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I've driven 7K since I bought my 2007 C4S 1.5 years ago and have decided to change my oil/filter prior to the Porsche recommended 15K because of what I've read on this forum. I've read thru the DIY oil change forums but thinking about going thru a dealer since I no experience doing it myself. Few questions:

1) What is the approximate price I would expect to pay a non-dealer for an oil change?

2) I have a case of Mobil 0W-40 but a local guy said he uses his own oil. If he also uses 0W-40 from a different manufacturer or even 5W-40, is it possible to mix; like if I have to add oil can I use the Mobil oil?

3) Do I need to change my oil filter and if so is there a special brand I should consider?

4) Should I have them install a magnetic drain plug and if so how difficult is this (i.e. should I need to pay extra)?

5) Does anyone know any reputable non-dealers near Iowa City for an oil change? What would be the best way to find this out? PCA?

Any other questions I should ask the oil change guy that I can't think of?

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Hey Hawkeye:

1) A dealer will charge you about $8 per quart of oil (8-9 quarts) plus at least 1 hour labor. Maybe even 2 hours. Figure about $125/hour from a dealership. Expect to pay about $285 for an oil change at a dealership on a 997. An indy shop will charge you about 1 hour labor ($100ish) and about $25 for the oil filter. Bring in you own oil, or use his if you like the selection. So, figure about $200 for an indy shop.

2) How old is your case of Mobil 0W40? Not a great idea to mix brands of oils. It's OK to mix same brands of different viscosity, but always best to select the viscosity you want. Old cases of oil WILL pick up moisture, even in closed, sealed, bottles.

3) Always change your oil filters. Use OEM filters. You can buy from places like Sunset in bulk if you start to do you own maintenance.

4) They should NOT charge you extra to install a new magnetic drain plug.

In the future, change your oil yearly, regardless of the low mileage. Maybe consider sending an oil sample to Blackstone, and establish your UOA baseline. You are probably due for a brake fluid flush, too. This should be done every 2 years. FYI.

Edited by White987S
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In general, it is possible to mix full synthetics from different manufacturer’s; exactly what properties you would end up with is a matter of speculation, but mix oils of the same type (e.g.: full synthetics) would cause no real harm.

Stored oil will not pick up moisture; oil by nature of its composition is hydrophobic, meaning oil is not compatible or misible with water, and therefore incapable of absorbing it. A real problem, however, is that the additive packages tend to separate out from the blend if stored too long. Once separated, these additives cannot easily be re-blended. All oil carry a date of manufacture code, an internet search for a particular brand will define how the code works. That said, I would not use an oil that is more than two to three years old, depending upon the brand. Newer type oils (low ZDDP types) are worse in this respect than older synthetics.

.

Edited by JFP in PA
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Stored oil will not pick up moisture; oil by nature of its composition is hydrophobic, meaning oil is not compatible or misible with water, and therefore incapable of absorbing it. A real problem, however, is that the additive packages tend to separate out from the blend if stored too long. Once separated, these additives cannot easily be re-blended. All oil carry a date of manufacture code, an internet search for a particular brand will define how the code works. That said, I would not use an oil that is more than two to three years old, depending upon the brand. Newer type oils (low ZDDP types) are worse in this respect than older synthetics.

.

Jeff, I disagree with you a little. I recently read about this from Brad Penn Oil (semi synthetic oil):

Thanks for using our Brad Penn® oils.

The ‘shelf life’ of a product such as motor oil is dependent upon a number of factors that make each situation unique. We can, however, offer some ‘general’ guidelines and comments.

