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Oil Change Service Interval


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Oil Change Interval  

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To my conventional oil customers I advise 3000 miles. A few of them go with the owners manual that says 5000 miles. For the synthetic (full) customers I advise 5000 miles. I have one customer that I tried to get to go to synthetic for the extended drain interval and better overall protection for lower cost overall. He said: "that means I won't be able to stop by and chat as much, no thanks, I'll stick with conventional". He's my best OC customer along with his children. He knows the value he's getting by keeping the oil in his vehicles changed. I also have one customer that drives a Mercedes. She gets full synthetic and follows the owners manual that states 10,000 miles. I think that's a little too long, but it is her car. I think we are going to see a lot more people follopwing the owner's manual and going to very extended drain intervals. I also predict we will see a lot more vehicles not making it past 100-150k miles because the engine sludged up and oil couldn't get where it needed to. It is the customer's vehicle, after all, and they can do what they want with it. All I can do is advise them and let them make the decision. My decision to stick with 3000 mile intervals says a lot about what I'm preaching.

Edited by DewayneP
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I do 3000 mile service when I use conventional oil. I am a dealer for Amsoil products and use a lot of their XL series oil which is 7500 mile oil so I recommend that interval with their oil. I change the oil every 5-7k on my own personal van (which I use Amsoil in) and just recently did a full service (valve covers removed) at 195k and there is no sludging and the engine is clean. I will continue to use that interval on my own vehicles.

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I also read that article and wasn't impressed. I drive 25 miles one way to work with 17 being pure highway so I change my oil between 3-5000. My stock oil is a synthetic blend so my customers are able to go a little longer if they desire. I have one customer who refuses to follow the owner's manual's 7500. He does all the periodic maintenance and gets his oil changed every 5000. He has a Caravan with a 3.0L that he's owned since new and it's pushing 190K now, and still going strong. Says a lot about proper maintenance. But try to get people to pay for something they see no advantage from. I think that is one of the primary driving forces behind the extended oil change intervals. That and the manufacturer's desire to sell more cars by conning the customer into what the rest of us know is neglect.

 

I was amused when I was checking the maintenance schedule on a customer's Honda Element. Honda calls for oil changes every 10,000 miles but recommends the filter be changed every other oil change. That's right new oil every 10,000 but a new filter every 20,000. On a filter that would easily fit in a pop can. I told my customer I would not change the oil without changing the filter too, he agreed.

 

But the manufacturer's claim their extended intervals is due to vastly superior oils. And that's why we now have GM Dexos, and a myriad of other specifications. It's just a numbers game. By GM having their spec, the eurotrash having their spec. and API, ACEA and others having their own specs. an oil manufacturer could spend billions just to test and certify their oils to the various specifications. Does that mean the $18.95 oil change is dead? No way, there are still hacks out there that will do it and customers that are too ignorant, and not by their own fault, that will buy into it. It simply is another pitfall for the motoring public and the repair shops that don't keep up on the standards. And another revenue stream for the manufacturers, both in the certification process and in selling more cars because their junk was damaged by "inferior" oils. What happened to genuine concern for your customers? Oh, yeah it was displaced by greed and demand for outsized profits and CEO bonuses.

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  • 3 months later...

We use the factory recommended service interval for all later model cars (roughly 2000 and newer). If a manufacturer states an extended service interval (over 5,000) and does note require synthetic we recommend synthetic. We only use oils that comply with the manufacturer spec. We stock mobil oils in both conventional and synthetic.

 

Older cars we do 3k on conventional, 5k on synthetic.

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I am a big fan of Synthetic oils. Amsoil is my oil of choice and about 75% of my customers use it. I have had 0 complaints and many exciting experiences with it. regular motor oil has been proven to sludge engines and looses its ability to protect engines quickly. If I am persuaded to use regular oil 3,000 miles with a WIX filter are required. Premium filters are not just for premium oils, Remember the oil filter has to filter out particles that get by that dirty air filter. My oil of choice is Amsoil XL for 7500 miles with a WIX filter. I take the extra time to consider each vehicle, How its driven, What its used for and its condition. Honda now recommends 10,000 miles, I wouldn't do that with less than Amsoil XL, Wix, and at least a monthly check of the oil level.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am a big fan of Synthetic oils. Amsoil is my oil of choice and about 75% of my customers use it. I have had 0 complaints and many exciting experiences with it. regular motor oil has been proven to sludge engines and looses its ability to protect engines quickly. If I am persuaded to use regular oil 3,000 miles with a WIX filter are required. Premium filters are not just for premium oils, Remember the oil filter has to filter out particles that get by that dirty air filter. My oil of choice is Amsoil XL for 7500 miles with a WIX filter. I take the extra time to consider each vehicle, How its driven, What its used for and its condition. Honda now recommends 10,000 miles, I wouldn't do that with less than Amsoil XL, Wix, and at least a monthly check of the oil level.

