What kind of chemistry do you have with your car? Love it? Loathe it? Let us know and you could win a £300 John Lewis voucher | No thanks

Honest John's Motoring Agony Column 08-06-2019 Part 1

Published 07 June 2019

This week’s motoring Q&As cover carbon cleaning, engine explosions, under-servicing, Real MPG and in Part 2 Touch Screens, Japanese reliability, slipping clutches and some long ones.

As usual, emails to Honest John should be addressed to: letters@honestjohn.co.uk  Please try to keep them as short as possible.

Coming clean 

I noticed you have mentioned my client TerraClean in your news article for the Telegraph ‘Why you shouldn't complain about HGVs’. However, I noticed that you didn’t link through to our website when you mentioned us. Is there any chance that you can quickly update the page with a link back to our website? Here’s the link to save you time searching for it: https://www.terraclean.co.uk/. This will allow people to access the site a lot easier to find out more information about TerraClean.

CG, via email

This had nothing to do with me and I won’t comment on anything I did not write. The Telegraph doesn't usually run links. Most people can soon find your website from the name using Google. We have no reader feedback on TerraClean. If we do get some we’ll run it here. We have had some positive feedback about Ceramex.

Ford Transit 2014 F34

Big bang theories

I write to get your opinion on a catastrophic engine failure (a cracked/holed piston that caused other internal engine damage). It occurred at just 99,000 miles in our 3-year old Ford 350 LWB Panel Van LGV Variant - CYR52ADX Version - G3MACZCASAXA and wondered if you'd had any similar reports of this kind? We have owned the van since new and religiously adhered to the recommended service intervals/oil changes etc (last serviced at 91,621 miles on 20-11-18). Our business makes mostly longer journeys, with the bulk of the 99k being motorway miles.

MC, Thorne

If this has the 2.2 litre chain cam Ford engine shared with the Land Rover Defender (amongst others), yes, in a Defender: Description and photo of it here: /carbycar/land-rover/defender-1984/good/

Vauxhall Corsa Post 2015 Non Dating 

Doing a mis-service

In March 2017 I bought a pre-registered, unused September 2016 Vauxhall Corsa. It went back to the Vauxhall dealer for service in March 2018 and currently has only 4,300 miles. The Vauxhall OnStar checker is now telling me that the oil has only 5% use left in it. As I am not bothered about having a full-service history, I had decided that I would wait until September, when the first MoT is due, to have it serviced by a trusted local garage rather than taking it back to the Vauxhall dealer. I cannot believe that with such a low mileage the oil is really at such a low strength and suspect that the OnStar warning is really because the computer says another year has passed so book in to the main dealer for a service. Could this be possible?

CP, via email

It needs an oil and filter change at least every year or every 10,000 miles so if you don't get these changed you will probably wreck your engine. Why spend maybe £8,000 on a discounted new car then try to "save" money by not getting the oil changed?

Jaguar E-Pace Blue Side

False economy

I purchased a Jaguar E-Pace R dynamic S on 1st March 2018. The manual quotes urban mileage at 43.5mpg. However, I am only getting 26-27mpg. When I queried this, I was told that these figures were obtained under factory conditions on a ‘rolling road’. I was also told that, being AWD and being higher, thus creating more wind resistance, would have an effect. Am I wrong in expecting my figures to replicate those quoted by the manufacturer? My previous car was an XF 3.0S which, in urban driving, was delivering 36mpg. When considering the E-Pace the fuel economy was used by Sales as a selling point. I would appreciate your comments and advice. 

DS, via email

The figures quoted were the discredited NEDC lab test figures, previously compulsory throughout Europe, easily 'cheated' by manufacturers and now widely discredited. Replaced for new cars since September 2018 by more accurate WLTP figures. For the Real MPG figures for the Jaguar e-Pace see: /realmpg/jaguar/e-pace-2018 / There is also a fundamental problem with transverse Ingenium diesel engines in Range Rover Evoques, Land Rover Discovery Sports and Jaguar E-Paces driven for short distances. The Diesel Particulate Filters cannot passively regenerate, so try to actively regenerate and that uses a lot of fuel (and AdBlue) and can contaminate the engine oil. You seem to be emailing from New Zealand and we cannot advise about consumer law there.

