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Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - John F

Oh dear, I've just read the 'car' section to find yet again the dogma of annual oil changes every year irrespective of mileage. Reminds me of the mindset of ignorant American mechanics whose advice for 3,000m changes persisted into this century.

My 1980 TR7 which now does only a few hundred miles a year has had a mere four oil changes since its semiretirement in1990 and is none the worse for it, its well made engine using virtually no oil at 70,000m. I have just changed the expensive long life oil in my Audi A8 which was last changed nearly three years and 11,000 miles ago. I have no qualms about the longevity of its engine which will probably outlast me.

What really irks me is the number of old biddies and cash-strapped youngsters, often struggling to bring up a family, doing only a few thousand miles a year and who can least afford unnecessary bills, being influenced by nonsense purported to be 'expert opinion'.

No doubt this post will be countered with the usual tirade and pseudoscience from those with an interest in perpetuating this dogma.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - skidpan

My Caterham does on average about 1500 miles a year, last year and this year its only done a total of about 600 miles.

But it still gets its annual oil and filter change. The oil (Motul synthetic Ford spec 5w 30 costs £20 approx and a filter (Mahle) costs £2.50. An engine costs a bit more than that.

Whilst oil is way better than it was years ago it still degrades over time even when it just sits in the sump.

So I will ignore the advice given above and continue to spend £22.50 ensuring the engines heath.

Every year the car costs £100 to insure, £120 VED (6 months), £40 MOT etc etc (plus fuel) so in the grand scheme of things an oil change is peanuts.

Next spring I will change the tyres. They are less than 1/2 worn but are 8 years old so I won't be taking any risks.

Motoring is a serious business so if you cannot take it seriously don't drive.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - gordonbennet

Up to a point i can understand John's point if someone is having to pay £100 for an oil change at a main dealer or other palace type establishment stuffed to the gills with pointless suits.

It costs me about the same as Skidpan to change the oil (and thats for Morris/Millers full synthetic bought in bulk packs) and filter, though it'll be £7.50 more when i change the oil on the Landcruiser cos it holds 7.5 litres, which is going to be done thismorning, together with the cambelt.

For costs like that, and i agree in the grand scheme of motoring the costs are piddling, then why risk it.

£30 or so a year or £1k for a turbo, or £8k for a new engine, think i'll risk the £30 ta.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - bathtub tom

My last car had a 2.7l sump and a timing chain of cheese. With annual oil changes it got me to 50K miles over nine years, although there were many stories of the same model needing a new chain long before that.

The household's second car, used off-road but road legal did far fewer miles and received oil changes every couple of years or so, but it did have a much larger sump.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Bromptonaut

It's advice and like any advice it's advice not gospel. There maybe exceptional circumstances such as John's TR7, presumably driven as a classic, where it can be disregarded.

Most people however use their cars day in day out with starts in cold weather, short runs etc etc. Both my cars do over 10k/pa and get changes on mileage.

In previous employment and with kids still kids at home, I was doing about 4k pa. That comprised mainly of 2*6 mile trips to station 5 days a week and bits of shopping. The coolant got to normal temperature but I'm not sure the oil did on a freezing morning.

It got changed annually and looked grim when drained out.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - madf

We use our cars in the most adverse conditions: stop/start and short runs. Oil and filter changed every year..By then the oil looks awful and smells of unburned hydrocarbons - it rarely gets warm

Then a 30 mile Italian tune up and pass MOT emissions..

(We have done this for 40 years - and we have never had any issues with short journeys..I do not wish to chgange a winning low cost formula.)

Honda servioce plan Jazz after 5 years £265,

DIY fully syn oil , filters etc change form £60.

ATF change Honda £90. DIY £31

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Wackyracer

I agree with those who think that changing the oil regularly is a good insurance policy. Like has been said, it's a tiny sum of money in the grand scheme of motoring costs, 8 pence a day for DIY changing which is less than I spend on fuel to go 1mile.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - argybargy

It costs little, cannot do any harm and might just do a lot of good.

Reason enough to carry on doing it regardless of any opinion to the contrary.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - craig-pd130

I agree that an element of common sense should apply, rather than slavishly following what the manual says. However, my own experience with my motorbikes shows that oil changes to the manufacturer's recommendations are generally worthwhile for the bikes I've owned.

My current Suzuki SV650's recommended oil change interval is every 3,750 miles (6000km) or 6 months for the 2.5 litres in the sump. I use the bike purely for pleasure, which means it is run under pretty much ideal conditions, i.e. open roads, no short runs or stop/start slogging through traffic, engine gets at least an hour's continuous use so it gets completely warmed through. I also use a higher-spec oil than Suzuki recommend. So I change purely on my mileage (which works out at twice per year anyway).

Even with these factors, the oil drained out after 3,750 miles is noticeably less viscous to the touch than the new stuff going in. Of course, bikes are a little different in that the engine oil also lubricates the gearbox, and so is subject to much greater shear stresses, and also gets full of bits of clutch friction material (Ducatis excepted). But based on what comes out, I really wouldn't want to go much beyond Suzuki's oil-change recommendations.

The only real way to tell what life is left in the oil, and the state of the engine in terms of wear metal particles in the oil etc, is to do regular oil analyses. But while these are relatively cheap and easy to do in the USA (about 25 dollars), I've never found a firm in the UK that gets anywhere near that sort of cost. So unless you're really keen to find out what's going on with your oil, it's simply much cheaper to change it.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - SLO76
Most low mileage users do mostly short local runs which don't allow the oil to fully heat and burn off any moisture which usually ends up with it becoming emulsified, a creamy build up usually noticeable around the filler cap and often mistaken for a failed head gasket.

It's not the end of the world but low mileage stop start driving like this does degrade the oil more quickly than higher mileage use and thus you need fresh oil and filter at least once a year even if you're doing a low mileage. It costs buttons to do yourself and not much if you ask your local garage to do just the oil and not a full service.

The only exception you could make is if it's an old classic which is fully warmed up every time it's used and thus won't suffer the same degradation. Plus as with your old Triumph there's a lot less to go wrong than on a modern car.

I won't buy a car that hasn't proof of annual oil changes with the above exception to that rule if it otherwise looks well maintained. On a modern car any scrimping on servicing simply devalues the car by as much as you saved if not more if something like a timing chain fails as a result of poor quality or contaminated oil.

Edited by SLO76 on 13/11/2016 at 12:54

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - brum
Oh dear, someone has rattled John F's cage again. Every now and then he comes out with his dont change your oil/tyres etc for 5/10 years advice/rant.

I used to be a staunch believer in extended oil changes for many years, whether manufacturer sanctioned or not, and I felt sure I had the evidence to support it.
Iike John F I used to argue that modern oils last forever. But as sure as eggs is eggs, over a real timescale.....and a number of cars, I learned the error of my ways the hard way.

