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oil changes

somewhere down the line I'm sure the scrupulous mechanics have somehow convinced the foreigners that their scooters require an oil change every 500km ! you see some adds even saying they changed the oil every 300km all the way to Hanoi ! normally the oil change on a scoot is every 2000km I think...so any scooter purchased in HCMC with a new oil change is enough to make it to Hanoi with plenty of detours along the way. Please correct me if I am wrong :)

I'm pretty sure my Honda 110cc scooter was every 4,000km, but I always changed at 2,000 because it wasn't used all that much.

This is for a scoopy, but they're likely to be around the same.

http://otomotifnet.com/Motor/Tips/Pandu … 000-Km-Ya#

Dalam buku servis tertulis penggatian oli tiap 4.000 km

Sorry it's in Indonesian, but it says every 4,000.

I change both my bikes around 2500 klm.

colinoscapee :

I change both my bikes around 2500 klm.

Small engines are better looked after, so I would agree it's probably better to change more often than the manual suggests.
I stick to 2,00 because it makes the maths easy for my poor memory. Every even 1,000 gets an oil change.
I ignore the 500 service I had to make it easier again, so it got its first 2 changes within 2,000 km.

The grease monkeys in the Honda workshop were always amused at the low use, but not half as much as the Daihatsu dudes when they see my lack of KM when I go for a service.
The Luxio must cost as much in servicing as it does in fuel.

find your dipstick and if it's black it's time to bring it in. Simple as that. It's not like your bike is gonna explode if you don't change the oil within the 'recommended' period. I hope there is a dipstick some where on the bike.

You forgot about condensation.

Hypothalamus :

find your dipstick and if it's black it's time to bring it in. Simple as that. It's not like your bike is gonna explode if you don't change the oil within the 'recommended' period. I hope there is a dipstick some where on the bike.

If it is black on a gasoline engine, you probably waited too long.  A diesel dipstick will show black oil after only about 100 machine hours so the color in that case is meaningless, but a gasoline auto won't show black oil on the stick until well after recommended intervals of 3000 or even 5000 miles.

Remember that an air cooled engine runs a lot hotter than a water cooled engine and so breaks oil down faster.  Many mechanics recommended an oil change interval of 1500 miles on the old air cooled VW "bugs" while the closest interval you will see on a water cooled car is 3000 miles.  Based on that knowledge, I would think that an older air cooled motorbike maybe should have a shorter interval than one of the newer water cooled models.

I always insisted that we bring our Airblade (water cooled) to Honda right on the recommended interval of 3000 km which dumbfounded my wife.  Most Vietnamese seem to subscribe to the ride it 'till it breaks philosophy.  When we left, I sold it to my brother in law for above market value with no embarrassment because he and I both knew that it was in proper shape.  If you buy a used bike for 10 million VND and plan to leave in 6 months then forget about it, but if you have invested in a new or late model bike, why not take care of it.

I do it at every 1000km on my geared 50cc. I think it's 1500-2000km on the automatics.

You may be talking apples and oranges. The first oil change has historically been after a short distance. This is because during the engine break in process a lot of junk can get into the oil as the rougher bits and pieces of the engine get worn off.

Now days the quality of manufacture is a lot better and the quick first oil change may not be needed. My personal recommendation is to play safe and do your first oil change after 200-500 km. 1000 km for the second oil change also sounds reasonable to me. 2000 km after that also sounds reasonable. An extra oil change or two just to play safe is not expensive.

I look st it this way; the oil change is so cheap, why not play safe and do it more often?
Looks like I'll be buying another scooter soon, and that will see services every 2,000 km regardless of the 4,000 in the manual.
With bikes out here commonly poorly serviced, it doesn't hurt the resale price.

One more though. Buy your own oil. Watch and make sure that the oil that they put in is the oil that you bought. This is a lot more important than how often you change your oil.

I always stick to the approved service centres for the bikes.
Not that they're 100%, but mostly honest.

On oil changes, another point is driving conditions. Slow "Stop and Go" driving puts a terrible strain on oil. Cruising down a West Texas Highway at 120kph and stoping every 4 hours or so can allow a vehicle to go 10,000k to 20,000k between oil changes with out harming the engine.

For someone mostly running up and down QL. 1A with relatively few stops, 3000k to 4000k would be fine. For most of TP HCM, 2000k sounds good to me.

I'll never forget in late 1949, sitting in my Father's lap and actually being allowed to steer the car as we slowly drove down an empty country road. Dad had his hands almost, but not quite touching the steering wheel in case I messed up. A 5 year old boy was in heaven that day.