Mazda CX3 2017 Side Facing Left

Wing commander

I have just experienced a disgusting Customer Service scam from Mazda (blamed on Mazda Japan by everyone I spoke to in UK Customer Service). I damaged a door mirror on my Mazda CX-3, which is made up of 5 component parts. These are the glass, the repeater/indicator and the colour-coded rear cover. The other 2 parts are the whole body with all the mechanics and electrics used in the mirror and a separate black moulding that fits beneath the colour-coded rear cover. The first 3 parts were damaged, needed replacing and cost £117, the whole body wasn't required as the original on my car was still fully functional. However, to maximise profit Mazda Japan (allegedly) will not supply the fifth and final part as a separate item but only as part of a whole replacement body,  cost £167. Having spent many years in automotive manufacture I know the component cost of this small piece would be between £1 and £3 depending on volumes. I now have a whole body, less the small part, that is completely useless. Talk about minimising waste and protecting the environment. I for one shall never buy another Mazda. If you have the misfortune to damage the underside of your Mazda mirror be aware you will have to spend £150+ to replace an inexpensive component. This is a known issue according to the Parts Dept. Hopefully others will not suffer as I did.

RL, via email

You will find the situation is the same for almost every manufacturer (all I know of anyway) and £284 is average for a complete door mirror assembly. You can obtain separate bits from independent suppliers such as http://www.wingmirrorman.co.uk / but not all.

MG Midget Yellow F34 Swimming Pool

Exposure

I drive a 1979 MG Midget all the time. For the past few years I’ve noticed in the small print of insurance documents, (which I suspect many motorists might not read), that if it is parked with the roof off, it’s not covered (pun not intended). As a result of this exclusion I’ve had to change companies several times. I’ve now run out of options. How can companies advertise as “specialist” convertible sports car insurers if, to comply with their requirements, every time I go anywhere in the summer I’ve got to put the roof back up when I get there? Being manual operation, not electric, this is no small matter, takes several minutes and rather ruins the whole experience.

JR, vie email

It's contributory negligence, the same as leaving your car unlocked. You expose the insurer to too much of a risk. However, if you fit a wheel enveloping steering lock such as a Disklok a decent classic car insurer should still cover you against the car being stolen even if it would not cover you for the contents.

VW Golf VI F34 Non Dating Plate

Repent, ye synthers

I have been quoted  £200 by a VW dealer to change the oil in in the DSG transmission of my 2012 VW Golf Match TSI 1,390cc and will be going ahead as it seems like it will be beneficial in the long term.

MT, via email

This has the infamous DQ200 7-speed dry clutch transmission. The oil in these was originally synthetic and they were ‘sealed for life’. But it became conductive at high temperatures, knocking out the mechatronics, so was replaced by mineral oil, both in production and by dealers for earlier cars. Since then, though the box is not designed to have its oil changed, many specialists advise a change of oil after 5 years simply because the original mineral oil will have degraded. £200 is fair for the job on a transmission that was not designed for the oil to be changed. Interesting that franchised dealers are now offering this service. They weren't before.

Vauxhall Zafira Tourer C 2017 Side

Checking account 

Ten days ago I bought a 2017 Vauxhall Zafira with 16,000 miles. Everything about the car looks fine: no visible signs of wear, except for the pedal covers that are worn down to the metal. So I question the accuracy of the mileage shown. I have no paperwork for this vehicle, which is stupid, I know. The previous keeper was a leasing company, but again I don't know who they were. The garage I bought it from is being obstructive when I ask for the service history and the name of the leasing company. Is there any way I can ascertain the odometer reading has not been tampered with? 

PH, via email

This reads very fishy. Worth checking the tyres. At 16,000 miles they should all be the same make and type. The fronts should be down to about 3mm. The rears 5mm. You could pay for an independent inspection of the mechanical condition of the car by either via the AA and DEKRA or Scotia Vehicle Inspections. It is common for the lessee of a leased car to reprogram the odometer to avoid a penalty for excess miles. Does not automatically mean that the vendor clocked it. But if you can prove it has done more than the mileage on the basis of which you bought it, you can reject the car. GDPR prevents you from checking back with the leasing company and the lessee.

Hyundai Ix 20 2015 Facelift F34

Access cars

My wife has trouble getting in and out my 2013 5-door manual Megane diesel due to a medical condition. Also, I am recovering from a left side stroke which affects clutch changing. I require an automatic car which will serve both purposes. I was thinking of a used B-Max or C-Max or Hyundai ix20 or possibly a Dacia Stepway. I have a total of about £8,000 to play with. I shall only be driving about 6,000 miles a year so assume a petrol engine will suffice.

