I purchased a 2013 Elantra Limited on August 21st, and I love the car. I
really want to do what's best for it. I am a retired senior and I gently
drive the car locally in the city, putting 3500 kilometers* on the odometer
to date. As you can see, I don't drive a lot. I check the oil frequently
and notice that it is just mildly soiled but still have problems detecting
the shiny stuff on the dip stick, so the oil is relatively clean. I
received a call from my dealer a few weeks ago advising me to bring the car
in for it's first oil change (6000 km). I told him my odometer reading and
he said he would contact me in January because I had hardly used the
My question is (finally), should I take the car in for an oil change at the
dealership even though the oil appears clean and considering how seldom I
drive, how often should I bring the car in for service? (sorry for being so
*I'm in Canada
What does the owners manual say? It may be different from US.
I always like to get the oil out of a new engine much quicker than I would
later. No telling what may be left in pan/engine after assembly.
Looking at the dip stick only tells you how much oil is in the pan. Nothing
about the oil itself.
Regarding the owners manual, mine (2003 Elantra GLS) says replace the oil
and filter every 7,500 miles unless the car is driven under "severe usage
conditions", in which case every 3,000 miles. It goes on to list examples
of severe usage conditions, but unless it's very obvious - for instance you
drive on dusty, unpaved roads or tow a trailer - you're left making a
judgment call. I used to think that the color of the oil was some
indication - brown equal oxidation/contamination? - but I've heard that
isn't reliable either. The oil changing industry treats "every 3,000 miles"
as if it was gospel, but really it's just the shortest interval they can get
away with recommending. What I've been doing is splitting the difference
and having it done every 5,000 miles since it coincides with having my tires
rotated. The car still runs well at 145k. As to the OP's question I would
agree that the "first" oil change should be thought of differently and done
sooner rather than later. Is there a real possibility that new engines can
have fine metal particles circulating in the oil as a result of assembly?
The 3000 miles probably goes back to the 1950's or so when that would
be a good interval. As you note, 7500 is common today and I've used
that for year with no problems. I do a fair amount of highway driving
and my commute to work is 24 miles of easy driving.
I rotate tires at 10,000 miles though, or a bit more. I drive about
22-24,000 a year and I'd be in the tire shop all the time at that
That goes back to older engines too when the first change was
something like 1000 miles. I'd still err on the light side myself.
Cheap enough to avoid the risk.
There are many schools of though on this. Driving conditions are
important as well as actual miles. It is probably cold where you live
too so a mid-winter change may be a good idea. I'd probably go in
February. Check the manual to be sure what they say.
First, keep in mind an oil change is about $25 to $40. Doing this a
couple of times a year is cheap insurance. On a new car, I'd say
twice a year minimum. Once you hit the end of the warranty, a little
longer is not so bad.
Short trips are hard on oil, even if it looks clean. You don't burn
off the contaminants like you would on a 20 or 50 mile trip.
In any case, be sure to ask about a discount. My dealer does the first
oil change for free, then he gives me a $5 coupon for the next one.
While you don't have to go to the dealer, for the first check or two,
it is a good idea as they will usually do a safety check and look for
any problems that may have come up on the new car.
Also, I'd avoid the big chains as most have poor reputations. Use the
dealer or find a good local shop.
Yes, someone should go to jail.
Many of these lube places try to sell you transmission flushes, power
steering flushes, and stuff you don't need. Some have been found to
charge and do nothing.
When I lived in PA, your car had to go through inspection twice a
year. Typical brakes, lights, ball joints, etc. It was a money maker
for the garages that did it.
Some places would sell you work not needed but that the average person
had no idea how to check, such as ball joints, drag link bushings and
Other shops got you for little things. I took three cars in the same
day to one shop and each needed a headlight adjustment for $2 (this
was the 1960's) so you paid it and did not complain as the crapmobiles
we drove back then really did need major work to really pass.
Other shops just took you money and did nothing internal. They just
checked lights that could be spotted by a state inspector watching the
The potential for fraud is incredibly high in the auto repair
business. If you have a good honest shop, keep them and pay promptly
for a fair price. There are some really good ones out there.
On Friday, December 28, 2012 2:39:42 PM UTC-6, Arthur wrote:
On every new car that i have purchased, I have done the first oil change with filter at 2,000 miles ... then in accordance with the MFG'r Recommendation. I feel the very first oil change is a critical one with the break-in of the engine to remove any particulates that are in the oils circulation.
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