The correct Synthetic Oil change interval


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The correct Synthetic Oil change interval

Changing the oil of your car is one of the most common reasons to take your vehicle into service these days. It also happens to be one of the few remaining things that car owners can safely and effectively do themselves in order to maintain their car.

When it comes to oil, there are two major types – conventional and synthetic. The former is made from crude natural oil, while the latter is also fortified with numerous synthetic compounds and often refined further. These days, synthetic oil is quickly becoming the norm, as it lasts longer and usually does the job significantly better, especially in extreme temperatures.

But the question remains:

What is the correct Synthetic oil change interval? How often do you REALLY need to change the oil?

The common suggestion is to change the oil every 3000 miles. And numerous service stations and their mechanics gladly parrot this recommendation. After all, every time you come to change your oil, they will get paid. After every oil change, your windshield or the inside of your cars door is decorated with an oil change sticker, nicely telling you to come back in a few months or 3000 miles. Lovely. But is there actually any truth to this recommendation? Technology has come a long way, both in terms of vehicle engine complexity and effectiveness, as-well as synthetic oil properties. Are you being ripped off by service stations?

Former service advisor David Langness commented on the 3,000-mile oil change, and said it’s:

“a marketing tactic that dealers use to get you into the service bay on a regular basis. Unless you go to the drag strip on weekends, you don’t need it.”

Let’s look at some more facts.

Unlike what many mechanics might tell you in car dealerships and service stations, synthetic oils can go quite the distance. Here’s what some of the worlds leading brands have to say:

Mobil 1 Extended Performance synthetic oil is recommended for oil change intervals up to 15,000 miles or one year . whichever occurs first.

That’s roughly FIVE TIMES longer than conventional oil change wisdom recommends. That’s massive. Imagine the savings from both the actual oil and the change procedure costs.

You can run a conventional oil 5K miles but you should be able to run a synthetic oil 7500 to 10000 miles .

Again, synthetic oil is likely to last far longer than what we’ve been led to believe.

Royal Purple API-licensed synthetic engine oils allow motorists to travel as many as 12,000 miles as the recommended oil change interval. Even more amazing, Royal Purple HPS synthetic performance upgrade street oils allow up to 15,000 miles in between motor oil changes.

Again, up to 15, 000 miles is possible.

While it’s pretty clear why the car-servicing industry is so adamant about recommending the 3,000-mile oil change, most customers only follow this suggestion because they are largely uneducated about the advancements in automobile technology. When we’re talking about 2013 and later models, most automakers recommend oil changes every 7,500 or 10,000 miles when on a normal service schedule. That’s more than double the conventional 3,000-mile interval suggestion.

The longest oil change interval is recommended for all Jaguar vehicles, which is at 15,000 miles. Shorter oil change intervals of 5,000 miles are needed for some Hyundai and Kia models with turbo engines, as-well as for some Toyota vehicles that require non-synthetic oils. But with that said, Toyota is also shifting their entire fleet towards synthetic oil use and 10,000 mile oil change interval minimums.

Don’t be an ignorant Hank

It becomes pretty clear, pretty fast, that casual vehicle owners are being tricked into thinking they need to change oil far more often than they really do . Clearly, service stations are looking to squeeze out every last penny from the consumer’s wallets. But what’s strange, is that many people even when told that their cars can keep going far longer, will still opt to change oil very frequently.

Matt Snider, project engineer in GM’s Fuels and Lubricants Group, has an answer:

“Vehicles are so sophisticated that oil is one of the last things that customers can have a direct influence over. There’s maybe some feeling that they’re taking care of their vehicle if they change their oil more often.”

Now, many people also make the argument, that it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? But that’s a nonsensical argument when the leading experts are all saying such frequent oil changes are simply not needed. There is no danger of being sorry. Your engine will be fine. But there is one real danger. The danger of pollution.

The correct Synthetic Oil change interval where can i get the cheapest oil change

GM’s Matt Snider has said:

“If customers always just stayed with the 3,000-mile recommendation, they would be throwing away good oil.”

Product education specialist for Toyota, Chris Risdon, agreed. Advances in oil technology means that you can change oils much less frequently and protect the environment at the same time.

“If you’re doing it [changing oil] half as much, that’s 5 quarts of oil times 1.7 million vehicles a year — that’s a tremendous amount of waste oil that’s not being circulated into the environment.”