AL, via email

No Dacia Stepway auto. Dry clutch Powershift auto in B-Max and C-Max not reliable. 4-speed or 6-speed torque converter auto in the KIA Venga or Hyundai ix20 okay. Can get a Renault Captur with EDC. I am a bit worried about you switching to an automatic. If you can't learn to left-foot brake, that could be very dangerous, especially in confined areas such as carparks. 'Pedal confusion' (hitting the accelerator with the right foot instead of the brake) kills about 50 people a year in the UK alone.

SEAT Ateca Orange F34 Street

Space saver: the final frontier

I have purchased 2018 SEAT Ateca 1.0TSI Ecomotive SUV. I would like to buy a spare wheel for this car. I remember you once gave the address of a supplier, so could you give the address or  email?

MP, via email

Motor Nuts does a kit at £214.31: https://motornuts.co.uk/seat-ateca-roadhero-space-saver-wheel-and-tyre-kit?uilang=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9tWlnNai4gIVr53tCh2l0wwQEAQYAiABEgKuYfD_BwE (condense long link). Also available on eBay: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/162227851658?ul_noapp=true Google <seat ateca space saver spare wheel> and they all come up.

BMW X1 E84 Side

Difference of a pinion

I have a 2011 E84 BMW X1 2.0d xDrive MSport with 48,000 miles that suffered front diff failure. Thank you for helpful and informative web site. It was one of your responses that triggered me take the X1 to be investigated by professionals (Munich Legends). A noise developed recently that coincided with a change from Winter to Summer wheels and tyres, and the summer fronts may be approaching 3mm difference from the rears. A change back to the Winter tyres did not rid the noise which sounds like a bearing gone totally dry. Munich Legends deduced with 90% certainty, that the noise is due to a failed front differential. They could only be 100% certain after removing it for visual confirmation. My questions and comments are :- What would be the noise if the tyres were over 3mm different to each other? My comment about the front diff is that, surely it is hardly ever used until 4-wheel traction is required, which has been rare since I purchased it as demonstrator in 2012. I must have used it in the snow twice since purchase, total less than 100 miles if 4-wheel drive was ever called for. If anything fails I would have expected rear diff to fail through hard accelerations. The life of my X1 is almost all tarmac and occasional trips to NT sites with dirt tracks. Nothing for it but for you to chalk it to your web site and is further affirmation that German cars are not the most reliable.

SC, via email

The front diff is engaged whenever the xDrive system detects slippage and a disparity in tread depth can be interpreted as that. You would not be aware of this except maybe a more positive feel at the front end through a corner in the wet. It's a rare failure.

VW T-Cross 2019 Cockpit And Seats 

80s car

I am an 80-year-old driving 5,000 miles a year in my 8-year old Polo 1.2 80 Match, 4-door petrol manual. I want to replace with 1-2 year old, similar spec, more efficient car, but not electric. My budget is about £12k

WB, via email

Toyota Yaris hybrid: /road-tests/toyota/toyota-yaris-2017-range-road-test/ Or Honda Jazz 1.3 CVT-7: /road-tests/honda/honda-jazz-2015-road-test/ Or for two high and height adjustable front seats, a VW T-Cross: /road-tests/volkswagen/volkswagen-t-cross-2019-road-test/ 

 

Sensor foreboding

My only previous experience of tyre pressure monitoring was on a hire car in the USA. It kept telling me I had a tyre pressure problem. The Nissan dealer told me that this happens a lot and I should ignore it. A bit like crying wolf one day when the tyre really is going down. Fast-forward to my recent purchase of a 2014 Corsa. Same thing happening. Fortunately I got 3 months warranty, but what about after 3 months? Are these things notoriously troublesome? One Vauxhall dealer said they would increase pressure all round to 35 to prevent this. Well it wouldn't because when the light came on in the first place I checked the pressures at 39PSI and reduced them. The handbook says 29F and 26R. One forum member said that they "learn" and I should go for a drive at the new pressures. Didn't work. Another dealer told me they set 32 all-round but that air temperature can set them off. My questions are:- Why do we have an alarm fitted which seems to give more false alarms than real ones? Are they all this temperamental that even the weather can set them off? Is it wise to increase Vauxhall recommended pressures by as much as 20% that also hardens the ride? Another forum suggestion was to fit  standard valves. Does this make insurance invalid? Someone replied that this would only be the case if runflats were fitted. If this continues, I plan to get an older car with no TPMS and a steel spare.

