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Nissan Repair/oil changes


QUESTION: My Nissan Juke, a turbo, recommends oil changes every 5000k or 6 months, whichever comes first. With my old vehicle I had for 18 years, I went by miles and always had it done at 5000k. But since I drive so few miles, it was usually done every 9-12 months and I never had a problem. Would doing it that infrequently be bad for the car? I read that with direct injected engines and turbos, it's  important to change it more often. Thanks

ANSWER: Hi Lee -

You are fine with the time method in changing your oil. It is more important to change the oil relating to the use of the engine rather than just because some months has gone by. If you situation was the opposite, such as traveling 5000K in 3 months, I would recommend changing the oil every 3 months.

So, you are fine with the mileage element as the gauge. The only thing I would recommend is to use synthetic oil, if you are not doing it already.

Hope this helps -


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

QUESTION: Thank you Calvin. There's one other factor concerning the warranty. I guess it doesn't matter if the car is leased or not(mine is), but if there were a problem within the first 3 years, would the dealer want to see that I changed the oil according to their recommendations? So for example if I showed them records that I had oil changes done every 9 months instead of 6, could that  void the warranty?

ANSWER: Hi Lee -

Valid point. I did not know that your vehicle is brand new. If there is a problem with the vehicle and it can be related to the oil change interval, the dealer will hop on it just to relieve their responsibility.

So, perhaps it might be a good idea to follow the recommendation until the warranty is over. Of course it is up to you, but definitely will not damage the vehicle.


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

QUESTION: Thanks, I thought about it more and agree. One more question and I won't bug you again about this. My Nissan Juke is 6 months old and I want to switch to synthetic. But it only has 3500 miles on it and I read that "some claim that synthetics are so slippery that in brand-new engines, the lubricants prevent proper break-in of components, like giving the rings a chance to seat."  Others say can use it right away, What do you think, would switching to synthetic at 3500 miles be too soon?  Thanks again!

Hi Lee -

Once again, because of potential warranty concerns, I would refer back to the engine specs in your manual and see what they recommend. That way you can say you are following the manufacturer's recommendation and will comply with the warranty.

Personally though, I am a fan of synthetic oil, have been using it ever since it came out, and never had an issue, or heard of one. To me it is just a smart choice to use it, as its properties far excel normal oil. Oil has 3 functions - Coolant, detergent, and of course a lubricant, and synthetic oil maintains these properties much longer than regular oil.

When you are "breaking in" an engine, it is actually an old school term to mean wearing down of the components so it will "fit" better, similar to breaking in a new shoe. Once you stretch it out to really fit your feet, you don't want to part with it cause it is so comfortable. But these days the engines and lubricants are far advanced, and the latter provides sufficient seals and lubrication so you actually don't want a break in, as you are starting the wear of the engine prematurely.

Just my opinion -


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Calvin Iwashita


All general car repairs for all models of vehicles, except technicals (overhauls) on A/C systems and transmissions.


16 years as a car mechanic from 1974 to 1990, and still repair cars on the side.


High School and college graduate

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