That's an excellent write up.
fezzasus, what's your opinion on oil change intervals?
This could be a very long, or a very short topic - i'll try to cover both;
The short one: do what the manufacturer says
The long one: The manufacturers put durability above anything else. They simply can't afford a reputation of engine failures - inside the warrantee period this means massive replacement costs, outside of the warrentee period this could mean class action suits if it's found that there's a defective part - or in this case - oil drain intervals that are too long when the specified oil is used. It also means massive brand damage.
The main factor when it comes to oil drain intervals is this; there's simply no incentive for the manufacturer to increase oil drain intervals:
- the end user pays for them, not the manufacturer.
- Their dealerships make more money with regular oil drains.
- there's no legislative penalties for having short oil drain intervals (5 L of oil every 10,000 miles is minimal compared to the L of fuel used over those 10,000 miles)
So when they specify oil drain intervals. They mean it. Oils on the market today are tested for use over a much longer period than 10,000 miles when being qualified (I ran an oil in my old car for 40,000 miles for this very reason - with engine inspection before and after).
In America it's slightly different. Firstly the quality of the oil specifications is generally lower than Europe; this means cheaper oil which competes on price rather than quality. The only way to make money from this is to sell more of it, so places (particularly quick oil change places) still push the 3000 mile oil drain interval hard. It's completely false even there - the oil can easily do 10,000 miles and most OEMs are pushing up to 6000 as a minimum now.
In short; there's really no reason to change it less than 10,000 miles. Stick to the recommendation in your service manual - but also keep in mind that (at least for the VX) this was written 10 years ago, and the quality of oil now compared to then has increased massively. The oil you're putting in today is better than it ever has been, so you shouldn't be worrying about protecting an aging engine - that's already happening.