WC, via email

Because the EC made it compulsory. Not only that, I think they made valve-based TPMS compulsory, so the more reliable system that worked from the ABS reluctor rings can no longer be fitted. Valve-based TPMS are badly affected by low temperatures, condensation and wet road salt (that corrodes them). Obviously, another vested interest lobbying the unaccountable EC commissioners. Normally, after a bit of messing about with a tyre pump and a pressure gauge you can get the tyres back to a sensible pressure, then "re-initialise" the sensors so they work from any significant disparity from that pressure.

Speed Camera France 2

Speeds of discontent

On 14th March 2019, I received a violation notice from France for a supposed speeding offence which they say occurred on 1st September 2018. You will note that is over 6 months ago. Is there no time limit in France as to when you must be informed of a suspected infringement of their speed limits? As an aside, do British Police likewise prosecute French drivers for Traffic infringements?

AR, via email

No. If they traced you via the DVLA, it's due and they could even pursue you through the UK courts. I guess it was for something like 85kmh in the newly imposed 80kmh zones where the limit is still posted as 90. Lots of Brits were getting these prior to the 29th March Brexit deadline that never happened. I don’t know if “we” pursue the French in the same way. I don’t receive emails from French readers.

 

And another

I have just received a French Violation Notice dated 4th March 2019, stating that my "vehicle was checked at 123kmh  for an authorised speed limit of 110kmh, the speed used is 116kmh." The date of this offence is given 09.09.2018 and the violation notice is dated 04.03.2019. This is almost a 6-month delay since the event. Can you please advise if there a time limit during which such a notice must be served?

AH, via email

Quite a lot of these came through in mid-March. Almost as if the Flics were trying to get us before Brexit happened. As it is, the DVLA has given the French authorities your details, so if you don't pay you could be taken to court for the payment in the UK.

Mazda 3 2016 2 X F34 66 Reg

The regeneration game

How can you tell when a diesel engine is actively regenerating? I have a Mazda 3 fastback 2.2D and have had problems with diesel getting into the oil, presumably due to the engine being switched off while actively regenerating as you described previously. I have tried to keep the revs to about 2,000rpm on short journeys to encourage passive regeneration but sometimes have to use the car for 2-3 mile trips. What should I look out for/listen for before I switch off?

DK, Fife

Basically (very basically) open the door before you switch off. If you feel and smell heat under the car, the DPF is actively regenerating and it's best to keep driving the car for another 5 - 10 minutes to allow it to complete. If it starts regenerating on the motorway the ‘current’ fuel economy will drop markedly due to fuel being used to actively regen the DPF.

Ford Eco Sport 2014 Side Blue

No change there, then

The 1st and 2nd gears of my Ford EcoSport are freezing periodically and now more often. It happens more in traffic until nearly stopping and then will not go into 1st and /or 2nd. The car is now nearly 3 years old and still under warranty. I asked the garage to look over 2 weeks ago when I took it in because the driver window wouldn't activate. Window repaired and garage said nothing wrong with gears. However, this Monday my gears were so bad on a 70mile round trip I drove to the garage and the reverse also seized. A mechanic came out and admitted something wrong so it was booked in for 2 days.  Yesterday, I was told there was nothing wrong with my car and please collect it. I said if this is so I want a written statement saying they had looked and checked it over to say nothing wrong as it has happened so often and I know there will be an accident as someone crashes into the back of me when I couldn't move. I want proof for the insurers that I had been to a Ford garage about this problem. The garage has now given me a courtesy car while they drive around and see if there is a problem up and down the A34 dual carriageway. I know this will not give results as so far there is no trouble in 3-5 gears. Do you know please what they should be looking for? What questions should I ask? Do I demand anything to be looked for? Are they waiting until the warranty ends to give me the 'bill'?

SL, Newbury

This will have the notorious Getrag 6-speed dry clutch dual shaft Powershift that is basically the automatic transmission from hell, now dropped by Ford throughout its range. Your problem reads more like mechatronics than the usual clutch pack failure, but might be the clutch pack because it has a clutch for each shaft and odd gears and even gears are on different shafts.

Click to Honest John’s Motoring Agony Column 08-06-2019 Part 2

Comments

sammy1    on 7 June 2019

Re 17 reg Zafira. Have you tried asking Vauxhall for a service history? Also is there a recall on the Heater matrix?

   on 8 June 2019

Re: Wing commander. I may be missing something, but can't RL use the undamaged parts 4 and 5 from their existing mirror, thus saving the £167 ?

