's easier, and it makes running the original Amsoil (Signature 35k mile stuff) very cost effective. Last time I purchased some boxes of the oil, it was around $7/quart through my membership. $20 in oil and two Wix or Bosch $5 filters over the span of 2-years is great.

My other vehicles get oil and filter changes annually, even though they are driven <1k and 3k miles each year. I don't like how oil gets when driven infrequently and for insufficient duration to boil out the condensation.
I agree with the long duration of the oil. That is why I was surprised someone commented that my 3 year old change was only 16,000 miles. But it was 3 years duration, that is a lot more scary to me than if I had 25,000 miles and 1 year.

It will be interesting to see how my oil has fared sitting in my car for 3 years.
 

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Is that the reason you guys over in Europe do the extended oil changes? I thought it was the fact that the oil companies here in USA like to rip us off.

I actually started to do extended oil changes after I was living in Germany and saw that the recommended oil changes were very high. I was really surprised but I figured if a whole country does extended oil changes and they do not have issues why am I doing these frequent oil changes back in USA.

That is when I looked more into this and found out online that we over here in USA are just getting ripped off by the oil companies for years. They have pushed these 3,000 mile changes for a long time and it is like a religion here.

I then pretty much went fro 3,000 mile changes to highly extended ones. All my cars never had any engine issues. Actually, I don't think anyone I know has every had any issues related to oil changes.

Mostly other things die out way before engine wear would be an issue, usually rust and transmission issues are the things that cause problems, never engine wear.

Those darn oil companies took me for a lot of unnecessary oil changes, not only was it the money but the pain in the butt for doing them on some of my older cars.
There are lots of reasons, I believe there are more additives in the fuel too, and lets not forget, diesel is king here, diesel has more lubricating properties than petrol, as it is essentially an oil, so the intervals are longer. I believe Audi recommended a 30,000 mile oil change for one of their diesels a few years back. It really bugs me how much oil and petrol is wasted in the US, did you know they use the same amount of gasoline as all the other people (almost 7,000,000,000) from every other continent combined? Scary statistic.
 

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Perfect timing on the response... I just got a hybrid that recommends 10k, and I just hit 10k for the first time. Keeping oil under $20 a year + filter would be great. I'm definitely interested in following progress here.
 

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(0) Use [ code] and [ /code] to fix your formatting in message 1.

(1) I buy a Mobil 1 jug at Walmart for $25. The insight uses half the jug, so that's $12.50 for the oil.

(2) For years U.S. owners manuals said 7500 miles, but Americans don't read so they ignored the manufacturer's recommendation.

(3) Oil analysis won't show the rust in the engine from sitting so long. Even at bobistheoilguy.com where they preach synthetic oil & long drains, they advise never going past a year.

(4) AMSOIL posted an "engine hours" graph in their dealer magazine:
- It showed if you average less than 55 mph, you should drain the oil early, because you reach the maximum "hours" allowed on the oil.
- If you average over 55, then you can run the full 7500 mile interval, and still have hours leftover.
 

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I have been running Amsoil since I bought the Insight. I also run it in my Corolla. Both vehicles see average speed driving 55-65mph. As recommended by Amsoil I change the oil at the 1 year mark or 25,000 mile mark, whichever comes first, since I cannot measure their 700 hour suggested mark. I also run through 2 of their long life oil filters in the same time frame, changed around the 12,500 mile mark or 6 months if they're close to one or the other.

I haven't had any issues at all with running the top grade Amsoil for extended periods of time (up to a year) in both vehicles. I have several friends using Amsoil on other vehicles as well who have done Blackstone tests and they always come back on point, with no concerns. I haven't paid to get my my oil tested, but I have also not experienced any issues yet that I could sense.

I do rack up more than 25,000 miles per year on the Insight, so this was the logical choice for me when it comes to cost and time spent servicing the vehicle.
 
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