Waste oil is a serious problem that’s exacerbated by too-frequent oil changes. California Integrated Waste Management Board has campaigned against the 3,000-mile dictate for a while. The agency has reported that 153.5 million gallons of used oil is being generated in California every year, but only 59 percent of it is ever recycled. That’s a considerable amount of potential pollution dumped into the environment.

I don’t know about you guys, but it seems very clear to me that when it comes to synthetic oil change interval, less frequent oil changes is the way to go. Not only are you going to save time and money by spending less of both at service stations; you are also contributing to the preservation of the environment. Think about it!

But if you are thinking about picking up some synthetic oil, make sure you buy from a reputable brand and get the highest quality product:

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39 Comments

Nick on September 30, 2016 at 11:25 pm

Depends on the oil filter. Some filters like the orange gram filter are only good for 5000m or 8000km. So you will have to change that filter. You can buy better filters like Mobil 1 filters that last at least double that mileage. Just read the filter.

Stuart Linderman on December 23, 2015 at 3:33 am

Mileage is only one indicator that should dictate oil change frequency. Type of driving should be another. Short trips where the engine does not reach operating temperature reduces oil life. So does very damp weather. That said, we (the US consumer) change our oil way too often. I use synthetic oil and change the filter ONLY every 3500-4000 miles. I change the oil every 4th filter change cycle. A little quicker if my driving is a lot of short-trip (see the comment above). I’ve been doing it myself for about 15 years but before that I used to have Jiffy Lube change the filter (not the oil) and we agreed on a $10 charge. One other thing. I now use the original equipment filter and the sole reason is that I believe that the settings for the oil pressure relief valve (the valve inside the filter that opens when the oil pressure exceeds a certain value) are specific to the engine. My last vehicle lasted 277K miles and I had no engine issues.

Fred on January 6, 2016 at 1:50 am

Trying to determine the correct interval between oil changes for full synthetic in a new engine, by appealing to the “experts” is impossible since my research has found opinions ranging from 5000 mi. to once yearly and everything in between. So, I think I’ll go with the common sense approach which is – in my non professional opinion 10,000 but change the filter at 5,000, and if the oil looks, smells, or feels, (when compared to new oil) bad change it also. I have proven repeatedly that by over maintaining an engine meaning clean oil, air filter, and fresh spark plugs occasionally can easily double it’s life.


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Ronnie on January 30, 2016 at 6:48 pm

All this oil change stuff is keeping your engine block from wearing out but I’ve found that everything else on a car is going to start falling apart long before that happens. Transmissions, drive axles, struts, steering, HEAD GASKETS! spark plugs, fuel pumps, air conditioners, etc. etc. All kinds of things that are very expensive to repair and eventually use just figure it’s better to get something else than to keep pouring money in the old thing. The motor is still in great shape though, you’ve been keeping the oil changed.

john hamtkn on January 31, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Unbelievable! I had questions as to why oil changes prices and quality had gotten so big and length of mileage between oil changes hadn’t. Makes a whole lot more sense that we can go a little longer! Oil change is pretty big business. Tell by way we are always hustled when we pull into bay. Explains Why it’s so. Thanks for taking time To explain.

Chris on February 6, 2016 at 11:10 pm

I drive 3000 miles a year in NYC can I change my synthetic oil every 2 years?

der on July 7, 2016 at 5:53 pm

The information you want is in SAE Paper #981444, entitled: “Advanced Synthetic Passenger Vehicle Engine Oils for Extended Oil Drain Performance”

Presented by Mobil at the 1998 Fuels and Lubricants Meeting of the SAE

the infamous “aunt millie test”, probably the most destructive oil test ever invented, don’t try this at home kids, we are trained professionals….

1. The aunt minnie test is the test of “the severity on the engine oil during this type of testing is attributed to conditions where the engine rarely reaches optimum operating temperatures.” 2. The driving test consists of two short cycles, a 3 mile and 1.5 mile test. 3. “Under this severe driving condition, synthetic oil can provide excellent protection against engine wear and deposit formation.” 4. The bulk oil temp ranged from 90 C in the summer to 30 C in the winter. 5. Fuel dilution was as high as 11%. 6. Cleanliness was excellent, the deck sludge rating was 9.7 out of 10. 7. “The iron content showed a low rate of increase, only 100 ppm after 40 months, although there has been a steady increase to over 600 ppm over the last 22 months. The source of iron has not been determined, as visual inspection of the engine did not indicate any abnormal wear or corrosion. In addition, elevated iron levels have not appeared in other test vehicles operating under ‘aunt minnie’ conditions.”