Honestjohn    on 8 June 2019

RL's point was that he couldn't buy just the bits he needed.

HJ

GingerTom    on 8 June 2019

Mis-service - This always defeats me too. Like the people who spend £30k on a car then shop around for the cheapest possible insurance and moaning if it goes up by ten quid or doesn't pay out. I guess the people they are trying to impress can see the shiny new car on the drive but cannot see all the inconvenient stuff like servicing, tax and insurance etc.

Marcus T.    6 days ago

or people who spend £30k or £40k+ on a nice vehicle, then fit cheap ditchfinders when it requires new tyres.

GingerTom    on 8 June 2019

Exposure - I want to leave my car exposed to the risk of theft and vandalism and I expect my insurer to cough up the full amount if it happens. You can't make this stuff up. Does he leave his house with the doors and windows open expecting to be fully insured too?

expertad    on 8 June 2019

Surely if somebody wanted to nick a MG Midget we would a dangerous criminal on our hands?

dylann    on 8 June 2019

I think Honest John has an obsession about left foot braking. It really is nonsense to suggest this is necessary on an automatic. Yes, while manoeuvring in a crowded area , its a sensible precaution,
It takes no longer to move the right foot onto the brake pedal than the left foot.
I also disagree with HJ's advice regarding private car parking ticketing.. He suggests writing and offering a nominal sum in settlement..
Doing this confirms your address and is a tacit admission of guilt. I have had five such tickets, all for minor infringements. My policy is never respond to any communication from these people. I have never paid a penny.

Honestjohn    on 8 June 2019

In response to Dylan, you really are living in the past. It's ridiculous to repeat advice I gave 10 years ago that was superseded by the Protection of Freedoms Act and the Supreme Court Ruling in Beavis v Parking Eye November 2015 that gave private parking operators the legal right to impose their own rules and penalties. Happily, Sir Greg Knight's bill to control private parking operators with a statutory Code of Practice received Royal Assent in March and should be in force by this Summer.

HJ

GingerTom    6 days ago

You won't talk sense in Dylann HJ. Only today we had a claim in from a pensioner who pushed a parked car 50 metres down a road. Yes he was driving an auto. Wrong pedal syndrome. Thinks he's pressing the brake, car speeds up so presses harder.... left foot braking would have prevented this. You won't convince people who think they know better than advanced drivers and racing drivers....

SteveLee    15 hours ago

Yep,telling an old man who has braked and accelerated with his right foot his whole life to suddenly switch to left foot braking when moving to an auto car is bordering on insanity.

Mike H    on 8 June 2019

Access Cars - the writer wants an auto because he has trouble using the clutch after a left-side stroke. He's hardly a good candidate for left-foot braking is he??

doi209    on 8 June 2019

Dam - you beat me to it :-)

GingerTom    6 days ago

Yes there are never exceptions in life are there? Duh.

dylann    on 8 June 2019

I had a 2009 Volvo S40 auto fitted with Powershift box. I do not know if Volvo improved what was in effect a Ford box but in the four years I had the car it behaved faultlessly with instant pickup and undetectable changes. I now have a V40 with a TC box and, while it works fine, I do not like the slip on pick up.

Engineer Andy    on 8 June 2019

I had a 2009 Volvo S40 auto fitted with Powershift box. I do not know if Volvo improved what was in effect a Ford box but in the four years I had the car it behaved faultlessly with instant pickup and undetectable changes. I now have a V40 with a TC box and, while it works fine, I do not like the slip on pick up.

It depends on how the car is used - if most of your journeys are on faster-flowing roads and not much stop-start work in heavy traffic, then a dual clutch gearbox should work fine for the most part, as it's being used for the purpose it was designed for - efficient gearcharges and for performance. They were never designed for the latter or for hauling trailers/heavy loads.

Or you could've just been lucky. It's not as though every dual clutch gearbox breaks or work terribly, even those that don't have the fluid replaced. If they did, it might've bankrupted all the firms using them over warranty claims!

expertad    on 8 June 2019

£200 to change the DSG oil on the Golf? that is how much it is for the wet clutch six speed one with a filter and 6 litres of oil.The dry clutch one is just under 2 litres with no filter,and is pretty easy to do.My indy charged me £70 all in a few years back.

