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How often should you service your car?
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# 1
youngmum
Old 21-04-2007, 2:29 PM
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Question How often should you service your car?

Yearly? Every 6 months? :confused:

What do you reckon peeps?
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# 2
newlywed
Old 21-04-2007, 2:31 PM
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Each car has a recommendation for different levels of service. These are usually put at X number of miles or X months - depending on which comes first.

So if you are a high mileage user then you should have your car serviced more often than someone who only drives small amounts.
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# 3
Zeitgeist
Old 21-04-2007, 2:35 PM
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It's also important to have your oil and oil filter changed in between services. If you are handy you can do this yourself.
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# 4
youngmum
Old 21-04-2007, 3:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeitgeist View Post
It's also important to have your oil and oil filter changed in between services. If you are handy you can do this yourself.
Nope, not handy, lol! Would this be expensive to get a garage to check and do?
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# 5
greyteam1959
Old 21-04-2007, 3:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeitgeist View Post
It's also important to have your oil and oil filter changed in between services. If you are handy you can do this yourself.
Certainly do not agree with this post..........
Service your car according to the manufacturers service schedule there is absolutely no point ( other than wasting money of course) on changing your oil and filter between services.
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# 6
nearlyrich
Old 21-04-2007, 3:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mervyn11 View Post
Certainly do not agree with this post..........
Service your car according to the manufacturers service schedule there is absolutely no point ( other than wasting money of course) on changing your oil and filter between services.
Plus on modern cars you need a computer to clear the engine management system when you drop the oil. My OH has a friend who decided to change his oil in between services and it cost him a fortune to get the garage out to clear it as it wouldn't start.

As others have said each vehicle has a recommended service interval and for low mileage drivers at least once a year, mine usually has two
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# 7
gareth12
Old 21-04-2007, 7:26 PM
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every new car thats over a certain year recent year has to allow the user to reset the service lights via the dash. its the law. not all cars need it to be reset and changing the oil and filter would certainly not stop the car from starting no matter what car. changing the filter and oil is real easy, depending on what car the hardest part will be taking the undertray off on the floor. what car you got
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# 8
Quinny
Old 21-04-2007, 8:39 PM
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I change my oil every 6k on my Peugeot 406 HDi.

The reason?

I only pay for the filter,the oil is free.

Ken.
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# 9
Hintza
Old 22-04-2007, 8:59 AM
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You have to remember that service intervals for some cars are set far too high this keeps the fleet bean counters happy.

If i was planning on keeping car for any length of time I would probably change the oil and filter between 6,000 and 10,000 miles regardless.

The other job i would do is the timing belt well before the official time. Timing belts are the curse of modern cars with many suffering from premature failure.
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# 10
Stephen Leak
Old 22-04-2007, 4:20 PM
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I get my 10-year-old Mk2. Mondeo serviced every 10,000 miles, which is approximately yearly. Some things (ie. cabin air filter) are due every so many years, others (ie. spark plugs) are due every so many thousand miles. I do as much as I can myself.

However, I get the oil and filter changed (at National Tyres for either £20 less 10% for online booking, or £15 with a voucher from a national paper) every 5,000 miles. It is like an internal interim service.

The cambelt (and the pulleys and tensioner wheels, etc.) is due every 5 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes sooner. Therefore, mine is due this year, even though the mileage will only be 90,000. As a true MSE, I will be getting the Ford kit of the parts online for less than the garage charged me back in 2002!

Last edited by Stephen Leak; 22-04-2007 at 4:28 PM. Reason: Oops!
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# 11
mcfisco
Old 22-04-2007, 4:44 PM
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A lot of lease companies now ignore the intermediate services [oil & filter] & only insist on the main ones.
I guess they have done their sums - cost of services against any any reducution in the residual value.
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# 12
dopester
Old 09-11-2007, 4:34 AM
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Americans' seemed to have been conditioned to think oil and oil filter needs changing 3,000, 4,000, or 5,000 miles. I suppose that's good for the sellers of oil and keeps mechanics busy too.. although such frequency certainly does no harm to any car.

In UK it seems to be most often recommended that oil and oil filter get changed every 10,000 miles or every 12 months, with optional changes between those times.

Depending on what car you have, it's possible for even a total noobie to do interim oil and filter servicing, quickly and with a lot of ease. Especially so if your car gives access to the oil filter from the top of the engine bay (instead of having to go under the car)

Also to save yourself £BIG money on not having high labour charges at many a garage/mechanic. And it can be done at your convenience, instead of ringing ahead, booking appointments, travelling and waiting around.

