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Old 01-22-2008, 12:00 PM   #1
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Oil change interval

I know this has been discussed before, but thought I would refresh the topic. I had my first oil change at an independant Porsche shop since I bought my 99. They insisted that it had to be done at 3,000-5,000 intervals regardless of what others and the manual say (I'm sure they love doing $200 oil changes). They used Mobile 1 10W-30. I'm in AZ, so maybe that's a factor with the temperatures here? I've heard everything from 3,000 to 15,000. Someone set me straight!
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by PhxRealtor
I know this has been discussed before, but thought I would refresh the topic. I had my first oil change at an independant Porsche shop since I bought my 99. They insisted that it had to be done at 3,000-5,000 intervals regardless of what others and the manual say (I'm sure they love doing $200 oil changes). They used Mobile 1 10W-30. I'm in AZ, so maybe that's a factor with the temperatures here? I've heard everything from 3,000 to 15,000. Someone set me straight!
Well the owner's manual that comes with our cars says once every 15k or once a year, which ever comes first. My German mechanic at Stuttgart told me that 15k was pushing it and that 7-k was more reasonable. Personally I think this is the cause of many of the RMS failures. Think about it, the oil may be good to last 15k but the oil filter really isn't. People try to get 15k out of the oil change with that one filtering 9.5 quarts of oil and after several changes done this way, all those filters start to overflow and they get clogged up causing it to build up over time and come out at the Rear Main Seal because it has no place else to go. But again that's just my theory. So you can believe what the Porsche manual says or change it more often. Every 3k is a little ridiculous for a 9.5 quart oil change. And expensive.

Last edited by porsche986spyder; 01-22-2008 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 01-22-2008, 01:15 PM   #3
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Read the owners manual. As stated above, Porsche recommends 1/year or 15K miles. I bet there is an asterisk in there somewhere about "conditions may vary". If you live in a dusty area.. if you have short frequent trips that don't let the oil get up to temp.. if you tow with your car.. if you "race" your car... essentially, anything that may cause stress to the motor and accelerate the break down of the oils viscosity and protective features.

So.. how frequent? That in the end is up to you. Do you do a lot of slow dtop/go driving? do you race the car? do you never let it get up to operating temp? If so, more frequent changes are better. If you do nothing but "easy" highway miles for 30 or more minutes, longer intervals can be used.

To me, 3K miles is pretty frequent. I prefer somewhere between 5K-7.5K miles between changes (or at least once a year).

Oil is still cheaper than a new motor. You might also want to learn how to do this simple DIY item yourself. No matter who does it, get QUALITY oil and new filter everytime. Oil will still cost you about $60-75 for synthetic. Filter is about $10-15. Learning more about your car: Priceless
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Old 01-22-2008, 01:30 PM   #4
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Red face

The porsche dealership near me recommended oil changes every 15 K. We all know the dealerships are there to make money period ! Therefore every 15K is probably right, however as someone already said it really depends on your climate and how you drive the car. Personally I'm going with every 10K or once a year which ever comes first. BTW I drive rather conservatively and I base my frequency on this.
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PhxRealtor
They insisted that it had to be done at 3,000-5,000 intervals regardless of what others and the manual say (I'm sure they love doing $200 oil changes). They used Mobile 1 10W-30.
That mechanic is just flat wrong! First, the weight is wrong. Factory fill should be 0W40 Mobil 1. I prefer something a bit more shear stable so I am currently using redline 5W40. In hot AZ I would go a little heavier such as Mobil's Delvac 1 5W40 or redline 5w40 unless this could void your warranty (if applicable). Note that most people who have concerns about Mobil 1 0W40 are critical that it is too thin (it shears). So this bafoon is saying to go even thinner in hot Arizona? Yeah, that makes sense.

Second, the interval is way off. Your car has a huge oil sump. 3k miles is ridiculous. This has been discussed at length and you will find that people in the know recommend 7500 - 10,000 miles. For my 00' car, my used oil analysis at 8700 miles on Mobil 1 0W40 showed that the TBN number (additive package indicator) was 1/2 of starting TBN (which to many is an indicator that it is time to change the oil). Also the oil had thinned to a 30 weight. Thus if using Mobil 1 0W40 I would go 7500 miles ideally or up to 10,000 miles if you wish. Most Porsches have been using the 15k interval with few oil related engine failures so the 3k is just wasting money (or earning money if you are the repair shop). I think the 10k or 7500 is safer than the 15k interval.

Porsche's official recommendation at the moment is 12k for the 2001-2005 cars and 20k for 05+ but I have had many mechanics and service writers tell me 10,000 max. It has been rumored that after the introduction of the direct injection engines that the official recommendation will be 12k for all years. My point being that 3k is way too low.

My suggestion would be to find a new mechanic ASAP that knows something about Porsches. Sorry to be blunt. You are doing the right thing by asking questions and not just letting them take you for a ride. Good show!