One other thing is to let your bike run just a few seconds before moving out.  I have never seen a Vietnamese rider do this with the exception of an airline pilot who lived in our building.  I am not talking about a full warm up that you might need in a freezing climate.  A horizontal piston engine does not need the time to evenly distribute oil that a vertical piston engine does but a few seconds can make a difference.  Older carburetors have something called a fast idle cam but newer fuel injected models handle this electronically.  Our Air Blade did this.  It ran fast then slowed down after about 3 seconds.  I finally convinced my wife that waiting was a good idea with the logic that Honda designed it that way for a purpose.

Panda is correct.   500km oil changes are a con, and unwarranted.

Read the manual.   Even (especially) for a 2nd hand machine.

  Air cooled engines need more regular servicing and (again) especially for those in stop-start and gridlock commuting.   Common sense always applies.   Regular servicing = reliability.

Pre-warm the engine to get the oil circulating.  Even with today's closer tolerances both the big end and camshaft need the juices flowing.   Use a heavier viscosity (20-50?) for older engines.   I prefer mineral-based Castrol oils, but any popular brand is Ok.

But being an old (ancient) motorbike mechanic, I also change the air, fuel and oil filters according to conditions.  Read; Pollution and dust.   I (used to) use a magnetic drain plug, but  the newer models nowadays don't need my paranoia.

     Can't resist commenting on dipstick position.   

     Beware if on the seat.              :blink:

Bazza139 :

P
  Air cooled engines need more regular servicing and (again) especially for those in stop-start and gridlock commuting.   Common sense always applies.   Regular servicing = reliability.

Pre-warm the engine to get the oil circulating.

Many modern bikes circulate the oil before the engine will start but your advice is still good.
A little 'easy' time for the engine is always a good idea.

My gf does it every 6 months, which seems about right. I think most **** ppl here do that.


My friend is leaving. 1 yr old honda wave injection. wot kinda price is normal? fair few miles.

my mountain bike cost me 600k - spent more than that on replacing the run-slick tires, bust brakes gears everything, inner tubes at least 1-2 times over....

Moderated by Priscilla 4 months ago
Reason : no insults please
Thaiger :

My gf does it every 6 months, which seems about right.

That would depend if she does 1,000, 2,000, or 10,000 km in six months.
Manuals for low capacity bikes usually suggest 4,000 (give or take), or at least the Honda and Yamaha bikes I've had do.
Time doesn't matter, only the conditions your engine is exposed to.

" Time doesn't matter, only the conditions your engine..."     (suffers)

    Exactly         :top:

HAh , yes , ibido references a go-go.

but, obviously, u know, the average guy or girl does mostly local trip, the occasional long trip.

Makes me weep to think of my old(new) car that I treated with more care than any gf. an old PSA 4 valine  engine, ZX-1 oil additive, only did about 27k, then my dad sold it for 200 quid 7 years later with only 67k on the clock - still had a millon miles left in it.........

unless u plan on running it in to the ground - u might as well go local and not bother - unless the cludge on the dipstick is that obvious

It may have something to do with diluting petrol with other more abrasive fuels eg Friesland or kerosene, common on the street corner in 1 lite bottles

Sorry for typo in last post, should read deisel and kerosene

Im curious about that. My local *** friends say they mix it with water.... -thats not liklely as it would dissapate.

but then most oils are more expensive than petrol.

the only thing i can think of, like china, is gutter oil. they lower a bucket into the sewer and take off the top layer of "oil"

they can use this as cooking oil or motor oil. at least, tens of 1000s have died of this in spain alone.

Moderated by Priscilla 4 months ago
Reason : No foul language please
MarkinNam :

It may have something to do with diluting petrol with other more abrasive fuels eg Friesland or kerosene, common on the street corner in 1 lite bottles

A tad off topic but true.
Expanding to general engine care, it's recommended to use only known quality fuel as the 'street corner' stuff in Asian countries (and probably a lot of other places) has been known to be diluted with other chemicals.
Water and veg oil are unlikely as both would stop your engine pretty quickly, even if you didn't notice the separation of unlike liquids as it was put into your tank.

panda7 :

somewhere down the line I'm sure the scrupulous mechanics have somehow convinced the foreigners that their scooters require an oil change every 500km ! you see some adds even saying they changed the oil every 300km all the way to Hanoi ! normally the oil change on a scoot is every 2000km I think...so any scooter purchased in HCMC with a new oil change is enough to make it to Hanoi with plenty of detours along the way. Please correct me if I am wrong :)

On reflection, I should point out that vehicle service/repair is full of rip-off artists. This is true in America as well as Viet Nam and I suspect world wide. Be cautious and careful. You have been warned.

True.   Welcome to the (real) world.

