Hi, my name is Bill and I have used Fulley for 2 years but I have never made a post. I work in a fuel and oil laboratory and a large portion of our business is oil analysis. We test used oil out of equipment and cars airplanes boats and our basic findings are a contamination problem or if the engine or whatever component we are testing is bound to have a premature failure. I may not always eat the right food and I may not keep my car as clean as it should be, but I always make sure that I am using the correct oil in the engine to insure it's health. Oil is the life blood of the engine it's not always the most expensive oil that is better, its the right API and ISO grade that is important. I do not use oil additives as the oil manufactures put all the necessary additives in the oil to keep the engine running properly as long as you are using the correct oil for your equipment. We do not sell oil, additives or any other product, we just test oil and fuel. If any one is interested in more information go to our website laboneinc.com or get in touch with me.
By the way I have just (5000 miles ago) purchased a new Mazda CX=5 and I love it. Getting great gas mileage, have more power that I will ever need and the comfort is fantastic.
Hi there. Is there a short answer to this question. Why is it that Americans tend to change thier oil so often?
Im guessing as with most things American, it's down to marketing, but from my experiance, Americans always sound surprised when I tell them that some European manufactures recommend oil change intervals at up to 30,000 miles (or once a year!) when most people in the US seem to think every 3000 miles is normal!
I appreciate there all kinds of environmental/emission regulations in Europe, and that fuel in the US is unrefined in comparison to that sold in Europe, but is there a real simple answer?
A simple answer is that we change it based on the manufacturer's recommendation. Also, if you have a manufacturer's warranty and you fail to change it at the recommended intervals then you stand a good chance of voiding the warranty.
To be clear, once upon a time the recommendation was 3k for most cars but in modern times cars have improved greatly and recommendations typically range between 5 and 15k depending on a variety of factors.
There are many factors to consider for oil change duration. This is where an oil analysis helps you know what's going on in an engine.
For example in older engines (or high-performance engines built with intentionally looser tolerances), there may be a fair amount of blowby - this can add gasoline to the oil. At the same time, the engine might be burning off some oil. So what you get before too long is that a fair amount of the oil is replaced with gasoline- even though it still looks like oil to most of us, it's actually too low in viscosity.
Oil will also just pick up dirt and crud as it runs.
My car has 245k miles on it, and I can "hear" when the oil needs to be changed (about 4000 miles nowadays). It starts to get "clicky" at idle. And this goes away when I replace the oil. (I will frequently keep the filter in place for 2-3 oil changes, however).
Every engine is different, there are actually very few lubrication-related failures in modern engines. And, it actually does a slight bit of harm every time you change the oil - wears out the oil pan threads, wears out the threads where the filter mounts, not to mention the risk of an "oops" whenever you don't let a sleeping dog lie.
But in general, I agree that many people change oil more than it needs to be changed. Even most manufacturers are recommending 5k+ mile oil change intervals using conventional oil.
Helps a bit, thanks, but again, 5k, i've never known any car new or old to need such frequent oil changes, it's purely an American thing, even checking UK V's US websites from various manufactures, they differ enourmously, but with very little indication as to why. It must be to do with the refinement of fuel, it's the only thing I can think of given that both engines will be near identical in the same car sold in each country. I have a small capacity high performance high revving turbocharged engine and the service intervals are 18,000.
I dont want to come across all Greenpeace on you, it's just when you look at how much oil the US uses every day, some 20,000,000 barrels, it's almost upsetting, especialy when, like you mentioned, modern engines are almost bulletproof now.
I agree we change our oil too frequently but until the manufacturers change their recommendations I don't believe you'll see the habits change. Is it an American problem or is it a manufacturer problem? Sounds like you did the research to discover it to be a manufacturer issue without any explanation. Are they exploiting us? As an example, look up how much an American pays for prescription medicines compared with people from other countries, you'll likely notice a significant difference.
As for our oil use believe me when I say you aren't the only one upset! I'd be much happier putting my dollars to use elsewhere. Most of us would be very happy to knock our own use way down but until we either get things closer together (work vs. home). You'd have to experience this for yourself to understand the amount of miles we typically travel for just about anything; nothing like what you are likely used to in the UK, as a general population.
I work in a fuel and oil laboratory and a large portion of our business is oil analysis. We test used oil out of equipment and cars airplanes boats and our basic findings are a contamination problem or if the engine or whatever component we are testing is bound to have a premature failure.
From your oil analysis, do you have recommendations for 100% gasoline(ethanol-free) vs. 10% ethanol blends? I believe bigtime in 100% gasoline, for the best mpg(8%, 7%, 5% & 7-8%). All my engines are quieter, smoother, & have a trace more ability to hold higher gears before needing to shift down.