Is it necessary to change the oil every year or after a certain distance driven? Or is it a story of the garage to be able to carry out an expensive maintenance?
Willibrordus van der Weide has been fighting a lonely battle against the oil industry for years. According to him, we are unnecessarily rushed to costs. “Provided you meet a few conditions, you don't have to change engine oil, if at all, filling it up is enough.” Just like the Americans have been doing for centuries. But according to Van der Weide, this is often only necessary after hundreds of thousands of kilometers. “That saves you a lot of money and it is less harmful to the environment,” according to the petro-chemist.
If you consider all cars whose oil is changed at least once a year, you are quickly talking about millions of euros and liters of oil. Just in our country. So the stakes are high and Willibrordus has the feeling that his story is not welcomed in the industry. “Nobody wants to hear my story because it's about a lot, a lot of money.”
That is why the industry is skeptical about the 'Van der Weide method'
Experts endorse the usefulness of measuring acidity, but that is not enough. The approach is that motor oil contains additives, called dopes or additives. In such an interim oil test it is necessary, but impossible, to measure the amount of additives. There are simply too many: additives that do all kinds of things, such as lubrication, preventing oil from foaming, depositing dirt on the cylinder wall, contaminating the catalytic converter, and so on.
If you don't change the oil, these protective additives will disappear at some point and you will get wear and tear in critical places in the engine. As a result, the block will either use more oil because you have to top up more often, or it will use more petrol because the engine is less well lubricated. If, according to that approach, you save on oil by not changing the oil, you will spend more money on petrol, or you will have to top up your oil more often than usual.
play it safe
That's why car manufacturers choose a 'safe margin' when determining the number of kilometers after which you should change your oil. They assume average car use, while the way you use your car determines the speed at which the additives are 'worn out'. With someone who drives a lot of short distances, often making a cold start, the oil quality will deteriorate faster than someone who often drives long distances, and therefore allows the oil to heat up. In the meantime, new cars are increasingly equipped with sensors that measure car use and, depending on this, indicate when it is time for a service, during which the oil is changed. Our classic are not so smart yet.
Conclusion: depending on your classic car use, changing engine oil is not necessarily necessary as often as the garage or car manufacturer would have you believe. But never to do it again? That seems to us to link. We agree with Willibrordus van der Weide, who applies the economical approach, supported by his self-developed, partially vegetable, Yellow Miracle Oil, in his own vehicle fleet.