The only true certainty of security lies inside our self.

panda7 :

somewhere down the line I'm sure the scrupulous mechanics have somehow convinced the foreigners that their scooters require an oil change every 500km ! you see some adds even saying they changed the oil every 300km all the way to Hanoi ! normally the oil change on a scoot is every 2000km I think...so any scooter purchased in HCMC with a new oil change is enough to make it to Hanoi with plenty of detours along the way. Please correct me if I am wrong :)

I ride a 2011 SYM Atilla which has an oil change indicator that automatically shows up red at 1000km. It takes me a month or more to reach that point and I always change the oil then at the local SYM service shop. Costs me 85,000d

Yes, some people here like to change oil too often. I usually change my oil around 4000km
Then again it will cost me around 700k-1.2tr plus oilfilter. Im pretty sure my brother in-law has not change any oil in his scooter this year.... 😬

Wald0 :

Im pretty sure my brother in-law has not change any oil in his scooter this year.... 😬

Because that is the typical Vietnamese ride it until it's broke philosophy.  What is cheaper, a few oil changes or a seized up engine?  It seems odd that Vietnamese take a long view on some things like hoarding gold while foolishly refusing to do things like basic maintenance on expensive items like motorbikes.

THIGV :
Wald0 :

Im pretty sure my brother in-law has not change any oil in his scooter this year.... 😬

Because that is the typical Vietnamese ride it until it's broke philosophy.  What is cheaper, a few oil changes or a seized up engine?  It seems odd that Vietnamese take a long view on some things like hoarding gold while foolishly refusing to do things like basic maintenance on expensive items like motorbikes.

Don't forget housing. If anything maintaining houses is even worse than motorcycles.

Note, I am retired military and we do try to maintain our equipment. As a Military Advisor to the ARVN Military, one of our more difficult tasks was training personal to maintain their equipment.

Also note, today's Vietnamese Military does seem to do better.

Wald0 :

Yes, some people here like to change oil too often. I usually change my oil around 4000km
Then again it will cost me around 700k-1.2tr plus oilfilter. Im pretty sure my brother in-law has not change any oil in his scooter this year.... 😬

Is he short of a dong or just isn't bothered?

I think its the common Vietnamese thing.. "just don't care...."

I did borrow it one time.. had to take it to shop to fit new brakepads! It might be just me, but I like when the bike actually stops when you need to....

"I think its the common Vietnamese thing.. "just don't care...."

Not really.   I see far too many 'Expats' riding bikes with dry chains,
no lights, horn, brakes, bald tyres...   (etc)     Common ignorance?

Yeah, I'll buy that!      :idontagree:

To be fair, the issue is cost/benefit analysis and accounting. I expect that all of us Westerners had basic business math and book-keeping in elementary, middle and high school and grew up doing this sort of analysis. A lot of us also took accounting courses in College.

But, except for the well educated, this sort of logic just wasn't part of Vietnamese education until recently. Over the last 15 years or so, we've encouraged and helped finance a number of young people here to study computer science and accounting. Those, now adults, people are mostly doing very well.

I don't think a knowledge of computer science or accounting is necessary to know when to change oil in a bike :)

It might not seem so, but for cause-catalyst-consequece, yes.

It's all about logic & reason: connecting the dots... 

The only known cure for planned ignorance and deliberate stupidity.      :blink:

I try and change my oils (manual 150cc motorbike and automatic 150cc scooter) every 1000km because it's so cheap at the Honda dealer -- 90k for labour and Honda-branded oil, 10 minutes in the a/c waiting room, with a free bottle of water and TV. I just rock up with the engine hot so the oil drains all the crud with it, and they do it on the spot.

Any mechanic will tell you that frequent oil changes are the cheapest insurance you can buy for engine longevity.

I do peak-hour commutes in HCMC where the engines get really hot. The atrocious air pollution (face masks, anyone?) pollutes the oil quick smart. Too-frequent changes do not exist here. Both bikes seem to purr with the fresh oil every time.

..and the air filter..?   

Why is it no one seems to care about them too?

Face masks..?   Now there's a good idea!
(cover the air filter!)                                         :top:

Yeah, I can't get a replacement paper air filter for my Honda CBF150. I just ask the mechs to blast air, or do it myself if they don't understand. But it's getting pretty black now.

Any thoughts here?

I use an oil-infused foam filter I make from 1" sheet.
..never even thought about the face masks...  (Duh!)
(stay tuned!)   I'll patent (your idea)

50/50 profits Ok?    (first million is mine!!)

Otherwise, try the (motorbike) flea markets for any
that will fit or adapt to the carby.   Cheap, cheep!      :proud

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