The correct Synthetic Oil change interval oil changing places

The oil was a 5W30 running in a 3.1 L V6 with no oil drains.

The oil volume sampled was 5.5L and make-up was 4.4L. TBN retention was 33.

Test duration was for 60 months.

NG on February 16, 2016 at 4:10 pm

The real issue is acidity building in the oil which degrades hoses, gaskets, linings, etc. Contaminants input material that causes oil pH to drop and possibly become corrosive.

Kevin Kirkendall on February 29, 2016 at 2:00 am

HDEO’s (heavy duty engine oils) which have a more robust additive package tend to be well suited to extended drain intervals. The byproducts of combustion create acids which the oil must neutralize to protect the engine. HDEO’s which are approved for diesel use have more acid neutralizers so they have more reserve. Synthetic oils tend to oxidize less at high temperatures, and have a more uniform molecule length which helps it maintain its viscosity after many miles. Conventional oil is a mix of long and short molecules. They blend them to get the desired “average” viscosity (thickness). You can think of short molecules as gasoline, and long molecules as tar.

j cat on March 11, 2016 at 1:25 pm

synthetic engine oil is a far better oil than conventional. reason is the synthetic oil does not absorb water/moisture. the synthetic does not then turn to acid and then effect the metal and seals. the synthetic is stable at the high temps. also less stress on the engine on extreme hot /cold starts.

on yearly low mileage vehicles changing the oil once a year is proper. 7500 miles on synthetic is going to be no problem at all. 10-15K miles is what many do ,that would be the high end.

conventional oil requires changing @3-4K miles. this is because it depends on the oils condition the engines condition. conventional oil has issues with moisture and extreme heat /cold so that is why it requires this low mile changing. the oil does create sludge. the new engines have very small oil passageways this conventional with sludge causes blockage restrictions .

using synthetic oil you can reduce the oil change costs and save vehicle down time .

you can easily get twice as much use with synthetic and not have the damage that conventional can create if sludge forms.

Vint on March 14, 2016 at 9:30 am

i have a 2014 Lexus IS 250 that sits in a garage and gets about 1000 miles a year.When should i change the synthetic oil?

Cris on April 3, 2016 at 3:11 pm

My Tacoma has 13K miles and 14 months since last full synthetic oil change. I check the motor oil regularly I look for moisture, changes in color of oil and viscosity. I never burn rubber accelerate or brake with extreme prejudice. She loves to play in the mud in the winter though. That’s about it, should I be more cautious or change the oil more frequently?

donald mcpike on April 17, 2016 at 11:55 pm

I have a 2009 MBenz C300 and only drive 800 miles per year. I live in the california bay area.Is is ok/safe to change oil every 3 years. I use Mobil one

The Dude on April 29, 2016 at 9:50 pm

Hi, Im from Europe, I drive a Peugeot 206, its 15years old and I have changed oil only 2 times in it, I only use full synthetic 0W-30 motor oils, first it was an Esso Ultron now its a Castrol High Performance oil, the engine runs perfectly smooth, no issues whatsoever, the engine doesnt use any oil at all, no need to refill it ever, I check it on a regular basis, the oil is still golden like when it was filled in the first time, performance is the same like when it was new, so I guess that answers your question, if you buy ful synth high performance motor oil you dont need to change that often, also all that said I dont drive the car every day, but according to factory sheet I only have to change oil every 30.000km, so I only care about that, not about time, because high tech oils simply wont age.

Davied on May 5, 2016 at 10:38 pm

The Davied on May 6, 2016 Hi ,I m from Canada ,I drive a Chrysler sebring 2007 it,s 9 years old change oil only times in it ,I use full synthetic 5W-20 motor oils Mobil 1 and I,m so happy for driving and I only have to change oil every 8000 km .

Preference on May 7, 2016 at 2:34 pm

I have a 2007 Jeep Compass that I got about a year ago. The very first oil change my husband did was full synthetic and we’ve never looked back. I checked my oil earlier today(its been 6537 miles since the last change) and its still translucent, dark honey color, and I can still see the markings in the dipstick so my husband says its fine. I guess I’ll rode these last 463 miles then change it. Oh, by the way we try to stick to one brand it was Havoline Full Synthetic 5W-30…

Anton on August 6, 2016 at 12:04 pm

I have a 97 Toyota Corolla and 91 Volvo 240…. I’m reading all comments… Truly folks – are u saying using synthetic oils I can go as much as 7000 miles? Or is that just for newer vehicles… Also if you are not changing the oil, are you adding oil when needed?

