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  • freedml
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    I agree in theory. I have one vehicle over 200k and two most of the way there. I was concerned about thermal breakdown and excessive wear, too, which is why I tested the oil after 15k miles in the GX. And I'm in southern cal which should be pretty tough on oil in the summertime. The oil met all the 'new' standards and no signs of unusual engine wear. So, while theoretically the oil could break down under these conditions, it doesn't to any measurable degree. And this is with WalMart oil, not a fancy synthetic or even a brand name. If you change the oil 4x/year with synthetic vs 1x/year with SuperTech the cost difference becomes significant, especially with a small 'fleet' like I have.

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  • larrycng
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    I went back through the recent posts in this thread. I see three points that have been missed.
    First the contaminants that accumilate in the oil, Yes, NG is low carbon and has more complete combustion and that reduces some comtamination. There is still the problem of contaminants from normal engine wear an operation; analysis can help identify those levels and act as a guide to oil change intervals.

    Second is thermal break down of the oil molecular bonds (that is the film thickness that keeps part separated). If you putt-putt around town it's less of a problem. However, the smaller displacement engines, by the their nature work harder, raising the oil temperature, and accelerating thermal break down. Synthetics are great when it comes to thermal break down so you can go longer between changes. Where is limit on theremal break down?

    Third, oil will tend to thicken in a gaseous fuel engine (NG, LP, H2) since there is not un-combusted liquid fuel to dilute the oil. If you have noticed, there is a movement to "thinner", less viscous, oils. (look at the hybrids that use a 0W-20 or my CRV that uses 5W-20). With the tighter clearances in modern engines it is extrerely important that the oil not be too thick; especially on start-up.

    The only to cure these problem is to change the oil and filter

    With an eye to engine life, and I've had several vehicle that have over 200K miles. I change oil often depending on the type of driving I'm doing and I do use sythetic. Warrante is a consideration. I usually change sooner than the recommendations, but that is my preference. I also keep in mind what I was told by my community college Diesel instructor; "... grease and oil and cheap compared to engine parts".

    Larrycng
    Last edited by larrycng; 12-16-2010, 09:25 AM. Reason: forgot something

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  • freedml
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    I don't think the correct standard is 'could possibly be tied to.' If there is enough oil and it has it's lubricating properties intact (easy to test for), oil would be unlikely to be the direct cause of an engine problem regardless of time or miles.

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  • Curtis
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    Thanks for adding that. ONLY if it causes, or could have been related to the warranted issue, ie a blown motor, thrown rod, etc. something that could possibly be tied to the oil itself.

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  • freedml
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    "Not following this protocol for a vehicle under warranty, or extended warranty, could void your protection under that warranty" only IF it causes the failure.

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  • Curtis
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    Synthetics don't change the frequency of recommended oil changes, although many follow your thinking and believe it should. Synthetics should not be used until after the break-in period (after the first scheduled oil change), as per the maintenance-minder in the car. Not following this protocol for a vehicle under warranty, or extended warranty, could void your protection under that warranty. After that... it's your call.

    The value of synthetic oil is that it clings to heat, rather than run from it like conventional oil. This means it stays on the cylinder walls after shut down and gives you superior cold-start protection, when the most wear usually occurs in an engine, and prior to oil reaching the cylinder walls. Synthetic oil manufacturers do tell you to change their oil at your regular maintenance intervals.

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  • freedml
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    In a GX you can go 15K or more with cheapo WalMart oil. I've had it analyzed. After 15k miles it meets all the lubricating requirements and shows no signs of unusual engine wear.

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  • tedmalone
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    With full synthetic, I would think you could go 15k. Any advice on the first oil change though? Some people still feel like the first change should be done sooner because of the new engine break-in period.

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  • freedml
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    Early in my GX days I wondered the same thing as the used oil didn't look much different from fresh oil after the recommended interval. I left the oil in for 15k miles and had it analyzed. It met all the additive/lubricity standards for new oil and did not show any unusual metal content.

    Metal content could be a symptom of the oil losing its lubricity, or it could be caused by something unrelated to oil quality.

    I change my oil once a year, or when it looks like it needs it. I use cheap oil, usually WalMart house brand in 5 qt jugs. My van has 200k, GXs have over 100k each and no oil-wearing-out-related symptoms. Maybe I'll have to 'pay you later' but I don't think so.

    A warranty claim can only be denied if the recommended maintenance you didn't do causes the problem.

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  • raskell
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    It's like those old commercials of yester-year, pay me now or pay me later. The total metal analysis is the best argument for doing MORE FREQUENT oil changes. I am coming up on 55K on my '09 and I change oil every 5K. My shop says it still looks as clean as new and I'm OK paying for the oil changes to extend the life of the car.

