Extended service intervals

Hi, I'm Wayne Burgess and I would like to share my views on extended service intervals.

Yes its true that newer vehicles have manufacturer recommended extended service intervals some even up to 30,000 kms but most still recommend a maximum of 12 months between service.

Here in New Zealand we have a unique market place and we tend to keep our vehicles much longer than which the vehicles were designed.  The High quality oils of today are of much better quality than ever before and will last OK for the life of the manufacturers recommendations, however the by-product of combustion is carbon and this carbon is suspended in the motor oil.  If the engine oil is changed at 10,000kms or 12 months this carbon contamination is also reduced keeping the inside of the engine much cleaner and the engine seals in much better condition.  The other things we are seeing due to this build up of carbon is early timing chain wear, oil pump pick up blockage, variable valve timing filter failure the list goes on. 



We see vehicles on a daily basis that confirm this, we have clients that service their vehicles by our recommendations and although the mileage is getting up the inside of the engine is still like new and is giving a good result and on the other hand we are seeing late model low kilometre vehicle's that have been serviced as per the manufacturers recommendations that are considerably worse.  We have also seen the extreme of this, a NZ new vehicle that was never serviced for 80,000kms that was so badly carboned inside the engine that it needed a full overhaul.  Lets use this extreme as an example of what I am talking about.  The photos in this article are of this engine before and after.  Some people may be critical of this article and may believe I am only writing it to make more money.  To the contrary if that vehicle was serviced at 10,000kms interval at a cost approximately $200.00 each service this engine would not have needed an overhaul and would likely to have given good service for a minimum of 200,000kms.

In summary $1600 of servicing in 80,000kms could have saved a $10,000 engine overhaul.



Most of the other service recommendations from vehicle manufactures I think are the same as what I would recommend apart from sealed for life transmission servicing may be a topic for another day.

I remember a discussion with our technicians the other day the topic come up about why don't we tend to see a lot of the common engine failures that we here about within the trade.  After thinking about this I think it is largely to do with our servicing recommendations and most of the vehicles that we are having problems with are not being serviced to our recommended 10,000kms or 12 months in a which ever comes first policy.  This is why I am going out on a limb to voice my opinion.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article if you have any positive or negative feedback email me on wayne@burgessauto.co.nz.

Wayne Burgess

A Grade Automotive Technician and 45 years of experience in the motor trade.