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Old 04-11-2014, 06:40 PM   #11
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I personally really like to change out the fluids very early, especially the ones that don't have filters, like the differentials, I had to rebuild the front diff on my last truck and changed the oil after a couple hundred k and then again at around 5,000 k , after that I put about 50,000 k on the truck and everytime I checked the oil in that diff it was perfectly clean, so that little experiment proved that once the component is broken in the oil really doesn't get that dirty .
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:10 PM   #12
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The oil change intervals have changed so much in recent years, Used to change my (organic) oil and filter every 3000 miles. Now it's 5,000 for regular oil and 7,500 for synthetic under normal driving conditions. Filters (air, oil, etc) are also very important

BMW vehicles, I have personal experience with includes oil/filter changes for the first 50,000 miles, but their recommended oil and filter changes are every 15,000 miles. They use BMW Castrol synthetic and I've never had any issues related to oil. They also don't have any dipsticks in the engine. Trans is sealed and the oil is checked by computer on the dash. Boy, times have changed.

I think it's a common thread with all vehicles, is that if you use your vehicle as a tow vehicle, or in a dusty/dirty environment you should change your fluids and filters more often. I've been told that is you use your vehicle normally (define normal) that it's not good for the environment to change your fluids early. What's a guy to do? Guess.
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Old 08-29-2014, 02:42 PM   #13
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We pick up our Escape soon, so I just booked a service appointment for our 4Runner with our Toyota dealer.

When I asked about switching to synthetic transmission fluid in preparation for towing, I was informed that as of a month ago all transmission oils that they change are replaced by synthetic fluid. This applies to all Toyota cars, SUVs, and trucks.

I'm not sure if this is a local dealership decision, or if all Toyota dealers now do it.
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
... I was informed that as of a month ago all transmission oils that they change are replaced by synthetic fluid. This applies to all Toyota cars, SUVs, and trucks.

I'm not sure if this is a local dealership decision, or if all Toyota dealers now do it.
Interesting. My guess is that all current Toyota ATF is synthetic, so even if your Toyota came with non-synthetic fluid in the transmission, the current equivalent fluid on the shelf at the dealership is synthetic. In other words, they probably don't have anything but synthetic to put in.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:43 PM   #15
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Synthetic fluids are superior in lubricating.
Not sure I totally agree with this statement. Mineral oils are just as effective as synthetics in lubricating moving parts. Actually, lubrication is only one of the functions of motor oil and other automotive fluids. They serve as coolants. Where the synthetics shine is in their ability to get to a higher temperature before they oxidize. Additionally, synthetics "cling" to metal parts better than mineral oils, so there is a probability of less wear at startup due to incomplete drain down. Additive packages have come a long way since the 40s and 50s. Some of today's mineral based oils are exceptionally good.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:05 PM   #16
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Synthetics also typically vary less in viscosity with temperature change. This helps maintain lubrication at the high temperatures resulting from hot weather and hard use, and helps it flow at low temperatures such as during cold winter starts. I went to synthetics for engine oil and manual transaxle gear oil (in vehicles which did not have synthetic from the factory) many years ago for the cold weather benefit. Inmy current car, both are synthetic as it comes from Mazda.
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:42 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
Not sure I totally agree with this statement. Mineral oils are just as effective as synthetics in lubricating moving parts. Actually, lubrication is only one of the functions of motor oil and other automotive fluids. They serve as coolants. Where the synthetics shine is in their ability to get to a higher temperature before they oxidize. Additionally, synthetics "cling" to metal parts better than mineral oils, so there is a probability of less wear at startup due to incomplete drain down. Additive packages have come a long way since the 40s and 50s. Some of today's mineral based oils are exceptionally good.
Many manufacturers are switching to synthetic lubricants and if it comes in new BMW and Mercedes, it certainly is good enough for my engine. BMW service schedule is every 15,000 miles. Many manufacturers now 7,500 mile service with synthetic.


Don't get me wrong. Today's conventional oils are very good and protect your car's vital moving parts. This isn't your daddy's oil any more. Today's cars are built better and need better lubricants. The oil industry is advancing with the rest of the industry.
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:33 AM   #18
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"As is often stated on this forum, the first protections are to not use overdrive while towing, and to avoid any situation where the AT makes excessive, heat-producing shifts while "searching" for the right gear."

My Honda Ridgeline manual recommends not using 3rd gear while towing on level ground under normal driving conditions due to excessive heat generation. Since both 4th and 5th gears are overdrive, it leaves me no choice but to drive in overdrive. I asked Honda through their tech line about this, and they said to place it in drive and let the computer do its job. They do however suggest using 3rd, and in very steep situations 2nd gears for engine braking.

I also use synthetic oil in my autos, but use the recommended fluid in the transmissions.
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:45 PM   #19
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I really struggle to accept these lengthened service intervals that all the company's are using , yes the engines run cleaner and yes the oils are better. However after taking apart engines that have had lengthened service intervals and seeing the condition I am not convinced we should be stretching them as far as they are. I can't help think some of it is pressure to
Have "greener" cars with less carbon footprint and also the marketing aspect of less maintenance to the consumer. I can't help thinking the carbon of one car with a few more oil changes would be less than replacing the car or at least major mechanical repairs . Surely a replacement engine for example has a larger carbon footprint than several additional oil changes
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:57 PM   #20
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Tom - I think doing what the manufacturer recommends is wise. I think that a blanket statement to never use "overdrive" ignores a lot of variables. With a trailer as light as an Escape, many tow vehicles will have far more towing capacity and their engines may have no problem running all day on flat ground in overdrive.

What I see as the potential problem is using cruise control in hilly terrain Cruise control is going to fight to keep a precisely constant speed and will frequently shift very often to try to maintain that speed. I'll use cruise on open freeways if it is flat, dry and light winds, but pop it off as soon as any hills appear.
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