Engines with chains (cam/oil pump), or with variable cam timing mechanisms or any high tech mechanical device internally (e.g. ACT) definitely need regular oil changes. I'll also say that any turbo, egr equipped or those with crankcase ventilation valves some of which are internal as well as those external also need regualar oil changes.

Modern fully synthetic oils in most instances dont oxidise, breakdown chemically or lose their lubricating properties. What kills their ability to protect your engines is more subtle - chemical contamination.

Modern oils are excellent at soaking up unburnt fuel, soot, water, acid etc ....that is until they suddendly reach a limit and become saturated with this chemical contamination. Then they just transport this excess contamination around the engine and deposit it, usually in very hot and cold spots, to form hard lacquers and carbon in hot spots and sludge in cold spots.

And the easiest way to saturate the oil with this package of unwanted additives is to do a low mileage with frequent cold starts and short journeys where the engine does not reach a proper operating temperature (oil >100 deg C).

Damage can be slow/medium/fast depending on engine design, and many other factors. But anyone hoping to have a troublefree experience to at least 150,000 miles should consider an oil change even more frequent than manufacturers recommend.

Don't gamble.

HJ's advice is reasonable for the majority of car owners.

Dont listen to John F, he's not going to pay for your expensive engine repair or writeoff.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - corax
Oh dear, someone has rattled John F's cage again.

I think he's reposted this to rattle our cages.

It's certainly worked :)

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Bianconeri
My two oldies do about 5000 miles between them each year and I change the oil and filters in each when the clocks go forward. Neither will have done more than 200 miles during the winter anyway.

Fixing the engine on either would cost a small fortune.

The newbies get annual changes too, mine on mileage, SWMBO's on time.

It's a very small price to pay.
Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - oldroverboy.

If an owner wants any manufacturer assistance after warranty then on time annual servicing is a must. For the cost of an oil change within a service for most makes it is less than a coffee a week for a year...

I would not run any modern diesel without frequent (annual ) oil changes at a minimum.

I have seen too many cars come in with engine damage from lack of adequate servicing. and i retired 10 years ago...

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT

Oh dear, I've just read the 'car' section to find yet again the dogma of annual oil changes every year irrespective of mileage. Reminds me of the mindset of ignorant American mechanics whose advice for 3,000m changes persisted into this century.

My 1980 TR7 which now does only a few hundred miles a year has had a mere four oil changes since its semiretirement in1990 and is none the worse for it, its well made engine using virtually no oil at 70,000m. I have just changed the expensive long life oil in my Audi A8 which was last changed nearly three years and 11,000 miles ago. I have no qualms about the longevity of its engine which will probably outlast me.

What really irks me is the number of old biddies and cash-strapped youngsters, often struggling to bring up a family, doing only a few thousand miles a year and who can least afford unnecessary bills, being influenced by nonsense purported to be 'expert opinion'.

No doubt this post will be countered with the usual tirade and pseudoscience from those with an interest in perpetuating this dogma.

Is this your annual repost - I recall you made the same point a while ago.

The Americans make the point that oil is cheap so changing at 3,000 miles / 3 years is cheap maintenance - maybe they have a point as unlike here, it's common for them to get oil analysis done and decide on frequency that way.

Cash-strapped car owners don't use "expensive long life oil", they use the cheapest they can find, not necessarily of the correct spec - so sticking to car makers recommendations really is a good idea for the,

You do your own thing - by the way, when was it they fitted "well made" engines to TR7s, remind me again!

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Wackyracer

Is this your annual repost - I recall you made the same point a while ago.

I thought it must have been me! I had a feeling of Deja Vu when I read it.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Fishermans Bend

I think this is the Q and A John F is referring to.

Q. My wife's BMW X! has only done 6,000 miles in two years. BMW insist that it should now have an oil change. Is this true?

A. Yes. It needs an oil and filter change every year or 10,000 miles, whicheveer comes first, whatever BMW or anyone else says. You are already 12 months late.

I thought BMWs have service indicator warning lights. Perhaps not any more?

Personally, I wouldn't leave a car more than two years without an oil change. If a car is only doing 3,000 miles a year that would lead me to think it is mainly doing short journeys. My limited mechanical knowlede would make me think it is then even more imperative it it needs an oil change. Perhaps I am wrong.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RobJP

As others have already pointed out, this is one of John F's regular rants where he seems to feel that HJ - and all of us other regulars who agree with HJ on this point - are in cahoots with the oil industry, and probably getting backhanders, for recommending annual oil changes, and his TR7 (which had cylinder wall gaps you could measure with a ruler when new, the quality was that bad on them), has done perfectly fine having an oil change every decade, and is still on the original radial tyres, so no need to change those when they get old either.

He probably types his rants on a Pentium 60 computer running Windows 95, because upgrading would be idiocy ...

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - bathtub tom

He probably types his rants on a Pentium 60 computer running Windows 95, because upgrading would be idiocy ...

What's wrong with that, although it's more modern stuff than I use?

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - galileo

He probably types his rants on a Pentium 60 computer running Windows 95, because upgrading would be idiocy ...

What's wrong with that, although it's more modern stuff than I use?

Sinclair Spectrum?

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - bathtub tom

Sinclair Spectrum?

I'm not a dinosaur - Spectrum+

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Engineer Andy

With or without the famous 'interface'?

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - skidpan

We have still got an Amstrad PPC 640 from the mid/late 80's. Its got 640k of ram and no hard drive. Two 3 1/2" floppy drives lurk on the side and you have to load DOS 3.2 into ram on every start up, only takes seconds though.

Still works perfectly almost 30 years on but believe it or not it never gets used these days. Occationally turn it on just to entertain myself.

Threw a Pentium 60 with a 4 gb hard drive and 16mb ram out the other day, that still worked but we had no monitor.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Wackyracer

Most computers and phones thesedays are thrown away in perfect working condition. I got a PC out of the neighbours skip that looks like new inside and out. AMD XP1500+ with 80gb HDD and 512MB ram. Works like the day it was bought but, who needs it?

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Smileyman

stupid and dangerous to throw the hard drive out with the computer - most likely it will have information that would be very useful to anyone with bad intent - deletion of data usually just removes the item from the index and it is possible to use specialist software to recover the data...

getting back to oil changes, it is interesting how much / little different garages want to charge to do this simple task. I know different oils are priced differently, but there must be more than that aspect contributing to the price range!

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Wackyracer

getting back to oil changes, it is interesting how much / little different garages want to charge to do this simple task. I know different oils are priced differently, but there must be more than that aspect contributing to the price range!

I supposed it depends on their individual hourly rate and the quality of the filters they use too. I wonder how many of the fast fit oil change outfits use new sump plug washers/ O rings when it is specified by the manufacturers?

