Can You Change Oil Too Often?

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Post Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:58 pm

Is it possible to change the engine oil on a car too often?

I have seen a few people say this and Castrols website (not that I would ever use Castrol) quote a "minimum" figure for cars.

My weekend car (Honda Integra) gets it changed about every 2000 miles. I use fully synthetic ester based Silkolene oil which in reality is probably good for over 10,000+, but I'm now worried I change too often.
Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Post Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:09 am

I suppose that it depends on how you use the car. If most the mileage on your "weekend car" comes from hard driving and/or track usage then the 2,000 mile intervals might be warranted. But if the driving isn't that bad you're just wasting money and oil. I would recommend that you increase the mileage if it's just hard driving on normal roads, even with a few track events thrown in.
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Post Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:55 am

Changing oil too often won't damage your engine but its just useless. Every 5'000km for a sportscar or a track driven car is enough. I would also recommend a change at least 1 time per year (if you don't reach the 5000 limit).

As a matter of fact, nowadays cars get an oil change every 30'000km or 2 year !

For your Integra, I would change it every 10'000km. But if you're a maniac, 5'000km is also ok but useless in my opinion.
Joined: 8 Jan 2011

Post Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:26 am

Thanks for the replies. It would seem I'm changing a bit too often then!

The gearbox oil is mineral, how many miles of hard use would you expect that to last?
Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Post Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:47 pm

Normally you do not change gearbox oil often. If you are doing lot of track days then maybe 1 time per year, otherwise 1 time every 2 year is good. Btw what oil grade are you using in your engine ?

I'm not familiar with Hondas, I've worked only on VAG group cars (VW, AUDI, SEAT, SKODA) but still. And what Integra exactly do you have ?

Keep in mind that what the manufacturer recommends is 99% of the time the best, so if you have a doubt, just follow the car's manual, especially about oil grades and changes !
Joined: 8 Jan 2011

Post Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:47 pm

Its a 1998 Integra Type-R. It revs to 9000 RPM and spends a lot of its time up there so I presume its hard on the oil so to speak. Oil temps (@sump) are between about 115 and 140 deg c when out on a drive.

I use 5W40 Silkolene (now branded as Fuchs)


Apparently its meant to be a very high quality oil, but then I have always been a sucker for marketing :?
Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Post Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:41 pm

Personally I would got a higher grade on the "hot" side, 50 for example. If you don't have any oil leak, then keep the 5 on the "cold" grade. So personally I would go with a 5W50 oil grade for your car assuming you have no oil leak !

Your oil temp is a bit high in my opinion. It should stay around 120°C but not much more, you may need an oil cooler.
Joined: 8 Jan 2011

Post Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:20 pm

Thanks for taking time to reply - much appretiated.

So what would the 50 instead of 40 do? Make it slightly thicker when hot?

If so what advantages would this give?
Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Post Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:14 pm

maybe you find something of interest here:

I don´t think, that you change a oil "too often", but as others pointed out, it may only cost you extra money, for no benefit.

To put perspective on the "too often" claim, in race cars, you would change the oil afte every race/weekend (talking teams with sufficient budgets here), depending on your race series, this can be anything between 300-1000km.
Is the needed? - perhaps not, but then compare to anything elese the 100-200$ for the oil does not make much difference.
The same would go for gearbox oil on most race cars, as the gearbox will get rebuilt after each ace anyway.
So you will be "safe" to change your oil often.

Depending from your driving and your location (Temperature/winter driving/cold startetc.) you may don´t need a 5W or 0W oil for your application.
If you do mainly track driving during the summer/spring then you could go 15-20W.
Keep in mid that most "real" race cars get pre-heated so there is no need for good cold-start lubrication. This is more an issue with daily driven high performance cars and cars like a WRC when they spend the night in parc ferme during the Swedish Rally, and you may need to start your turbo engine at -25°C the next morning.

Too "thin" a oil can cause some problems,wear in your valve train, especially if your car uses some hydraulic lift control &/or wear compensation in the valves.
Here changes in oil viscosity (too high oil temp) can cause variations in valve lift.
But that´s something, your engine guys can tell you more about.
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Post Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:40 am

You still don't say what weekend use the car recieves...If you are not using it exclusively to race I certainly would not use a racing oil.
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Post Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:32 am

Thanks for all the help - some really intersting info here.

Strad - the car gets used for a couple of track days (one usually to the Nurburgring) a year and then about 3000 miles of very hard road use, borderline the same amount of stress on the engine and gearbox as a track day probalby (hence 140 oil temp in a 20 dec climate)
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Post Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:26 pm

blimey fancy admiting that you drive like a twat on here shame on you or are you going to claim that you spend all your time in 1st gear

Joined: 7 Jan 2010

Post Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:23 pm

If I go down the motorway in 2nd at 65 MPH does that mean I'm driving too fast or dangerously?

No, it just means I like revs.

Thanks for your concerns though, it means a lot to me.
Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Post Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:17 am

747heavy wrote:I don´t think, that you change a oil "too often", but as others pointed out, it may only cost you extra money, for no benefit.

I can only re-emphasise this point really, the simple answer to this thread is 'no'.
Joined: 4 Dec 2010

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