What would you do with oil changes?

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 13:17
ThreadID: 103427 Views:4240 Replies:11 FollowUps:12
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I have had a couple of oil analysis done on my engine oil, and I am undecided what to do.
The Toyota recommendation is every 5000kms, but after the last analysis at 6000kms, the report said no problems with the oil and no contaminants to worry about, do another 100 hrs and test again.
This report was done by a very reputable company, who do lots of testing for the mining companies.
In my estimation, 100 more hours, at say an average of 45 kph is 4500kms.
That would effectively double my mileage between oil changes.
I don't think that is a risk if the oil analysis is adhered to.
I use Caltex Delo, which is not cheap, but a lot cheaper than a failed engine.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 13:37

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 13:37
Gday Dave,
Your 12H-T is direct injection so doesn't soot up as much as a 2H or a 1Hz, so going 10k between changes is nothing unusual.
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Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 13:54

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 13:54
What Phil says is right, the 12HT is incredibly clean.

After 500km I start to see a tinge of blackness and at around 4000km it's starting to be fully black.

I'm running high boost, intercooler, 3" exhaust, maxxed out fuel pump and a GTurbo and get no black smoke. Oh, that's on veggie oil too. All these things add to engine efficiency and reduce soot buildup in the oil, plus the basic design of the direct injection.

The concept of oil changing by testing rather than by km travelled I understand would be common in industry, so see no reason why it should apply to road going vehicles. Like most things, people stick to the manufacturers recommendations. Does seem a shame to chuck away a non renewable product when it still has plenty of life left in it.

How much are the tests?

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Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 17:07

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 17:07
Tim, I am not sure if the qualities of the filters has improved much since the 80's when our engines were produced, but I am sure the oils have improved.
I understand that the direct injection motor is pretty clean in comparison to the 2H etc, but there are a lot of vehicles running around now with 15K plus oil changes, so I assume the oil is far better with all the new age additives.
I use Delo 400, and that is for quite high spec engines.
The last test was just over $30, but I don't intend to do a test regularly, it was more to get an idea how good the oil was after my typical driving pattern, with usually quite long runs and not much city driving.
I just thought 5K oil changes might be a bit old fashioned and even overkill with the new oils.
The oil for my VW diesel is over $80 for 5 litres, but 15k oil changes.
When I see 5 litres for about $20 on the shelf, I think there must be a lot of difference in the quality, otherwise the oil companies are playing us for suckers.
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Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 15:14

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 15:14
I do think that it is always in the type of use it gets and that is where machines get changed on "hours" not Klms, yes you could easly do 10,000klms and test up fine and then do 5000klms city running and test bad, I would go by the tests and extend it according to the reports keeping in mind the "reports" cost money as well, unless you get em free, and money is I guess "oil" ....
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Reply By: Ross M - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 17:54

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 17:54
I usually changed at 10,000km on my 12HT and used Sakura filters.

The oil didn't begin to go black until around 5000km.
Normal cruising 10,000km is ok, mine was.
22mpg moving 4tonnes.
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Reply By: Rockape - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 18:18

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 18:18
As Joe said it all depends on the condition of the motor and what application it is used for.

Towing and short running lower will straight away require earlier oil changes, so will using the vehicle in high dust areas.
It is is not the oil that breaks down, but the amount of crud in it. Carbon, acid, silica and water.
Some large engines I have had experience with, have not had oil changes for over 30,000 hours. Most car engines are dead by 10,000 hours. The reason the oil did not need changing, is the filtration it received during it's life. These engines have huge centrifuges to remove contaminates and heaters to evaporate water off.

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Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 09:28

Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 09:28
RA, I agree that it's the amount of crud in the oil that is the problem.
I am a bit pedantic about my air filter being cleaned if I have been travelling in dusty areas and keep the silica levels down.
I do that according to conditions rather than mileage.
In my opinion, water in the way of condensation is not such a great problem where I live due to the low humidity level most of the time.
I don't think I can jam a centrifuge under my bonnet anywhere.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 16:05

Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 16:05
yep, was just pointing out the other side of the equation. Especially how hard the vehicle is worked or how short the runs are.

I see you use Delo 400 and prior to that probably Delo 500. They called it so many names it made my head spin. Delo silver, then they canned that and you had to buy Delo gold. It is a very good oil.

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Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 16:16

Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 16:16
RA, I have trouble remembering all the names Delo has been called, everything except X-100 I think.
Not sure if it was even called Delo when I first started using it.
I reckon it's best just to stick to the one oil rather than chopping and changing brands.
Like the old saying, 'when you are on a good thing, stick to it'.
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Reply By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 18:38

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 18:38
G'day Dave and fellow members

You raise an interesting point regarding oil change intervals and more specifically engine oil quality these days.