Last edited by saaber; 01-22-2008 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:53 PM   #6
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I was told I need to change every 5k because I track. After reading numerous threads on this forum, I think that is hyper. So every 8 - 10k is probably good maintenance for me. I like it. Its not like I am tracking every week, and I live in GA where temperatures are moderate.
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Old 01-22-2008, 03:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porsche986spyder
Personally I think this is the cause of many of the RMS failures. Think about it, the oil may be good to last 15k but the oil filter really isn't.
Just worth mentioning the 986 manual says change the filterevery other oil change which equates to 30k miles for the filter.
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:47 PM   #8
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I'm sticking with every 5k miles, which looks like it will also be my annual mileage. (I mainly use my motorcycle for transportation)

With respect to the RMS problems. I have a theory: oil that's even slightly too full may contribute to leaks. By too full, I mean within 1 bar of the full mark on the dash. I work on motorcycles for a living, and I've noticed that on the few dry sump motorcycles we work on, the oil level increases quite a bit when they're hot. So if I check one warm, it will be ok, but check it again all the way hot, and it's over full. The end result of an over-full bike is an over-pressured sump and oil oozing out everywhere that it can. I'm thinking this same thing (being more than 8/10ths full) could also be a contributing factor to the coolant overflow tank failures.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:35 AM   #9
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MY01 BoxsterS manual says 20k km or every 2 years, including filter. Factory / dealer fill is Mobil I 0w40.

I had a short moment of trouble at a track once with my lifters and was advised by the dealer to use Mobil 5w50 then. They said its also approved and they use it for the 996 turbo's and GT3's.

Lately I don't track that often anymore and I drive about 5-7k km with the S each year.

All together I stick to changing the oil with Mobil I 5w50 each year and changing the filter each other oilchange (so every 2 year). Works perfectly for me and I like working on my car (*) so the additional costs are easily bearable.

(*) I hate changing oilfilters though. It always gets messy...


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Old 01-23-2008, 02:19 AM   #10
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There is a very good article in the January 2008 Panorama, page 79 about motor oils. In there Allan Caldwell talks about a Mobil 1 5W50 that is the only 5W50 Porsche "approved/listed".
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:35 AM   #11
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I've got an '01 S that I'm putting 6-8k miles/year on. So I change oil and filter annually (usually the first nice spring day).

So far so good.

Learn to do it yourself. It's easy, cheap(er) and satisfying. Bond with your machine!
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:00 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by markk
All together I stick to changing the oil with Mobil I 5w50 each year and changing the filter each other oilchange (so every 2 year).
Mark.
That M1 5W50 sounds like an excellent choice. If you ever get a chance to do a used oil analysis please post it here. It would be great to see how that oil performs.
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Old 01-28-2008, 02:12 PM   #13
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Oil / Filter Change Intervals

I've had excellent results with a yearly oil change (Mobil 1), on both my '00 986'S', and my '00 Tundra, but I do change their filters every 3000-3500 miles or so. The Tundra now has 92k on the clock, and the Box is about to turn 50k.

This regime seems to dovetail with a few of the other posts, with respect to filter "build up". At each oil change; the color of the old oil is only slightly darker than the new oil. One of these days, I'm going to send off a sample to one of the labs who do oil analysis, and hope that their report proves me right...
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:48 PM   #14
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As has been pointed out, they used the wrong oil. Why would you go back to them if they can't read the BLEEPING manual.

Secondly, if it were me, I would change it at 7500 miles or one year, whichever comes first.

Good luck.
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Old 01-28-2008, 04:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Brucelee
if they can't read the BLEEPING manual.



Good luck.
Now, Now Rich... You know the policy on vulgar language, lets keep it PG-13
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Old 01-28-2008, 04:26 PM   #16
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The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

bleep

PRONUNCIATION: blp
NOUN: A brief high-pitched sound, as from an electronic device.
VERB: Inflected forms: bleeped, bleep·ing, bleeps

INTRANSITIVE VERB: To emit a bleep or bleeps.
TRANSITIVE VERB: To edit out (spoken material) from a broadcast or recording, especially by replacing with an electronic sound: The station bleeped out the expletives from the taped interview.
ETYMOLOGY: Imitative.
OTHER FORMS: bleeper —NOUN

I think I am OK on this one.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadracer311
I'm sticking with every 5k miles, which looks like it will also be my annual mileage. (I mainly use my motorcycle for transportation)

With respect to the RMS problems. I have a theory: oil that's even slightly too full may contribute to leaks. By too full, I mean within 1 bar of the full mark on the dash. I work on motorcycles for a living, and I've noticed that on the few dry sump motorcycles we work on, the oil level increases quite a bit when they're hot. So if I check one warm, it will be ok, but check it again all the way hot, and it's over full. The end result of an over-full bike is an over-pressured sump and oil oozing out everywhere that it can. I'm thinking this same thing (being more than 8/10ths full) could also be a contributing factor to the coolant overflow tank failures.
Overfilling any fluid systems will cause seals to leak therefore do not overfill. I'm fairly new in the Boxster world but when I read the manual it states that the Engine must be in operating temp when checking the oil level. Specially when using the gauge in the inst. cluster. I would take that statement even further. An Engine maybe in Operating temp but you have a 9 1/2 oil system which would take several miles for the oil to reach normal operating temp. I would check the level after you have driven several miles just to be safe.
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