When to Service your Specialty Vehicle
Own a sports car or a speciality vehicle that doesn’t get driven frequently? Then this article is for you! If you don’t ( yet ) own a sports car but plan to, this is good info for the enthusiast who loves to plan and budget. The team here at 3ZERO3 Motorsports has been employing factory trained technicians for the last decade as we strive to offer a level of both techncial and customer service rarely achieved in our industry. What follows is a collection of ideas and thoughts compiled through the last decade of supporting our Denver Colorado based Audi, BMW, Mini, Porsche and VW owners at our facility here in Wheatridge Colorado.
Increasingly, manufacturers ( the ones we care about anyways : Audi, BMW, Mini Cooper, Porsche, and Volkswagen) have continued to bump up mileage in between oil changes ( Note: we prefer to call these engine oil and filter services). Remember the last time you had a 3,000 mile oil change interval? No? Neither do we. Today many modern vehicles are built with a 10,000 mile oil change interval. If you drive your sports car 2,000-3,000 miles a year, then clearly you could go 3 to 5 years between oil and filter services. Our point? Any vehicle, but especially speciality vehicles, should be inspected annually. Just like your dentist told you that you only have to brush the teeth that you want to keep, same holds true for the vehicles that we hold dear.
Oil change intervals :
Depending on the specifics of your vehicle, you may be told that your vehicle is due for oil and filter services every 10,000 miles. With manufacturers offering “complimentary” scheduled maintenance ( complimentary = no additional cost) dealers are priced into a schedule that reduces the number of time that they will be paying for your oil and filter service. Depending on your engine size, oil capacity, and understanding the differences relative to a naturally aspirated engine vs a forced induction set up will greatly impact how we, the talented team at 3ZERO3 Motorsports interpret this information.
Naturally Aspirated engines vs Forced Induction
When we say forced induction, we are referring to an engine that is equipped with a turbocharger or supercharger. Forced induction engines are much more abusive to engine oil than naturally aspirated engined. Turbocharged engines are especially abusive to engine oil as just about every turbo is bathed in engine oil( supercharged engines do this as well but to a lesser extent), thus contributing significantly to the thermal breakdown of the engine oil, not to mention the fact that many turbos will consume engine oil as part of normal operation. Understanding these realities is an important factor when interpreting when an engine oil should be changed.
A massive factor here is the amount of oil that your vehicle carries. For example, many mid and rear engined Porsches will carry 8 quarts of oil or more. With so much oil in the sump, certainly it takes a lot longer to see this oil break down, and for those reasons servicing the engine oil and filter every 10K miles, is much less of a bad idea. On the other end of the spectrum if you have a 4 cylinder turbocharged engine that can hold 4-5 quarts of oil, waiting 10,000 miles between services can be a recipe for disaster. Certainly Audi B8 2.0T owners can attest to this.
This one should be a bit of a no brainer. If you are a very aggressive driver or track your vehicle, then certainly 10,000 mile oil change intervals are not recommended. If you own a sports car but rarely find yourself achieving 4,000 or more RPM, then certainly an aggressive engine oil and filter service schedule might be over the top.
Whether or not you choose to adhere your manufacturer specific oil change interval is up to you. But we cannot over emphasize the fact that every vehicle should be professionally inspected on an annual basis. Outside of changing the oil, a multi point safety inspection should be performed to ensure that tires, brakes, fluids, steering and suspension components etc, are all up to snuff.
What is right for you?
I suppose that there is no perfect fit across the board here. The motivation to share this information with you, was to encourage all of our clients to make thoughtful decisions about when and how their vehicles are cared of. And of course, we cannot stress enough how important it is to have your vehicle properly inspected every year, regardless of required maintenance work.