Case Studies

AMC Tech Q & A – Oil Change Intervals


A question we sometimes get is – “Curious about oil changes. Synthetic has been around 10,00 to 15,000 miles. Looks like you recommend 5,000?

To which we are glad to reply, “Great question!
Yes, we recommend a shorter interval for vehicles three years and older (or over 60,000 miles).

We have an expression, “Oil is cheaper than metal,” I’ll explain. We all know that oil is used to lubricate the engine components to minimize wear and tear. It also transfers heat and helps filter out contaminants from engine operation.

Here’s Why
First, let’s address why we change the oil. It’s for two reasons. One is that components in engine oil break down from the heat and mechanical operation of the engine. Second, oil acts as a carrier to remove the waste or byproducts of combustion from the engine itself and trap those in the oil filter. During the process, small particles don’t get filtered out, and oil becomes “dirty”.

We feel the 10,000 to 15,000-mile interval is fine when a car is newer, and the engine has no wear or byproducts of combustion to contaminate the oil. But in our experience, older engines, and engines with higher mileage, contaminate the oil quicker due to internal wear. Pull your oil dipstick a few thousand miles after your oil change, and look at the color of your oil, you might be shocked.

Remember, engine oil’s purpose is not just to lubricate, but also to carry away heat (hence the need for an oil cooler), as well as keep the metal particles from wear, and the byproducts of combustion (which we mentioned earlier) in suspension.

So oil has a pretty hard job to do, which is why we recommend buying the highest quality oil you can, and changing it regularly. So we’ve shortened up the intervals. We know it works as we have vehicles with 200,000 to 400,000 miles on them, original engine and transmission.

Extra Credit Reading
You might be interested in reading this –

5,000 miles also works well for the standard tire rotation intervals as well, Michelin, in particular, requires no more than a 6,000 interval between changes.

But we respect our customer’s wishes, and if they want to stay on the longer intervals, we’re happy to do that.

Our Goal For You and Your Car
Our goal is to save you money, not spend it.
That is why every car we service gets a free Courtesy Maintenance Inspection during its first visit and every subsequent visit.

And our goal is to let you know about the small problems, before they become big ones.
Right now we have number of customer cars with well over 200,000 miles, and several approaching 300,000!
And these cars are not just limping along – most look and drive pretty much the way they came out of the showroom.

Proper maintenance is an investment in the life of your vehicle.
Be sure it is properly performed, take it to Atlantic Motorcar…Extraordinary Service for Extraordinary Cars. (207) 882-9969


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