Storage conditions are the key to product preservation and quality. Unopened plastic quarts of motor oil stored indoors in a cool, dry environment (preferably not in direct contact with concrete or other moisture-porous materials – i.e. stored off the floor on shelves, on pallets, on blocks, etc.), free of excess heat and humidity and not subjected to wide ambient temperature fluctuations typically remain suitable for use during an average storage period of 3 years. Sitting idle for long periods of time without agitation (like sitting static on a shelf during storage) is one of the most stressing of situations for a motor oil. Also, it is a little known fact that the plastic bottles typically used for packaging motor oil (i.e. HDPE – High Density Polyethylene) are not totally impervious to moisture infiltration from the environment. Therefore when stored in areas of high humidity like damp basements or in non-climate controlled garages or sheds in areas of the country where ambient humidity is high during long periods of time, the product quality can be jeopardized. Opened and partial containers of product are more susceptible to contamination when stored under unfavorable conditions. Obviously the ideal situation is to purchase only as much product as will be used immediately, but as we all know this is not always practical. This is where the correct storage procedures come into play. One further note….when the stored product container(s) is opened you should take careful note of the color and consistency of the oil as it flows out. Motor oil should be clear and bright and of uniform consistency. Visual indication of possible moisture contamination and/or product separation are ‘streaks’ of different, darker colored material in the pour stream or lighter ‘cream colored’ streaks due to moisture.

Thank you once again for your use of our fine line of Brad Penn® products. If you have any additional questions please call our Technical Service department at (814) 368-1200.

As mentioned in the original post, the HDPE bottles that motor oil is packaged in ARE NOT totally impervious to moisture infiltration, even if the bottle is sealed. Exterior moisture from the atmosphere like high humidity in damp basements or climates where humidity is high a large number of days each year, the moisture can enter between the molecules of the plastic bottle and also through the non-hermetically sealed cap and liner. The longer the exposure to such conditions (i.e. the longer the oil is stored under these conditions) the more likely the moisture contamination will infiltrate the sealed bottle. The reason it was mentioned that the bottles shouldn’t be stored in direct contact with concrete but should ideally be stored off the floor on pallets, shelves, etc. is the fact that unless properly and completely sealed, concrete will allow moisture from the dirt base underneath to penetrate and come into direct contact with the porous plastic bottle……hence the concern. As an example, have you ever tried to store a cardboard box directly on an unsealed concrete floor for any length of time……what happens? Moisture from the concrete floor causes deterioration of the cardboard lattice structure, and sometimes even mold and mildew form on the cardboard.

That was the reference to the concrete issue in the earlier post. Thanks for allowing the clarification.

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Stored oil will not pick up moisture; oil by nature of its composition is hydrophobic, meaning oil is not compatible or misible with water, and therefore incapable of absorbing it. A real problem, however, is that the additive packages tend to separate out from the blend if stored too long. Once separated, these additives cannot easily be re-blended. All oil carry a date of manufacture code, an internet search for a particular brand will define how the code works. That said, I would not use an oil that is more than two to three years old, depending upon the brand. Newer type oils (low ZDDP types) are worse in this respect than older synthetics.

.

Jeff, I disagree with you a little. I recently read about this from Brad Penn Oil (semi synthetic oil):

Thanks for using our Brad Penn® oils.

The ‘shelf life’ of a product such as motor oil is dependent upon a number of factors that make each situation unique. We can, however, offer some ‘general’ guidelines and comments.

Storage conditions are the key to product preservation and quality. Unopened plastic quarts of motor oil stored indoors in a cool, dry environment (preferably not in direct contact with concrete or other moisture-porous materials – i.e. stored off the floor on shelves, on pallets, on blocks, etc.), free of excess heat and humidity and not subjected to wide ambient temperature fluctuations typically remain suitable for use during an average storage period of 3 years. Sitting idle for long periods of time without agitation (like sitting static on a shelf during storage) is one of the most stressing of situations for a motor oil. Also, it is a little known fact that the plastic bottles typically used for packaging motor oil (i.e. HDPE – High Density Polyethylene) are not totally impervious to moisture infiltration from the environment. Therefore when stored in areas of high humidity like damp basements or in non-climate controlled garages or sheds in areas of the country where ambient humidity is high during long periods of time, the product quality can be jeopardized. Opened and partial containers of product are more susceptible to contamination when stored under unfavorable conditions. Obviously the ideal situation is to purchase only as much product as will be used immediately, but as we all know this is not always practical. This is where the correct storage procedures come into play. One further note….when the stored product container(s) is opened you should take careful note of the color and consistency of the oil as it flows out. Motor oil should be clear and bright and of uniform consistency. Visual indication of possible moisture contamination and/or product separation are ‘streaks’ of different, darker colored material in the pour stream or lighter ‘cream colored’ streaks due to moisture.

