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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-12-2008, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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1,000 Mile Oil Filter Dissected

Remaining faithful to my old school ways of vehicle maintenance, I changed the oil and filter upon reaching 1000 miles on the odometer. I then chose to disassemble the filter element to see what has been happening inside.

Sry for the blurry photo . . . my camera is made in the USA.



From the small strip of the filter element, you can see a modest amount of carbon buildup, and a few specks of foreign objects.

I fished out all the F.O. I could find that were more than 1mm in length. Much to my surprise, I only found 3 rubber pieces, 1 mysterious piece of red plastic, and 13 metal shavings; 17 items in total.

There were many more pieces too small to pick up, but this tiny number is quite the testament to the precision engineering that has gone into this engine. I have disassembled several oil filters from a '92 Subaru SVX, '98 BMW M3, '03 Jeep Liberty, and Rolls Royce T56 Turboprop engines (C-130 Hercules). This is by far the cleanest I have ever seen.

I am used to and quite loyal to the 3000 mile oil change interval, but from these findings, I'll be extending that interval significantly.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-12-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Feral_Collie View Post

Sry for the blurry photo . . . my camera is made in the USA.

...

I am used to and quite loyal to the 3000 mile oil change interval, but from these findings, I'll be extending that interval significantly.


It may not be USA origins so much as how you were holding your camera... it looks like you had a real closeup... some cheaper (<$100 digital) cameras are designed for fixed 6 foot focal length, +/- 2 feet either side of subject. Others have a 'macro' (close-up) function for when you get with 6 or 12 inches of the subject.

It's good to know the filter did its job so well and yet didn't have a whole lot to catch. Still, maybe it's a good idea to do a first oil change at 5k miles instead of 10k? Or for me, with <5 mile city trips, 3k interval.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Still, maybe it's a good idea to do a first oil change at 5k miles instead of 10k? Or for me, with <5 mile city trips, 3k interval.
10,000 miles is a very long time, unless you're pure highway. If your driving is mostly city and less than 5 miles, it is my own professional opinion that an oil change every 5,000 would keep your engine very healthy. 3k just might be overkill, considering Mitsubishi themselves recommend for this engine 5k if you drive city and 7.5k if you drive highway.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Feral_Collie View Post
10,000 miles is a very long time, unless you're pure highway. If your driving is mostly city and less than 5 miles, it is my own professional opinion that an oil change every 5,000 would keep your engine very healthy. 3k just might be overkill, considering Mitsubishi themselves recommend for this engine 5k if you drive city and 7.5k if you drive highway.
and for the record, your 'profession' is WHAT?
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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and for the record, your 'profession' is WHAT?
I used to be a mech tech for an import collision shop. Now I'm a mech tech for Rolls Royce Turboprop engines, T-56-15, C-130 Hercules. I know, I'm not certified by smart, and that's why I stated 'opinion' instead of 'Daimler Motor Group Endorsement.'
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 06:18 AM
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M-B/Mitsu

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feral_Collie View Post
10,000 miles is a very long time, unless you're pure highway. If your driving is mostly city and less than 5 miles, it is my own professional opinion that an oil change every 5,000 would keep your engine very healthy. 3k just might be overkill, considering Mitsubishi themselves recommend for this engine 5k if you drive city and 7.5k if you drive highway.
It is notable the extent that M-B has kept Mitsu (and any Mitsu-originated info) out of the picture. The oil recommendation provided to the U.S. smart dealers is M-B Sheet 229.5, a listing of European oils devised for the "big" M-Bs. I have yet to find anything on the engine itself that identifies it as a Mitsu, and the stated engine type in the smart literature is not Mitsu 3B2x, but a M-B engine designation (M132 - "Motor132").

I would be interested in Mitsu's own recommendations that will accompany the European-marketed Mitsu "i Car," with its sub-liter triple.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 06:31 AM
 
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I have talked to 3 different Mitsubishi dealers about the oil change intervals on the smarts. All of them said use the recommended Mobile 1 0-40 synthetic and if you don't drive in dusty conditions 10k changes are fine, if you drive in dusty conditions you might consider 7500 mile intervals. All three service managers said you cannot loose by using Mobile 1. All three said it would be stupid to drain the Mobile 1 out of a new car and put non-synthetic in a new car for engine break in. If Mobile 1 is good enough as the original oil on some of the worlds most expensive cars it is certainly good enough for a smart car.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 06:48 AM
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 07:30 AM
 
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John - thanks for the advice, I'll put my amor on shortly. I've talked to several smart service department managers and the Mitsubishi people mentioned. My experience has been to listen to what people who make their living working with the product tell me. I just sold a 2001 Hyundai Accent with 200k miles on it. From day one I ran Mobil 1 in it, changed at the 7500 mile intervals and at the time of the trade still went 2000 miles on a quart of oil. I may not like Exxon but they make a truly great oil, if it's good enough for an 19,000 rpm F1 motor or a 10,000 rpm Sprint/Nextel cup motor its good enough for my cars! These aren't F14's, Abrams tanks or some of the other things people have experience with on this site - they're passenger cars.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 07:38 AM
 
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Do we know for certain that new smarts come with Mobil 1 out of the factory? I know Mobil 1 is what smart recommends, but I was curious if anyone has actually verified that that is what they put in at the factory. The manual recommends an oil change at 10,000, which implies that the factory puts in some sort of synthetic oil, so maybe that's good enough to answer my question.
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