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - bathtub tom
I wonder how many of the fast fit oil change outfits use new sump plug washers/ O rings when it is specified by the manufacturers?

They don't need to if they suck the oil out.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT
I wonder how many of the fast fit oil change outfits use new sump plug washers/ O rings when it is specified by the manufacturers?

They don't need to if they suck the oil out.

Leaving the sludge to build up over time!

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - bolt

As others have already pointed out, this is one of John F's regular rants where he seems to feel that HJ - and all of us other regulars who agree with HJ on this point - are in cahoots with the oil industry, and probably getting backhanders, for recommending annual oil changes, and his TR7 (which had cylinder wall gaps you could measure with a ruler when new, the quality was that bad on them), has done perfectly fine having an oil change every decade, and is still on the original radial tyres, so no need to change those when they get old either.

He probably types his rants on a Pentium 60 computer running Windows 95, because upgrading would be idiocy ...

John F is not the only one who thinks like that, my mate bought a Rover 75 diesel from the auction about 4 years ago, and has done around 400 miles in that time, the fact that oil changes are stated at certain times have no meaning to him and will only change oil and filter when its done the mileage

but he has always been like that and every car he`s owned never had an oil change in his ownership

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - catsdad
100 miles p.a. Oil change every century then.
Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - bolt

I seem to remember many years ago, it was reported that an engine that burnt oil and was topped up never needed an oil change, some people regarded this as true and followed the advice

Most triumphs of the day were oil burners, I had once put a TR7 unit in a dolomite but could never get it running right, so scrapped it, though I bought the engine from a scrap yard but took me 2 weeks to fit due to problems with oil leaks and having the time to do it

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - SLO76
I was offered a late Mk Ford Focus 1.6 Zetec by a friend a couple of years back. She'd had it from new and had tried to trade it in and was offered buttons so asked if I was interested. Quick look under the bonnet and you could see it hadn't been serviced in a long time.

Started the engine and oil came flooding out of the filter... it had been on it so long that it had rusted through and holed! They're not designed to remain on an engine for years. It wasn't a car I'd trade but I fired on a new filter and refilled it with oil to get it started safely and sent it to auction. Could only select 1st and 2nd gear but as the oil circulated the poor thing freed off and could be driven normally.

Highly likely another trader would've bought it and offered it for sale to some unsuspecting private punter. The lifespan of this car could be measured in weeks and months at best. Never buy a car without proof of annual servicing! It might look clean and tidy as this wee Ford did but it had been totally neglected.

Edited by SLO76 on 14/11/2016 at 08:30

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - sandy56

i think we should just be sensible about oil changes, and use our common sense. If we have a good car which is running well and you plan on keeping it then do the annual oil changes. If you do a small mileage then do it every other year.

I had a small Suzki I used as a station car and I changed the oil once in four years, when I thought it needed it. The annual mileage was very low.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - gordonbennet

Agreed, common sense as in everything.

Some of us have, like Madf above, found a system which works for us and has proved to give us reliable long lived motoring, so won't be swayed too quickly.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - John F

At last, a bit of sensible debate after the usual responses from the usual suspects, plus a bit of pseudscience about depositing nasty bits of 'contamination' around the engine.

My intention is not to 'rattle cages' but to challenge dogma. There is very little research evidence on this topic, possibly because results would seriously damage the motor service trade.

To answer the derogatory question above 'when did TR7s get well built engines', probably when they brought the production line down to Canley from Speke. Certainly my pistons, valve guides and rings must be a good fit as it uses hardly any oil. And if the Triumph 'slant 4' was good enough for Saab it can't have been that bad. It did get the recommended 6000m changes in its first 10yrs of life, though. All our other cars have had changes every 10-12,000m, even if 2yrs in between. All engines still worked well when sold at high mileages.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RobJP

'pseudoscience' ... oh dear.

Ok then John F, I've never posted my qualifications before, but here goes :

BSC (Hons) Chemistry from UMIST.

Then I got a job with Shell at Runcorn, and started to learn. My boss was heavily into oil deterioration, and exactly what happened over time, and we had all that lovely equipment available, so a small team (3 of us), were put onto some proper testing. We had a set of drivers and a fleet of 10 VW Polos (the estate-type 'coupe' version, if anyone remembers them) which were all black, and all had what could only be described as 'air resistance boards' bolted to the roofs (to put greater stress on the engine, to increase wear) that went up and down the M56 day and night (50k miles per annum per vehicle), and we dropped the oil at different intervals for each car, and tested the oil coming out to every possible protocol - and some new ones too. My MSc (3 years later) specialised in those oil deteriorations, and the effect on engine wear.

In total, I spent 16 years there, working on oil development and testing. It might sound like boasting, but what I learnt about oils, oil pathways, shear rates, suspension products and suspension limits ... well, I could bore most 'geeks' in the subject to death.

So, that's my cards on the table. That's my 'science'. What's yours ? Because you pass your 'knowledge' off as having some meaning, but never say where it's come from, apart from the ownership of a TR7.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - madf

I've just got a simple Honours Degree in Physics and 15 years working in the automotive industry.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - brum

Yeah I had the "remarkable" triumph 2 litre in my SAAB 99 GLE. Must say it was the worst car I have ever owned and that includes FIATs. The engine was remarkable in that it was the size of a bus, had screws e.g on the rocker cover that forever undid themselves. (Saab dealer said they all did that). Leaked oil all over the place and of course had a rattly camchain, and the usual failed head gasket/ warped head with that crazy mix of head bolts and studs/nuts.

The rest of the car was even worse, rust worse than Ive ever experienced, my friends used to joke that if ai ever lost the keys, I could still get in though the sills. Electrics (french origin) were atrocious.

But what would I know, only having rebuilt many an engine in my time...

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Fishermans Bend

Yeah I had the "remarkable" triumph 2 litre in my SAAB 99 GLE. Must say it was the worst car I have ever owned and that includes FIATs. The engine was remarkable in that it was the size of a bus, had screws e.g on the rocker cover that forever undid themselves. (Saab dealer said they all did that). Leaked oil all over the place and of course had a rattly camchain, and the usual failed head gasket/ warped head with that crazy mix of head bolts and studs/nuts.

The rest of the car was even worse, rust worse than Ive ever experienced, my friends used to joke that if ai ever lost the keys, I could still get in though the sills. Electrics (french origin) were atrocious.

But what would I know, only having rebuilt many an engine in my time...

Parents had 3 Saabs, two of them real Saabs i.e. not GM, no complaints about any of them. Last one is 1998 9-3, owned since 2002, probably the most reliable car they've ever bought.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - brum

Saabs and for that matter TR7s built around 1976-1978 were terrible and had a terrible reputation just like most BL cars of that era.

