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I STILL remember learning from my father how to carefully remove a dipstick to check the oil level in our cars. It was drilled into me — along with turning off the lights when you left a room and clearing the plates off the table after dinner — that oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles or so.

“There was a time when the 3,000 miles was a good guideline,” said Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor for the car site Edmunds.com. “But it’s no longer true for any car bought in the last seven or eight years.”
Oil chemistry and engine technology have improved to the point that most cars can go several thousand more miles before changing the oil, Mr. Reed said. A better average, he said, would be 7,500 between oil changes, and sometimes up to 10,000 miles or more.
The California Integrated Waste Management Board ran public service announcements for several years about “the 3,000-mile myth,” urging drivers to wait longer between oil changes.
But the situation is not that clear cut, according to Robert Sutherland, a Pennzoil scientist who works at Shell Global Solutions. Rather than picking a number, Mr. Sutherland said, he recommends following what your owner’s manual advises. So that meant I should get the oil changed every 5,000 miles. If I did a great deal of longer-distance highway driving, it would be every 7,500.
What actually happens if you don’t change your oil? Well, it doesn’t run out, it simply gets dirtier and dirtier.
Some people remain attached to the 3,000-mile oil change and have a hard time trusting the recommendations in the owner’s manual. If you’re one of those skeptics, you can send your engine oil out to be analyzed. Blackstone Laboratories in Fort Wayne, Ind., one of the best-known places for engine oil analysis, will send you a free kit.
You send back an oil sample and for $25, they’ll tell you all sorts of things about your car. “Very often, it is the case that they’re changing their oil too often,” she said. Some people stick to the 3,000-mile changes, because “the Jiffy Lubes of the world have done a good job convincing people,” Mr. Martin said. “The car manufacturers want the reputation that it makes cars that last a long time. The dealership wants to see you every three months.”
 

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This is a question I regularly bring up with my fellow riders, for motorcycles that is. We all agree that back in the 80s, we were changing our oil every 1000 miles (before synthetic oil, pure and blended). Now that our bikes are running pure synthetic, some how the "1000 mile oil change" myth is still around. Keep in mind that all references to oil changes made here and above do not include track racing.
 

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There's a thread about this on the Ducati forum since the manual now says oils changed at 7,500 miles. I think I'm the only one there following the manual - mostly because I'm not keeping the bike for the long run and it's ducati's recommendation, then it's their liability. But, as someone mentioned, problem resulting from infrequent oil changes will probably come up long after the warranty is gone.
 

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Usually there is also a time period as well as a mileage. For the Nissan's I sell, it is either 6 months, or after you ask the customer a series of yes or no questions, 3750 miles, or 7500.

My civic says every 10000. I was doing that up until my last change as I no longer drive 30000 miles a year. Now I'm doing every 5000 miles.

It really comes down to what you're comfortable with, but you should just follow the owners manual.
 

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In our climate the bikes tend to have down time in the winter so prefer to get the bike nice and hot just before frost time...drop the oil and filter and put some nice clean oil in to cosset the engine while it's sleeping...a bit like brushing your teeth before you go to sleep...!
 

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hell,i just like changing oil.every 1500 miles on bikes(except for hog 25 to 3000)and 3500 on cars & trucks.syn all the way:yo:

312r on the way. they promised next week.
 

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every 1500 miles. I ride hard, and the motor deserves it.
 

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is there such a thing as changing the oil too often?
Yes. Because you don´t have to change before the makers mileage.
Modern oils will safely go much farther than the factories recommend, but the lubricant makers should tell you to stay with the manual.
I have proved to myself that all oils are not the same. Changed the oil in my car for a same spec oil, but different brand, and it`s now like a different car. More power, smoother, and much more mileage. Even the wife noticed. Now that oil is in all my bikes.
The moral is, quality does not come cheap. But expensive does not mean quality.
Frank
 

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My experience with a Toyota Starlet ...... Bought the car at 40 000k's, drove it another 100 000k's and changed the oil for the first time then cause it was thicker than treacle!!!

But three or four yrs later saw it in the local servo, owner said it had now done about 250 000 with no issues!!

Another two yrs pass its gone more than 300 000k's same 1300cc 1996 Toyota engine! Explain to me why you should change your oil more frequently than that!

I did do a lot of interstate travel! But only about 25% of the cars use was on interstate trips.
 

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I say 2500 miles unless you ride the piss out of her. I would say more but the fact that the oil lubes the tranny and clutch, id rather not.
 

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Since I only ride my bike 2500-3000 miles a year, isn't once a year with synthetic (Agip) enough?
 

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You can remove the guesswork by simply having an oil analysis done. Collect a sample at your next oil change (Blackstone Labs will send you a kit for free) and have it analyzed. It will tell you if you can extend the interval, or if you've already waited too long. It's also the best way to see if your choice of oil is as good as the manufacturer says it is.

It doesn't have to be a mystery- test your oil and find out exactly how it's performing...
 

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I sold my F4....so I won't be changing oil for long time :(

I miss my MV...and all these changing oil threads make me miss it even more..

I'd gladly go to the garage right now and change the oil on my MV-baby
 
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