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Hello everyone

My Insight is due for an oil change and I'd just like to know how often everyone else changes their oil. I've seen intervals from 3,000 to 7,500 in the owners manual. I'd like to know in practice how often each of you change your oil.

As many responses as I can get would be appreciated.
 

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I have always done 8K but may shift to 10K since I am going to start using the Mobile 1 synthetic. Have fun, Rick
 

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To satisfy the warranty you are forced to follow their recomendations.
But the only way to determine the best oil change intervals for YOUR car and YOUR driving patterns using YOUR prefered engine oil is to get samples of your engine oil analyzed every few thousand miles.

Contact these people:
http://www.wearcheck.com/


My friend has used them and his oil analysis results determined that his K&N filter in his Camaro was letting in too much silica (sand/dirt), so he changed to OEM filter and after a while oil analysis showed new OEM filter was working much much better at keeping the dirt out.
 

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I do mine at 3500 miles. Most of my miles are highway, but it can't do any harm and certainly would look good in the case of a warranty claim.
 

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I change at 3750mi which corresponds to the "severe" schedule shown here:
http://www.insightcentral.net/KB/faq-maint.html

I was getting free oil changes on the intervals that were not the multiples-of-7500 mile changes (3750, 11250, 18750...) from my dealer. I'm coming up on another such odd-interval change and just went through a long icy dusty winter so I'll change again at 3750 even though it won't be free anymore.
 

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5,000 on all of my vehicles. Always have.
 

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This is worth repeating: regular oil changes is probably the best thing you can do for your car. It's out of print, but the author of Drive it Forever listed four things that an oil change purges:
  • Dirt[/*:m:3vecrioc]
  • Acid buildup[/*:m:3vecrioc]
  • Sludge (oil and water does mix under the pressures inside of an engine[/*:m:3vecrioc]
  • Motor oil that is losing it's viscosity. Your 0w-20 will move towards 5w-15.[/*:m:3vecrioc]
 

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Figured I'd play it somewhat safe and change the oil around 5K here. I use the OEM (Japan/Toyo Roki) filter with the OEM 0W-20 oil. seems to be a nice range between the two. Heard from people that often 3K is too soon and 7.5K is too long... Guess what it really comes down to is the quality of oil & filter you use.

Given that Honda's oil filter quality tends to range depending who built the Honda filter (Filtech, Toyo, Tennex, etc.) 7.5K could be a good interval or a very bad one.

I THINK all the Insight oil filters are made by Honda's Japanese OEM suppliers (can anyone confirm?), which supposely are decent filters (review). The filter on the Civic Hybrid, in the other hand, is made by filtech which, supposedly is worse (!!!) than Fram filters.
 

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Speaking of filters, I recently replaced my cabin air filter for the first time and noticed a considerable quality difference between the japanese filter and the german made one that replaces it. At the Honda dealership I was told that it was the same filter as used in the CRV and that was the only reason they had it in stock.

Upon taking the factory one out and comparing it to the replacement upon close inspection it became evident that the origonal one was made for the Insight and the replacment conveniently just fit. The factory one had reinforcements and the pleats would go right in the seal on the plastic surrounding by just setting it in there. The CRV one you have to kind of make the first whole pleat go in to the seal around the edge. And it did not have the reinforcments.

It's not that it doesn't work, it just takes a little extra effort to ensure a proper seal on it. Something I could see a mechanic at a dealership overlooking.

My thought is that Honda would provide at the very least decent quality filters considering I'm using their oil and filters to appease them in the case of a warranty claim.
 

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Since 3,500 and 7,500 sound like extremes, like one is for consistent, good conditions and the other is for consistent bad conditions, and my driving is always a mix, I went for 5,000 miles in my 1992 Civic. 210,000 miles later the only engine failure I've had was when the bearing in the distributor went bad, and even then the loud noise prompted replacement so I wasn't stranded on the highway. Tough little car.

I was changing oil ever 7,500 miles on the Insight and it was fine at 45,000 miles when it was destroyed by a Toyota Pathfinder and the Jaws of Life. Nobody was physically hurt, though the only person happy about the incident was the jock with the Jaws of Life.

When my new Insight shows up, I intend to go to 5,000 mile oil changes. It would be nice to see 200,000-300,000 miles from the Insight.
 

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don't change too much!

Every time this topic comes up, I'm amazed how many of us follow the old american myth of "better too much than too little".

There is no reason whatsoever to change oil more frequently than the manufacturers recommendation. While it can't hurt your engine, it surely will hurt the environment by using more fossile resources and producing more toxic waste. You would think that Insight drivers would be more aware of that.

Note that Honda specifies 15000 km (9300 mile) intervals for the exact same car in Germany. Also note who is telling you to change it more often: the oil manufacturers and retailers and service stations, their interest is obvious. But even the car manufacturers are more liekly to err on that side: they need to support their dealerships who make most of their money in service.

Only in countries where this excessive waste of oil is not genreally accepted by the drivers (i.e. most of Europe) do manufacturers really research what change intervals are required. Most cars there are recommending 15000 to 25000 km (9300 to 15600 miles). And I'm sure they still don't want to get excessive warranty claims, either!
 

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I'm sure this won't end the debate on oil change intervals but on point to Armin's posting is this:

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascit ... 604491.htm

I have seen that manufacturers are under political pressure to decrease the waste stream due to vehicle maintenance. However, cars are inhearantly "dirty", very energy intensive to produce and maintain. Will we as Insight driver's _ever_ save the gasoline energy equivalent of the cost of the aluminum used in our Insight? If so I believe it will take many tens of thousands of miles.