General de Goole    on 8 June 2019

80s car - Why recommend an automatic shift to an 80 year old who has driven manual all her life? Given everything that you keep telling us about accidents caused by not left-foot braking, isn’t an automatic just asking for trouble? (I would recommend a Hyundai i10, manual.)

Slow Eddie    on 8 June 2019

Indeed, mon General. Though kudos to HJ for participating on the forum, it's interesting to see which comments he declines to reply to.

Ron Scammell    on 8 June 2019

Ron - Re `WC` on tyre pressure monitoring irritation

WC asked, to paraphrase, why do we have to put up with TPM and you HJ effectively said its the fault of the EU. I invariably enjoy and respect your opinion HJ, but for once you have allowed prejudice to subvert your normal common sense on safety. I now own a Volvo V40 bought May 2017 which has, I understand a TPM that is not based on the less reliable valve system you say the EU has made compulsory. When I bought my Volvo this fact was,and remains of critical sensitive importance to me because in February 2014 I was severely injured in an horrendous high velocity fatal collision - although completely innocent my car became an instrument of death because the other driver failed to notice he had struct an object that caused the total lost of pressure in his rear nearside tyre - he drove on with heavy duty low profile tyres for no less than a mile until the tyre totally disintegrated and he totally lost control and crossed over to my side of the road. Believe me I wish no one to go through the trauma both physical and psychological of such an accident which I trust can now be prevented by the tyre pressure monitoring system absent for most cars in 2014. I have no memory of my accident, but every day I am reminded of its consequences.

Honestjohn    on 8 June 2019

In response to Ron Scammel, my complaint is against the EC Commissioners for imposing unreliable valve based TPMS on manufacturers when the ABS reluctor ring TPMS was far more reliable and not subject to failure at low temperatures or through corrosion.

HJ

Rob Whitmarsh    on 8 June 2019

Re. "Doing a mis-service", I had the same problem on my 18 month old petrol Alfa Giulia, "Change engine oil!" every time I switched on. This car only does a small mileage, and had done just over 3000 miles since a previous full service and oil change, so clearly a false alarm. I phoned the dealer, and they asked me to bring the car in for them to have a look at. The computer hadn't been re-set, so the car thought that its oil was almost 18 months old. They told me that the car's computer re-set had failed, though I had possibly unworthy suspicions that they hadn't done it. I know absolutely nothing about Vauxhalls, but maybe the same problem, a not re-set computer after the oil was last changed?

DLDLDL    on 8 June 2019

If you should change your oil every 12 months irrespective of mileage because "it goes off", should oil come with "use by dates" on the containers and should garages confirm that they have used oil with at least say 15 months of "useable life left"?

I have seen some labels that say use within 5 years of production date - which would imply that oil does not just go off.

IrishNeil    on 8 June 2019

If you should change your oil every 12 months irrespective of mileage because "it goes off", should oil come with "use by dates" on the containers and should garages confirm that they have used oil with at least say 15 months of "useable life left"? I have seen some labels that say use within 5 years of production date - which would imply that oil does not just go off.

Every type of oil 'goes off' when it is subjected to thousands of thumps from pistons and heat exchanges from internal combustions, a bit like mayonaisse. That used to be an egg and olive oil until it gets subjected to....oh I give up!!

Edited by IrishNeil on 08/06/2019 at 14:50

DLDLDL    7 days ago

Every type of oil 'goes off' when it is subjected to thousands of thumps from pistons and heat exchanges from internal combustions, a bit like mayonaisse. That used to be an egg and olive oil until it gets subjected to....oh I give up!!

Oh, I can understand degradation due to "thumps from pistons and heat exchanges from internal combustions" - but that will be mileage related not time related surely?

If I do 3,000 miles pa and must change my oil after that "because of 3,000 miles of 'thumps from pistons and heat exchanges from internal combustions'", why doesn't the driver who does 12,000 miles pa have to change their oil after 3 months?

Edited by DLDLDL on 09/06/2019 at 16:52

Arminius JP    7 days ago

Extensive googling reveals: -

Even stored, motor oil (lubricant) deteriorates though ought to be stable such that the shelf life is up to five years. Synthetic oils have the longest shelf lives since the evenly spread hydrocarbon molecules therein form a base, or alkali, that remains stable at extremes of temperature. The absence of pollutants like paraffin wax, a component of crude oil, aid storage longevity. Additives in the oils (aimed at enhancing in-use performance) affect shelf life, with copper and iron, for example, acting as catalysts that speed up life-shortening oxidation.