Thank you once again for your use of our fine line of Brad Penn® products. If you have any additional questions please call our Technical Service department at (814) 368-1200.

As mentioned in the original post, the HDPE bottles that motor oil is packaged in ARE NOT totally impervious to moisture infiltration, even if the bottle is sealed. Exterior moisture from the atmosphere like high humidity in damp basements or climates where humidity is high a large number of days each year, the moisture can enter between the molecules of the plastic bottle and also through the non-hermetically sealed cap and liner. The longer the exposure to such conditions (i.e. the longer the oil is stored under these conditions) the more likely the moisture contamination will infiltrate the sealed bottle. The reason it was mentioned that the bottles shouldn’t be stored in direct contact with concrete but should ideally be stored off the floor on pallets, shelves, etc. is the fact that unless properly and completely sealed, concrete will allow moisture from the dirt base underneath to penetrate and come into direct contact with the porous plastic bottle……hence the concern. As an example, have you ever tried to store a cardboard box directly on an unsealed concrete floor for any length of time……what happens? Moisture from the concrete floor causes deterioration of the cardboard lattice structure, and sometimes even mold and mildew form on the cardboard.

That was the reference to the concrete issue in the earlier post. Thanks for allowing the clarification.

I’m not really sure where their concern over moisture permeability in HDPE comes from, but HDPE is used to make bottles for fruit juice, milk, water, kitchen cleansing products and even furniture (It has been used in recent years for garden furniture as it resists the weather and can be cleaned very easily). Even in the form of thin film, HDPE is considered to have very low moisture or even gas permeability, which is one of the reasons it is used as a barrier film in the construction of high moisture prone areas, such as behind the plasterboard in bathroom walls to keep moisture from the shower getting into the insulation and defeating its R value.

Probably even more telling is the fact that a quick look around the shop finds just about everything comes in HDPE containers, including all Castrol, Mobil 1 and Joe Gibbs oils, and most notably many brands of brake fluids, which are highly hydroscopic, meaning they attract and absorb moisture quickly, as opposed to oil which is hydrophobic and does not want to absorb water. I am unaware of any concerns about moisture absorption through the HDPE being expressed by the manufacturers of these products as long as the package’s original seal is intact, but have noted that some express concerns about high moisture environments deteriorating the adhered labels on the HDPE containers, or the secondary packaging. In fact, both the MSDS for both Castrol and Mobil1 full synthetics say nothing about moisture in their sections on product storage, and they are in HDPE.

Perhaps Brad Penn has particular issue related to their semi-synthetics formula or the type of HDPE packaging they use. But in any case, in all the years I’ve been at this, I have never encountered motor oil that absorbed water, even back when most oils came in spiral wound cardboard containers with metal end caps (yes, I'm that old....).

Edited by JFP in PA
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I don't think moisture is an issue as in the normal use of a car the oil will pick up moisture anyway ( see your 997 user guide) it will disappear after a highway trip

Here in Europe Porsche is advising mobil1 5W50, the higher hot viscosity seems important, BMW is advising Castrol Edge 10W60 for all its M models, so an even higher hot viscosity than Porsche

I have heard about the scorched cylinders on the M97.01 and wonder if these are not linked with the rupture of the oil film by using too thin oils like 0W40 or 5W40

The move to 5W50 in Europe seems recent (a couple of years) and I wonder if this is not an easy remedy to all these M96 and M97 engine failures ( excluding the IMS related issues of course)

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Here in Europe Porsche is advising mobil1 5W50, the higher hot viscosity seems important, BMW is advising Castrol Edge 10W60 for all its M models, so an even higher hot viscosity than Porsche

I have heard about the scorched cylinders on the M97.01 and wonder if these are not linked with the rupture of the oil film by using too thin oils like 0W40 or 5W40

Mobil 5W50 is a great oil.

