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When I first started riding bikes in the 80s, I fell under the guise of "change your oil every 1000 miles." Keep in mind several of us used our street bikes on the track as well, so I followed that rule. Then in the 90s synthetic oils arrive (blended and pure). For cars, oil change intervals increased considerably, but for motorcycles - it never happened. Why? I've never received a logical explanation. I still ride with people who insist on changing their oil (pure synthetic) every 1000 miles - I laugh. I don't even consider it until well after 3000 miles. Before the bashing begins, I invite you to make a valid argument why someone who doesn't change their oil at 500 or even 300 miles. Check out the latest from California below.


State hopes to break car owners' habit of changing oil too often

California launches a campaign against the widespread notion that oil changes are needed every 3,000 miles. Officials say the practice wastes millions of gallons of oil a year.

Many automobile owners are spending more than they need on motor oil, believing that it should be changed every 3,000 miles even though almost no manufacturer requires such an aggressive oil-change schedule.

The long-held notion that the oil should be changed every 3,000 miles is so prevalent that California officials have launched a campaign to stop drivers from wasting millions of gallons of oil annually because they have their vehicles serviced too often.

"Our survey data found that nearly half of California drivers are still changing their oil at 3,000 miles or even sooner," said Mark Oldfield, a spokesman for the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery, which has launched the Check Your Number campaign to encourage drivers to go with the manufacturer's recommendations.

Improvement in oils, friction proofing and car engines have lengthened the oil-change interval, typically 7,500 miles to 10,000 miles for most vehicles.

Changing motor oil according to manufacturer specifications would reduce motor-oil demand in California by about 10 million gallons a year, the agency said. The state has created a website, checkyournumber.org, where drivers can look up the suggested motor-oil change interval number for their vehicles.

The agency and other groups said slashing motor-oil consumption would be good for the environment and won't hurt the longevity or reliability of autos.

"Drivers have a number of ways to reduce the environmental impact of their vehicles, which can also save them money," said Don Anair, senior engineer at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Besides following the manufacturers recommendations for oil changes, drivers can reduce oil consumption by keeping their tires properly inflated and by avoiding idling their engines, Anair said.

"The 3,000-mile oil change just says that the marketing campaign by quick-lube companies has been effective," said Steve Mazor, manager of the Auto Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center. It made sense years ago, when "we had cast-iron block engines with cast-iron pistons that would expand when they got hot and older lubricants," Mazor said.

Nationally 51% of vehicle owners said they believe oil should be changed every 3,000 miles or three months, according to an August survey by market research firm NPD Group. And just 33% wait more than 4,000 miles between oil changes, NPD said.

Drivers should be confident in the oil service advice offered by automakers, Mazor said.

Vehicle warranties, especially for power trains, have grown longer in recent years, he noted, and automakers would not give advice that could hurt engines and increase their warranty expenses.

Ford Motor Co. recommends oil changes for most of its new vehicles at 10,000 miles, although some still require the service at 7,500 miles.

"Our new generation of engines have tighter internal tolerances, which reduces the amount of carbon and other products from combustion that gets into the oil," said Richard Truett, a Ford spokesman.

The latest engines also run at more optimum temperatures, which diminishes the degradation of oil.

Honda Motor Co. and its luxury marque, Acura, no longer have a set interval for motor-oil changes.

Both Honda and Acura vehicles are equipped with a maintenance minder system that recommends oil changes and other services based on a number of vehicle-usage factors, including mileage and climate. Other manufacturers have similar systems that alert drivers to the need for an oil change.

"The idea is to prevent either over- or under-maintaining a car by following a set schedule," said Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman. "Now, there is no guesswork."

Typically, the indicator for an oil change lights up every 5,000 to 10,000 miles in Honda and Acura vehicles.

Owners of late-model BMWs can go as many as 15,000 miles between oil changes, depending on driving conditions. BMWs also have sensors alerting drivers to the need to change motor oil based on conditions like driving in stop-and-go traffic, making short trips and prolonged idling.

Despite these improvements, many drivers insist on changing the oil often even if it isn't recommended.

This has prompted some new car dealers to ask customers who come in for an oil change when it's not recommended to sign a document stating that they understand that the maintenance guidelines for their auto don't require a change at that time. The dealers are worried that someone might later accuse them of selling unnecessary maintenance services.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-autos-oil-change-20111215,0,4554184.story
 

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I will agree that many people change their oil way too often.....However, you can not directly relate car oil change intervals to motorcycles, as motorcycle engine oil must also survive the torture of the gear box (except for those few bikes with separate engine and transmission oil supply....such as Harleys and old non-unit construction British bikes).

