Category Archives: Oil Change

It’s official: New oil change standards

For many years, I have been recommending that people change engine oil every 3,000 miles with traditional mineral based oil. Recently I decided to adjust that standard. Today New Concept Auto Service officially recommends an oil change every 4,000 miles using our now standard synthetic blend oil or every 8,000 miles using our full synthetic oil. This was a tough decision to make, so I would like to explain how I reached it. I started with some research–simply asking other independent shops, franchise oil change places and dealerships what they did and why. I was surprised to find many people saying, “Keep it at 3,000 miles; your customers are used to it.” I even heard, “Don’t change it, people don’t like change, they might go elsewhere.” Others said, “I agree, why don’t you be the first and see what happens.” The oil change places did not really have an interval, but rather, they let the customer decide. I personally think mo ... read more

Categories:

Oil Change

Debunking five synthetic oil myths

Debunking five synthetic oil myths

When an engine “burns a little oil,” you can usually trace that result to poor oil change services over its life. The opposite is also true. I took an old Honda apart one time to adjust the valves. The engine had always used full synthetic oil. At 150,000 miles, I could see my reflection in the cam lobe. It was perfectly polished like a mirror. I just smiled to myself and the valves hardly needed adjustment. This sold me on full synthetic. At New Concept Auto Service, we recently announced our new oil change guidelines and a recommendation to most of our customers to switch to synthetic oil. Unfortunately, there are a lot of rumors and untruths floating around about synthetic. Here are my top five myths, with a little explanation: Once you switch to synthetic oil, there’s no going back.That is simply not true. So as long as you use the correct weight and quantity published by the car manufacturer, you can switch back and forth as much as you’d like. As New Concept ... read more

Categories:

Oil Change

Overland Park oil change Q&A

I received this Honda oil change question via email last week and thought others might be interested in the discussion: “I just did the first oil change on my new 2012 Honda CRV. OEM recommends 0W-20 oil. All I could find in this grade at O’Reilly was synthetic. I called the dealer to confirm and was told that I could use 0W-20 mineral or synthetic and that they carried both at their parts counter. He also said I could use 5W-20 as my 2009 CRV calls for and is available everywhere in both mineral and synthetic. I have always used only mineral and my oil change interval has been 5,000 miles. This time I went with the Mobil 1 Advanced (blah blah) Full Synthetic from O’Reilly. It was pricey at $9 a quart. Now I am trying to decide if sticking with synthetic is the way to go. Theoretically, I should be able to extend my oil change interval from 5,000 to 7,500 miles by using synthetic. Since I now maintain three cars with my teenage daughter driving, this would be a time ... read more

Categories:

Oil Change

A shameless plug (Part II)

When assessing the need for an oil plug or pan repair, we often offer to show the customer the situation in the shop. One time the customer wanted to pop the plug loose himself as he cussed a little. We let him, and he got a big grin on his face as it popped loose. At that point he was OK with us moving forward with the repair. Some customers want to go back to the previous oil change shop and have them fix the damage. I can say that nearly every time we have fixed the problem by simply chasing the threads and using a new drain plug. I can think of about five times in 10 years where we needed to replace a sheet metal drain pan and this happens mostly on older Hondas. In one case with an expensive aluminum pan we removed the pan, welded the aluminum back up and redrilled and threaded a new hole. In another case we acquired a used oil pan from a salvage yard. Due to issues with keeping the hole centered, we don’t recommend trying to cut bigger threads in place. That techniq ... read more

Categories:

Oil Change