Over the years vehicle manufacturers have continually extended the oil change interval on their cars, and that has posed a problem up until just recently because most oils weren’t capable of going these extreme oil change intervals. The additive packages in them weren’t good enough. Well, now Mobil has introduced three new oils. They have a 5000, which is a conventional oil good for 5,000 miles, a 7500, which is a synthetic blend that’s good for 7,500 miles, and a full synthetic that’s capable of going 15,000 miles for some of those cars that are rated for 13,000 or 15,000 miles.
But now you’ve got the oil, there’s another problem. That other problem is the oil filter, because many filters are not designed to go these extreme distances. Now here we have five oil filters. They’re all from Fram. They’re all for the same vehicle. Now we’ve cut them apart so that you can see the differences inside. Some have paper end caps. There’s a difference in the pleats. There’s slight differences in the valves and things like that.
Now out of these there are two that are noteworthy. The one in the middle is an oil filter that is capable of going 7,000 miles. So if you have a 15,000 mile oil change interval, you’re going to have to change this filter twice. On the far left we have one that’s rated for high mileage cars, 75,000 miles and up, and it has an additive built into it that is time released.
But now one thing to consider; vehicle manufacturers, if they state that they have this long oil change interval, that means that their oil filters are designed for that long interval, like this one from BMW which is a canister type filter. In other words, it doesn’t have the tin around it. It just fits into a container on the engine. It’s designed right from the beginning to be good for the recommended oil change.
So do your homework and you can have these longer oil change intervals without damaging your engine. Do it wrong, and you can have a disaster on your hands.
To help decide if a 15,000 mile oil change works for your car, answer these six questions:
Question 1: Do you just want to use conventional oil and follow the oil change requirements in your owner’s manual?
Yes: Do that. Your engine will probably outlast your interest in the car.
No: Next question. Think hard on this one.
Question 2: Is your engine still covered under a warranty… and do you value that warranty?
Yes: Just follow the oil change requirements in your owner’s manual, and save the records. Should anything happen to the engine, the extra hassle of defending your choices won’t be worth it.
No: Next question.
Question 3: Are you willing to get your oil analyzed for $25 by a laboratory that helps determine your oil’s wear levels and contaminants?
Yes: Get an oil analysis done. This can give you insights into just how well your engine is running.
No: Stick to the owner’s manual.
Question 4: Did your oil analysis state you can have longer oil change intervals?
Yes: Bingo. Use a synthetic motor oil and an oil filter that guarantees a 15,000-mile oil change interval. But there’s one more step.
No: Just follow the oil change requirements in your owner’s manual.
Question 5: Are you willing to drive this car up to the longer oil change interval with the synthetic fluid and filter?
Yes: Do that and then get the synthetic oil analyzed — to make sure that the 15,000-mile run worked properly.
No: Keep the conventional oil and enjoy the longer oil change interval. Make sure you top off the oil periodically during the extended period since this helps replenish additives and keeps the oil at the right level.
Question 6: Does the second oil analysis state that this synthetic fluid will easily last 15,000 miles?
Yes: Congrats! Again, make sure to top off your oil level every 1,000 miles since that adds to the overall quality of your motor oil.
No: If you just want to use conventional oil instead, revert back to the findings in your first oil change analysis.