Usage consumes the additives that play a critical role in preventing lubricant degradation. Some degradation (significantly from oxidization) once accelerated post additive consumption does continue even if usage were to cease although I am unclear as to how material that may be compared to the extent of degradation that arises from further usage.

madf    6 days ago

Every type of oil 'goes off' when it is subjected to thousands of thumps from pistons and heat exchanges from internal combustions, a bit like mayonaisse. That used to be an egg and olive oil until it gets subjected to....oh I give up!!

Oh, I can understand degradation due to "thumps from pistons and heat exchanges from internal combustions" - but that will be mileage related not time related surely?

If I do 3,000 miles pa and must change my oil after that "because of 3,000 miles of 'thumps from pistons and heat exchanges from internal combustions'", why doesn't the driver who does 12,000 miles pa have to change their oil after 3 months?

because at 3,000 mile a year, there is a good chance the engine rarely gets warm and you get condensation inside the engine every time it is run. That contaminates the oil as do the acids from incomplete combustion. If you smell the oil from a car which only does low miles and a lot of short journeys, it is a mix of unburned fuel and acids - horrible..

And anyone who knows anything about car engines knows the worst wear occurs when engines are cold and in stop/start driving.. which cars doing a lot more miles will be less subject to..

DLDLDL    3 days ago

because at 3,000 mile a year, there is a good chance the engine rarely gets warm and you get condensation inside the engine every time it is run. That contaminates the oil as do the acids from incomplete combustion. If you smell the oil from a car which only does low miles and a lot of short journeys, it is a mix of unburned fuel and acids - horrible..

And anyone who knows anything about car engines knows the worst wear occurs when engines are cold and in stop/start driving.. which cars doing a lot more miles will be less subject to..

Are we making correct assumptions about low usage? I may be non typical, but I dropped my mileage a few years ago, by cutting out the short runs (that my DPF really did not like), and more recently the 10-20 mile trips (taking my late mother "out for a drive"). Now all that is left are the long 60Mile+ trips, possibly once a week.

If we do not understand the usage patterns are we making incorrect decisions about:
- maintenance
- petrol/diesel choice
- internal combustion / electric choice?

Too often we read "rules of thumb", but do they necessarily apply to our own personal usage patterns?

SteveLee    15 hours ago

Cars used for short journeys - your archetypal 3,000 miles per year - will not get the oil hot enough to burn off moisture and spirit contamination. With petrol cars the cold start fuel enrichment contaminates the oil with unburned petrol making it past the piston rings, likewise with oil burners, unfinished DPF regenerations contaminate the oil with diesel.

So yes, change your oil annually if you intend to keep the car long-term. If you're a high mileage driver - change it between services. These extended service intervals are to make their cars more financially attractive by keeping lease costs down - they do nothing for engine longevity - which most manufacturers care nothing about other than lasting the warranty period.

Arminius JP    on 8 June 2019

Re Checking account reply - "It is common for the lessee of a leased car to reprogram the odometer to avoid a penalty for excess miles."

Is it not long past time that manufacturers were obliged to fit odometers that are tamper-proof or at least allow easy detection if tampering has occurred?

Manufacturers benefit from there being a secondary market where their customers can in turn sell their products and it seems wrong morally that they facilitate dishonest acts that harm buyers in that secondary market.

Honestjohn    on 8 June 2019

The recall is for Zafira Bs, not Zafira Tourers.

HJ

jchinuk    6 days ago

Re:Speeds of discontent, Yes, motorists from other EU are chased for fines, a friend was sent an invoice for a toll (Dartford Crossing). Not sure if that is a benefit (?) that will be lost after Brexit.

Engineer Andy    6 days ago

Re:Speeds of discontent, Yes, motorists from other EU are chased for fines, a friend was sent an invoice for a toll (Dartford Crossing). Not sure if that is a benefit (?) that will be lost after Brexit.

If I were the government, I'd completely do away with that toll, and, to be frank, as many bridge tolls on major routes as possible - we probably lose more in lower productivity due to traffic jams caused by them being there than they make in revenue, and it would be better for the environment (vehicles moving in higher gears at higher speeds [even though you don't pay at the booth any more, you still have to slow down] - less pollution).

Then there would no need to 'go after' foreign HGV owners, at least for that crime.

Add a comment

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car