Longlife service intervals - do you trust 'em for used cars?

Longlife service intervals - do you trust 'em for used cars?

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Discussion

AcidReflux

Original Poster:

3,122 posts

234 months

Monday 19th September 2011
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In the last 12 months we've accidentally bought two brand new cars, and both of them have long-life service intervals. One's a 2.0 diesel and one's a 1.2 petrol. Both have now done around 9000 miles. Both have a service interval mileage readout and both are merrily still suggesting a further 9000 miles to run before they need a service.

I'm of course happy to wait another year for the first service on each because - particularly in the case of the diesel - the miracle oil made from virgins' tears that the manufacturers recommend is expensive.

I've Gooooogled and found lots of people (owners, presumably) happily sticking to the manufacturers' recommendations, and plenty of internet experts saying that in their humble opinion it's not possible for an engine to survive with such long service intervals without exploding.

My opinion is that if the manufacturer is happy to warrant their vehicles with these service intervals then who am I to question the schedule? But would you be happy buying a car a few years old with a perfect history of service stamps on the long-life schedule? Or would you hope to see a paranoid owner paying the dealer a small fortune to change the oil at least annually despite all the research that oil and engine manufacturers have done?

wobble

hornetrider

63,161 posts

185 months

Monday 19th September 2011
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For diesels, yes why not. For the life of me I cannot understand the two year service intervals on modern Pork.

jagnet

3,906 posts

182 months

Monday 19th September 2011
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I would imagine that any problems related to long life service intervals are going to occur well after any warranty period expires.

Sealed for life gearboxes spring to mind - take that literally and they can need replacing within 100k miles. They were sealed for life, it just so happens that that life wasn't very long. Get the oil changed every 50k and they'll keep on going.

I'd not be too concerned if my period of ownership of such cars was relatively early in their life, but as they age I'd start to get a little more nervous. Unless the car was a little bit special, I imagine the hunt for one that had extra services done by an enthusiastic owner could be a long one.

Ozzie Osmond

21,189 posts

226 months

Monday 19th September 2011
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jagnet said:
Sealed for life gearboxes spring to mind - take that literally and they can need replacing within 100k miles. They were sealed for life, it just so happens that that life wasn't very long. Get the oil changed every 50k and they'll keep on going.
PH myth number 17: "Manufacturers don't care what happens as soon as the warranty expires".

It's nonsense. There's no reason a sealed for life transmission won't run to 250,000 miles. And if the fluid's knackered the transmission is probably knackered. However, a precustionary change some time after 100,000 certainly won't do any harm and is cheap.

As for engine oil, it all depends on how the car is used. With frequent cold starts and short journeys I wouldn't run much more than a year or so however little mileage had been covered. On the other hand the "3 months or 3,000 miles" boys are in my view just tearing up £50 notes.

Mr Dave

3,233 posts

175 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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I think the tolerances in modern engines and better oil allow far higher mileages between services than even 10-15 years ago.

Recently heard of a Toyota Yaris that was brought in to a local tyre and servicing place as it was due an oil change. When questioned about it the old woman confirmed it was the first one the car had had since new at well over 100,000 miles. The car apparently drove absolutely fine.

PlayersNo6

1,102 posts

136 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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My 53 plate 2.0T petrol Vectra is on 'ecoflex' servicing which is 20k, 2 years or service light - whichever comes first.

It's worked out at around 15k/18 months every time and the car is now on 100k. It uses GM longlife Dexos oil. I've been happy to stick with this regime as the car is my motorway commuter. However, on a town car with a harder life I'd go for fixed annual servicing.

kev b

2,549 posts

146 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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I have just changed the autobox oil in my 70,000m BMW. The old fluid was discoloured and the filter dirty,you can really feel the improvement. In my opinion it was well worth doing especially as it cost less than a cambelt change for a normal car. Incidentally BMW sell filters and seals so they must expect some people to service their autobox.

Mr Dave

3,233 posts

175 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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kev b said:
I have just changed the autobox oil in my 70,000m BMW. The old fluid was discoloured and the filter dirty,you can really feel the improvement. In my opinion it was well worth doing especially as it cost less than a cambelt change for a normal car. Incidentally BMW sell filters and seals so they must expect some people to service their autobox.
I know that a lot of people say in E39s that the autoboxes usually fail soon after a fluid change. Others say it will fail at 150,000 or so.

Its hard to know what to do really.

PJ S

10,842 posts

207 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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Oil analysis for £30 will tell you definitively how much life there is left in your oil.

clabcon

325 posts

185 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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AcidReflux said:
In the last 12 months we've accidentally bought two brand new cars
I stopped reading here. How can you accidentally buy a new car, twice. Impulsive buyers like you are what caused the credit crunch.

YorkshirePudding

2,086 posts

165 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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clabcon said:
I stopped reading here. How can you accidentally buy a new car, twice. Impulsive buyers who borrow too much are what caused the credit crunch.
EFA wink

Jaguar steve

8,488 posts

190 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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Ozzie Osmond said:
jagnet said:
Sealed for life gearboxes spring to mind - take that literally and they can need replacing within 100k miles. They were sealed for life, it just so happens that that life wasn't very long. Get the oil changed every 50k and they'll keep on going.
PH myth number 17: "Manufacturers don't care what happens as soon as the warranty expires".

It's nonsense. There's no reason a sealed for life transmission won't run to 250,000 miles. And if the fluid's knackered the transmission is probably knackered. However, a precustionary change some time after 100,000 certainly won't do any harm and is cheap.

