Richard Craver

Musings about this world, and the world to come.

The Tyranny Of The Maintenance Light

Written By: richardwcraver - May• 25•18

I have long ascribed to the notion of the 7,500 mile Maintenance Service with an oil change in between, so I write the reminder sticker on the windshield for 3,750 miles from current. Or if using synthetic oil like myself 5,000 miles. Automakers have been recommending 8,000 and even 10,000 mile intervals at the flogging of the EPA and ‘wastestream’ operators.

This works OK for awhile, especially if you trade every couple years, then it’s someone else’s problem. But I work on Acura and Honda products which have been known for their longevity; my last Accord went 518,000 miles before being taken out on the highway by a Celica.

This morning a CR-V comes in with 140,000 on the odometer, she requested High Mileage oil because it was using oil. Really?!? How about using the lighter weight standard oil and using the change recommendation on the sticker? The lighter viscosity weight will net a bit more fuel economy than the heavy High Mileage oil and changed in a timely manner may unstick those gummed up piston rings. She unfortunately changes oil by the maintenance light faithfully, which arguably is why the engine is using oil at ONLY 140,000 miles. So we dump in the thicker oil, she will continue driving 8,000 miles between changes, the oil consumption will get progressively worse until it is smoking or runs out of oil and locks up the engine.

I don’t LIKE changing oil, I’m not an hourly employee, I work on commission and the pay for an oil change is crap; but I know it contributes immensely to the longevity of the cars I love.

I like to say Follow The Money; do you trust a guy that makes a few bucks changing oil or automakers that sell vehicles for $30,000? Choose wisely.

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