The only downside to this, is that you don't get a dealer's stamp in your book... if you are paranoid about those stamps adding value to your car when you come to sell it. Also check whether it affects your warranty on newer cars. However I always keep receipts stapled in for oil and filter when I do mine (and other parts like spark plugs and air filter - equally pretty easy job on some cars) to give proof and reassurance that job was done.

This is a wonder device. It's called a Pela Oil Extractor Pump.




One secret you may not know is that many an official dealer, from BMW to Volkswagen, use these, but bigger hardwearing industrial versions, to do the oil change on cars. I've got the official servicing manuals for many a car, and extraction is often the first way suggested to do the oil change, with sump nut removal the alternative way if extraction can not be used (not all models it can be used on). Some cars like the Smart Car don't even have a sump plug, the only way old engine oil is removed is by extraction.

A big advantage of using the Pela is there is no messing around under the car, and no risk of damaging the sump by over-torquing a new sump-plug (over-torquing a sump plug can cause leaks or big damage if torqued too tightly into aluminium sumps, stripping the thread - even trained mechanics at dealers can be guilty of this.)

Click this link for a guidance video on how the Pela is used to do an oil change, and to see how brilliant and hassle free it is. He does both the oil filter and the Pela oil change (requires Quicktime installed to view)

However there are just a few cars it will not work on. Some manufacturers put blockers in the sleeve (usually orange coloured) of the dipstick tube, which prevents the pela tube getting access. You can usually tell in advance if you dipstick is an awkward or very tight fit when putting it back in the sleeve then the Pela might not fit. If it fits in easy then usually the Pela will be fine to use.

Note: Its important to warm your car up by taking it for a 15 minute spin before doing an oil change. This heats the oil up and makes it flow out easier (both using Pela and if removing sump-plug). Be careful if you get the oil too hot.

And it's vitally important that all old oil is disposed of in an environmentally good way. You might not believe terrible damage caused by just 1 litre of old engine poured irresponsibly in to the drains or earth. It's horrendous and gets in to the water table, seriously contaminating areas. Many a local tip/dump has an old engine oil recycle point, where you pour the old oil into... and gets recycled into heating oil.

Check out these YouTube oilchange/filter change videos for other tips for oil and filter change (most go under the car) as they are very educational to the process, even if just using the Pela - like lubing the new oil filter's o-ring with a bit of oil as it prevents it getting bonded on for next time you remove it. None of the videos are fully perfect on the process, so always best to glean the best info from each and different sources.

YouTube1
YouTube2
YouTube3
YouTube4
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# 13
mrtg0525
Old 09-11-2007, 7:03 AM
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You have to keep in mind that oil changes in the US with a decent basic oil are a lot cheaper than here in the UK - last time I went to get the oil on my wife's car changed it cost me about $20 including a filter change, and that was some basic brand-name oil.

Anyway, those extractor pumps you mentioned are popular for the reason that you don't have to crawl underneath the car, hence the oil change is faster (and thus the trade likes them) but the jury is still out if they are such a good idea. The main problem with them is that a most oil sumps these days are designed in such a way that they'll drain properly and take most of the contamination that builds up in the oil out with them, which is partially achieved through the way the oil flows and the speed with which the oil drains.

If you're sticking the pump in through the dipstick hole there isn't even a guarantee that it'll reach far enough down to fully empty the sump. That's a bad idea IMHO...
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# 14
thescouselander
Old 09-11-2007, 10:50 AM
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I have to agree with dopester about the Pela oil extracter - it really does make chaning the oil much easier.

to answer the original question, look at the manufacturers recommendations for the service intevals. If you drive hard or do a lot of stop start driving in traffic then change the oil and filter half way through the service inteval.

I service my car myself so I do a proper oil change at the service inteval and use a Pela oil extractor at the half way point. I have found that the oil extracter does pretty much get all of the oil out. If you're using good oil all of the contaminents will be suspended in the oil and will be completely removed with the oil extractor (not neccassarily the case if you have rubbish oil that has turned to sludge).


Also, its a good idea to do some weekly checks - Tyre pressures, fluid levels and lights. I cant belive the amount of people I see driving round with under inflated tyres - this significantly increases braking distances and the risk of having a blow out (it also causes fuel economy to drop)
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# 15
Wig
Old 09-11-2007, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mervyn11 View Post
Certainly do not agree with this post..........
Service your car according to the manufacturers service schedule there is absolutely no point ( other than wasting money of course) on changing your oil and filter between services.
Certainly do not agree with this post.

Some cars now have service intervals of 20,000 miles - that is rediculous. You can only benefit the car by changing the oil & filter every 10,000. Some people go for 6,000, (I go for 10,000), If you do it yourself it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
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# 16
vikingaero
Old 09-11-2007, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wig View Post
Certainly do not agree with this post.