The lowest cost in both dollars and to the environment is to produce an efficent auto and maintain it nearly forever. Simply recycling its maintenance waste products.

In the real world I have seen _many_ cases of 300,000+ miles on many different makes and models. The primary difference in these few cars vs. the rest is frequent maintenance. And the primary life extending maintenance for the engine is frequent oil change intervals. I have _never_ seen a 300,000+ auto that had been maintained by the minimum manufacturers maintenance interval. With the increased precision and quality of materials the benefits of frequent maintenance dosen't begin to show up til the upper 100,000 mile range. The benefits of changing the other fluids and lubrication have similarly long return on investment times.

The big kink in this "arguement" is "refined" vs. "100% synthetic" oils. The synthetics can _probably_ take the punishment of extremely long change intervals. But for my money I'll still err on the lower cost side (more frequency) and take my waste oil to be recycled. :)

John K. Bullock
aka. Insightful Trekker
 

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Insightful Trekker said:
Will we as Insight driver's _ever_ save the gasoline energy equivalent of the cost of the aluminum used in our Insight?
I'm not sure I understand the question... you're asking something about energy consumption versus the price of aluminum? From a consumer standpoint, it'd be wiser to compare money saved by burning less gas to extra cost of the car. I did that when buying my Insight compared to a feature-comparable Civic, and assuming gas prices around $2/gal over the life of the car I came out several thousand dollars ahead in the end.

There is a "green book" out that rates cars based on estimates of the total amount of pollution they put out while being driven and while being made. They have ranked the Insight CVT #1 overall for 2003:

http://www.greenercars.org/12green.html
 

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And it's #1 in our hearts as well.
 

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Insightful Trekker said:
...Will we as Insight driver's _ever_ save the gasoline energy equivalent of the cost of the aluminum used in our Insight? If so I believe it will take many tens of thousands of miles.

The lowest cost in both dollars and to the environment is to produce an efficent auto and maintain it nearly forever. Simply recycling its maintenance waste products.
Good questions. One reason we got Insights is to tread lightly on the planet. Meanwhile, carried to an extreme, we should all just kill ourselves so we won't waste all this food we eat and air we breathe. It would really cut down on our consumption of resources and our contribution to landfills.

I, for one, don't see the world in black and white. I don't even just see greys. I see colors.

I look for improved means of living and reducing the impact of that life I'm priviledged to have. The Insight is better than most cars.

Aluminum production consumes a lot of energy, mostly in the form of electricity. Meanwhile, smelting the metals in a steel car frame burns up quite a bit of fuel as well. I'm not sure the energy difference is that great and I'm not sure where I'd find out an accurate measure for comparison. Given the overall lower weight of the Insight, I suspect that this lower mass consumes less power to make, including the chosen metal production, than an SUV that weighs three times as much, but I'm only guessing.

As for recycling oil, in Virginia, it is illegal to dispose of it any other way. Most mechanics and gas stations will take used oil and toss it into their used oil to be recycled, so it is easy to recycle oil, even if you change your own.

I tend to let Honda do it, since I've always gotten good service at the local dealer. They aren't cheap, but they've taken good care of both of my Hondas. I doubt the Civic would have made it over 200,000 miles without their thorough maintenance. If I did my own maintenance, something would have fallen off by now.
 

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When I was a student, I had a VW rabbit with 230,000 miles on it, and the engine ran great (though the fuel pump would short out when it rained, as the water would leak in through the rusty A-pillar and straight into the fuel pump relay). I changed the oil in that car every 30,000 miles (or only about 7 oil changes over the life of the car). When I graduated, I gave the car away, but it was still running strong.

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Little did I realize that this topic would spark such a debate.

5 k is the interval I have decided on, which I had before I asked the question. Just curious for opinions and I sure did get them :)
 

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Tim Maddux said:
<snip>

There is a "green book" out that rates cars based on estimates of the total amount of pollution they put out while being driven and while being made. They have ranked the Insight CVT #1 overall for 2003:

http://www.greenercars.org/12green.html
I knew someone would have a good link, Thanks Tim :) In regard to my question it was total cost, to the person and planet.

Back in the late 70's when energy conservation was considered in the national interest I worked for a multinational in their Energy Engineering Division. Some of what was studied was the product life cycle energy costs. Many total energy cost savings were not intuitive.

John K. Bullock
aka. Insightful Trekker
 

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When I was a student, I had a VW rabbit with 230,000 miles on it,

<snip>

I changed the oil in that car every 30,000 miles (or only about 7 oil changes over the life of the car). When I graduated, I gave the car away, but it was still running strong.

Randy
There are always the difficult to understand exceptions. :)

Interesting you had a Rabbit. I had a '75 and kept it for 240,000+ miles with LOF's in the 5000-7500 mile range (7500 being the factory recomended max).

Couldn't keep valve guides from wearing out every 100,000 miles or so. And cracked one of their advanced nickle steel piston rings (strong yet flexible) at 180,000.

John K. Bullock
aka Insightful Trekker
 

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BLeFevre said:
Little did I realize that this topic would spark such a debate.

5 k is the interval I have decided on, which I had before I asked the question. Just curious for opinions and I sure did get them :)
I'm with you. 5k is what I have also decided on using 100% synthetic & a filter.

John K. Bullock
aka. Insightful Trekker
 
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