Can a service period be that long? - Anthony Farrar
I bought my Renault Megane Alize in January 2001, with 19,000 on the clock. A sticker on the inside of the windscreen says, next service at 36,000 miles or January 2003. I have just reached 30,000 another six months to reach 36,000. Can the service period be really 18 months or more?
Re: Can a service period be that long? - Adam Going (Tune-Up Ltd)
Anthony,

You are right to be concerned. Service intervals are nowadays determined by the marketing department, not the engineers. Whilst certain systems are virtually maintenance free unless they malfunction, and spark plug life can be as much as 25K under perfect conditions (ie. no short runs, and no other system problems) the over-riding concern is oil degredation. Even totally sythetic oils suffer contamination on repeated cold starts and short trips. I have never had a vehicle of mine go more than 6K without an oil change, and for maximum engine life you should work on 6K or 12 months, whichever is the sooner.

Regards, Adam
Re: Can a service period be that long? - Andy P
On a smiliar vein, I was looking through the service book for my 2000 Accord. Alongside the normal 9000 mile services, there were spaces left for optional 4500 mile oil/filter change "for hard driving". It seems that Honda is aware of the potential problems with 9000 mile service intervals.


Andy
Re: Can a service period be that long? - John S
Andy

I wonder if the 'I only run it down to the shops' owners realise that is hard driving.

Probably not.

Regards

John
Re: Can a service period be that long? - ian (cape town)
John,
My mum has a little Daihatsu, which has done 3000 ks in almost 2 years "just down the shops".
Occasionally it gets a long hard run up the motorway (not her driving!) , which seems to do it a power of good!!!
Bizarrely, given the runabout nature of the vehicle, the owners manual mentions neither additional oil changes, nor running it to protect the cat!
Re: Can a service period be that long? - prm
Anthony,

Adam Going is , as usual, spot on. Oil and filter every 6k, check plugs every 10k should give you a healthy long lived engine.

Peter.
Re: Can a service period be that long? - BrianT
All that has been said is generally understood wisdom, and fleet managers want to cut costs with lower servicing bills.
How come the new BMWs, give a countdown to the next service interval on the computer that varies according to the way the car has been driven. How does it work this out? Surely the manufacturers know whats good for their engines!
Re: Can a service period be that long? - Dave
BrianT wrote:

> All that has been said is generally understood wisdom, and
> fleet managers want to cut costs with lower servicing bills.
> How come the new BMWs, give a countdown to the next service
> interval on the computer that varies according to the way the
> car has been driven. How does it work this out? Surely the
> manufacturers know whats good for their engines!


I've always wondered how that works? It must have a flag set by the user to indicate the quality of the oil in the last change. Otherwise it's fairly meaningless.
Re: Can a service period be that long? - Dan J
Maybe, and if so perhaps sensibly, works off the number of "engine hours" which is what you find on a tractor where miles travelled isn't too relevant.

How this works is simply the meter records the number of hours at a certain engine rpm - therefore if you spend more time revving the car high then it notches up more quickly than if you use lower revs, like an old style electric meter as a vaguely similar example.

Still, it's probably not at all and is some smart alec CPU which is gonna go wrong and void your warranty for not having car serviced every 8 miles...
Re: Can a service period be that long? - AnOldGolfer
It's simple - based on how much fuel is used.
Re: Can a service period be that long? - John S
Bit more than that actually. It includes the number of cold starts and the period spent above 4000 revs, and comes up with an 'equivalent hours' figure. Equivalent, because a cold start = a certain number of running hours etc. So, short runs equate to shorter intervals between services.

As for oil quality - it assumes the use of the BMW recommended oil at service.

regards

JS
Re: Can a service period be that long? - Julian Lindley
Its reassuring to see a satisfying number of replies to this "Hardy Perennial". Contributors recommendations will save Anthony a good deal of heartache and expense in the long term, if followed.

I know HJ has responded to this same question many many times, but there are still a great many folk who are ignorant of this important info', particularly as it is distorted by manufacturers (In owners handbooks) for their own commercial interests.

HJ, would it be possible to revise the question for FAQS, Q 13? To my mind the Q's emphasis implies that the 12,500 mile or two year interval between oil changes recommended by manufacturers is appropriate for the private car owner. (As opposed to the "Fleet" operation)

Regards,

Julian
Re: Can a service period be that long? - Simon Saxton

I have ASSYST on my MB C class for calculating mileage to next oil change.
A microcomputor monitors the ageing of the oil , this basically is achieved by sensor derived data from oil temperature,oil level,coolant temperature,engine speed,road speed & engine load.The computor calculates the actual load on the engine oil & works out a servicing schedule for the engine.
Whilst others may disagree,I do not believe that progressive accumulation of contaminants suspended in the oil should be left there for up 12-14k.
I therefore operate a 6k or 6 month oil change irrespective of Assyst.I might be coddling the engine but at current garage hourly rates of charge,I am perfectly happy to minimise risk.

Simon
Re: Can a service period be that long? - Colin M
Audi have the same variable service interval. First service out of the factory is at 20,000 miles. Must be madness to leave the original oil in that long despite all the gadgetry measuring it's viscosity etc.
Re: Can a service period be that long? - Julian Lindley
Colin M,

I suspect that manufacturers take the view that the majority will achieve a milage approaching a 100K, irrespective of these harsh service intervals, and that selling the "product" must be their priority.

Bods who follow the owners handbook to the letter, do a large number of short runs, and buy new for reliability, are clearly the most vulnerable. The elderly or retired who meet this criteria, will often be hit particularly hard and I feel that this is not acceptable.

America's business style and values have been warmly grasped by most, if not all of the principal industrial nations as the way forward in this brave new world of ours. In so many ways the practices resulting have a backlash, and this is just a small example.

Regards,


Julian
 

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