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Old 11-15-2011, 11:25 AM   #1
Jaguar Fan
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Default When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

I bought a new Scion xB. The manual says change @ 5,000 miles. It comes with synthetic oil.

In the "olden days," didn't they recommend changing the oil on a brand-new engine fairly early - after a few hundred miles?

Or do modern engines just not need that?

Or does Toyota actually break-in the engine & change the oil prior to installing/shipping the car?

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

Modern motors don't have all the junk in the oil from break in like older ones did. Roller cams and better ring and bearing technology means they don't fill the oil with metal in a couple hundred miles.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

as soon as you get it. I remember reading a article in 4wheeler magazine. They bought a brand new truck, dont remember the brand. Waited the 3k miles to change it and did an oil analysis. The oil should had been changed 3k before. The engine had about 3k oil the new truck due to factory break in.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

Always changed mine after the first 500 miles. May not help, sure won't hurt.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

I bought a 2011 Corolla in May. Synthetic oil. 25k mile "free oil changes", tire rotation and fluid checks. Went in at 5,000 miles and was told didn't need a change until 10,000 miles due to the synthetic oil. I pointed out to them that in their own literature it states oil changes at 5k intervals when driving on dusty roads. I live on a dirt road and about 80% of our local roads are dirt.

Bottom line, they refused to do the oil change (unless I paid, which I did). Called Toyota customer service and have 2 case numbers on the dispute. They still refuse to make this right.

Latest is, iI am waiting for word back from the local dealer's sales manager. I went to see him to have him help me decide where I would be buying my next car. He expressed little interest. He did call back and state that he still needed to talk to the owner of the dealership. That was about 3 weeks ago and I have heard nothing since.

I will probably stretch to 7500 miles with the synthetic, but definetly wanted the first change to be at 5k miles.

It appears that they are willing to lose any future sales over 3 oil changes. Will very likely still buy Toyota, but not from the dealer in Oneonta, NY.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

Follow the owner's manual recommendations. There are additives in that break-in oil that are needed, and changing it too early isn't good. There is no need to do an analysis on break-in oil, it won't be meaningful--the engine is being broken in.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

I'd change it atleast at 2500 miles. I don't care what anyone says. I'd be pulling the dipstick looking for metallic looking oil in the mean time.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

where do you guys get your information??
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

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Originally Posted by gsport View Post
where do you guys get your information??
Owners Manual, you know that.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

Most of the newer vehicles have a light that comes on when to change the oil.My father's 2011 Dodge Heavy Duty with the cummins is this way,a light flashes on when to change the oil.He did ask the service department what oil to use and said Shell Rotella T 15w 40 oil is just fine,don't need to use synthetic.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

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Originally Posted by gsport View Post
where do you guys get your information??
Old time conjecture and wives' tales.

I can see why this was necessary in the past, with non-roller lifters and other things in the engine. I don't think modern engines put out nearly as much wear metals as older engines.

And to the guy who said change it right away, if there was going to be wear metals in the oil, wouldn't it take a few hundred or thousand miles for them to even be present? If you changed the oil right away, wouldn't the wear metals just build up in the new oil you add?

Having said that, I would still probably do a shorter oil change interval for the first change, but don't go crazy.

To the OP-
If you go to the website Bob is the oil guy, you'll find hundreds of threads on this topic. I think some people have even done oil analysis on brand new car oil to see if it really is any different. I can't remember if it is or not, as I don't usually read those threads.

Last edited by stephen9666; 11-15-2011 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

I'd follow the factory recommendation on a new car. If it was something I built in my garage for personal use (new cam,lifters, pistons, rings) it would get changed (oil and filter) after a 30 or 60 minute break-in period to remove break in additives/assembly lubes/hidden swarf. Then filled/run with dino oils (to seat the rings) for another 1000 miles. After that full synthetics with varying schedule depending on what it it used for (drag race, trailer towing, daily driver) my 2 cents.


BTW mine is an old school approach but it makes me feel better...
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

My last truck came with the same oil initially as recommended for use normally. And I would think the most wear/ generation of metallic particles will occur in the first 1000 miles. Stands to reason that larger particles start showing up almost immediately, and smaller and smaller particles as the break in progresses. An oil change at 500 miles should capture a large percentage of the wear particles that will occur in the first 2000 or so miles. So it cost me $30 to do it early. Compared to a $35,000 vehicle, whats $30?
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

i've been driving for over 40 years and have had 17 or so new cars/trucks plus dozens of used cars too, and i've never had an engine failure due to an oil problem by just following the manufacturers recomended schedules
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

Toyota has armies of engineers to analyze issues such as this.
If they say 5000 miles, there's a good chance that they came up with that figure through a fair amount of research...

Or you could listen to a bunch of guys pulling numbers out of their asses.

My recommendation is to change your oil every time you get gas. You should also change the transmission fluid, coolant, differential oil, washer fluid, power steering fluid and wiper blades.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

My Renault 1.5 turbo diesel comes with 20,000km (12,000mile) oil changes in the manual from day one. My BIL bought a 1.6 Renault gas engine and his first service was at 5000km.

What the hell is the difference? We both use synthetic oils.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:19 PM   #17
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nehog View Post
Follow the owner's manual recommendations. There are additives in that break-in oil that are needed, and changing it too early isn't good. There is no need to do an analysis on break-in oil, it won't be meaningful--the engine is being broken in.
Exactly.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

Don't put synthetic in any sooner than the manual states. But more frequent oil changes certainly won't hurt, as long as you put the right oil in (you need to know what the factory put in there as break-in oil)

Current cars maintenance schedules are geared more towards pleasing fleet owners (or dealerships that have to pay for the "free" oil changes) than towards obtaining maximum life out of the car. They want you to drive it 100k miles tops, then throw it away and buy a new one. So anything that can be stretched to 100k miles without causing catastrophic failure during those first 100k miles, is called "for life". Yes, I'm talking about your transmission oil... which you should still change at 30-50k no matter what the manual says. Cos that'll make your transmission last MORE than those 100k, maybe even 200k+...

Last edited by web; 11-15-2011 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

I have been told that there are additives in the oil by car manufacturer reps and that you shouldn't change the oil on a new car for 3-5000 miles.


I asked engineers who say the oil they put in the factory is the same bulk oil you would get anywhere else but that they sometimes add dye to aid in the detection of oil leaks that may show up during vehicle testing or PDI.


Nobody who claims that it shouldn't be changed for 3-5k can tell me what these magical "break-in" additives are that require that you do not change the oil so I tend to think it doesn't really matter and that you can change it anytime you want.

Me personally, I would change it at 3000 miles and then follow the normal intervals after that.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:02 PM   #20
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Default Re: When should I change the oil in a brand-new car?

1 of the biggest additives for break in oil is Zinc. It used to be in regular oil, but not any more.
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