I fancied buying a TR7 in 1977, but then the horror stories emerged...

But what relevance has a 1960s engine to this discussion of oil change requirements for todays modern engines?

Edited by brum on 14/11/2016 at 19:29

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Fishermans Bend

Yeah I had the "remarkable" triumph 2 litre in my SAAB 99 GLE. Must say it was the worst car I have ever owned and that includes FIATs. The engine was remarkable in that it was the size of a bus, had screws e.g on the rocker cover that forever undid themselves. (Saab dealer said they all did that). Leaked oil all over the place and of course had a rattly camchain, and the usual failed head gasket/ warped head with that crazy mix of head bolts and studs/nuts.

The rest of the car was even worse, rust worse than Ive ever experienced, my friends used to joke that if ai ever lost the keys, I could still get in though the sills. Electrics (french origin) were atrocious.

But what would I know, only having rebuilt many an engine in my time...

brum, classics.honestjohn.co.uk/news/comment/2016-11/a-g.../

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT

At last, a bit of sensible debate after the usual responses from the usual To answer the derogatory question above 'when did TR7s get well built engines', probably when they brought the production line down to Canley from Speke. Certainly my pistons, valve guides and rings must be a good fit as it uses hardly any oil. And if the Triumph 'slant 4' was good enough for Saab it can't have been that bad. It did get the recommended 6000m changes in its first 10yrs of life, though. All our other cars have had changes every 10-12,000m, even if 2yrs in between. All engines still worked well when sold at high mileages.

The Triumph designed/built "slant 2" wasn't really good enough for Saab so they moved production to Sweden very soon after launch and developed it independently themselves from then on - but don't let the facts get in the way of a good myth.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT

My own way of defying conventional logic was to over-specify oil and use very low cold rating - back in the '90s when Vauxhall's "norm" was 20W-40 part-synthetic, I used 0W-40 fully synthetic oil, every 5,000 miles, with excellent results - literally better than new at 100,000 miles with zero oil consumption. My logic was that the higher the oil quality the better and the lower the cold rating the quicker oil circulated the engine from start-up, reducing wear - at exactly the time when wear is at it's highest.

It's not easy to "improve" with modern cars/oils as the oil specifications are high and 0W-20 normal on the models I buy - but I do still change the oil at half the manufacturers recommendation.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RobJP

I notice that John F hasn't come on to tell us all of his expertise in engineering, and why we're all 'pseudo'-scientists, whereas he's the real deal.

Quelle surprise.

He'll probably come back on here in 6 months, when he sees HJ telling someone else the same thing in the paper, and have another rant.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - kiss (keep it simple)

My understanding is that the slant 4 was a Recardo design built by Triumph.

Edited by kiss (keep it simple) on 16/11/2016 at 22:00

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - brum

Ricardo was not involved, it was developed in house and was a triumph v8 stag engine chopped in half hence the ridiculous and unreliable arrangement of studs and bolts holding down the aluminium head on a cast iron block.

Saab adopted it because the alternative Ricardo design was too expensive, they probably didnt realise it was such a crap design. They had to redesign itand produced a 2 litre version, but it wasnt that much better with regard to the originals head warping and camchain problems.

Edited by brum on 16/11/2016 at 22:54

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - John F

Hi, I'm back, thanks to RobJP's invitation on another thread. I'd forgotten about this one. I've enjoyed wideranging opinions about Saabs which I had not seen and salute the academic achievements and experience of my detractors.

My qualifications for venturing an opinion about chemical and physical matters are merely decent grades at chemistry and physics 'A' level by the age of 17 (in the 1960s when 'A' levels were arguably more difficult than today's) and a subsequent lifelong interest in engines of one sort or another. We were told that the biochemistry component of our medical course was the equivalent of a BSc but by then I was specialising in the study of a live machine far more complex than mere internal combustion engines, fascinating though they are.

I am of course aware that the more frequently one changes oil, and the better its quality, the longer the engine will last. All I am saying is that annual oil changes are unnecessary for the average low mileage driver who does not need the engine to last for 250,000m.

By the bye, my 36yr old 70,000m TR7 passed its MoT yesterday - no advisories, engine humming sweetly, has never required any attention apart from its water pump and trimming the ends of the original HT leads. Last oil change 2013.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - skidpan

has never required any attention apart from its water pump and trimming the ends of the original HT leads.

Ahh, the good old trimming the ends of the HT leads.

This and balancing the fan belt are long forgotten maintenance tasks that should still be done every few hundred miles.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - brum

Don't forget to check the oil in the lamps and trim those wicks. And to empty the ash from the footwarmers.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Avant

We have some ornamental oil lamps that we haven't used for many years. I wonder if I should change the oil......

Seriously though, John, I don't think there's 'dogma' on here - just honestly-expressed opinions which are borne out by people's experience in practice. Just as no two human beings are the same, so no two people's car usage will be exactly the same.

If, for example, you use your TR7 mainly for long journeys rather than short, it'll be having a much easier life and the engine oil will stay clean for longer than it would in a car doing similarly low annual mileage consisting of short local shopping trips.

Best to agree to disagree I think.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Theophilus

Seriously though, John, I don't think there's 'dogma' on here - just honestly-expressed opinions which are borne out by people's experience in practice. Just as no two human beings are the same, so no two people's car usage will be exactly the same.

Best to agree to disagree I think.

Second that, Avant ... we could do with a "like" button on the forum (now someone will undoubtedly point out that there is one which I haven't spotted!)

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Smileyman

@Theophilus

I like that suggestion!

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - John F

Best to agree to disagree I think.

Happy to agree to disagree over matters of opinion, but not about matters of fact. A lot opinion here seems to be based on experience of the processes and materials of sixty years ago. The metals and fluids of a modern car engine have come a long way since the side valve lump in my first car, a Ford Anglia.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT

"matters of fact" aren't always black-white as the same "facts" can be used to demonstrate different things.

You have a car with infrequent oil changes running nicely - my cars get frequent oil changes and run nicely - all that might suggest is we both look after our cars.

Edited by RT on 02/12/2016 at 13:19

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - bazza

I always find John's posts interesting,even though I don't always agree! His regime's certainly work for him,although I suspect they may not for a modern small highly stressed petrol turbo, where lubrication of parts approaching red hot must put an oil under exceptional thermal strain and necessitate the highest quality. The longevity of these motors remains to be seen, unless, we, as petrolheads worry too much maybe?

My neighbour's son changed the oil in his Fiat last year, it hadn't been changed in about 5 years of thrashing. It still goes OK. I wouldn't buy it though.

A woman in a supermarket once asked me what oil to put in her engine, she was clutching a couple of bottles of gearbox oil. Scary isnt it and enough to put you off buying used!