Transmission gear teeth really tear the oil up. We also have wet clutches (on most bikes anyway) that contaminate the oil with their natural wear.....but changes every 1000 miles is a bit too often in my mind. I lean toward 3000~3500 miles on my bikes....which is, coincidentally, what most manufacturers recommend.
You will also note there is a trend from the manufacturers to recommend oil filter replacement every OTHER oil change. I haven't gone that route yet, but may start.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Dead On

EZ,

That is the most succinct answer I've received in a loooooog time.

I wish all vehicle mileage odometers were replaced with rpm odometers. We all know it is not the quantity of miles the bike has, but how those miles were put on the bike. All those quantitative comments of "adult drive" could be verified.

Thank you and Merry Christmas.
 

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I'm listening to Ed.....(the smartest guy I know.......'ceptin Elton)
 

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I have a friend who didn't change the oil in her Seat car for 37,000 miles..just topped it up from time to time. I kinda recommended she have a service some time soon. The car was serviced by another buddy. The oil filter had disintegrated into pulp. The rocker box had metal swarf in it.

The question is , where do u draw the line...

joe
 

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It's already been drawn for you. Just follow manufacturer recommendations whatever they may be and you will, in most cases, be fine just fine.
 

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Personally I just do once a year. I rode 4500 miles on the Roadstar last summer, changed when I put it up in the fall. Rode the Brute a little over 1000 miles, changed when I put it away in the fall.

My Civic is recommended every 10000 miles, since I don't drive it as much as I used to since I now live within 2 miles of where I work and 12 miles within school instead of 50. And as I also do some towing with it (which isn't really supposed to be done) I change it every 6 months, which is generally around 4000-6000 miles. My reasoning for that is it's much harder use than my previous 100 mile round trip to lima. Now it's all stop and go, and the engine never gets warmed up, therefore lots of contaminate build up. Changed the tranny fluid last spring, don't think that had ever been done on this car. Probably start doing that every 20000 with the kind of driving I do.
 

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+10 Ed

I agree with Ed too, if you spend a lot of time riding hard and at very high temps, that is a different story though. But for the general bloke and the quality of oil and filters now days I would definitely stretch those oil changes a bit.
When I used to run the Motul 300V I changed oil after every race weekend, and the oil looked and smelled bad too. Now I use the Rock Oil and run a oil cooler, all of a sudden my oil still looks clean after a race weekend so I run it two weekends now - also the filter change gets extended.
1000Mile oil changes is silly for anybody riding on the road with the new oil's. The recommended service intervals are pretty easy to follow and like Randy says, follow your gut and add some common sense if you ride less than average.
 

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I will agree that many people change their oil way too often.....However, you can not directly relate car oil change intervals to motorcycles, as motorcycle engine oil must also survive the torture of the gear box (except for those few bikes with separate engine and transmission oil supply....such as Harleys and old non-unit construction British bikes).

Transmission gear teeth really tear the oil up. We also have wet clutches (on most bikes anyway) that contaminate the oil with their natural wear.....but changes every 1000 miles is a bit too often in my mind. I lean toward 3000~3500 miles on my bikes....which is, coincidentally, what most manufacturers recommend.
You will also note there is a trend from the manufacturers to recommend oil filter replacement every OTHER oil change. I haven't gone that route yet, but may start.
Ed how often do you think we should change the oil filter?
 

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I change mine every 2500 miles. It might be too soon, but it is more about piece of mind. I have heard of the oil filter every other time and asked a dealer about it. Here is his answer.

When you take a shower, do you get out and put back on your dirty underwear?
 

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I only ride my bikes 1500-2000 miles a year, so I just change the oil once a year w/ synthetic. The old cars I only change the oil once a year also and the Subie, I put new synthetic oil in it every 5000 miles.
 

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Ed how often do you think we should change the oil filter?
MV is not one specifying every other oil change ....at least not on the bikes I own ....but all the Japanese brands are going that way. Haven't looked at a current model European owners manual yet but it wouldn't surprise me.
I think sticking to filter with every oil change is the wise thing with our MVs.
 

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I will agree that many people change their oil way too often.....However, you can not directly relate car oil change intervals to motorcycles, as motorcycle engine oil must also survive the torture of the gear box (except for those few bikes with separate engine and transmission oil supply....such as Harleys and old non-unit construction British bikes).

Transmission gear teeth really tear the oil up. We also have wet clutches (on most bikes anyway) that contaminate the oil with their natural wear.....but changes every 1000 miles is a bit too often in my mind. I lean toward 3000~3500 miles on my bikes....which is, coincidentally, what most manufacturers recommend.
You will also note there is a trend from the manufacturers to recommend oil filter replacement every OTHER oil change. I haven't gone that route yet, but may start.
I'm with Ed.:yo:
 
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