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Discussion Starter #1
97 Mark VIII. I only get around 3300 miles per oil change (only twice haven't owned it long). before I get oil change required in the message center.

I have it set to 100%.

What criteria is used? The owners manual doesn't specify anything. Do I drive it in a manner considered severe? Yes, but is that taken into account (jack rabbit starts, high rpms, lots of down shifts, etc) or time? I don't put many miles on it, it gets driven 4 or 5 times a week but from less than 20 miles in general each time.
 

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Pfft. I just ran my Lincoln for nearly a year - almost 10,000 miles on Mobil 1 Synthetic.

The Tbird will go three or more years between changes.

Read this article --->> http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/stop-changing-your-oil.html

In Arizona you might want to change it more often due to the extreme heat. Do your homework and find out what's the best interval for your region.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I do a pretty strict 5,000 to 7,500 interval, but that is two cycles of this silly oil minder. I was happy I finally got rid of the error about the air suspension and didn't need to clear/reset it so I could disable TC then set it to display economy, then this shows up.
 

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Pfft. I just ran my Lincoln for nearly a year - almost 10,000 miles on Mobil 1 Synthetic.

The Tbird will go three or more years between changes.

Read this article --->> http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/stop-changing-your-oil.html

In Arizona you might want to change it more often due to the extreme heat. Do your homework and find out what's the best interval for your region.

WOW Ron, Our chief told me after my engine build to keep it changed with fresh oil . Ours sets more than drives. Granted our birds are not DD drivers.
 

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Well, I did do the initial change - removed the break in oil after 1,200 miles. I'll run the non-synthetic oil that's in the car now for another thousand miles and then switch to synthetic.

The synthetic that I put in the car at that time should be good for three years or so because I drive the car so little.

Besides, synthetic is too expensive to be changing on a regular basis.
 

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I was told to change mine every 2500-3000 miles due to running E85.
 

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I always change the oil at 3000 miles. I really don't understand why anyone would want to skimp in that area.

As for the OP question, my understanding is it uses the actual number of rotations the engine has made, so if you are driving around town or heavy acceleration, the oil change will be due sooner than if you were just cruising in top gear on the highway.
 

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Yea, with the E85 I'm sure I'll have to change more often. I hadn't thought about the difference that a different fuel would make.

I was looking around the net and saw that in addition to making your exhaust smell like popcorn E85 will make your oil smell like used Wesson Cooking Oil. Yuk!

Another "Rule of thumb" that I found states: "Change oil in alternate fuel (E85) cars up to 30% earlier than normal. So if your a 3k regular, figure about 2,100 miles or so." ... "The best advice [is] to visually check for milky color is your best bet. Do not sit and wait around to change the oil if it has reached that point. It is already causing engine damage."

At a 5K interval with synthetic that would put your changes at around 3,500 miles or so, depending on oil color. I'd be comfortable with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I always change the oil at 3000 miles. I really don't understand why anyone would want to skimp in that area.

As for the OP question, my understanding is it uses the actual number of rotations the engine has made, so if you are driving around town or heavy acceleration, the oil change will be due sooner than if you were just cruising in top gear on the highway.
That makes total sense, as it is a lot of first and second gear high rpms, very little D and OD cruising situations. Like 20 miles of 1/8 mile passes, that would be the best description of my driving.
 

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I always change the oil at 3000 miles. I really don't understand why anyone would want to skimp in that area.

As for the OP question, my understanding is it uses the actual number of rotations the engine has made, so if you are driving around town or heavy acceleration, the oil change will be due sooner than if you were just cruising in top gear on the highway.
It's not even the oil so much as the filter. I ran mobil one on my car when I was commuting 120 miles a day and just changed the filter every 3k. I got 9k out of the oil and it looked good for that length of time.

Consumer reports did a test with NY Taxi cabs with synthetic oil use:

http://www.xs11.com/xs11-info/xs11-info/articles/51-consumer-reportstruth-motor-oils-july-1996.html

Pfft. I just ran my Lincoln for nearly a year - almost 10,000 miles on Mobil 1 Synthetic.

The Tbird will go three or more years between changes.

Read this article --->> http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/stop-changing-your-oil.html

In Arizona you might want to change it more often due to the extreme heat. Do your homework and find out what's the best interval for your region.
As far as I know, the oil I used 20 years ago is the same oil I use today. Chevron / Quaker / Pennzoil 10w-30. NOthing on the bottle says anything different than it did 20 years ago. Now, there are oils out there that are better than standard oils and those may indeed last longer, but I am not convinced that a car built 25 years ago will not wear oil down faster than a car built last year.

