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Never change your oil?

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  • Engine: Never change your oil?

    I was in Home Depot yesterday looking at lawn mowers. One of the new Toros had a sticker saying "Never change oil, just add".

    That didn't sound right, but I got to thinking -

    Some new cars, BMW, for example, use a computer program to tell you when to change oil. I think it usually sends that message about every 15-20K miles.

    I know a guy who has a Chevy truck he bought new and has never changed the oil. It now has 50K+ miles and runs as new. My daughter bought a used Ford truck about 1995, I changed the oil for her, it hasn't been changed since. Looks like tar, but the old truck still runs well.

    When Mobil 1 first came on the market, they advertised 25K oil changes.

    I've heard people who run Amsoil, some of them, change filters, but never drain the oil.

    I grew up in the days when change oil and filter every 3K was a Universal Truth.

    So what's the truth now?
    Last edited by jnormanh; 02-18-2016, 10:16 AM.

  • #2
    Interesting question. Especially with some oil going for well over $6.00 a quart. I have always believed that oil changes are the cheapest form of maintenance but oil and filter prices do make one take a hard look at more frequent changes. I still adhere to the 3K change even on my modern cars and less on the classics. Shop rates at $85.00 and hour and up plus parts still make opting for fresh oil on a regular basis seem like cheap insurance.


    • #3
      The Frantz Oil Filter people at Sky Corp. also recommended changing the Toilet Paper every 2000 miles and adding the 1 Qt. that it absorbs to replenish the additives and not change the Oil. Laboratory Tests proved the cleanliness, lack of Carbon, lack of Moisture, Metallic particles and Acidity of the Oil in the Crankcase and their presence in the Filter.

      No one I ever heard of when I was a Distributor had ANY problem with that, if they knew how to properly replace the "Element".

      The wife's tale that Paper would get loose and destroy your Engine was a Myth if proper care was used to do the job right, since there are Two layers of fine screen in the base and a Seal Ring around the bottom of the Canister.

      The deteriorating Detergents are the only issue with long service Oil, IF you keep it Clean.
      A Full Flow Filter AND a Good Bi-pass Type Filter (Luberfiner comes to mind) regularly changed, are one way to help with that.

      This is what many Diesel Truck owners are now doing, a return to the "Old" Bi-pass Type, slow, fine filtration Filters, due to today's Outrageous cost of several GALLONS of pricey Motor Oil.

      Opinions on this vary wildly, and this is for YOU to decide.
      Last edited by StudeRich; 02-18-2016, 10:14 AM.
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner


      • #4
        If it looks too dark I change it. Miles/time really don't matter as long as the oil is not "dirty". If you have a good filter and the oil looks black or dirty then I change it. It can't be good to run dirty oil??
        I guess I was brought up in the wrong century????


        • #5
          For a time Studebaker tended to downplay the color of used detergent oil as an indicator of condition.


          • #6
            I change oil and filter every 4K miles in my modern car and every 1K miles in my old/hobby cars.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

            17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
            56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
            60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


            • #7
              If anyone wants to spend the money instead of guessing about oil life, then I recommend doing an oil analysis periodically to check the condition of the oil. An oil analysis will also show if there is any abnormal wear taking place, internal coolant leaks, fuel dilution and if the air filter is doing its job. When we were running big trucks, a sample of the engine oil was sent in for analysis at every change. we also sent in samples from the transmission and differentials when the lubricant was changed in them. Just looking at the color of the oil doesn't tell if the oil is still useable or not and doing extended oil drains especially on carbureted engines is in my opinion asking for problems. Bud


              • #8
                When my dad had his engine rebuild shop we did a ladys chev van with a 305. Looked to have the factory filter and there was so much carbon and tar in it the oil couldn't get back to the oil pan. After running most of the tin though the jet wash for most of the day we tossed it in the trash and replaced it with some used stuff we had in the shop. When the intake was removed you couldn't even see the lifters in the block valley. How the lifters want up and down I'll never know.


                • #9
                  What HE said ^^^^^^^^.


                  • #10
                    As far as the Franz filter goes I recently saw a thing on it showing how it cleaned "new" oil, filtering it to the point it looked almost clear. Surprising!
                    59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                    60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                    61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                    62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                    62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                    62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                    63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                    63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                    64 Zip Van
                    66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                    66 Cruiser V-8 auto


                    • #11
                      Years ago my friend who was a mechanic (lots of Studes) had a customer with an Eldorado (late 60's) who bought the car new and had never changed the oil in what I recall was around 150,000 miles. He bragged about how much $$ he had saved over the years, Yes, the oil was jet black.
                      Another was a gal with a slant six who had never changed the oil. When Denis pulled the valve cover wondering why it was so damn quiet, discovered you could not see or identify any of the valve train with this tar/mud which conformed to the shape of the inside of the valve cover. I guess some people have horseshoes and can get away with anything.


                      • #12
                        I forgot to mention that the 305 above had just under 100,000 miles and the rods where welded to the crankshaft. and needed a complete rebuild. I would say the oil changes would have been cheaper in the long run.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Buzzard View Post
                          Years ago my friend who was a mechanic (lots of Studes) had a customer with an Eldorado (late 60's) who bought the car new and had never changed the oil in what I recall was around 150,000 miles. He bragged about how much $$ he had saved over the years, Yes, the oil was jet black.
                          Well, if you buy your oil and filters at Wal*Mart, and do the work yourself, it's about 30 bucks per change. That's about $1500 over 150K miles. Twice that if you pay someone else.

                          If that old Eldo was still running it was worth what? A few thousand? How much more would it have been worth if the oil had been changed every 3000? Still a few thousand?

                          Now I'm not saying you should never change your oil. I change my own oil. The one which gets the most use is my wife's Volvo, less than 10K per year. It gets Mobil 1 and a high dollar filter every year. The others get Chevron Delo every other year and a cheapo filter. One of them is a 1996 Caddy, the other a 1959 Sprite. All of them are way past 100K miles.

                          So far, so good.


                          • #14
                            In 1997, I began doing 10,000 mile oil and filter changes on al 56J and Stude V8s. Two of them, I still have, and both have a 10 precent odometer error, so 10,000 miles indicated is closer to 11,000. I always use 15W50, Mobil 1, and have never had a problem.

                            When I tore the 352 down, a year ago, with over 90,000 miles since last tear down, it was as clean inside as a modern car. However, I noticed with the Olds pump, which hugs the bottom of the pan, a swirl pattern of debris was forming in the pan, around the screen. If it built up high enough, it could get into the pump screen. So for the 56J, I am gonna go back to 5000 mile oil and filter changes. The Studes will remain at 10,000.


                            • #15
                              I've been working in dealerships for about 30 years and know what keeps me busy the most? Customers who don't change their oil when recommended.