 

 

I dont believe in this. What is the maintenance period once the warranty is expired?

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  • 3 months later...

I dont believe in this. What is the maintenance period once the warranty is expired?

 

True for most manufacturers. Honda lists service intervals up to 150k, most manufacturers do the same or greater. I've yet to see one over 200 though.

 

and at least a monthly check of the oil level.

 

This is the kicker with extended service intervals. Small use of oil is normal and people should expect it. Most economy cars do not have oil level or quality sensors so without regular checks the oil light is the only way they know they're low, and we all know that's far to late. Down a quart in 3k might rarely happen but down a quart in 7.5k and up is almost expected especially on high mileage engines.

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  • 9 months later...

Finally I said to him, if you are referring to the owners manual, it does not state to replace brakes, wipers, tires or put gas in the tank either!

 

Love that response Joe, talk about tact.

 

 

On the topic of the oil change intervals and Honda recommending 10,000 mile intervals I noticed no one mentioned that their filter would fit in a pop can and Honda recommends replacing it every 20,000 miles.

 

In my shop, for most cars I use a group 2 base stock semi-synthetic oil in the 5w20, 5w30 and 10w30 flavors. I always check AllData for the fluid specifications and if my oil doesn't match I will price out the oil change with the proper oil. I will not buy an engine because I knowingly used the wrong oil. I have customers who request 5,000 mile intervals so I do that and they have no problems. Otherwise I use a standard filter and follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. I counsel my customers on the "Severe" Service vs "Normal" service definitions and most fall within the "severe" service definition which typically calls for 3000 mile intervals anyway. And I print my own oil change stickers on my laser printer and I have a line for the mileage interval so my customers know and if they want to go longer or shorter they have the knowledge to do so.

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It is wise to have any vehicle inspected from time to time. We are seeing more vehicles ruined by loss of or contamination of vital fluids. If you take care of your fluids your hard parts take care of themselves. Higher gas prices will change our future in car repair.

 

 

B)

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  • 2 weeks later...

No, I have found that those customers that go by the oil maint light are coming in with way over 10,000 miles on the oil. And when that happens, the tires are worn from lack of rotation, lack of tire pressure (some even ignore the TPMS light) the wipers are ripped and digging into the windsheild, etc. No one checks their own car like they should. Extended interval can lead to other neglected key maintenance areas.

 

Under ideal conditions, the oil "may" be ok, but when you tell somone don't worry about the oil change untill the monitor tells you to, can be asking for trouble. I had a customer with a new Honda, she was told by the salesman not to change the oil untill the monitor light came on. She called us becuase she was concerned that the oil life still show about 40% and she had over 12,000 miles on the car with the original oil in the engine!

 

I think the factory is doing and injustice to the consumer by promoting exteded oil services and by removing so much maintenance services from the owner's manual. I guess the car makers feel that if the car is well-maintained it will last too long and that would hurt new car sales????

 

You speak the truth.

But if our industry model is to up sell every oil change we will see resistance with $5.00 per gallon gas.

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No, I have found that those customers that go by the oil maint light are coming in with way over 10,000 miles on the oil. And when that happens, the tires are worn from lack of rotation, lack of tire pressure (some even ignore the TPMS light) the wipers are ripped and digging into the windsheild, etc. No one checks their own car like they should. Extended interval can lead to other neglected key maintenance areas.

 

This is why we sell "service" not oil changes. As an industry of service and repair shops we can keep an informed customer that trusts us to maintain their vehicle. They understand that the service we offer is complete and for this service they expect to pay more than a discount place. We encourage our customers to stop in for a checkup in between. Most of our customers know to call or stop in whenever a dashboard warning comes on. This comes from having good communication with the customer and earning their respect and trust. We have had many customers try out the discount route, almost always they come back. Usually after their vehicle has suffered unfortunately.

 

Currently I am developing new software to keep in touch better with the customer and proactively maintain their vehicles. This will be done with predictive reporting based on previous visits and driving habits. Customer interaction will be done though SMS messaging and email based on customer preference and I'm even working on an Android app to link customer maintenance directly to our shop including customer self service as it comes to appointment making. We are putting in this effort because we see a significantly greater profit in maintenance than we do in most repairs. Plus with good maintenance you have a strong relationship that guarantees the repairs come to you. This is paramount in expanding and maintaining a profitable business level in what is becoming an increasingly competitive marketplace.

 

We are in a developing industry and as a survivor in that industry we must continue to move forward and embrace both industry technology changes as well as changes in consumer behaviors. You can choose to innovate and differentiate yourself and your company or you can try to compete with the discount places and we all know who the winners and loosers are in that game.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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