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This is a discussion on Question about "breaking-in" within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; The cars I was selling in Britain 10 years ago had recommended service intervals of every 2 years or 20k ...

  1. #16
    Registered User Soobvirgin's Avatar
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    The cars I was selling in Britain 10 years ago had recommended service intervals of every 2 years or 20k miles. That's all that was necessary for the warranty to be valid. When I came to the US and my wife told me the average person changes their oil every 6k miles, I thought it was weird.

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  3. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingo View Post
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    Registered User DarkstarWRX's Avatar
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    Question about "breaking-in"

    Also as a side note, my 2012 Toyota Tundra gets it's regular maintenance at the dealer I purchased it from, and they only change the oil every 10k, and told me it's a waste of money to do so any sooner. Which surprised me considering this is coming from a money hungry dealership (I know this doesn't apply to the WRX, lol)
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  5. #19
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soobvirgin View Post
    The cars I was selling in Britain 10 years ago had recommended service intervals of every 2 years or 20k miles. That's all that was necessary for the warranty to be valid. When I came to the US and my wife told me the average person changes their oil every 6k miles, I thought it was weird.
    The 3K mentality in the US is very sad and has been a waste of resources that everyone claims are otherwise valuable. There are usually no data to substantiate 3K and it is usually only marketing, apathy, or a crutch for bad engine design.
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  6. #20
    Registered User DarkstarWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    The 3K mentality in the US is very sad and has been a waste of resources that everyone claims are otherwise valuable. There are usually no data to substantiate 3K and it is usually only marketing, apathy, or a crutch for bad engine design.
    Yes, but this is America, where you are encouraged to waste as much as possible, lol.
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  7. #21
    Registered User Ingo's Avatar
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    No, actually the old 'stangs had v8's with very small sumps. Back in Germany it was a standing joke how American muscle runs with that little sump volume... That makes for the oil getting a lot more use. The German engines have anywhere from 6-12 quarts and more. The oil does not run thru the engine quite as often and lasts longer. Also modern engines are build with less tolerances and I think that helps with both consumption and use (shearing and burning) of oil.
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  8. #22
    Registered User cogito's Avatar
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    I'll keep with the 3K interval. As I have with all my vehicles, with the exception of my Ford truck.....I deviated going with a 5K interval and lost the engine (77,000), it was replaced by Ford because they had all my anal maintenance records. It was probably a truck built on a Monday, or Friday...lol. Also I have mechanic friends who recommend the tried and true 3K interval...and no I'm not giving them the oil change business. But it's a personal choice.
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  9. #23
    Registered User Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Okay, I will bite and join. Most studies I have seen and most conversations I have been privy to indicate, yes, the oil will last longer than 3k. What the actual lifespan of the oil is, is very dependent on the driving style, and volume.

    However, the additives generally have a much more limited lifespan, somewhere in the ball park of 3,000 miles.

    And lets not forget, until most recently, the auto builders (domestic and foreign) indicate consumers change oil at 3k. Most businesses that change oil also automatically use the 3k or 4 months on their oil change reminder stickers.

    Most Americans have an attitude of, the business are regulated and required to be honest, so their recommendations should be followed.

  10. #24
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Question about "breaking-in"

    I've seen no data to support a limited lifespan for additives.

    If I were a business with a fleet I'd establish analyses to quantify wear metals, TBN, and so on in order to make sure the entire fleet gets oil changes no sooner than necessary.

    Wouldn't you?
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  11. #25
    Registered User cogito's Avatar
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    two fleet managers I talked with consider regular oil changes to be the cheapest form of insurance.. they err on the side of caution and both go 3500 interval on all vehicles. These are 75/100 vehicle fleets. I'm going to talk to another company across the street tomorrow, because it has me interested from a business sense. Why have your assets tied up with engine repairs. I'll report back.
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  12. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by cogito View Post
    two fleet managers I talked with consider regular oil changes to be the cheapest form of insurance.. they err on the side of caution and both go 3500 interval on all vehicles. These are 75/100 vehicle fleets. I'm going to talk to another company across the street tomorrow, because it has me interested from a business sense. Why have your assets tied up with engine repairs. I'll report back.
    That is really interesting! I guess one thing to consider is the cost in terms of lab fees, shipping, and person-hours for sampling that analyses would require vs. the cost of simply changing everything at 3500 or at any given fixed interval. Even so I'd wonder what would happend if that interval were extended to 4000, or 4500, and so on.

    The fleet sizes you mentioned are substantial and so the costs would be substantial too. Really interesting! Let's say the fleet is solely semi-pro light-duty vehicles. Let's say 5 qt sumps.
    75 vehicles X 5 qts each = 375 qts of oil per full fleet oil change.
    375 qts of oil at, say, $3 each = $1,125 per full fleet oil change.
    If done every 3500 miles, assuming 200000 miles between overhauls, that's 57 oil changes for the fleet, or $64,125 in oil changes.
    If done every 5000 miles, same assumptions, that's 40 oil changes for the fleet, or $45,000 in oil changes.

    The difference in oil costs would be $19,125 over the life of the fleet. This is very rough though because the estimate doens't account for differences in vehicle types, how each is driven, etc.

