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Oil change interval

21913 Views 30 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  ElectricTroy
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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All the guys who are saying 5k are from the southern states mostly.... are there any people near Canada using a 5k oil schedule?
There is no good base recommendation on when to change your oil. If any of the below factor are true for you, you should probably shorten your oil change interval.

* Breaking in the engine.
* Older engines (especially if there is a loss of compression)
* Cold ambient temps.
* Short Trips
* Stop and Go Traffic
* Lots of Full throttle
* High RPMs

Side note:Most heavy equipment have hour meters and change oil & filters based on hours the engine is run verses miles traveled. It would probably be a better system for passenger cars too.

Side note 2: I'm still shopping for my insight, but I drive less than 5K miles per year. So I've been just ignoring the mileage and changing the oil once a year.
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Religion, Politics, and Oil Change Intervals {grin}

Wouldn't it be great to get a few auto engineers to talk about oil change intervals here? I typically go 4-5K with synethic oil. I was told that varied driving was the best way to "break" a new car in, but this does not seem to be advocated as much these days.

Changing the oil frequently should not be an enviromental hazard if the user takes the oil to a gas station that has a tank to dump it in. Will M makes a good point in the resources to build a car. If car parts were easier to recycle, it would be better for the enviroment. Same for PCs. Their is a sliver lining to the Insight being few-of-a-kind: it's unattractive for car thieves to steal.

I heard that synethic oil was invented by the Germans for use on the Russian front. It would be interesting if anyone knows more on it's history.
I'm not an auto engineer but i'm an mechanical engineer that works at a company that makes off-road machines. Hour meters are useful on machines that typically work hard all the time. Cars unfortunally are used in too many different conditions for hour meters to be any more useful then odometers.

People tend to be emotional about their cars and just as emotional about their "prefered" oil change interval. The fact is changing your engine oil and filter early and often is a waste of money and time. Not changing your engine oil and filter often enough causes higher then normal wear/damage to the engine and other components.
The only way to determine the ideal oil change interval is to study the results of an "oil analysis" taken from a small sample of engine oil at a recomended interval. Many companies with fleet vehicles do this because it makes the most economic sense, and this is an example where economic sense makes the most environmental sense as well.

I'm going to order a dozen oil analysis kits and start getting my engine oil analysed. I'll keep you posted in the comming months with the results when they come in.
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Read this report to learn about extending engine oil drain intervals.
I just got 3 quarts of Mobil 1's 0W-20 since it's a perfect match for what the book says the car's designed for. However I need recommendations on the best oil filter.

Also, Mobil 1's 0W-20 Pure Synthetic is a 7,500 mile oil, so I plan to change it around there. But supposedly this car can get 3750-7000 miles on regular oil just because of how small the engine is and such. Regular engine oil is usually changed every 3000 miles. It surprised me when the book said 3750 miles only if you drive under severe situations and you could change it at 7000 miles if your nice to your car. That's unheard of on regular oil. So my assumption is you can probably get a lot more than 7,500 miles out of Mobil 1 Synthetic but to be safe I'll change it around there anyway.

I know that the oil can do 7,500 miles maybe even more in the Insight but how about the oil filter. Will the oil filter be able to last 7,500 miles or is it still designed for 3000 miles like regular oil? So even if I don't change the oil I have to remember to change the filter every 3000 miles? I need a good high endurance oil filter then that can last 7,500 like Mobil 1's synthetic.

Also, I see all these things about 5W-20 oil and 0W-30 oil, what's the difference and is it bad for our car? I live in South Florida under usually very hot conditions, it never dips below 70 degrees (farenheit)in the winter and usually never below 77 degrees in the summer. It's usually quite humid outside if not raining. Will 5W-20 or 0W-30 produce different results in gas mileage, engine wear, etc? Or should I stick to factory recommended 0W-20?
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Regular "dino" oil is full of compromises to produce it cheaply. One of the significant differences between regular oil and synthentic is the following:
Regular oil is refined from crude oil (that's why we call it "dino" oil, dinosaur juice get it?). Crude oil is full of nasty stuff you dont' want in your engine but they refine it enough so it works ok at a narrow temperature and application range. One thing they have trouble removing well is parafin (also know as wax) they have to add additives only to reduce how much the wax is going to solidify in cold temperatures!
Synthetic oil is created one molecule/chemical at a time into a very specific refined mixture. Everything in synthetic oil is there for a reason.

