Mechanics like it when you change oil more often. More opportunities to sell
services as well as more opportunities to help make sure the car is
operating properly and fix things before they become they dangerous. And for
dishonest mechanics, more opportunities to take advantage of you.
The oils are most likely equivalent, although the standards from the
European oil industry are different (but similar) to those from the American
Petroleum Institute. Often, oils are made for both markets and meet both
sets of standards.
In Europe they have more stringent specs, generally speaking, for
their oil. And for the most part the automakers over there write the
specs rather then an "industry committee", which is how its done over
here. There oil costs more but it's offset by the longer change
intervals. The US standard 3000 mile change is wasteful and
unnecessarily conservative. If you use a product like Mobile one you
can easily run 12,000 miles or 12 months.
But all oil products cost more over there... so it may not be related
to the specs.
I agree that 300 is short. Interestingly, many foreign manufacturers
who have long change intervals in Europe spec similar intervals in the
USA, even when using US spec oils (Saab, BMW, etc).
I don't know that I'd run Mobil-1 12K miles without doing oil analysis
along the way for that specific car... but you can certainly exceed 3K
by a long way. Might want to check out http://bobistheoilguy.com/ for
lots of testing and detail by average folks and gurus alike.
I don't think they actually spec the US oil, they just accept that
some people will use it. BMW, and possibly some of the others,
includes "free" maintenance for the first several years so that you'll
bring the car back to them so they can put the right oil in it.
Been doing it for several years in all my vehicles and no problems.
Doing an oil analysis is a waste of money. For the cost of the oil
analysis you can just go ahead and change the oil. There was another
guy who was running a home-grown long term oil change test with
regular oil, mobile one, and amsoil and was not seeing any particular
problems with roughly 12K length. He was having an oil analysis done
at regular intervals to track the changes in the oil. One thing that
seemed apparent was that with a long interval simply adding a quart of
new oil made a major difference in the results of the analysis to the
point where one might, if one was a gambling individual, be able to
run a car for a long long time simply by changing the filter and
adding a quart every 5000 miles and letting it go at that, plus any
make up oil. In his case he only added the quart when the level
dropped and he needed to add it to bring it back up to full.
The service is not free. It is part of the purchase price.
There is a system like this for big trucks where the engine oil is slowly
pumped into the diesel tanks (at a rate of like 1 quart per 1000 miles -
enough so that in maybe 15,000 miles, the entire volume of oil is replaced,
and the oil is continuously replenished to keep the oil level good). Only
the filter has to be changed and the clean oil reservoir that is used to
keep the oil level good refilled. No need to change the oil, ever.
In theory, your scheme of changing only the filter and topping off the
filter should work.
Well, in the last few years they've move to synthetic or part
synthetic... but previously they just spec'ed the upper level US oils
with 5K severe/10K standard changes. They did not do oil changes for
you until very recently.
Yeah, well "modeling" is OK... personally, I'd want to see someone
with the same engine having run some tests.
For the cost of an oil change vs. the potential of engine wear, I
personally would not take the risk.
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