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - SLO76
When I met my grouchy other half she was running about in a very tidy wee Peugeot 106 1.1. It was immaculate inside and out and drove well. Not long after she mentions the car won't do more than 60mph foot to the floor so I took a look.

Dip stick out and there it is, a black thick treacle like mess. Turns out the car hadn't seen fresh oil in over 4 years and this congealed mess almost killed it. Flush and fresh oil helped but I got shot of it for a nice Honda Civic with a wee post it note on the dash when she first got it with SERVICE ME EVERY YEAR!!! printed.

Her answer to my querie about when it was last serviced was, "it gets an Mot every year." Needless to say the tidy wee Peugeot was dead and scrapped a few months later when it could've lasted for a long time with the correct maintenance.

Oil degrades through time and mileage and many low mileage cars don't even reach full operating temperature day to day and thus the moisture in the oil never burns off. I've often found a milky mess on opening a filler cap of many such cars and this is more harmful to the oil and its properties than high mileage use.

I look for proof of annual oil changes on any car I buy or trade and will heavily penalise a cars value if it hasn't been. Though I accept that a lightly used classic that is allowed to heat up thoughroughly every time it's started may be an exception to the rule but no way I'd leave oil in for more than two years even in this case.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - John F
this congealed mess almost killed it. .......many low mileage cars don't even reach full operating temperature day to day and thus the moisture in the oil never burns off. I've often found a milky mess on opening a filler cap of many such cars ....

Reminds me of servicing my son's old Peugeot 309 - the old OHV can-of nails needed the valve clearances sorting, and I needed a dessert spoon to scrape and shovel out the copious black gunge in the cam cover and rocker area - neglect by previous owner, I hasten to add! But the engine still outlasted the car. I wonder if anyone has seen a 'milky mess' in a car with an intact cylinder head gasket built this century, though? Modern breather design means air and moisture just doesn't get into the oil like it used to, and finer tolerances mean that blow-by products don't contaminate the oil as much as they used to. So it should have a longer useful life.

If anyone is still interested, further reading......

www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/475/oil-breakdown

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT
I wonder if anyone has seen a 'milky mess' in a car with an intact cylinder head gasket built this century, though? Modern breather design means air and moisture just doesn't get into the oil like it used to, and finer tolerances mean that blow-by products don't contaminate the oil as much as they used to. So it should have a longer useful life

Vauxhall Astra 1.6 8v was the lowest power version in the Astra-G, less than the 1.4 16v but all Astra-G's had the same grill area with no blanking - this meant that the model was totally overcooled and when combined with purchase by low mileage users would rapidly develop "mayonaisse" in the breather system as the oil never got hot enough to evaporate any moisture.

The 1.8 16v could have most of it's grill blanked in winter, even automatics on towing duty, and this blanking tip was passed on through forums to great effect on the 1.6 8v.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - SLO76
"I wonder if anyone has seen a 'milky mess' in a car with an intact cylinder head gasket built this century, though?"

Yup, both as a home trader and a salesman for a large dealer I've seen countless Micra's, 206's, Fiesta's, Corsa's and other mostly small motors with it. Often mistaken by panicking owners as a failed head gasket.
Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - corax
A woman in a supermarket once asked me what oil to put in her engine, she was clutching a couple of bottles of gearbox oil. Scary isnt it and enough to put you off buying used!

I know that you can buy car related stuff in the supermarket but gearbox oil?

Tesco Value?

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - oldroverboy.
A woman in a supermarket once asked me what oil to put in her engine, she was clutching a couple of bottles of gearbox oil. Scary isnt it and enough to put you off buying used!

I know that you can buy car related stuff in the supermarket but gearbox oil?

Tesco Value?

ASda sell a good selection of oils...

frequently have castrol gtx on offer.. or the ow30/40 stuff... nicely priced good quality wiper blades...

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Dogfuzz

I once saw a bloke buy a litre of oil at a petrol station--go back to his car with it's open bonnet, take the filler cap off and pour the whole lot in till it overflowed over the filler . He wiped it clean, replaced the cap, chucked the empty oil bottle away, then drove off!

Of course--he might have been totally empty of oil--but I don't think so!

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - bolt

I once saw a bloke buy a litre of oil at a petrol station--go back to his car with it's open bonnet, take the filler cap off and pour the whole lot in till it overflowed over the filler . He wiped it clean, replaced the cap, chucked the empty oil bottle away, then drove off!

Of course--he might have been totally empty of oil--but I don't think so!

I doubt it was full, some have a splash guard under filler which wont allow fast fill and it can overflow out the filler(which is more likely)

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - skidpan

The metals and fluids of a modern car engine have come a long way since the side valve lump in my first car, a Ford Anglia.

We know that is true but it does not mean we can ignore basic maintenance.

This year my Caterham has done under 500 miles all of which is on runs over 25 miles each way. But next spring I will drop the oil and change the filter once I have warmed it through to circulate the oil. 4 litres of Ford spec synthetic costs under £20 and a Mahle filter about £2.50. £20 over the course of the year is nothing, 6 months VED is £120 approx and insurance another £120. MOT £40 etc.etc.

Why skimp.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT

The metals and fluids of a modern car engine have come a long way since the side valve lump in my first car, a Ford Anglia.

We know that is true but it does not mean we can ignore basic maintenance.

This year my Caterham has done under 500 miles all of which is on runs over 25 miles each way. But next spring I will drop the oil and change the filter once I have warmed it through to circulate the oil. 4 litres of Ford spec synthetic costs under £20 and a Mahle filter about £2.50. £20 over the course of the year is nothing, 6 months VED is £120 approx and insurance another £120. MOT £40 etc.etc.

Why skimp.

An oil & filter change is very cheap preventative maintenance, especially if DIY.

Edited by RT on 03/12/2016 at 10:03

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Wackyracer

The metals and fluids of a modern car engine have come a long way since the side valve lump in my first car, a Ford Anglia.

We know that is true but it does not mean we can ignore basic maintenance.

This year my Caterham has done under 500 miles all of which is on runs over 25 miles each way. But next spring I will drop the oil and change the filter once I have warmed it through to circulate the oil. 4 litres of Ford spec synthetic costs under £20 and a Mahle filter about £2.50. £20 over the course of the year is nothing, 6 months VED is £120 approx and insurance another £120. MOT £40 etc.etc.

Why skimp.

Exactly, it's peanuts compared to the cost of an engine rebuild.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - John F

Anyone who doubts the wisdom of what I have been writing only has to check through the carbycar feedback on cars such as MINIs and BMW E90s to understand tha damage that 'manufacturer recommendations' and 'tlc servicing' can do.