Some cars now have service intervals of 20,000 miles - that is rediculous. You can only benefit the car by changing the oil & filter every 10,000. Some people go for 6,000, (I go for 10,000), If you do it yourself it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
I agree with Wig.

How you service a car depends on a numbers of factors: mileage, time and traffic.

Most fleets love the 20k schedules because it keeps costs down. If you're a private owner then have an intermediate oil change. If you don't have the know-how then take it to National (which Stephen Leak mentioned). IIRC you also get Tesco Clubcard points at National and a semi-synthetic oil change costs about £25. Most franchised garages will charge £50 for the oil alone.

If you are a change-my-new-car-every-three-years person then stick to the manufacturers recommended schedule because you'll get no benefit from additional oil changes as you will be dumping the car when the warranty is up anyway.

If you buy a car and keep it until it expires then definitely change the oil sooner.
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# 17
stumpjumper
Old 09-11-2007, 1:49 PM
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It's best to check whether your car needs to run on fully-synthetic oil only before taking it to the likes of national who'll just bung in semi-synth. My Saab 95 would suffer serious problems if semi-synth is used. Best thing to do is get on the net and search for the latest guidelines on the intervals and type of oil for your particular model.
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# 18
plane_boy2000
Old 09-11-2007, 2:44 PM
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Everyone has their own opinion on oil changes, and IMO its a waste of time to change it more often that the manufacturer recomends, but it also cant do any harm. What has not been mentioned here is that oil technology has moved on in leaps and bounds over the last 10 years, and although the extention of service intervals is partly cost driven, lets not forget that most service intervals are standard across a range in most countries, and other parts of the world do not have the same lease culture that we have. i am currently running 2 cars on extended service intervals and for me the servicing is less often, so in turn cheaper over the period I own the car, and I spend less time going to the garage - currently once a year / 18K miles. I also know of people who have run cars on long life servicing plans to 150K with no complaint or issues, so I just think that servicing a car over and above the schedule is just futile in most cases.
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# 19
dopester
Old 09-11-2007, 3:16 PM
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plane_boy2000

Well I'm not claiming to be an oil expert, but I'm always willing to seek out and follow expert or highly informed advice by people who have made something their specialist subject.

I follow the manufacturer's guidelines, with the occasional interim oil change, but not 3 or 4 times a year, only because that's excessive to my lazy tendencies.

Somewhere recently I read I seem to remember reading that with long-life service regimes, the engines are designed to cope with a bit more contamination (but I can't say if that's 100% accurate as I'm going from a hazy memory)

Whilst being careful to avoid over-quoting too much info from his indepth and highly informative website:
The Engine Oil Bible:

Quote:
Originally Posted by the engine oil bible
All oils, no matter what their type, are made of long-chained molecules which get sheared into shorter chains in a running engine. This in turn means that the oil begins to lose it's viscosity over time, and it uses up the additives in it that prevent scuffing between cams and followers, rings and cylinder walls etc etc. When this happens, fresh oil is the key. And don't worry about the engine oil turning black. It will lose it's golden-brown colour within a few hundred miles of being put in to the engine. That doesn't mean it's not working. Quite the contrary - it means it is working well. It changes colour as it traps oxidised oil, clots and the flakes of metal that pop off heavily loaded engine parts. Just don't leave it too long between oil changes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the engine oil bible
You can never change your engine oil too frequently. The more you do it, the longer the engine will last. The whole debate about exactly when you change your oil is somewhat of a grey area. Manufacturers tell you every 10,000 miles or so. Your mate with a classic car tells you every 3,000 miles. Ole' Bob with the bad breath who drives a truck tells you he's never once changed the oil in his car. Fact is, large quantities of water are produced by the normal combustion process and, depending on engine wear, some of it gets into the crank case. If you have a good crank case breathing system it gets removed from there PDQ, but even so, in cold weather a lot of condensation will take place. This is bad enough in itself, since water is not noted for its lubrication qualities in an engine, but even worse, that water dissolves any nitrates formed during the combustion process.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the engine oil bible
The point I'm trying to make is that the optimum time for changing oil ought to be related to a number of factors, of which distance travelled is probably one of the least important in most cases. Here is my selection in rough order of importance:
  1. Number of cold starts (more condensation in a cold engine)
  2. Ambient temperature (how long before warm enough to stop serious condensation)
  3. Effectiveness of crank case scavenging (more of that anon)
  4. State of wear of the engine (piston blow-by multiplies the problem)
  5. Accuracy of carburation during warm-up period (extra gook produced)
  6. Distance travelled (well, lets get that one out of the way)
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# 20
dopester
Old 09-11-2007, 3:30 PM
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