Because of these differences, synthetic oils are vastly superior in low temperatures and high temperatures.
The only reason they make so many different grades of synthetic is because people want to buy the same grade recomended in their manual that is refereing to regular dino oil.
A high quality synthetic like 0W30 Amsoil is much better in cold (obviously) but it's actually much better in real life normal and hot operating conditions compared to 5W30, 10W30 or even 10w40 dino oil (not so obvious!).
Synthetic oils are better in every performace catagory including lower fuel consumption because it reduces friction so much more.

Keep in mind that the SAE test that determines the viscosity of the oils at standardized temperatures (0W20, 5W30, 15W50 etc..) was developed a long time ago. The first number before the "W" indicates the viscosity of the oil at a specific "winter" temperature (feel free to look up the exact numbers because I don't remember them). The second number is the viscosity of the oil at a high temperature (forgot that number too). But the fact is that almost all modern engines are working with oil temperatures much higher then the temperature used to determine that second number!

Amsoil engineers have stated that their best engine oil for ALL cars in ALL conditions and ALL temperatures is their 0W30 series 2000 synthetic.
I've seen reports that showed that Mobil 1's best oil for ALL cars in ALL conditons is their 0W40 synthetic.

I'm willing to bet that a synthetic 0W30 (or even a 5W30) would give the same or better fuel consumption then a 0W20 dino engine oil.
This would be imposible to test outside of labratory conditions.

I better get back to work now, lunch is over....
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The best engine oil filters in order are:
(This is my opinion based on some reports and other web info i've seen and people I know)

Amsoil filter
Mobil 1 filter
Purlator PureOne filter

These are higher capacity filters (in order of capacity), that will remove smaller particals and allow you to extend the filter change safely. By how much depends on alot of things.
The only way to determine that is adding some sort of pressure gauge comparing oil pressure before and after the oil filter, or doing oil analysis will also give you info such as recommend filter changes.
So the 5W30 is virtually the same as 0W30 except that at colder temperatures it won't get as thin. But at higher temperatures it's exactly the same.

I live in South Florida so I don't ever have to deal w/ cold temperatures to much. The coldest it gets here is like 70 degrees farenheit (21 degrees celsius). However on average it's 80-90 degrees (27-33 celsius) especially during the summer.

I've heard nothing but good things about Amsoil and Mobil 1's synthetic. I heard Amsoil only had a 5W30 Synthetic but I can tell now it's almost the same and our cars won't hate it at all. However I didn't see Amsoil at my local wal-mart, didn't check the normal auto-parts stores, I did see a lot of Mobil 1's 0W-30 Synthetic though so I went w/ that. I like how they even mention the Insight on the back of the quart/bottle.

I guess it makes sens Mobil 1/Amsoil also has the best oil filters but my local wal-mart's selection was dismal at best. Only 2 different brands and they both seemed iffy, nothing major brand. I'll have to go to my local auto-parts store and pick up a Mobil 1 Oil Filter. Hey, Mobil 1 Synthetic/Mobil 1 oil filter, it's a match made in heaven. hehe.

Since my engine is so new it can't be to dirty. If I keep synthetic in it now and always run synthetic from now on I'm sure a high efficiency/performance oil filter can keep the synthetic oil clean for 7,500-10,000 miles. I mean Honda's stock filter can keep it clean 7,000 miles under "Normal" driving conditions. Thanks all! You've all be a great help.
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I just changed my oil for the first time (4,700 miles). I put in 0w-20 Mobil1 with an Amsoil filter. I'm convinced the Amsoil filter is best based on information I found at and an oil analysis from my other car.

I sent a sample of my Insight's original oil to Blackstone Laboratories for analysis and will post the results when I receive them. I'm presuming the original oil is the 0w-20 the Honda dealers sell, and of course it was used with the original Honda oil filter.
7000+ miles
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