I have an '02 TL and my wife has an '04 TL. I have always used
standard oil and get the oil changed when the computer tells me to,
which is usually about 6000 miles. Today I was told by the mechanic
that I should use synthetic oil if I go more than 5000 miles between
oil changes otherwise I will get sludge buildup. Is this true?
Also, today I got my wife's transmission fluid changed at 45k miles.
I was told it was dirty when it came out and it was suggested that at
the next oil change I get another transmission drain and fill to
remove any left over particles. Again, is this true, or is the
service station just trying to get more money from me?
Your mechanic doesn't trust the computer to know exactly how well your
oil is holding up under your particular operating conditions. He's
still back in the 50s when generic mileage recommendations ruled.
A trans drain/fill doesn't get nearly all the fluid out. Honda says to
replace as much fluid as possible, drain/fill/drive/repeat three times.
Hm....repeat 3 times, at $60 a pop. How important is this??? And can
I do it with each oil change (at 6k/5 months) or should it be done
From what you said about the computer knowing how the oil is holding
up, I guess there are sensors for that in the oil pan??
The oil grade is specified and known. Based on that oil grade, the
engineers know how it holds up under a variety of operating
conditions--cold starts, city driving, highway driving, high revs, low
revs, and all combinations of the above--and they program the engine
computer to keep track of it all.
The computer calculates, based on your operating conditions, how much of
the oil usefulness is left. It does this all the time. Some people may
get 15,000 miles out of an oil change. Some people may get 4,500 miles.
The engineers have programmed the computer to keep track of it all and
tell you, based on what the engineers know about how operating
conditions affect oil life.
But hey, they're just highly paid Honda engineers. What do they know
compared to some crusty old dude who's been changing oil on Chevies for
Hey! I totally trust the engineers. I just wanted to know if my own
instinct (that the mechanic was incorrect) is correct. BTW, he's not
How about my question regarding the transmission fluid?
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