As an owner of a relatively old technology diesel Toyota with a 1hd-t engine, the service book states 5000 km intervals between oil changes ~ using their brand of engine oil and filter.

My vehicle has clocked up close to half a million kilometres in its life to date and I've always stuck to the 5000 k manufacturers service requirement ~ right up to when I started using a full synthetic engine oil at the 235,000 k mark, I run the oil changes out to 10000 ks (ten thousand) but I do replace the engine oil filter, fuel and air filters at 5000 k intervals, depending on conditions I replace the air filter at around 1000 to 1200 ks.

I have replaced all mineral oils ~ diffs - transfer case and transmission with full synthetic oils, the initial change over costs are somewhat expensive but the longer life of the new technology oils soon makes up for the change, dollar wise.

In my 40 something years as a heavy machinery mechanic the move has been to synthetic oils for big machinery ~ for longer service life.

I did not name the synthetic oil or oil filter brands because I do not wish to start a debate about brand names.

Safe travels :
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Reply By: Member - Lester77 - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 20:16

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 20:16
Where does one go to get the oil tested? I would be interested in doing so and am in Sydney.

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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 21:51

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 21:51
Castrol will test it for you.
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Reply By: olcoolone - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 20:46

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 20:46
Oil change and service intervals are based on the worst case scenario.

People think by changing oil sooner will give them more longevity, the only time oil needs replacing is when it starts loosing it's properties...... and the only way of knowing is with oil sampling.

Oil change and service intervals have been developed by the automotive industry to increase profits for all involved except the customer, I should know as I'm in this industry.

Most people still live in the dark age when it comes to when to change the oil, oil quality has improved 10 fold over the last 20 years.

Filters are another classic example, whey change the filter, a filter works better when it has been used and having black stuff in the filter doesn't mean it's stuffed...... it means it's doing it's job. A filter should be changed when it becomes restrictive but like most thing the general public have be brainwashed into thing a new filter is better than an old one...... and it has the be changed every service.

Look at many vehicles out of europe with 30-80,000 service intervals...... same goes for heavy vehicle, if they changed their oil every 10,000k; most would be doing it every week and a half..... sure there are a few other things why heavy vehicle diesel engines have bigger intervals, it's to do with the amount of oil they hold...... the more oil they hold the greater the interval.

Dave I would keep an eye on it and follow those in the know, oil samples don't lie..... if you can double or triple your interval think of the money you have wasted over the years and how much you will save from now on.

The other advantage of oil sampling is you can address problems before they become costly, it may be changing to a different oil or weight...... much like a doctor tell a patient to change their lifestyle to slow or stop something in the near future.

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Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 09:49

Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 09:49
G'day Richard, I think one of the main things to keep an eye on is the air cleaner.
Keep the dust out and that's a good start.
I don't use my LC as a daily driver so there is no stop, start, turn off, turn on. Once I get in it, I am usually going to drive for at least an hour or so straight down the road, so it is mostly long running that I do.
I think that helps with keeping the condensation down.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 11:23

Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 11:23
Wrong Wrong Wrong ,,, once an oil fitter gets black you can see its doing its job ? SORRY , once a filter is clogged its time for a new filter ! Every drop of oil ever brought out of the ground can be reused IF filtered correctly ,,, Why the would anyone put nice clean oil through a dirty filter ? Start talking 'Microns' that a truly good filter will trap , not just the generic built to a price that vehicle manufactures use ,,,, clean the oil ,replace the filter with a reusable filter !!
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 22:44

Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 22:44
What can I say Alloy C/T you're dead right and correct.... even If I don't understand where youre coming from.

Why get so defensive and YELL?

ME QUOTE "once an oil fitter gets black you can see its doing its job"

What don't you understand about a filter being black...... there is a big difference with a filter being black and a filter being clogged.

Sorry but I didn't know black and clogged were the same thing!

35 years in heavy vehicle and earthmoving; black has always be noted as a colour (Synonym)... whereby clogged has always been an adjective..... us in the industry refer to it as restrictive...... clogged is a plumbers term.

If you read my post where I said about a filter becoming restrictive (you call it clogged), that they need to be changed.

Alloy C/T.... what's the argument?

And what's this Wrong Wrong Wrong and yelling SORRY thing?


Dave, you should be able to tell from the oil sample how the air cleaner is performing, again like all filters they should be replaced or cleaned once they start to get restrictive.

We have so many problems with air cleaners not sealing on Earthmoving, some of the dirt is compacted so fine it's like talc, we have even had dust enter fully sealed cases.

We have a few customers now who are going through AC compressors, alternators, starter motors, electric fans and pulley bearing every 6 months..... no matter what we have tried we can not stop the fine dust getting in..... the front of their engines look like they have just sand blasted it.