    What we don't know that makes a bigger difference I'd think is what the outright failure rate would be for the fleet if the vehicles were serviced every 3500 miles vs. every 5000 miles. That could make up the "savings" quickly and eat away at them, or it could make the extended interval even more attractive.

    I've not factored in lab costs because there are too many choices -- every second OCI after the initial, or every OCI after warranty, etc. Plus a fleet could get fleet rates and pay less than $25 per analysis.

    Now as the sump sizes increase the difference in savings becomes more pronounced. Same with miles driven etc. OTOH that $19K "saved" could be eaten away by only a few overhauls earlier than otherwise necessary.

    Eating away at that $19K anyway is the cost of analyses over the life of each vehicle. Let's say one sample every 10000 miles over a 200000 mile lifetime, at $25 per analysis, or $500 per vehicle. For the whole fleet that's $37,500 (gasp!) so the options are:

    Don't do the whole fleet, only sample to set trends among cohorts?
    Don't do all this for small sump vehicles with "only" 200000 life spans; do it for large sump vehicles with 1,000,000 mile lifespans (trucks)?
    I can't multiply or divide and there is an error?
    Your friends are saving money anyway?

    If every vehicle undergoes analyses every 20k, or every four oil changes, then the lab costs to the fleet are $18750, so we break even. However for a large fleet of small vehicles I wonder if there's a way to randomly sample a representative amount, not the entire fleet. This wouldn't prevent specific problems with a given vehicle but it would tell us if the OCI is appropriate.

    There's got to be a programme for all this...
    Last edited by SD_GR; 01-09-2014 at 03:56 PM.
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  13. #27
    Registered User cogito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    That is really interesting! I guess one thing to consider is the cost in terms of lab fees, shipping, and person-hours for sampling that analyses would require vs. the cost of simply changing everything at 3500 or at any given fixed interval. Even so I'd wonder what would happend if that interval were extended to 4000, or 4500, and so on.

    The fleet sizes you mentioned are substantial and so the costs would be substantial too. Really interesting! Let's say the fleet is solely semi-pro light-duty vehicles. Let's say 5 qt sumps.
    75 vehicles X 5 qts each = 375 qts of oil per full fleet oil change.
    375 qts of oil at, say, $3 each = $1,125 per full fleet oil change.
    If done every 3500 miles, assuming 200000 miles between overhauls, that's 57 oil changes for the fleet, or $64,125 in oil changes.
    If done every 5000 miles, same assumptions, that's 40 oil changes for the fleet, or $45,000 in oil changes.

    The difference in oil costs would be $19,125 over the life of the fleet. This is very rough though because the estimate doens't account for differences in vehicle types, how each is driven, etc.

    What we don't know that makes a bigger difference I'd think is what the outright failure rate would be for the fleet if the vehicles were serviced every 3500 miles vs. every 5000 miles. That could make up the "savings" quickly and eat away at them, or it could make the extended interval even more attractive.

    I've not factored in lab costs because there are too many choices -- every second OCI after the initial, or every OCI after warranty, etc. Plus a fleet could get fleet rates and pay less than $25 per analysis.

    Now as the sump sizes increase the difference in savings becomes more pronounced. Same with miles driven etc. OTOH that $19K "saved" could be eaten away by only a few overhauls earlier than otherwise necessary.

    Eating away at that $19K anyway is the cost of analyses over the life of each vehicle. Let's say one sample every 10000 miles over a 200000 mile lifetime, at $25 per analysis, or $500 per vehicle. For the whole fleet that's $37,500 (gasp!) so the options are:

    Don't do the whole fleet, only sample to set trends among cohorts?
    Don't do all this for small sump vehicles with "only" 200000 life spans; do it for large sump vehicles with 1,000,000 mile lifespans (trucks)?
    I can't multiply or divide and there is an error?
    Your friends are saving money anyway?

    If every vehicle undergoes analyses every 20k, or every four oil changes, then the lab costs to the fleet are $18750, so we break even. However for a large fleet of small vehicles I wonder if there's a way to randomly sample a representative amount, not the entire fleet. This wouldn't prevent specific problems with a given vehicle but it would tell us if the OCI is appropriate.

    There's got to be a programme for all this...
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  14. #28
    Registered User cogito's Avatar
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    I'll get back to you for sure. I didn't ask what portion of the fleet was done, at what time, sump, size, etc. M question was non-chalet, I asked what the average oil change interval was out of curiosity...lol (btw I'm located in a industrial park), so I'm going to take your questions, and present them. This should be interesting.
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  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cogito View Post
    I'll get back to you for sure. I didn't ask what portion of the fleet was done, at what time, sump, size, etc. M question was non-chalet, I asked what the average oil change interval was out of curiosity...lol (btw I'm located in a industrial park), so I'm going to take your questions, and present them. This should be interesting.
    I'd be curious to see how how crazy the poor fellow thinks I am...
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    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  16. #30
    Registered User cogito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    I'd be curious to see how how crazy the poor fellow thinks I am...
    I'm looking forward to it. I will say both aforementioned do a lot of city, stop and go traffic. Which is much harder on the life span of a engine. I think that's a big factor. Tomorrows adventure is a fairly large company. Hopefully I can get a quick chat in. Cheers.
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