If someone has an article about how engines actually do not break down oil as much as they did years ago, I'd like to read it. Besides, the way I drive, I am one person that should change oil regularly.
 

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I change my oil every 3k, no exceptions.

It's the particulates and acids you need to worry about, as well as small amounts of water on our cars.

I change the oil in a car that mostly sits every year, at least. It soaks up crap from the air, as well as dissolved stuff.

It's cheaper to do it that way, in my experience.
 

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I change my oil every 3k, no exceptions.

It's the particulates and acids you need to worry about, as well as small amounts of water on our cars.

I change the oil in a car that mostly sits every year, at least. It soaks up crap from the air, as well as dissolved stuff.

It's cheaper to do it that way, in my experience.
As has been stated earlier in this thread the 3K oil change is a very old school train of thought. Some habits are hard to break. Cheaper than what?

As far as "soaking up crap from the air" That just doesn't happen on a large enough scale to become a problem. Short of a coolant leak significant amounts of water are not going to get into your oil.

I found the following at Car Talk (one of my favorite radio shows I might add).

Bull.

First of all, oil does not attract, or even mix with, water. And condensation has to come from somewhere. Condensation is actually the water carried by air. When moisture laden air comes into contact with a cooler surface, the layer immediately in contact with the cooler surface chills and can no longer hold its moisture. It deposits the moisture on the surface. Cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air can.

When your car is sitting stagnant in the driveway, the air in the oil pan may have moisture in it, as it was parked in a warm state. When the pan cools, and the air cools, the moisture will deposit on the metal, and if sufficient may even condense and drip down below the oil (oil floats). But, once all the temperatures stabilize, nothing further happens. The oil in the pan does not attract into the crankcase any more moisture than already exists there.

http://community.cartalk.com/discussion/2164196/motor-oil-and-water
 

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It's not even the oil so much as the filter. I ran Mobil one on my car when I was commuting 120 miles a day and just changed the filter every 3k. I got 9k out of the oil and it looked good for that length of time.

Consumer reports did a test with NY Taxi cabs with synthetic oil use:

http://www.xs11.com/xs11-info/xs11-info/articles/51-consumer-reportstruth-motor-oils-july-1996.html

As far as I know, the oil I used 20 years ago is the same oil I use today. Chevron / Quaker / Pennzoil 10w-30. Nothing on the bottle says anything different than it did 20 years ago. Now, there are oils out there that are better than standard oils and those may indeed last longer, but I am not convinced that a car built 25 years ago will not wear oil down faster than a car built last year.

If someone has an article about how engines actually do not break down oil as much as they did years ago, I'd like to read it. Besides, the way I drive, I am one person that should change oil regularly.

Well ... How often do you change it? Are you using synthetic, semi-synthetic or regular?

Thanks for the link to the Big Apple study. I did read it.

Yes, I agree, a car built 25 years ago will not wear oil down faster than a car built last year. And yes, the motor oils made today are better than they were 20 or 25 years ago.

It's your money... Change it as often as makes you happy. But there are a glut of articles out there that say changing every 3,000 or so is a waste. I don't see your logic in changing the filter ever 3k because your adding roughly a quart every time you change the filter just to fill the new filter. Over the course of the 9K interval that you just described you added about 2 quarts of oil to the motor just to refill the filter. At roughly $3 a filter and $3 a quart that's an additional $12 in materials expense + your time to change them. I don't believe changing the filter at a more frequent interval adds any additional benefit (except to the filter mfg's financial statement).

If the oil's good for 9K or 10K then it's good for that long regardless and there's no need to change the filter every 3K.

I don't think your argument lies with the change interval but with the oil itself. Which ultimately has everything to do with the change interval.

Here are a few links in addition to the one I linked above. Read any or all of them or do your own research.

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/5-engine-oil-myths.htm/printable

http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2013/04/do-you-really-need-to-change-your-oil-every-3000-miles.html

What's (relatively) new?

Chevron Techron has only been around since 1995 - not quite 20 years.

What's very new?

GF-5. This new standard licensed in 2010 and required (outside the US) beginning in 2011.

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/under-the-hood/trends-innovations/synthetic-oil-technology.htm/printable

What is a good change interval for non-synthetic oil?

According to my research: "... oil change intervals at 5,500 [to] 7,600 miles on non-synthetic oil."

I'm sure there's other information out there about the changes in motor oil over the past 20 years but I'm not spending any more time researching this.
 

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As far as "soaking up crap from the air" That just doesn't happen on a large enough scale to become a problem. Short of a coolant leak significant amounts of water are not going to get into your oil.
You live in the south, like me. :)


Air is ~80-90% humid, temperature changes ~20 degrees per day.