HJ

Can't make sense of this, HJ. As a doubter I tried googling 'carbycar' and got some Italian nonsense, and 'tlc servicing' seems to be some sort of maintenance package.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RobJP

Anyone who doubts the wisdom of what I have been writing only has to check through the carbycar feedback on cars such as MINIs and BMW E90s to understand tha damage that 'manufacturer recommendations' and 'tlc servicing' can do.

HJ

Can't make sense of this, HJ. As a doubter I tried googling 'carbycar' and got some Italian nonsense, and 'tlc servicing' seems to be some sort of maintenance package.

Quite simple really. 'carbycar' refers to the 'what's good/bad' section of the 'Car by car reviews' section of this website. In which can quite clearly be seen, especially for the BMW E90s and MINI models, the consequences of longer service intervals, as per 'manufacturer recommendations'.

'tlc servicing' is the MINI brand name for their pre-purchased service pack for 5 years/50k (or possibly 60k) miles, which, however, still involves only getting the oil changed every 18/20k miles.

So, to put it clearly for the hard of thinking, HJ is referring to the 'official' service intervals for those models, and how often problems (especially with the timing chains, which require very high quality, non-degraded oil, to function well) occur when they get those longer service intervals.

Sometimes, John F, I think you are just deliberately awkward, and deliberately 'go thick' for the hell of it. 'Trolling', so to speak.

Other times, I'm not so sure it's deliberate.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - John F

Sometimes, John F, I think you are just deliberately awkward, and deliberately 'go thick' for the hell of it. 'Trolling', so to speak.

Not so, RJP. I was unaware that 'tlc' could mean 20,000m oil changes. Even I wouldn't leave oil in so long, unless it was the new special expensive long life variety. (I have just changed the A8's long life at a mere 11,000m interval). I am aware that some BMW Mini engines appear to be badly made - high oil consumption at low mileages.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - John F

Why skimp.

'Skimping' is avoiding doing something which is necessary in order to save money.

You miss the point - my contention is that an annual oil change for a low mileage engine is unnecessary unless you want it to do a starship mileage. A biennial oil change for a 5000m a year non-turbo unstressed engine is not 'skimping'.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Engineer Andy

HJ probably wasn't referring to specific key words to search by, but more for makes that use 'service indicators' and 'long service intervals' using so-called 'long life engine oil' whatever the car owner's usage pattern.

Like you, my car (a mk1 Mazda3 1.6 petrol) did, until recently, mainly low annual mileages (approx. 3-5k p.a.), but crutially 95%+ of my journeys were long enough (more than 10 miles, often a lot more) for the car to fully warm up and oil to circulate, neither did I thrash the car constantly or drive the car in the wrong gear with too low revs, and as a result, use very little (if any) oil each year, which would be nice and clean when I checked it near to service time (coming round again now).

As others have said, this sort of useage/driving pattern may be conducive to keeping the oil in good condition, but especially with modern, complex cars (mine's not that bad in that respect, compared to some of its continetal brothers and sisters), particularly those with chain cam engines (like mine) need to have oil in good codition to ensure a long life. I'd rather not take the chance over someting that costs £40-50 p.a. to replace, as opposed to risking a major failure which could cost (in one go - something I may not be able to afford from time to time) several £000s or even requiring the replacement of the entire car.

You need to consider that you may just as well have been lucky to avoid a failure with your car as not, and most of us would rather not push our luck, especially when the risk of a major failure/big bill might result from taking such a risk. Its the reason why people take out insurance - the difference being it has been proven to both reduce wear/risk of major engine failures and extend engine life. One case of running a car (especially a car with considerably different technology to most we own today) on very long oil changes cannot guide everyone as to how to treat their own cars.

As an example, an ex-colleague tried the same as you on their mid 2000s BMW 3 series, and one day, the car failed to start, made a horrible noise and deposited most of the oil etc from the engine on his (concrete) driveway, ruining his engine and the driveway in the process. Lots of time (a couple of days of leave to deal with it) and money needed to deal with the problem.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - corax

Just read in Car Mechanics magazine from someone in the trade that Nissan allegedly don't have a change interval for spark plugs, only a recommended time. Same goes for fuel filters on diesels, with the result that they are seeing more and more broken down DCI diesels with nothing more than blocked fuel filters.

Seems incredible. Diesel fuel filters are a fundamental service item.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT

I've notice that increasingly few longer interval items are included on the formal schedule for many brands.

My towing constitutes "heavy use or extreme conditions" to most brands but trying to get a figure for autobox fluid change in normal use is difficult and almost impossible for me.

Pollen filters are often specified for 20,000 miles / 2 years change but for those suffering from asthma or COPD the deterioration in aior quality after 10,000 miles / 1 year is noticeable.

I suspect that car makers only specify those things vital for 60,000 miles / 3 years for the fleet buyers and ignore anything else.

Edited by RT on 04/12/2016 at 12:30

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Avant

The problem for people buying secondhand is that, being realistic, very few people will have had their car serviced more often then the manufactirer recommends - and as we know, far too many will have had it done less often, if at all.

So you'll be lucky to find a used BMW or Mini with average or low mileage that's had an annual oil change.

Mini's TLC scheme is in most cases more beneficial to Mini than to its customers. Minis aren't repmobiles and I'm fairly sure that the great majority of Minis bought new do lowish mileages and are not kept by the first owner for more than three years. So the first owners have paid for a package involving only one service.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - madf

Mini's TLC scheme is in most cases more beneficial to Mini than to its customers. Minis aren't repmobiles and I'm fairly sure that the great majority of Minis bought new do lowish mileages and are not kept by the first owner for more than three years. So the first owners have paid for a package involving only one service.

When I bought our Jazz,the prior owner bought a 5 year service package £500. After some 300 miles, the owner had to sell due to illhealth. It has has abbual services by Honda since (6k miles a year).

As teh plan has expired, I am now diying . The cabin oil and air filters all appear to have been changed annually under the sevrice plan... So Honda Holdcroft (our local dealer) appear to be 100% on the ball..

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Theophilus

As teh plan has expired, I am now diying .

My commiserations madf, so sorry to hear that not only has the plan expired but you are also on the way out!

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Andrew-T

How refreshing it is to revisit this revered website after 1? 2? more? years, and find the long-running pillowfights between John F and Skidpan are undiminished. Neither (of course) has been persuaded by the other of the rightness of their advice, and neither have I.

Like them, I still own a small petrol-driven car (Pug 205 of course) and I change its oil every couple of years, which adds up to about every 3K miles. The essential thing is that the car's journeys are always well over 10 miles, usually nearer 40, so the oil is always well warmed and unlikely to be 'wet'. So I don't mind it sitting in the sump for weeks in between.

I have a fair bit of chemical know-how, so those gentlemen may continue to dispense their polarised advice. I make up my own mind.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - skidpan

Why have you singled me out as the main JohnF detractor, there are plenty out there, read the above posts for starters.