Everyone we deal with in heavy vehicle and earthmoving request oil sample to be taken at service intervals and during the service life.... it's the norm these days.

How is the VW Golf going?

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Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Monday, Jul 29, 2013 at 10:36

Monday, Jul 29, 2013 at 10:36
Richard, on the test report they listed 'Contaminants', and under that was Silicon and Sodium.
The guy I spoke to at the lab. said the silicon count was a guide to how efficiently your air cleaner was operating.
In my case it was 8 ppm, the caution level was 10 and high level was 16.
In regard to the dust in the engine bay and the damage being done, I am constantly amazed seeing convoys of vehicles going on their outback treks and they are travelling so close together they are in each others dust.
I can imagine the conversation at the end of the day,
Lead vehicle, " what a great drive through all that beautiful scenery"
Following vehicles, " yeah, it was OK, but all that bloody dust, the car is full of it." (And the air cleaner)
And the VW is going faultlessly.

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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013 at 21:22

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013 at 21:22
We have some friends who travel a bit close for comfort, it really annoys us.

We followed 2 Hiluxes from Victoria when we were heading from Coober Pedy back home back in June after doing the Northern Simpson.

They were talking on the UHF but the funny thing was the guy at the back must of thought he was driving in peak hour traffic..... 2-8 car lengths between them until we lost them the other side of Pt Augusta.

We could see them every now and again in front or behind if the pulled over.

The reason most 4x4ers travel so close is.....

1) They don't want to miss the turn.
2) They don't know where they are going.
3) The guy in front may loose the car behind.
4) Slip streaming saves fuel.
5) They have watched too many 4wd Action videos (doesn't everyone travel that close).

It is funny isn't it, as long as we are in radio contact with those around us we travel at our own speed and at least 500m - 5km behind them.
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Reply By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 22:01

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 22:01
Hi Dave. Why not let the oil run to 10000klms and retest it.If it is similar to the first test then you have your answer. Cheers,Bob.
AnswerID: 515457

Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 22:17

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 22:17
Firstly the choice of caltex dello is a good one, its rated as one of the top 4 diesel spec oils around....world wide...it just does not get much better.

As far as being expensive.....ya obvioulsy not buying well.

I buy it by the 20 litre from my local Caltex fuel depot and I pay well under $100 for the 20 liter of dello 400....but they will not give you the good price over the phone.
If you are buying well it can be had for less than cheap rubbish..shop where the truckies shop.

If you front up at a normal retail outlet you will pay $60 for a 5 liter, even twisting the arm of the local Caltex servo as an "order in" you will pay around the $130 for the 20 litre.

But its a top spec oil and beats most high priced fancy retail oils spec for spec hands down.
AND it meets or exceeds a heap of petrol engine oil specs too....like way exceeds them.
Lined up side by side with many of the fancy, expensive, heaviliy promoted reatil, petrol oils and compared spec for spec....it slaps em down easily.

As far as this whole synthetic oil thing.....worry about two things, Correct viscosity and the oil Specifications......the definition of synthetic is a quite rubbery....guaranteed spec is guaranteed spec......an oil like dello will not be achieving its spec without synthetic components.

As far as the drain intervals....dello is specifically designed as a long drain interval oil with a very strong additive package, some of the heavy vehicles that dello is designed for are running drain intervals of well over 20 000Km

In small diesels the single biggest issue is soot loading, many of the earlier small diesels in particular toyotas, where dirty little motors that allowed quite a bit of soot past the rings.
This causes the oil to load up with soot and go black fairly quickly and the filters to load up and flow to be restricted.

On these motors staying with the 5000Km change interval is wise...BUT if you have a later motor, fairly young, that runs pretty clean you could easily push the change interval out.

If you are at all concerned do a filter only change a top up the oil.

I've never paid for a professional oil analisis....but most oil changes I do a poor man's oil analisis, stick fingers in the drain pan & cut the filter open.

AnswerID: 515459

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 22:21

Saturday, Jul 27, 2013 at 22:21
Oh another vote for the Sakura filters too.
They are one of the largest actual manufacturers of filters in the world and OEM for many brands.

Buy them where the truckies shop too.

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Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 09:56

Sunday, Jul 28, 2013 at 09:56
I have been using Delo 400 or it's predecessor since I bought the car 20 years ago.
I think it pays to put a good oil in.
It could save mortgaging the house for a rebuild.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013 at 10:12

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013 at 10:12
Just a side observation ... my mech whose been in the industry a long time working on mostly city-use cars reckons the long service interval recommendations coming with recent petrol-powered cars is a boon for the engine reco business. Talking 12,500 km or longer here. He's seeing a lot more clapped out engines as a result.

+1 to hunting for better prices on oil. Via a Club bulk buy I get fully synthetic stuff for $76 for 20l.
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