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gitsum

Spark myths

31 posts in this topic

On 10/22/2017 at 11:43 PM, Bobby MSME said:

OMG, you do not need a computer algorithm to know when oil needs changing.

First of all, we all have different driving habits. No computer program written by

some person out of college with a computer science degree and who is still wet behind 

the ears can encompass million different driving habits in her algorithm..

 

I use this 55+ year old method to determine if oil needs changing. Take the dipstick out,

look at the color of oil and sniff it. If it looks fairly clean (as opposed to dark & dirty) and

it does not smell burned, it is still useful oil. It will lubricate (primary purpose) and it will

carry heat out of the engine. I never had anything burned in the engine, in a couple of

million miles of driving over 55+ years. Only time I had a burned exhaust valve was when

the technician changed coolant in my 2007 Pontiac G5 and left air pockets in there which

made the engine run 10 degrees hotter than normal. It had nothing to do with oil change.

 

It is true that with fresh good quality oil the engine usually will sound like a purring cat.

However that effect disappears after a couple of hundred miles of driving. 

 

My first oil change is planned in February 2018, when the new 2017 Spark is expected

to be at about 7500 miles after 12 months of driving.  But I do keep an eye on the looks

and smell of the oil every month. Right now the oil looks in very good condition.

 

7500 MILES!!!!! I had my first oil change at 1200 miles and I felt nervous about THAT because I remember when 500 miles used to be the standard. Oil still looked clean on the dipstick but for peace of mind I couldn't wait to get the factory fill out of there. The Chevy garage changed it for free so I didn't get to examine it but in the past I have seen many a pan of break-in oil shimmer and swirl in the sunlight from the slurry of fine metal particles suspended in the oil. Not something I want circulating and polishing my engine parts for 7500 miles and causing premature wear.

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Posted (edited)

Do not worry about fine metal particles in the oil. Any particle which would cause harm to the engine will be filtered out by the oil filter. Today's manufacturing tolerances are much improved over those in the 1950's & 1960's. That is when this myth about changing first oil at 1000 miles began. I purchased a new Chevy Nova 1971. I did not change first oil until  3000 miles. The car ran fine for 150,000 miles. It was still running great but body was showing some rust and my pockets were burning with too much cash, so I traded it in for a 1977 Chevy Malibu, a truly great car. Today GM installs semi-synthetic oil in new cars. Why throw it away too soon? 

 

Of course if your driving is under the "severe" category, such as stop and go in hot weather, or steep hills, or towing heavy loads frequently, I would change the oil at 50% life remaining based on the computer reading. With normal driving conditions, I would change first oil at 25% oil life remaining.

Edited by Bobby MSME

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Ya, I agree with you Bobby..well..mostly...it doesn't hurt to change the factory oil early on. Some units may have more debris and shavings in the oil than others and the tiny filter may be at limit sooner than others. Break-in oil is now used only on rebuilds or larger 'crate' engines and the factory oil is usually natural aspire or a mix of synthetic/natural. As far as a visual on the oil and level, well, that's a given but I do find my oil monitor is pretty well accurate on both the Spark and the Rover..only thing I look for when checking oil is color and clarity...black..it gets changed ASAP and amber has lots of life left.

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So correct you are  to look for color and clarity and smell of engine oil. I depend on that more than any computer algorithm. Like you said each car engine is a little bit different.

 

And if one wants to play extra safe, go ahead and change original oil at 1000 miles. I did that on my 1964 Corvair and 1967 Impala. But then increased it to 3000 miles on the 1971 Nova and all subsequent cars. Drove them all for 100,000+ miles with no engine wear issues.

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Posted (edited)

On ‎3‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 3:58 PM, gitsum said:

Someone mentioned the muffler had some sort of valve to keep back pressure even between low and high rpms.

I cut my muffler off and welded on a plain piece of exhaust pipe. The OEM is a generic cheap $30 muffler with baffles, no valve.

Several people talked about the oil change meter claiming it can analyze remaining oil life. No, it's simply hooked up to the odometer. It might have a way to adjust for city vs highway miles, but I doubt it.

The Chevy Spark is a low end economy car made by Daewoo at a price point, not a Mercedes Benz or Lexus.

I don't want to ruffle anybody's feathers, but it's hard to believe no one was called out for this ridiculousness (until now).

 

I'm not a mechanic, I've never even changed my own oil (which I would like to change if I ever figure out where to take the oil or a way to get the car up off the ground comfortably to do it myself). But anyway, what I do for oil maintenance is just wait for the light to tell me, and I periodically check the oil to ensure its not low or doesn't look super dirty. I've found the gauge tends to go off every 12,000km (7400 miles for my American friends), which seems reasonable to me. The new types of oil that are being produced and the type of engine this runs in tends to work well on this schedule.

 

So far I've only had two oil changes, and I'm at 30k right now, next change will likely happen at 36k on schedule. No problems to report, the oil didn't look ridiculously dirty during any of my last oil changes. I've not even had my Spark for a year yet (took delivery last July), so at this rate I estimate I'll probably have around 40k in my first year of driving come summer.

Edited by sparkto

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On ‎11‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 7:06 PM, Fire Spark said:

 

7500 MILES!!!!! I had my first oil change at 1200 miles and I felt nervous about THAT because I remember when 500 miles used to be the standard. Oil still looked clean on the dipstick but for peace of mind I couldn't wait to get the factory fill out of there. The Chevy garage changed it for free so I didn't get to examine it but in the past I have seen many a pan of break-in oil shimmer and swirl in the sunlight from the slurry of fine metal particles suspended in the oil. Not something I want circulating and polishing my engine parts for 7500 miles and causing premature wear.

 

Every 500 miles? Really? I've never known anyone to change that quickly.

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