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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now.... I got a few more miles or months before I'll need to get my oil changed but, here's my question.... In the Honda Element owners manual it says that your suppose to get your oil changed every 10K miles, now I don't know about that... I was under the assumption that to take car of a car you should get the oil changed every 3-5K miles.... please advise.
Thanks,
:?
-pdub
 

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I had a question regarding this as well. The manual says normal cond. 10k, severe cond. 5k, but my dealer placed one of those satic cling things on the windsheild that indicated service due at 3750. When do I change my oil and what exactly is severe conditions?
 

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I've always been taught by good ol' dad to change every 3K or 3 months. Now, however, the school of thought is changing.

Did anyone read the article (I forget which pub - CNN, ABCNews Online, MSNBC?) where they did a three year experiment with NYC taxi cabs? I wish I could dig it up again.

Anyway, in the experiment (and I'm sure I'm not remembering this exactly), one taxi had its oil changed every 3K one like every 10K and one just once during the three years. Oil was added as need to all three cars to make sure they were always filled. The result, almost no difference whatsoever. Shocking considering that almost no vehicle takes a tougher daily beating than a NYC taxi cab.

I'm not suggesting anyone go this long between changes, I know I'll still get my changed between 3K and 4K. But, I won't panic if I go over that by a little either.

Makes you wonder, who started the whole 3K rule anyway? The oil companies?
 

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tigernumber6,

My father taught me the same thing. Every 3k. My wife had a camero that she never changed the oil in (before my time), and drove it into the ground. I used to change the oil in my trooper right on time, and got 15 years out of it.

The dealer here also said 3750, but I will be doing it every 3k. Like I do with every car I ever owned.

I will do filters with it each time, and when you do, for your DIYers, make sure you get a new crush right with your oil filter. Honda sells them as part of the oil filter, and you need it in Honda motors. Make sure to change the crush ring. :!:
 

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The 3k/3month rule came about a long, long time ago (at least 30 years) and was valid at the time. It is still pushed by the oil and oil-change industries today because the more frequently you change it, the more money they make. The reality is that there have been tremendous advances in engines and oil over the last couple of decades that make it possible to change the oil and filter less frequently without problems. Modern engines pollute the oil far less than those of old and today's oils are better formulated to resist property changes over time.

The manufacturers are usually very conservative on their maintenance schedule. Simply put, if items fail prematurely due to an error in maintenance frequency, it costs them money. Potentially lots of money. If it fails during the waranty period it costs them directly to do the repairs. If it fails after the waranty period it still costs them by loss of reputation. Imagine what it would do to Honda's sales if all of a sudden a large percentage of their cars needed a new engine at 80K miles because their recommended oil-change frequency was wrong.

I remember CR did a study with taxis where they put new engines in all of them then changed the oil in different groups at (I think) 3k, 6k, and 12k mile intervals. After putting a bunch of miles on them (I dont remember how many, but I think it was something in the 60-100K range), they dissassembled all the engines and measured all the parts subject to wear that the oil is meant to protect. There was no difference in wear regardless of the oil change frequency and there was no difference in the reliability of the vehicles that could be linked to the oil.
 

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I once drove a truck 84K miles without an oil or filter change (don't ask - I'm MUCH smarter than that now). It was a 1984 Nissan 720 pickup and the second owner drove it for another 100K miles after I got rid of it. His oil change frequency is unknown...
 

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that you're not supposed to change oil BEFORE the specified milage. The specified milage is 10K or 5K if severe duty conditions exist. Wonder if you 3K dudes will have any warranty problems down the road if you don't follow the book. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So it seems that nobody really knows when we should change the oil - 5K, 10K or... whenevr the engine falls out. Maybe we should post the question in the dealer section to get a proffesional opinion. Thanks for the feedback.
:shock:
-pdubmasterp
 

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utahrex,

With the exception of the 1st oil change I am finding out has some type of cleaner put in from Honda, you only need to be changing your oil as often as you want, providing it is not longer than Honda tells you in the book.

The owner's guide is just that, a guide. Providing you are within Honda's numbers, and not longer than you are ok. You can change your oil every 100 miles, Honda would not care, and if you went back to the dealership, they would love it.

All you need to do is make sure you don't go past what Honda says and they will honor the warranty.
 

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First Oil change at 5,000 miles.

Thereafter, every 5,000 miles if you do severe driving (most people do).

10,000 between changes if you do mostly highway driving without dusty conditions, towing, short trips (< 5 minutes), etc.

Every 5K unless you baby the sucker.
 

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THE MORE YOU CHANGE IT , THE CLEANER IT STAYS JUST DON'T GO OVER BOARD BUT, 5,000 SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT FOR ME. 8)
 

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[quote:582ef2925c="utahrex"]that you're not supposed to change oil BEFORE the specified milage. The specified milage is 10K or 5K if severe duty conditions exist. Wonder if you 3K dudes will have any warranty problems down the road if you don't follow the book. :([/quote:582ef2925c]

My dealer told me 5K. However, I got a free lifetime oil change (oil+filter) deal included in my warranty. They will change my oil at 3750 or every 3 months. I think thats where the 3750 comes from.
 

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i read at honda's service web site that you shouldn't do the first oil change before their recommendation because they use a special oil, designed to break in the engine.

i'm not sure what i think of that because on new cars i've had before, you can see the metal shavings and bits in the first oil change. i can't imagine circulating those around can be very good for the engine.

of course, i work for an oil company, so maybe i'm biased. :roll:
 

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The break-in oil is being used by all manufacturers now.

This "break-in" oil facilitates seating of the internal parts of the engine and if you change it out before 5,000, studies have shown that you will increase your chances of oil leaks or higher oil consumption during normal use.
 

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My service manager WARNED ME when I bought the EX to NOT TRUST THE MANUAL! He said to bring in the EX more oftwen for changes. He swore up and down that it was important to heed his warning. He has been with the dealer for 7 years and he really knows his stuff.
 

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The Service Manager's bonus is dependent on the total amount of work done. My Father in Law is a Service Manager at a Chevrolet Dealership.

When it comes to credibility, it's no match between HONDA and the Service Dept at a dealership.

HONDA has no incentive to put services too far apart, to the contrary, they would benefit more from closer intervals. The studies showed extended intervals and then they reigned those in a bit, and the numbers in the manual are conservative (no risk - with those numbers).
 

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Rule 1: Old habits die hard.

Rule 2: Do what you are comfortable with.

Cars have changed significantly over the past 30-40 years, and Honda is an innovator. Engineering and manufacturing technology has made quantum leaps. I personally don't believe the oil needs to be changed any more often than recommended. I have had two Accords in the past, both went over 275,000 miles following Honda recommendations, so I am fine with what they recommend here, too.

However, the above paragraph is my p[ersonal experience and opinion, neither of which will get you a tall no-whip mocha at Starbucks.

So... if rule 1 above applies to you, follow rule 2.

Cheers,

-jdef
 
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