Re: Graybeard engine oil trick
I usually change the oil in all my vehicles religiously,every 3 to 5 thousand miles..
I used to use only certain brands too,like Castrol GTX or Valvoline,Wolf's Head,or Amalie..thought it really mattered to stick with one certain brand and not "mix" them,and always the same viscosity too--unless it was low on oil and I had no choice but to add some other brand or weight..
Then I learned most all oil sold in the USA has to meet "Military" specs,which include the ability to be compatible with other brands..so they can be mixed without ill effects...
As I grew older and poorer though,I started slacking off on oil changes--I did not drive long distances daily any more like I used to when my work was 65 miles away,and I started buying "cheaper" oil like Walmart's "Tech 2000" brand (which is likely just some big name brand with their label on it anyway)..
I ran all my vehicles for 12 years on it with zero oil related issues..I put a new filter on every time I changed the oil,and sometimes I would put a new one on between changes,like if it was in the dead of winter too..
I often heard mechanics say "the oil never wears out,it just gets dirty and loses its additives "...Once where my dad worked,at a local gas & electric company,that had a large fleet of company trucks and cars,decided to experiment with one vehicle,they just added a quart and replaced the oil filter every 3000 miles,not change the oil--and they added Rislone or Marvel Mystery Oil at every filter change....that car went over 110,000 miles with no engine problems..(It was a Dodge slant six though,those will run with no oil practically and probably survive)..
I know many people who changed their oil maybe 2 or 3 times in 100,000 miles and just changed filters more often,then trade the car in after 4-5 years..their still ran good too..not saying that is good practice,just noting the results..
While I do not reccomend this to anyone,the past several years when I was practically broke and didn't drive very far at all,and my old GMC diesel pickup started leaking oil like crazy from a rotted oil pan,I soon tired of having to spend 5 bucks every time on a quart of oil,just to go buy food,or pay bills in it,and see friends who live close by..
Rather than risk destroying the engine by letting it run too low on oil,I started topping it off with used oil I had saved from previous oil changes on my other vehicles..I figured full of "something" was much better than letting it run out, or go too low...
A friend who runs an auto repair shop always has at least one 55 gallon drum full of used oil,so I started using that instead of buying fresh oil every time the truck needed a quart..once in a while I'd buy a quart of new oil,and throw a new filter on it..
I noticed right away the engine spun over a lot faster in the winter and started much easier,than it ever did with 15W-40 in it,and it ran quieter too--the oil I was getting was drained from mostly high end forigen cars that get pampered and have oil changes every 3000 miles ,probably more synthetic than regular crude oil mixed together,and still was a nice clear amber color..
I asked my friend if possible to drain the oil from a few of these cars right into an empty gallon jug right as he drained it,to avoid getting any oil from the drum that might have had ATF or brake fluid dumped in with it..he agreed,and every week I'd have a gallon waiting there for me..often it looked like fresh clean oil,right off a store shelf!..
I read in Mother Earth News how using a doubled up pair of panty hose makes a good oil "filter" when using it to burn in a waste oil heater,so I started using that idea to ensure no larger particles were in the oil..I noticed it came out much clearer looking after filtering it that way a few times..
I have now put at least 10,000 miles on my truck with "used" oil,with a "new" quart added every so often,and a new filter every 2000 miles..the oil looks clear in the dipstick and doesn't turn black like the diesel rated 15W-40 does,and while I know I'm probably not doing the engine any justice by using "car" oil with less detergent in it and the viscosity is "unknown",being a mixture of 5W-30 and 10W-30 probably,and the fact my engine is supposed to have SAE 30 above 32 degrees or 15W-40 in winter,if anything,it runs better and quieter than it ever did before,starts easier,and so far,it hasn't started burning oil or smoking,or rapping..
The truck is getting to the point where its frame and body is rotting away badly enough not to justify spending the money to get the oil pan replaced or do any other major work to it..I cant lie under it and replace the pan myself,and to have it done would cost more than I could sell it for..
I've patched the oil pan leak up with screws in the pan,covered with J-B weld putty and Marglass bondo and RTV ,I know it'll probably just be a temporary fix,but seeing its not really worth fixing "right",I may as well just run it till its "done"...so far not using "new" oil hasn't seemed to done any damage to it..maybe I'm just lucky,or it'll toss a rod the next time I drive it...it owes me nothing,I have gotten more than my money's worth out of it...
I think today's oils are so much better than what was around in the 80's,that even "used" its still probably better than what we could buy back then..
I have since found out I'm only one of quite a few of my friends customers who are using "drain oil" on old beaters that burn oil or leak...and their vehicles have been kept alive that way for several years too...he has no trouble getting rid of his used oil,between guys like me and those who come looking for it to burn in waste oil heaters..