Darek Koczwara on August 9, 2016 at 3:02 pm

I just got an oil change in my Scion tC. I asked for full synthetic. The new sticker on the windshield says I should change it in 5,000 miles, even though the technician said 7,000 would be fine. 7,000 it is from now on. http://www.darekandsons.com

Bob Rivas on September 6, 2016 at 11:52 pm

My wife drives a 2010 Toyota Camry about 4000 miles per year. We have the oil changed at the dealership. The car runs great. How often should I change the oil?

Bob Rivas on September 7, 2016 at 12:02 am

Correction to the above comment. I failed to mention that we use synthetic oil in the 2010 Toyota.Sorry

Edson on September 20, 2016 at 1:45 am

I only use Mobil 1 synthetic on my 04 g35 coupe I change it every 5000k miles and that’s about when it starts looking dirty and dark brown. I also drive very aggressively at times and do burnouts and drift every now and then so I’m sure if driven normally it could go over 7000 just fine

Morris on October 8, 2016 at 12:42 am

I used full synthetic oil on the M-B M350 SUV, but weird things have already happened twice. I changed the oil about 6 months ago, and the oil change notice on the screen had been renewed to change oil when fulfill 10,000 miles as M-B manual required. Yet the mileage was just over 980 miles, the screen warning showing that after 21 days the oil has to be changed. This weird things has already happened twice. I really don’t know if M-B has programmed some tricks to fool us to change oil as many times as they want us to do, since M-B dealers charging $189.00 plus tax and labor for synthetic oil change.

Do I just disregard it until the mileage reaching 10,000 miles? Thank you.

Mike Hall on November 7, 2016 at 12:20 pm

I have a 2006 Ford Taurus and it calls for 5W-20 full synthetic. I go through about a quart every 1500 miles. So with me adding a quart every 1500 miles would I be ok just changing the oil filter and doing a full oil change around every 10,000 miles?

don on February 14, 2017 at 11:23 pm

If I were you I would just change the filter every 10k miles and never change the oil The amount you add refreshes the oil mixture plenty.

Kendall Blake on November 18, 2016 at 2:06 am

I have a 2012 honda accord. I drive relatively short distances, 2.5 mi one way, to work 5 days a week plus errands. I just bought the car in july and it had the oil changed prior to purchase. My oil life indicator was down to 15% 4 months later and less than 3000 mi. Is there something wrong with the indicator?

Dianne Erickson on November 30, 2016 at 11:32 pm

This is a wonderful site! I have a 2004 Honda CRV in very good condition and have used full synthetic oil for a long time. I bought the car new, so the odometer is accurate at 51,000 (I’m retired). I had my oil changed last May at the dealer. Can I wait until next May for my next oil change? Thank you.

Keith Siddle on December 7, 2016 at 11:53 am

My Vauxhall 2011 Astra 2.0 cdti sri ecoflex does c 1500 miles pa. my main dealer agents say I should change oil and filter after one year. So They Are At It! Common Practice in the U.K.- Rip-off Britain. They Should be Prosecuted. Come On!

M. M. S. on December 13, 2016 at 10:38 am

Changing engine oil should be based on driving conditions:get two cars with same km and change oil for both and drive one for 5000 km long distances and the other for 5000 km short trips and check the oil for the long distance one will be clean and the other one will be dirty. However synthetic oil remains clean longer than conventional and mineral and good for extreme weather conditions. Always check owners manual if it says to change oil under normal conditions every 5,000 km or 6 month which ever comes first follow the same even if the oil still clean.

kouroush on January 4, 2017 at 12:19 am

I have two car and used 5 W-20 an engine 2.7 and another car 10 W-30 Synthetic Mobil Motor oil ,But I changing always for 5000 Km and so happy ,sometime I think have to changing 8000 km

mike on February 12, 2017 at 7:38 pm

while the synthetic oil may last. you may still want to change your oil filter every 6000…. for a car just converting to synthetic you may want to change your filter every 3000 for a while..

clogged filters will damge your engine..

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