    As for the lead, here's an interesting overview on some of the sources. It's from Europe, but our processings plants aren't that much different.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...c&searchtype=a

    "Over the last few years various lead precipitates have been found in natural gas production installations in north-western Europe during routine cleaning operations. We have studied the composition and morphology of these precipitates and will discuss the probable depositional processes. The lead precipitates can be divided into three categories based on morphology and composition. (1) Thin, crustal precipitates containing metallic lead, barite and galena. These precipitates originate from untreated gas–water mixtures, and are found in pipes throughout production installations. (2) Annular, homogeneous precipitates of metallic lead, formed from separated production water in pumps of production installations. (3) Suspended precipitates which are found either in the well tubing, or in pipes or valves downstream from the installations, originating from untreated gas–water mixtures. All lead precipitates contain 210Pb, whereas precipitates of both lead and barite contain 226Ra as well. These naturally occurring radionuclides are most likely derived from 238U-enriched organic sediments or 226Ra-enriched precipitates in or near the gas reservoirs."

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  • pro5utah
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    Hmmmm...I know I am over 10K with full synthetic. Maybe it is time for a change. Thanks for posting the oil analysis results. I was curious how the oil would do on extended intervals.

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  • Donny
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    Reviving this old thread… My last oil change I did at 20k interval as I goofed with my record keeping and intended to do it after 10k. So I thought I would send the oil in for an analysis. I know some people feel the oil analysis gig is a scam and not worth it but it’s my $30 so I did it as I was curious.

    The results were that my oil was getting very near the bottom of the range of active ingredient left in it at 20k (good, I used the oil until it was done, efficient right?) More alarmingly some of the PPM of metals were out of range for civics. These metals are what the engine and bearing are made out of and could indicate excessive wear as well as excessive abrasiveness in oil. For most metals I was around 700% of the universal averages which to me wasn’t a big deal because the oil had been in the engine 700% longer and had that much more time to accumulate these than what I assume would be collected in the universal average 3k (I assume 3k is average). The one metal that was off the charts was lead, by more than 17,000% at 350PPM. This quantity of lead doesn’t seem like a lot to me as far as wearing bearings, I would assume iron would have to be way up in the 100’s of PPM to indicate my bearings were wearing heavy.

    Does anyone have a good hypothesis on why the lead would be so high? Fuel type… leaded gas would do this I assume, is CNG leaded at all? According to the testing lab they do not test many GXs but do plenty of CNG engines of various types and this is not normal.

    I did a follow up test and oil change at 2100 miles to see what happened… results were 3 to 5 times less metals and plenty of active ingredient left. Lead was still high but 5x lower than before. I am going to do the next change at 10k and test but not pay the extra $ for the active ingredient test.

    So what do you guys think? Per this thread it seems that 10k is OK though I previously thought manuf. recommended for my 01 GX was 3000 per what I read in the factory service manual and supplement, did the newer cars improve something besides the info in the owner’s manual?

    Feel free to call me a sucker for the oil analysis deal, it is somewhat interesting to me though I don’t think the end result is too extremely valuable.

    FYI, I have a 2001 GX with close to 100k and use mobil1 syn and matching filter.

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  • Curtis
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    The supplement, as well as the main Civic Manual, go into great detail in the "Maintenance " section, as to how the maintenance minder works. The GX supplement has a black edged page which defines the codes given in the maintenace minder window on the dash. In the GX manual I believe it is facing the back of the book and can be easily seen if you fan the pages slightly. Stick with the maintenance minders schedule and you'll be fine.
    Last edited by Curtis; 01-25-2009, 08:37 PM.

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  • Tarheeltrain
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    Thanks for the replies everyone - I really appreciate your dedication to answering simple questions from rookies like myself.

    I think I might be missing something because I haven't been able to locate the recommended maintenance for the GX. I have a supplemental owner's manual that is dedicated to the GX but still haven't found the recommended maintenance for the GX. Can anyone help? Please note that I have an '09 GX. I can always go back to the dealership but figured you guys would know.

    Thanks!

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  • Curtis
    replied
    Re: oil change interval

    Originally posted by Tarheeltrain View Post
    When I picked up my GX in December the dealership told me that the oil change interval was the same as gasoline vehicles but my limited research indicates that I could go longer, maybe 10K between oil changes. Is there an official recommendation from Honda that doesn't void my warranty?
    The dealer is right, the car uses the same oil change cycle as the regular Civic. The on board computers calculate oil life based on driving habits. If you do lots of short trips and don't get the engine warmed up, they'll come more often. If you're a freeway cruiser, they be longer than 10k.

    So, unless someone in the group wants to step in and cover your warranty, I suggest letting the car dictate your frequency. I've seen it take over 10k mi to get to 0% oil life. No need to do it any more frequently than 0%. Once you are beyond the warranty you can stop changing it all together (also not recommended). I stay with 15k on my '04, which is well beyond warranty. If I blow it up, there's no one to blame by me.

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