You may have a "fair bit of chemical know-how" but I have a large amount of simple common sense. In the grand scheme of things oil is cheap and filters are cheaper so why skimp. Same as cam belts and pulleys really.

Or as I have asked before is JohnF just a troublesome internet troll who repeats his annual threads just to get the usual reactions.

I have never met a genuine classic car enthusiast who would neglect their car in the same way that JohnF does. Does he post his wisdom on the TR7 forms?

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - madf

Based on my memories of TR7s when new, I would not advertise my (bad) taste by saying I owned one... but each to their own:-)

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Andrew-T

[a] Why have you singled me out as the main JohnF detractor, there are plenty out there, read the above posts for starters.

[b] You may have a "fair bit of chemical know-how" but I have a large amount of simple common sense. In the grand scheme of things oil is cheap and filters are cheaper so why skimp. Same as cam belts and pulleys really.

In answer to [a], in my judgment you and John F occupy the extreme positions in the discussion.

As to [b], I wouldn't describe your choices as determined solely by 'common sense'. Every car user will decide what is the optimum frequency for oil changes, based on various considerations. An obsessive might choose to do it every month, but there is clearly a point of diminishing returns. Your reasoning seems to be that it doesn't cost much, so change it whether it needs it or not. I doubt whether your car 'needs it', but equally it won't harm anything other than your wallet, which you clearly don't mind. Everyone is happy, except when others have a different opinion. :-)

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - John F

Or as I have asked before is JohnF just a troublesome internet troll who repeats his annual threads just to get the usual reactions.

I have never met a genuine classic car enthusiast who would neglect their car in the same way that JohnF does.

No, I'm not. But as long as HJ continues to publish the dogma of essential annual oil changes for all, including poor grannies doing 4,000m a year in seven year old cars with bog standard engines with only around 60,000m on the clock, I shall continue to challenge it occasionally (and be mildly amused by the umbrage taken by skidpan, who appears to regard my opinions as personal insults.)

I care greatly for my cars, that's why my 36yr old TR7 is probably one of the few left which has never had to be 'restored' and still runs sweetly...so far.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT
as long as HJ continues to publish the dogma of essential annual oil changes for all, including poor grannies doing 4,000m a year in seven year old cars with bog standard engines with only around 60,000m on the clock,

Those are the very people that SHOULD be following HJ's advice - short trips, where the oil never heats up enough to evaporate moisture from the combustion process is a disaster waiting to happen.

These people aren't enthusiasts and wouldn't recognise any issues anyway.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - SLO76
Loved the 205 Andrew T, I ran a diesel in the 90's for a spell but it had fresh oil and filter every year I owned it. For results of neglect on my better halfs 1.1 petrol 106 see one of my posts above, wee car hadn't seen oil in the 4yrs before I met her and was scrapped long before its time because of it. It's a false economy unless the car is utterly worthless and you're running it til it gives up. Neglected servicing takes more from the value than you'd save assuming the car is worth more than a few hundred quid.
Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Andrew-T
Loved the 205, I ran a diesel in the 90's for a spell but it had fresh oil and filter every year I owned it. For results of neglect on my better halfs 1.1 petrol 106 see one of my posts above, wee car hadn't seen oil in the 4yrs before I met her and was scrapped long before its time because of it.

SWMBO had a 1991 Dturbo for 8 years, and it was still going well at 80K when little things like stop solenoids and clutch cables failed. I gave it oil and filter changes every 5K, and it returned about 52mpg and 50K on one set of tyres. I suspect that it has been re-registered and is on SORN somewhere.

Agree fully about servicing, especially diesels if one wants the car to last a long time. Pugs especially.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - skidpan

Andrew-T tell me this.

If you were pushed into a corner and forced to follow:

a) the routine followed by JohnF (no one else is yet to admit doing the same) i.e. only change your oil once every leap year, never change your cam belt or auxilliary drive belt (dress them with some product not designed for automotive belt use instead) and carry on using tyres that have a date code back in Margaret Thatchers days in Downing Street simply because its all a conspiracy by the industry to spend your money needlessly.

or

b) the routine followed by myself (and many others) i.e. on the Ford 2 litre Zetec engine in my Caterham 10,000 mile or annual oil and filter changes using Ford spec oil and a quality Mahle filter, 10 year cam belt changes with new pulleys (genuine Ford parts which are little more expensive than pattern parts) and new tyres when the date code is no more than 8 years ago.

Which would it be?

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Andrew-T

Skidpan, if I were 'pushed into a corner', I might try to sell the pusher my car, to avoid making the choice.

Seriously, it makes sense for owners to follow makers' maintenance instructions, if only to benefit the car and reduce the chance of breakdowns. And we have all discussed the advisability of some makers' long service intervals, designed to help rental companies avoid early servicing altogether. But the need for oil changes depends so much on how the car is used, as others have said. Recommended intervals are designed to accommodate the whole range of use from occasional shopping trolley to long-distance commute, and most handbooks have an Arduous Use schedule for extreme cases, which suggests that a standard service schedule is not a one-size-fits-all.

It also makes sense for non-savvy owners to let their 'garage' service a car at its annual MoT - while more savvy owners (as we all are, aren't we?) can use their 'common sense' to ration oil changes because our cars are neither shopping trolleys nor high-mileage M'way-bashers. Engine oil which always reaches full operating temperature does not quietly decompose in a sump between journeys.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT

I think car makers are being honest with their servicing schedules but you need to look at the bigger picture to understand all the qualifications.

Total running cost over the 1st three years has become the sole arbiter, from media and fleet pressure, not driven by the makers - That's why we get such long standard intervals.

There's a significant number of enthusiasts and non-enthusiastic owners for whom longer term costs are more relevant - so carry out preventative maintenance EARLIER than recommended schedules.

I have oil changes done at half the maker's schedule, 10,000 instead of 20,000 - I replace tyres at double the legal minimum, 3mm instead of 1.6mm - I replace low-use tyres at 5 years old, regardless of tread depth.

If any single owner wants to cut corners to save a £1 or two, that's their call - but don't try and justify it on a public forum.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - skidpan

If any single owner wants to cut corners to save a £1 or two, that's their call - but don't try and justify it on a public forum.

Well said.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Andrew-T

I have oil changes done at half the maker's schedule, 10,000 instead of 20,000 - I replace tyres at double the legal minimum, 3mm instead of 1.6mm - I replace low-use tyres at 5 years old, regardless of tread depth.

If any single owner wants to cut corners to save a £1 or two, that's their call - but don't try and justify it on a public forum.

