SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

July 9, 2011

Is high-mileage oil worth the extra cost?

Q: I recently had the oil changed in my 1998 Honda Accord that has 135,000 miles on it. My mechanic recommended a high-mileage oil, which costs about $10 more per oil change. My question is, is it worth the added cost? I have religiously changed the oil and filter every 3,000 miles in this car since it was new, and it burns no oil.

A: Your '98 Accord is going to give you a lot more miles as long as you keep doing what you do. Changing the oil every 3,000 miles or every 90 days is the way to go.

Further, as long as you keep to the schedule, there is no need for you to change to the high-price, high-profit, high-mileage oil. The oil itself does not break down. It's the additive package that we are dealing with for a difference.

Either way, valve seals are going to wear out, gaskets are going to leak, and parts will wear down and break. But if you keep on your schedule, just keep using the oil you have used for the first 135,000, and you may get a few more 135,000's.

Q: I am writing to you about the 2004 Escalade (120,000 miles) my daughter bought nine months ago. She only got a 30-day guarantee with it. Her problems started a few months after she bought it.

The first time her car quit on her, she was told she needed a new throttle body. Two months later her car quit again and she needed a new transmission. One month after the new transmission, her car's engine light read "reduce engine power" and the car quit again. She had the car towed to where she'd had the transmission installed.

The mechanic there had the car for a week and told her something about 11 points he had to check. After the week he got it going and said all he could find was she needed a new air filter. (She had the oil changed at the dealership after she bought the car).

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