How to save money by only changing your oil once a year

By Zachary Anderegg

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Jan. 14 2013 10:35 a.m. MST

Here’s another marketing secret: Not all synthetic oil is actually synthetic based. Due to consumer marketing laws, manufacturers can label a petroleum-based oil as being "synthetic" if it meets certain performance standards. The fact is petroleum oil is not capable of performing like a synthetic product designed specifically for the task at hand. If you want to maximize the benefits listed above then you must go with a true synthetic oil in your vehicle.

In addition to using the oil that I do, I also use a synthetic “polyester media” oil filter instead of a paper media filter. Again, a polyester filter element can be designed for the task at hand — trapping smaller dirt particles — and last longer than the inherent limitations of using a natural element like paper. The combination of using a true synthetic oil and a premium synthetic filter allows me to go 20,000 miles or one year in all of my vehicles. My vehicles have zero oil leaks; they don’t burn oil; and the aforementioned benefits of using this system are simply too good to pass up.

There are many rumors out there about using synthetic oil in your vehicle. “You can’t mix it with petroleum-based oil. "It makes your engine leak. "It’s no better than regular oil,” etc. None of this is true, but in my experience people believe what they want to believe. The fact is we embrace technology in almost every part of our lives, so why not do the same with our vehicles? Another fact: Vehicle manufacturers are utilizing synthetic oil to help them meet the higher EPA ratings required of them. Synthetic oil has more lubricity than conventional, so it provides increased fuel economy and less internal wear of components.

My Toyota Tundra is 8 years old, and the engine looks and runs like the day I drove it off the lot. My choice of oil and filter have a lot to do with that. The day I purchased my truck I drained the “brand-new” oil and replaced it with a true synthetic oil and polyester filter. The results speak for themselves.

If you like the idea of saving time and money and want to make the switch, I would be happy to assist you. Simply email me and I will send you what you need to purchase the exact same products I use in all my vehicles. If you’re not ready to go all the way with synthetics then you can just look up the scheduled service interval in your owner’s manual and service your vehicle accordingly — probably between 6,000 and 8,000 miles with conventional oil.

Whichever you choose to do, I hope you no longer buy into the misleading messaging that promotes the necessity of the 3,000-mile oil change. The industry has preyed upon the driving public for far too long. I aim to change that — even if it’s just with one oil change a year. I hope you join me.

Zak Anderegg opened Utah’s first full scale do-it-yourself repair shop in 2009, which was featured on numerous local TV networks. He also works with business fleet managers.

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