Oil and Filter changes became very complicated lately. Manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, have tested various methods to ensure that you service your vehicle when they want you to. Vehicle service intervals are always based on oil change frequency. Asian vehicle manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, and Nissan request that you get your oil change every 5,000 miles. In the last few years, we at Peak Auto, have witnessed a quick move from conventional oil to synthetic oil. If you have visited a tire shop or quick lube for an oil change, you have experienced the guy at the front counter telling you that you need to use synthetic or semi-synthetic oil. Yes there is an up-charge!
Probably the most deceiving engine oil, is the semi-synthetic. What is semi-synthetic oil? What are the government or industry regulated standards? There are no standards when it comes to semi-synthetic motor oil. Any shop or oil supplier can add a teaspoon of synthetic oil to a quart, or drum of oil and legally be able to call and sell this as semi-synthetic engine oil. If semi-synthetic motor oil did exists and it was regulated what advantages would it have? It may be cheaper that synthetic motor oil, and it may lubricate quicker than conventional oil. These maybe’s are not good enough for anyone, when considering the lubrication protection of their SUV’s engine. Volvo was the only vehicle manufacturer that actually specified use of a semi-synthetic engine oil. This specification was short lived and Volvo is now using synthetic oil for all there new cars and SUV’s.
Conventional oil is great! In fact oil producers and refiners are constantly updating the additive packages as well as the quality of the oil. Just a short time ago, GF-3 was the industry standard and most new cars using conventional oil specified for this standard. Now we are using GF-5 with a new GF-6 standard on its way. Make sure all motor oils used in your Asian and domestic vehicles has the approval of the API and ILSAC. API is American Petroleum Institute and ILSAC stands for the International Lubricant Standard and Committee. Interesting that the ILSAC was established in 1992 by the American Automobile Manufacturers Association, now know as The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
Japanese and American automobile manufacturers switched from conventional engine oils to synthetic engine oils around 2012, depending on make and model. The vehicles did not change their oil change interval. We have been told for years that using synthetic engine oil would allow us to not have to change our oil as frequently, we were told wrong. An interesting note, that German manufacturers who use larger capacity oil reservoirs and more efficient filtering methods are now lowing there oil change frequency as the experience major issues with the new direct inject engines.
Engine oils are refined then additives are added to the oil. The weight of the oil is important but so is the additive packages. At Peak Auto we take the time and energy to make sure that oils used in your vehicles meet or exceed your vehicle manufacturers requirements. Be suspicious of companies that offer one price for an oil change, this usually means they are not using the correct oil for your engine.
Oil filters are a little less complicated that engine oils but still offer a topic of discussion. There are two basic styles of oil filters; the canister insert and the spin on. Spin-on oil filters are more convenient and cost less. They are less effective but can be mounted anywhere on an engine by the manufacturer. Insert filters have been used by German automobile manufacturers for a very very long time. Now we see most manufacturers are starting to use insert filters and the prices for the inserts has gone up.