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Dodge Repair/oil change recommendation with synthetic oil


QUESTION: Dear Roland,

I have a 2013 Honda Civic with 7600 miles on it and it`s due for an oil change according to my car computer indicating I need service. It came new with synthetic oil. I just looked at the dip stick and the color of the oil on it was perfectly clear. Every other car I owned over the years had dark colored oil in it after 7500 miles. Why is this oil clear and do I need an oil change with synthetic oil every 5000 miles as stated in the owners manual?

ANSWER: Hi Jeffrey,
The synthetic oil does appear clear longer than conventional oil which apparently has to do with its chemical formulation. I would not be worried about running it past 5,000 miles, say up to 7500 miles before changing it out. However, if the manufacturer's warranty requires that it be changed to maintain your rights under the warranty then I would change it out and keep a record just in case. Look at the warranty information in the owner's manual for specific requirements of the warranty.
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Being that the synthetic oil stays clear longer than the conventional oil does in mileage does that mean you can run synthetic  safely until it looks dirty which may be 10,000 miles or longer of course checking it regularly to see when it becomes dark in color and then change it ?

Hi Jeffrey,
I would change it out at 7500 unless the oil manufacturer says less frequently than that is permissible. I notice that Mobil 1 actually has 4 different 'grades' of synthetic oil "qualities", and the highest (most expensive) allows changes at 15,000 miles (it is called 'extended performance' grade).  
If your typical driving is not hard on the oil (e.g. not short trips, not high engine operating temps) I would personally recommend the cheapest synthetic be changed at 7500 miles. I am not sure that color is a good indicator of when it should be changed.
Does Honda require a 5,000 mile change-out to maintain the warranty?
Thanks for a rating and nomination, which you can do again for this answer as well.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top expert" from 2010-2015 here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles.

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"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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