Synthetic oil change-3K or 5K--OK ?? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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View Poll Results: Change @ 3K or 5K
3K 12 46.15%
5K 14 53.85%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Question Synthetic oil change-3K or 5K--OK ??

I have always used conventional oils, and changed oil & filter at 3,000 mi., but have now made the switch to synthetic (Rotella T 5w-40) and PureOne filters... Now it is bouncing around in my empty head, should I still change at 3K or will it be ok to go to 5K and save a few $$...??? Would you please vote above for 3K or 5K oil change ???...
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Last edited by Old Dog; 02-25-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 11:24 AM
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Be advised that while I said 3k that's because that's what I do (when I do run synthetic - I usually change dino oil at closer to 2k). In the long run, oil is cheap. Far cheaper than issues caused IF something goes wrong that could have been averted with fresher oil.

Think of it this way - $20 an oil change (mine are less) at 2000 miles is .95 cents (almost a cent) a mile. At 3000 miles that's .667 cents a mile. At 5000 miles that's .4 cents a mile.

I know I certainly don't even blink paying an extra cent or two for gas at my favorite station or my favorite brand of gas (doc likes chevron - will never see arco, usually doesn't care for shell or texaco, is OK with 76).

Don't do less oil changes to save money unless .3 cents a mile is a big deal to ya, do it because of convenience. I'm sure you and the bike would be just fine at 5k miles in between oil changes, I'm just to paranoid to let it be that long.

Speaking of... I need to do an oil change soon.... (It's been 2600 miles on dino oil... weird for me to have not changed it yet)

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 03:15 PM
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Have gone the 3000 miles oil change ever since I have had any kind of vehicle. Like Curtis said oil is cheap, if it will help to keep your engine cooler and last longer, the price is worth it. This even goes for changing the Transmission oil in your car at the required intervals. Things just run cooler and last longer, baring any manufacture's defect.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 04:11 PM
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I dunno guys, the factory engineers know something about the bike they made and they recommend oil changes every 12 km (about 7500 miles). And that's for dino oil! I feel very comfortable running my Rotella synthetic that far.

I have a sample from my last oil change if someone wants to pay the $25 to have it analyzed...

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 04:17 PM
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My vote went to 3K...but I will ad here that the important thing is how those miles were put on.
If you only ride your bike short distance most the time, and have alot of stop and go town riding, 3K is a pretty safe number, even with synth oil.

But if you only take your bike out to go on 20 mile or more rides and don't opperate the engine at high rpms, you might be able to go 4-6 K between changes, using a good synthetic oil.

But most folks do a bit of both and as it is very hard to tell the condition of oil just by looking at it..(unless it is black as space) You are just safer sticking to the lower end of the mileage here and change the oil sooner.

Miles aside...you should change your oil in the spring and in the fall..(if you live where you have seasons) regardless of mileage.
Some folks use "cheaper" oil in the fall/prewinter change, and use the higher priced stuff for the spring-summer.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrelc5 View Post
I dunno guys, the factory engineers know something about the bike they made and they recommend oil changes every 12 km (about 7500 miles). And that's for dino oil! I feel very comfortable running my Rotella synthetic that far.
The owners & service manual recommends 10,000km/ 6,000mi.
Running synth myself, I usually go with the 6,000mi, so I voted for 5,000.


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 05:11 PM
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I would say that one can go longer than 5k with synthetic oils. The manuel that I have calls for an oil change every 6k miles. And that is with regular dino oils.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 05:24 PM
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To add to the thread, the condition of your engine and letting your engine fully warm up are other considerations.

A worn engine with high miles should have more frequent changes due to blow by gases and other crud getting into the case and contaminating the oil. Another concern I have is the amount of condensation that develops in the crank case that might not evaporate if the engine is not run long enough up to normal temperature.

I run Lucas synth M/C 20-50 in my VN with a fresh change at the beginning of each riding season (March) that averages 4k miles + or -. My rides are divided between three bikes so no one bike gets a ton of miles on it.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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5K should be ok for the Rotella but no matter what you run the only way to know for sure is to have the used oil analized.Go over to the BTK kawi forums and do a search. Member Rich lockyear has posted a lot of results of his tests with some surprising results.

Scratch that 1st comment(I'm half asleep here) I checked the 5K box but really meant to check the 3K box due to you being in a warmer climate.Curtis has the right idea, with the low cost of Rotella keep changing at 3K(though 2500 would be better IMO)

Last edited by Woody; 02-25-2008 at 10:47 PM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 10:50 AM
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And KM had a good point about riding style affecting the oil - and when to change it. Short hard rides (my riding style) are hard on a bike (or any motorized equipment) - long taking it easy rides (which from your comments old dog I suspect are more your type) are much easier on machinery.

Personal anecdote and nothing more below this line...
One line summary of below: On a almost nonstop 2500 mile trip, fresh oil looked near new at the end of the trip.

I had an old mazda protege with more miles than I'll admit, always changed the oil (dino every time) at 3k (other than while in MI). Moved from Oregon out to Michigan for a winter, changed the oil before I went out there - didn't bother to change the oil till it was time to come home (Oregon) - 2 or 3 months and close to 5000 miles - as usual the oil came out black as sin (yes I know, black isn't a good indication of how the viscosity is, but it's probably a pretty good indicator).

Changed the oil right before the trip back home (changing oil outside in 20 degree weather isn't too fun... not that ya midwest/ east coasters would know).

When I got home (2500 miles, 3-6 days - had a stop in between, don't remember how long...) I changed the oil because I felt bad about neglecting my baby and having let her go 5000 miles without new oil in that nasty town (Flint, MI - no offense if someone lives there... just not my type of place). The oil looked like I'd just poured it out of the bottle! Same car that after 300 usual miles would have damn dark oil.

All that to say - short trips leave more crap in your engine, don't let it heat up, and if ya ride hard on top of it... well you get the point... long trips are best for the engine, and if that's all ya do you can get away with longer times between oil changes.

Gosh I ramble alot.

Curtis - Albany Oregon.
Currently receiving therapy from "Doc" - My 1985 VN700.

Daily rider in NorthWET Oregon.
Ammo Can Saddlebags
Shaved and Rejetted. Coastered. Degoated w/ Hardley pipes.

Bought Feb 2007 with 12K miles.
Hit the 24k mile July 2008

http://photobucket.com/curtis97322
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