20,000 mile oil changes

TA1ton

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So scrolling through videos, I came across this:


If you are a car nerd like me and enjoy learning about what actually goes into the engineering of vehicles, you’ll probably like the video. But the TLDR version for those who aren’t that interested is this: Guy visits Mobil 1 testing facilities to learn how they prove that an oil can last for 20,000 miles.

Now I grew up old school...with my vehicles taking conventional oil every 3,000 miles. My Jeep is the first vehicle I’ve owned that uses synthetic oil. So it really struck me as odd that the manual doesn’t give a service interval for oil changes...it basically says to change it when the computer tells you. (And please, if I somehow missed the interval, please correct me...*EDIT: I did see the “under no circumstances to exceed 10,000 miles but that’s not exactly a specified regular interval, just a worst case*) But the results from Mobil 1 can’t really be denied...their tests show that a 20,000/1 year oil is perfectly fine to use. (The video does state that Mobil 1 does recommend changing oil at manufacturers intervals if under warranty) It basically comes down to whether or not you are comfortable going that long...I mean obviously changing your oil sooner will mean less wear on your engine, but the same could be said for 3,000 mile intervals I suppose.

I know there have been more than a few discussions on oil here on the forum...and I’m not saying 20,000 miles is a good idea...just simply stating that it seems like oil has come a long way and maybe we can put some of our worries to rest. I wonder how long until 20,000 miles becomes the standard?
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Highonlyfe

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I will always stick to 3-4k mile oil changes.

The cost is so cheap compared to the alternative of something wearing out of going wrong with the internals.

Call me old school, but its the peace of mind.

Cool info though
 

WXman

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Reminds me of how BMW spec'd 15,000 miles on a lot of their engines and used one of the finest motor oils in the world....and after several years they switched to 10,000 because their small turbo engines were coking up with carbon and losing turbos frequently. The rate of repair was very high on them and they traced it to the long oil intervals.

Extended oil changes are a terrible idea, particularly on engines with turbos and direct fuel injection. I have no doubt this M1 oil is quality stuff, but going 20K is still a terrible idea if you plan to keep the vehicle for a long time.
 

DanW

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My 99 Mercedes E430 goes about 18k miles and 2 years on oil changes. It does hold 8 quarts, but has had no issues, and that's running an oil that isn't marketed for such long intervals. (Mobil 1 Euro 0w40).

I am currently running M1 AP 0w20 in my Jeep. I had an oil analysis done on the first run with this oil, which was 4k miles. I changed it for a trip to Moab, or I would have run it longer. The analysis looked great. I'll go 5k on this run and probably 7k on the next, or wherever the oil life monitor recommends a change. I'd run it 10k with confidence, but I'm too much of an oil nerd to let it go that long. Maybe I'll do it at some point. We'll see. In the mean time, the Jeep runs great on that oil and the analysis shows it to be in great shape after 4k miles.
 

TimmH

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I have been using Mobile 1 for about 10-12 years in my Mustang GT, and did oil changes every 5k interval on the Odometer (5,10,15,20...). It made it easy to remember when it was due.

I have had no issues, no leaks, no seepeage, etc. And I will stick with the same on the Jeep.

I am not comfortable going 10k as even my Ford Edge said was the interval.
 

Trini

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Two the three times a year for me...the cost for doing this than waiting on something failing or leaking in the engine saves more on the wallet than anything else.
 

zamboniman

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Key would be to keep an eye on it. If the engine is using some oil and you're running extreme long times between changes, you can't take a hands off approach and not make sure oil level is ok. Shorter change intervals mask usage.
 

Shenanigans

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When it comes to synthetic, i’m not too concerned about the oil degrading. What scares me with a new motor is the debris that will be in the oil.
 

Shenanigans

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If you want to listen to an interesting podcast about lubrication (automotive people...) listen to adam carolla’s carcast show when lake speed jr is on. He is a lubrication guru and big into oil analysis. Hes up into the F1 and those weirdo american sedan driver series realm of things.
 

wvgasguy

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I think if indeed you change the oil every 5,000 miles that synthetic is overkill. Synthetic doesn't break down but if you are changing every 5,000 miles neither does petroleum based oil. 5,000 seems to me to be a good interval simply because I'd like to rotate the tires and a lot of quick lube placed don't offer that.
 

old8tora

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I have been using Mobile 1 for about 10-12 years in my Mustang GT, and did oil changes every 5k interval on the Odometer (5,10,15,20...). It made it easy to remember when it was due.

I have had no issues, no leaks, no seepeage, etc. And I will stick with the same on the Jeep.

I am not comfortable going 10k as even my Ford Edge said was the interval.
Your Carfax report and your FCA warranty will also want frequent oil changes .
 

DanW

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I think if indeed you change the oil every 5,000 miles that synthetic is overkill. Synthetic doesn't break down but if you are changing every 5,000 miles neither does petroleum based oil. 5,000 seems to me to be a good interval simply because I'd like to rotate the tires and a lot of quick lube placed don't offer that.
The problem is that you won't find a conventional oil in 0w20. The only semi-synthetic I've seen is Pennzoil Gold, and it has disappeared from shelves around here. It actually had a data sheet that looked every bit as good as Pennzoil Platinum or just about any other full synthetic 0w20.
 

viper88

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Not all synthetic oils are created equal. Quality synthetics are much better today then 30 years ago. Filter technology is better. Engine tolerances are better. Engines are more durable then ever today. I'd do whatever the owners manual recommends if it's normal duty driving. No harm from more oil and filter change if driving under sever conditions if you don't trust the computer.

You would be surprised at how much life motor oil still has at 3K-4K miles. I remember 25-30 years ago when the norm for oil change intervals was 3K miles. According to Blackstone Labs, back then, my oil had 60%-70% more life left at 3K mile oils change intervals. And that was with with conventional oils.
 

old8tora

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I think if indeed you change the oil every 5,000 miles that synthetic is overkill. Synthetic doesn't break down but if you are changing every 5,000 miles neither does petroleum based oil. 5,000 seems to me to be a good interval simply because I'd like to rotate the tires and a lot of quick lube placed don't offer that.
Good interval for your FCA warranty and Carfax report as well .
 
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TA1ton

TA1ton

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@Highonlyfe, @WXman, @TimmH, @Trini; there is no doubt in my mind that shorter intervals reduce wear...I wish they would have used more than one vehicle for their 500,000 miles @ 20,000 mile oil changes test, but even the one is impressive considering the only thing to break was the transmission. Also, WXman, I have no real experience with turbos, but I do know they do require additional maintenance and care. I found it interesting (and smart) that they have developed tests specifically to test the oil’s effect on turbos.

@DanW; 8 quarts is a lot of dang oil...my first truck took 7 quarts and I thought that was a lot. Lol!

@zamboniman; good point about shorter intervals...and yeah, I would definitely want to keep an eye on it.
 
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