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Information about oil-change interval



Dear Tom and Ray:
I have a 2009 VW
Passat with about 6,500
miles. I called to set up an
appointment to get the oil
changed, and the dealership said it only changes
the oil at 10,000 miles. My
late husband took excellent
care of all of our cars, and
never would let a car go
10,000 miles before an oil
change. Maybe I’m cheap,
but if I wait until 10,000
miles, the oil change is free,
since I have free scheduled
maintenance. If I do it before then, it will cost $80 (!)
and I’ll have waived my free
oil change. To complicate
matters, I’m driving to the

mountains soon. I’ll still be
under 10,000 miles when I
get back, but I don’t want
to mess up my engine. What
do you think I should do?
Thanks, Ray and Tom. I appreciate the advice and the
laughter. — Bonnie

Car Talk

RAY: Your car uses synthetic oil, Bonnie, which
works better and lasts longer than the stuff you suck
out of the ground and spill
all over the Gulf of Mexico.
And in many cases, 10,000
miles between synthetic oil
changes is fine.
TOM: But in your case,
we’re going to make an exception. Lucky you, Bonnie!

RAY: VWs of recent vintage (at least the ones that
have come into our shop
during the past decade)
have had a tendency to
burn oil. Their engines burn
through more oil between
oil changes than we’re comfortable with. And for that
reason, we’re going to suggest that you change the
synthetic oil every 5,000
miles in this particular car.
TOM: It might not ultimately prevent your engine
from burning oil, since we
don’t know exactly what’s
causing the oil burning. But
it might help. It certainly
can’t hurt.
RAY: And it doesn’t
have to screw up your “free
scheduled maintenance”
agreement. You simply tell
the dealer that you’re willing
to pay for an extra oil change
in between the scheduled oil
changes. You pay for an extra, unscheduled one now,
at 6,500 miles, and then
they’ll change it again for
you for free at 10,000 miles.
TOM: It’s true that if you
do this, it’ll cost you 80
bucks once a year or so. But

it’s cheap insurance for your
engine. You can think of it
as honoring your late husband’s wishes. And helping
your poor VW dealer make
his boat payments. Have a
good trip, Bonnie.
• • •
Changing your oil regularly is the cheapest insurance you can buy for your
car, but how often should
you change it? Find out by
ordering Tom and Ray’s
pamphlet “Ten Ways You
May Be Ruining Your Car
Without Even Knowing It!”
Send $4.75 (check or money
order) to Ruin, P. O. Box
536475, Orlando, FL 32853-
6475.
• • •
Get more Click and Clack
in their new book, “Ask Click
and Clack: Answers from
Car Talk.” Got a question
about cars? Write to Click
and Clack in care of this
newspaper, or e-mail them
by visiting the Car Talk Web
site at www.cartalk.com.

(c) 2011 by Tom and Ray
Magliozzi and Doug Berman
Distributed by King Features
Syndicate, Inc.



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