Why Do European cars need fewer oil changes?
Oil changes are a part of auto maintenance. The oil lubricates moving parts and prevents friction from wearing down the metal surfaces of counseling moving piece of machinery. It also helps keep the engine relatively cool and will soak up byproducts of combustion so that the engine is much cleaner. The old rule of thumb to change the oil every 3000 miles is outdated. Newer models of cars can go as much is 10000 miles without an oil change. European cars will go anywhere from 15000 to 20,000 miles between oil changes.
One of the reasons may be the use of synthetic oil. Most European countries have no oil and there is not the oil culture that is so, in the United States. Americans are accustomed to cheaper gasoline and oil which is a luxury the Europeans are not able to have. With no oil deposits readily at hand synthetic oil is the primary option. Mercedes-Benz has checked out the synthetic oil Mobil1 for use in its models. The company concluded using that particular oil product would allow for oil changes at 12,000 miles. The lack of available oil also plays into the design of European cars. American models do not have to factor in scarcity of oil, given the large reserves in the United States. It does pose a cautionary note for an American owner of a European car, however. It may be necessary to use exclusively on synthetic oil in the oil changes.
Technology has made considerable strides and it is possible to monitor when a European car needs an oil change. Mercedes-Benz uses a system known as ASSYST to track a number of engine operating conditions, including oil. This is a computerized system that takes and consideration factors such as driving habits, the speed the cars ordinarily driven out, and reluctance to replenish oil when it has reached a dangerously low level. All this is monitored and the sensor also looks at how the oil affects the conduct of electric current. Lesser resistance to electric flow is an indication that the oil is becoming contaminated and needs to be changed. The ASSYST has been used by Mercedes-Benz for over 15 years.
That use of synthetic oil is not just a suggestion, depending on the model of car. The European auto manufacturers are very specific as to what should be used. European standards for motor oil are determined by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. This group creates service terms of minimum quality level. The manufacturers have controlling hand in Europe regarding the formulation blends. This doesn’t mean that there is inferior quality of oil. What is used in European cars have additives that will reduce wear on the engines. The oil also must meet technology specific formulas. There is a price to be paid for using the wrong type. There is possibility of hydrogen volatility or burn offs, and consumers are urged to consult the owner’s manual the type of oil for the European car. Additional warning is that the warranty may be involved. That document may specify exactly what type of oil is to be used. If there is evidence the correct oil has not been used, then warranty on a damaged engine might not be honored.
It can be argued that there is a trade-off involved here. Yes, European cars may in fact have longer intervals between oil changes because of the blend and formulas. At the same time, a car owner is seriously restricted to what types of motor oil may be used. There may be no compromise at all on the use of the proper oil. As mentioned above, trying to use a substitute may result in some very serious damage to the motor.
The concerns about the right type of oil can steer an owner in the direction of having any oil change done by the dealer or an automotive center specializing European cars. That can put an added cost on to an oil change but is balanced by the long intervals between changes. In automotive center that specializes in European cars will have the proper formulas on the shelf for any oil changes. This using the correct oil on a European car a craps is the objective of proper maintenance. It also helps assure that the wrong oil is not accidentally used to the detriment of the machinery itself.