Friday, December 16, 2011

Fewer Auto Oil Changes Now

I guess it's true, although I'm not sure I understand the concerns about "wasting millions of gallons of oil".

The L.A. Times reports it's no longer necessary to follow the old guidelines for changing your car's oil. It used to be recommended oil be changed every 3,000 miles or 3(?) months. Now even vehicle manufacturers are saying you can go up to 10,000 miles between changes on many cars. Wow! I guess I was right.

I've thought for some time that I needn't change my truck's oil as often as was said. I don't drive that many miles and I never saw the point in changing oil based on a certain period of time. It just didn't make sense, especially when the oil doesn't look dirty.

Nice to know there's no hurry now. I'll probably still keep doing what I've been doing since I bought my '97 Ford F150 and have the oil changed maybe a couple times a year when I take it in for its mechanical check- up. That's probably still early, but it works for me and no harm done.

This concern by the state that we're "wasting millions of gallons of oil" seems kind of dumb. A lot of businesses have sprung up over the last few years that provide oil changes. It may be a waste of money when people change their oil unnecessarily, but it's probably not a waste of oil and people get paid to change that oil. Should the state interfere with that?

Engine oil isn't like gasoline. When you drive somewhere that gasoline you use is gone forever. When oil is changed nearly 99.9% of it is recycled nowadays. Other than whatever bad stuff is filtered out of oil when it's recycled, seems to me it's not an ecological problem to worry about. It seems akin to phone book recycling: Old phone books are recycled into new ones as your old dirty oil is made into new, clean oil.

I just don't see oil changes being that much of a problem, with the exception of money spent needlessly, but that can be said about a lot of things we buy. So don't feel bad about changing your oil. Just don't change it quite as often.

Thanks to Radley Balko for the link to the story.


At 9:06 AM, Anonymous RefFan said...

An Uncle of mine worked for a major trucking company down south and had told me in 2004 that they had to send in oil samples every so often to get tested,he even sent in a samples from his personal vehicle, and results came back that oil started breaking down around 8,000-10,000 miles. I've been doing oil changes based on that since then.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I wonder what they meant by "breaking down"? I read somewhere- more than once- that oil never really goes bad (which is hard for me to believe) it just gets dirty and just needs to have the contaminants filtered out.

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous RefFan said...

Motor oil breaks down from prolonged exposure to high temps, oxidation, contaminants, internal forces, combustion by-products, etc. Synthetic oils have a higher operating temp range & more resistant to thermal degradation & oil breakdown.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

That's what I would have thought and is why I wrote it's hard for me to believe motor oil doesn't go "bad". That makes me wonder why recycled motor oil is considered ok to use? If it's "broken down", then it should still be broken down after contaminants are removed.

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous RefFan said...

Here is an article I found that explains oil recycling.

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Thanks. I wish they hadn't edited the interview. I'm wondering what they mean about 10% of used oil being "improperly" recycled?

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous truck mirror said...

making sure you change it regularly we help your car run better


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