As for engine oil, it all depends on how the car is used. With frequent cold starts and short journeys I wouldn't run much more than a year or so however little mileage had been covered. On the other hand the "3 months or 3,000 miles" boys are in my view just tearing up £50 notes.
On the other hand if the fluid is knackered, maybe through repeated heat cycling, fine particulate deposits of clutch material and metalic deposits that the filter can't cope with the the 'box will soon be - so a precautionary oil change can double or triple the life of a gearbox and will also improve shift quality which is often the first symptom of failing oil.

The same goes for regular oil changes - clean well maintained engines last well, run well and don't tend to cause grief by developing leaks, knocking out cam followers, catalysts and lambda sensors as they age.

Sealed for life components and extended oil change intervalls are a triumph of Marketeting over Engineering IMO. Manufacturers are desperate gain some advantage over the competition and if they can do so by offereing lower servicing costs in the first three or four years then they'll do so as that makes company accountants very happy indeed.

Sure - don't bother if you don't care. But if any car's going to be a keeper then IMO run it on clean, good quality oil that's changed regurlarly. It's a lot cheaper over the life of a car to do that rather than lunch a otherwise perfectly good gearbox - and you're buying peace of mind too.

MondeoMan1981

2,279 posts

163 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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PJ S said:
Oil analysis for £30 will tell you definitively how much life there is left in your oil.
National will do an oil and filter change for the pricely sum of £30.60p for me so I know my answer here smile

iphonedyou

8,376 posts

137 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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clabcon said:
I stopped reading here. How can you accidentally buy a new car, twice. Impulsive buyers like you are what caused the credit crunch.
Not sure if serious.

smash

Nick3point2

3,917 posts

160 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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Weren't long life service intervals were created to keep running costs down on lease cars to make them look like a better deal?

Personally I like to give my car a thorough going over every 9000 miles like my fixed service interval requires. Costs £40 for 5l of the correct spec oil (still supposed to be longlife oil for my car regardless of interval) and a filter so I have no objections to changing it 'more often than I need to'.

AcidReflux

Original Poster:

3,122 posts

234 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
quotequote all
Thanks for all the replies.

Nick3point2 said:
Personally I like to give my car a thorough going over every 9000 miles like my fixed service interval requires. Costs £40 for 5l of the correct spec oil (still supposed to be longlife oil for my car regardless of interval) and a filter so I have no objections to changing it 'more often than I need to'.
If oil were that cheap for ours then I'd probably do the same, but the diesel requires oil from the dealer at about £20 a litre.

As long as the owner has stuck to the manufacturer's recommendations perfectly I wouldn't have any doubts about buying a car with long-life servicing. I'm surprised how few people have replied with 'no' to my original question. It's reassuring, I suppose.

mmm-five

10,259 posts

264 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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My e34 M5 had 6,000 mile intervals and I did an interim oil change every 3,000. The Z4MC has 15,000 mile intervals and I do an interim oil change every 7,000 or so.

For the £60 total cost, and half an hour's labour, I can't see why you wouldn't do it.

There are some low mileage cars out there that don't have a service for 5 years, as the indicator continues to count down to 0 miles. But most of those same cars will have a little paragraph in the owner's manual saying something like "Service in accordance with on-board indicator, or every two years at a minimum, to maintain your warranty.". It's surprising how many cars I've seen that have only had 1 service in 3-5 years as the indicator still said 5,000 miles to service.

muthaducka

381 posts

164 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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mmm-five said:
There are some low mileage cars out there that don't have a service for 5 years, as the indicator continues to count down to 0 miles. But most of those same cars will have a little paragraph in the owner's manual saying something like "Service in accordance with on-board indicator, or every two years at a minimum, to maintain your warranty.". It's surprising how many cars I've seen that have only had 1 service in 3-5 years as the indicator still said 5,000 miles to service.
Yep, that's something to look out for. In my view oil should be changed once every year, regardless of mileage, age, servicing intervals. The last new car I bought had 20k service intervals so I just got the dealer to do there thing and stamp the service book to help re-sale etc and complete an oil change myself in between.

My last car was an old beemer and although it was advertised with full bmw service history, there was a 5 year gap with no history as it had covered hardly any mileage.

As a side note, I've just changed the oil in my car and reset the longlife service interval myself. I'd like to know what oil costs £20 a litre? You should be able to buy the equivalent / same oil much cheaper for your car.

HellDiver

5,708 posts

162 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
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clabcon said:
AcidReflux said:
In the last 12 months we've accidentally bought two brand new cars
I stopped reading here. How can you accidentally buy a new car, twice. Impulsive buyers like you are what caused the credit crunch.
You do realise that people can and do just buy a car, don't you? Dealers will give you a car in exchange for cash/cheque/debit card.


As for extended service intervals, well I personally think all those BMW 320d and VW TDI with knackered turbos are due to trying to extract 20-30k out of the liquid soot that's an excuse for oil. I never run my oil for more than 6 months/10k.

AcidReflux

Original Poster:

3,122 posts

234 months

Tuesday 20th September 2011
quotequote all
muthaducka said:
I'd like to know what oil costs £20 a litre? You should be able to buy the equivalent / same oil much cheaper for your car.
As far as I'm aware, the approved oil is only available from VAG dealers... who set their own market price of course. If there's an equivalent then I'd be happy to find it. smile