At night, the humid air, at saturation, is drawn into any not-quite-sealed container, and will cool, releasing it's water.

Tomorrow, it will heat up, driving the now-dryer air out, leaving room for more moisture tonight.

I had a transmission pan fill to the rim this way not too long ago, loosely attached to the bottom of a transmission. I was really worried until I realized there wasn't any coolant in it...

You can test this; put a heavy, metal container with a loose lid outside, where it is protected from the sun, and it needs to have humid air blowing around it.

The middle of a concrete parking lot will be too hot, lol.

Under the hood of a car that's sitting in the yard is a great spot. :D

It will gradually fill to some level, until the weather dries out this winter.

You can make drinking water like this here...

Driving a car everyday will drive off the moisture; and the little bits that leak after 200k miles. :)

You don't have to believe me; but you can test it if you want.
 

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I don't see your logic in changing the filter ever 3k because your adding roughly a quart every time you change the filter just to fill the new filter. Over the course of the 9K interval that you just described you added about 2 quarts of oil to the motor just to refill the filter. At roughly $3 a filter and $3 a quart that's an additional $12 in materials expense + your time to change them. I don't believe changing the filter at a more frequent interval adds any additional benefit (except to the filter mfg's financial statement).
Actually, where I drive, there's an advantage to the change-filter-oftener .

Do remember that when a filter finally starts to plug up enough, the bypass valve will open and bypass the filter.

Now, consider driving in a dust storm. There WILL be dust sucked into the PCV system along the way (very little with a competent air filter, but some).

The oil filter will catch it.

But then, the oil filter isn't filtering as well because it's partially blocked.

No, swapping filters more often than oil (about 2:1 is what I read) makes some sense.

If the car is open enough to have an open PCV system - or old enough to use a road draft tube! - then it makes even MORE sense since the air sucked in isn't filtered by the main air filter.

Why, yes, I've driven from 80%+ RH to dust storm and back in a single day, living in North West Louisiana and servicing East Texas ...

RwP
 

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Well obviously not every scenario can be accounted for; there will always be some exception.

However, neither of us lives in a desert and I don't drive dirt roads. I suggest you replace your PCV valve and/or PVC filter and clean or replace your air filter more often instead of the oil filter if you drive a lot in a dusty environment.

I've been to West LA and East Texas before and it's not that dusty. I'm just throwing out some suggestions here along with links to the articles that back up the research I've done.

If you want to spend time and money changing oil and oil filters on your own schedule knock yourself out.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I really was just curious about the monitor and what data it used to calculate oil life. I am going to disregard the monitor and reset it and go with 5,000 to 7,500 depending on how long that takes, and what kind of driving I have done. On a car that will get maybe 7500 miles a year, two oil changes a year isn't a deal breaker.

I generally use Mobil1 5w20 in the 97 Mark VIII (116k miles), Mobil1 5w30 High Mileage in the 2000 Grand Marquis (235k miles), and I used Motorcraft semi-synthetic 5w20 in my 97 Cougar (110k miles). Everyone seems to like the Pennzoil Platinum for the 4.6, I tried that in my 2000 Grand Marquis, and it seems to be the opposite of what everyone says, it doesn't seem to be much of a cleaner (the oil is medium brown color at 3200 miles, doesn't seem to have much "junk" in suspension), and it has used a quart in 3200 miles (Mobil1 it uses about 3/4 of a quart in 6k miles). Going back to Mobil1.

In the 97 Mark VIII at 3300 miles it has used 1/4 quart (and that it is leaking, from the filter or filter adapter), oil is still brown (I know that doesn't really matter, but at least it isn't carbon black), I don't seem to get start up valve noise I have heard before in the 4v, even after sitting for a week.
 

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What I worry more about is the time the oil has been in the engine. I rarely do 3000 miles before 3 months, if at all. I've just always tried to follow the 3k/3mo. Its a minor expense considering you'll have a cleaner motor longer than a dirty one. Motorcraft in the bird, and Mobile 1 in the project car.
 

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Mobil 1 Extended Performance 5w30 and Mobil 1 Extended Performance Oil Filters on all of my vehicles. Rated for "15,000 miles" I change it every 5,000. 1 of my vehicles is a tow/recovery vehicle/daily driver, 1 is a tow/recovery/off road/hunting truck/daily driver, and the bird is a weekend/track car. Since my climate is 115+ ambient in the summer I am very OCD about preventative maintenance and fluid up keep. I'm with some of the others, I'd rather change my oil more frequently and have a clean internally engine, than neglect my service intervals risking damage to my vehicles.
 
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