I have never claimed to 'cut corners to save £1 or two', and as I said just a few posts above, I changed oil and filter every 5K on SWMBO's 205. I know the use my car gets, and I examine the condition of the oil regularly - and I don't chuck away decent oil just because it happens to be 12 months since the last change. £££ doesn't really come into it.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Avant

I think everything that needs to be said on this subject has been said already - and a few things that don't.

Unless anyone has anything new to say, I'll close the thread this evening (Friday).

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - veloceman
I currently run a 3l Alfa GTV and have been looking for a new set of wheels for the daily grind.
More specifically a used 159 or Brera diesel.
On seeking advice from my trusted Alfa specialist is not to touch anything that has extended service intervals.
I hear these engines are notorious for their problems. However he tells me that they only have problems if neglected.
I have had Alfas for nearly 30 years and the only failure I've had is a gear box on a two year old Giulietta.
To me manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of their service intervals to compete with each other on costs for the fleet user.
Most people are now on PCP deals who dispose of their cars after a short period of time leaving the poor used buyer to pick up the pieces.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - skidpan

I think everything that needs to be said on this subject has been said already - and a few things that don't. Unless anyone has anything new to say, I'll close the thread this evening (Friday).

Avant.

I there any way of suggesting to John F that his unique beliefs are perhaps kept to himself. I personally find it crazy that habits that will eventually lead to premature wear and potential catastrophic failure are allowed to be posted time after time. I remember one a while ago where his suggestion could have led to injury if followed by an inexperienced person, I think you removed the post.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RobJP

I think everything that needs to be said on this subject has been said already - and a few things that don't. Unless anyone has anything new to say, I'll close the thread this evening (Friday).

Avant.

I there any way of suggesting to John F that his unique beliefs are perhaps kept to himself. I personally find it crazy that habits that will eventually lead to premature wear and potential catastrophic failure are allowed to be posted time after time. I remember one a while ago where his suggestion could have led to injury if followed by an inexperienced person, I think you removed the post.

The thing is, John F could easily counter that his argument is to save people money, and we are just costing people unnecessary cash. Therefore, he could ask if our arguments in favour of frequent oil changes be kept to ourselves in future.

The fact that engine builders, myself with all my experience and qualifications in the field, a motor trader (SLO, who steers well clear of anything with infrequent servicing), HJ himself, and even if the Royal Society of Chemistry came out and said to get oil changes done annually/10k, whichever came first, some people have closed minds, and will not be persuaded that their way is 'wrong'.

And, as I was told many years ago, a closed mind goes nowhere.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Avant

With some reluctance I suppose that after 93 posts I have to admit that there is a debate to be had about the frequency of oil changes. But I hope that the view of the great majority proves useful to anyone looking at this thread for guidance.

But there are some things that aren't debatable: for example, I very much hope that we don't see any more suggestions on the forum that it's safe to drive with tyres that are over ten years old. Because it isn't.

Edited by Avant on 09/12/2016 at 16:15

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Andrew-T

As you have intimated, Avant, pretty much everything to be said on this topic has already been said, some of it ad nauseam. The awkward fact remains that the oil in some cars should be changed every 12 months (or whatever) while other cars can be driven another year - because of the kind of use they have had. I suggest that similarly there is no magic cut-off point at which tyres suddenly become too unsafe to use.

By all means say that tyres of a certain age should be regarded with suspicion, and examined carefully for signs of deterioration. As with oil, some will fail, others won't. A reliable MoT check should cover that - not by just saying It's 11 years old, mate, bin it.

Sorry - I'm starting a new thread .....

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT

A MoT test doesn't inspect inside a tyre carcase - not all damage / deterioration is detectable from an external examination.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - skidpan

A MoT test doesn't inspect inside a tyre carcase - not all damage / deterioration is detectable from an external examination.

Perfect answer.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - John F

Thanks to Avant for his wise posts. As for the 'closed minds' poster.......Copernicus and Darwin had a hard time too! I'm happy to debate a new thread on the dogma of 'must change your tyres at 10yrs old'. I agree, time to close this.

Edited by John F on 10/12/2016 at 11:27

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Theophilus

Three months ago the Chief Dental Officer said that "the worried well are going to the dentist too frequently" and urged patients to challenge dentists who ask them to return every 6 months for a check-up ... today I received a letter from my dentist (5 months after my last check-up) "reminding" me that my next check-up was due and inviting me to make an appointment!

Sound familiar?

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - skidpan

John F

Got the perect set of tyres for you in the garage. Bought in 1989, date coded 1987. Only mileage was 10 laps of Cadwell in 1989. They still have the original 1989 air in them and look like new.

As for dentists been visiting every 6 months since the 1970's, before that it was a little less regular as my dentists had a bad habit of dying. Cannot remember when I last had a filling. Works for me.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - RT

John F

Got the perect set of tyres for you in the garage. Bought in 1989, date coded 1987. Only mileage was 10 laps of Cadwell in 1989. They still have the original 1989 air in them and look like new.

As for dentists been visiting every 6 months since the 1970's, before that it was a little less regular as my dentists had a bad habit of dying. Cannot remember when I last had a filling. Works for me.

The tyre industry, that temple of self interest, generally recommend to trailer users that tyres are replaced within 7 years of manufacture date, although some brands suggest 10 years - but always with the proviso of regular inspection and early replacement if any deterioration. The combination of oxidation and UV light (even in the UK!) are the causes of "hidden" tyre degradation.

In 5-6 years, my caravan covers about 10,000 miles and the tyres are replaced despite still having 6mm tread.

I could try and prove the vested interests wrong and run the tyres until they wear out - I'd either prove them wrong or end up in a write-off disaster - I don't like those odds so I don't do it.

I go to the dentist every six months, it's a routine check-up with no work needed - a bit like checking the engine oil level weekly - perhaps I should only do that every 2 years!

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Theophilus

My point about the dentist was simply to illustrate that our decisions are not based so much on expert advice as on our experience and conditioning.

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - SLO76
I often buy cars from elderly drivers, often at ten years or older they still have at least two of the original tyres on and older rubber is always showing signs of deterioration.

One I was offered recently was an old but immaculate low mileage 2002 Vauxhall Omega and while the tyres were well within the legal limit they were crumbling with chunks of tread and even sidewall disintegrating. Elderly chap that owned it mistakenly thought they were fine. How it made it through the last mot I'll never know.

Not that I regard crumbling or cracked rubber as a negative on an old car, it shows that it's certainly not been driven hard. Unfortunately in the case of the Omega the old fella was living in the past regarding its value too so it's still on his driveway a year later.

Edited by SLO76 on 10/12/2016 at 20:39

Any - HJ's Saturday Telegraph annual oil change advice - Avant

John - thanks for the compliment but please don't let's have a debate on ancient tyres. It's been done before, and wasn't pretty then.

Time to close this thread.

 

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