Extend Oil Life

John Baxter | April 01, 2012

“We do recommend high-quality filters as an important part of routine maintenance,” says Chevron’s Jim Gambill. “We do not recommend the filters that claim to replenish oils or extend oils by chemical additives, as our additive technology is carefully balanced and we don’t want this careful balance compromised.”

Choose right oil grade

ExxonMobil has been promoting long oil change intervals with use of Mobil Delvac 15W-40 synthetic oil for many years, Rob Banas says. “We offer Mobil Delvac 1300 Super, Delvac Elite Blue and Mobil Delvac 1 fully synthetic. Each oil has its design capabilities. Formulations can neutralize and suspend the by-products of combustion almost like a sponge. As you move up the ladder, you have a bigger sponge, either for longer intervals or harder applications.”

Shell offers both “semi-synthetic and fully synthetic engine oils that are extended drain capable,” Dan Arcy says. “However, we always concentrate on the fact that every customer’s operation is unique.” Lubes with a lower initial viscosity grade number like Shell’s T5 10W-30 and T6 10W-40 and 5W-40 are better for cold starting under harsh conditions “because they are not as thick under starting temperature conditions,” he notes. This allows many fleets to curtail idling, which helps extend change intervals.

Chevron’s Jim Gambill says, “If you are looking to extend the life of the product, we are recommending a premium conventional product like Delo 400 LE 15W-40. The viscosity grade works in most places and this oil is proven to deliver outstanding durability…. In very cold climates (operating routinely below 0 F), you may consider something like Chevron Delo 400 LE 10W-30. We recommend Delo 400 Multigrade (CI-4 PLUS) for older vehicles without a DPF.”

BP Castrol’s Corey Taylor says Castrol offers two synthetic blends, Hypuron 15W-40 and Hypuron 10W-30, suitable for extended drain. These have been extensively tested at 50,000 and 70,000-mile intervals, respectively. The company’s Elixion 5W-30 is a full synthetic blend that provides the best protection. “The low levels of oil soot today’s injection systems provide and the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel greatly help to extend the life of engine oil,” Taylor says.

Get routine oil analysis

New engines exhibit levels of contaminants that remain from initial construction of the radiator, oil cooler and EGR cooler. So even when an engine is relatively new, oil analysis is important for proper maintenance, says ExxonMobil’s Rob Banas. Knowing not only the miles on the oil, but the total hours the engine has run, is critical to knowing whether a contaminant is coming in from outside and likely to cause damage.

If you buy oil from an oil supplier and consistently use the same brand, it’s possible the oil refiner will offer free oil analysis. If not, ask your supplier or engine dealer for information on a reputable lab. A good analysis report will cost $30 to $50. Analysis should be performed at every drain if using extended intervals.



15,000-mile changes

25,000-mile changes



$250 for 11 gallons

$250 x 66.6 = $16,650

$250 x 40 = $10,000



$22 for OEM bypass oil filter

$22 x 66.6 = $1,465

40 x $22 = $880



$20 per change

$20 x 66.6 = $1,332

$20 x 40 = $800


TOTAL SAVINGS OF NEARLY $8,000 over the million-mile life cycle of an engine are possible on oil, filter and disposal costs alone when drains are extended from 15,000 miles to 25,000 miles.

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