As for "scortched cylinders" as related to Mobil 0W40, Patrick Long and Jorg Bermeister both run M1 0W40 in their F.L. GT3 RSR. I hear their cylinders are doing fine. Even saw them run around Road America for +4 hours at +170 MPH back in August for the ALMS.

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And many other cars run on 0W30 without issues, The M97.01 engine is somewhat fragile, would Porsche have tried to fix the cylinder scorching with change of oil spec

You need to consider OEM oil “recommendations” with a grain of salt; quite often, the oil weights and types they select are a lot more self-serving to the OEM than designed to protect the new owner’s investment.

The oil weight you see being specified is often based more on its impact on the OEM’s CAFÉ ratings; this is why you see 0W-20 oils becoming more commonplace in street cars like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. Not that long ago, 10W-X weight oils were standard fare for use in arctic and near artic conditions, but suddenly now you need 0W-X oils for use in Miami, Houston, and LA. Similarly, the move away from ZDDP additives “to protect the catalytic converters” is more related to the fact that the EPA had the OEM’s on the hook to warranty the cats for 8 years or 80,000 miles.

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I've driven 7K since I bought my 2007 C4S 1.5 years ago and have decided to change my oil/filter prior to the Porsche recommended 15K because of what I've read on this forum. I've read thru the DIY oil change forums but thinking about going thru a dealer since I no experience doing it myself. Few questions:

1) What is the approximate price I would expect to pay a non-dealer for an oil change?

Use the Mobil 1 you have so long as you have 9 qts which is what it will take with a filter change. If your mechanic won't do it, find another mechanic.

2) I have a case of Mobil 0W-40 but a local guy said he uses his own oil. If he also uses 0W-40 from a different manufacturer or even 5W-40, is it possible to mix; like if I have to add oil can I use the Mobil oil?

Don't mix oils. Stick with the Mobil 1 or other Porsche approved oil. Top up with same oil between changes.

3) Do I need to change my oil filter and if so is there a special brand I should consider?

Lot's of options but I always use OEM.

Always change the filter with the oil. I always use an OEM filter despite the fact that lot's of manufactures make filters for Porsches.

4) Should I have them install a magnetic drain plug and if so how difficult is this (i.e. should I need to pay extra)?

If you want a magnetic drain plug buy one , along with the proper seal ring, and ask your mechanic to install. If he/she refuses find another mechanic. Should be a no additional effort /no additional cost transaction. LN engineering sells one for the 997. Not cheap but high quality.

5) Does anyone know any reputable non-dealers near Iowa City for an oil change? What would be the best way to find this out? PCA?

Can't help you on this one.

Any other questions I should ask the oil change guy that I can't think of?

Make sure your mechanic doesn't over tighten the oil drain plug. Snug is sufficient. Overtightening will strip the drain hole threads.

Do not over fill. Partial fill oil filter receptical when installing reduces starting up oil starvation. Should't need more than 8 1/2 quarts total including the oil used to partial fill the oil filter.

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Thanks for all these useful responses.

Well the mechanic I would use does a lot of BMWs and they do Porsches occasionally. I'm not aware of any indy Porsche mechanics nearby and the dealer is 1 hour away (and not very good). The local guy said they use Northwind 5W-40 oil but that mixing with my Mobil 0W-40 to top off occasionally is not a problem. My case of Mobil 0W-40 is about 1 year old and has been sitting in cardboard box but the bottom hasn't been eaten through with moisture despite sitting in my garage all year.

Why are there so many different opinions on oils types, brands, etc.? Seems hard to get a consensus. This suggests to me that there is no perfect oil.

I've been reading a lot about oils on various forums and the possibility of IMS failure but sounds like they are more common with the M96 than the M97 engine? Nevertheless it seems like the LN engineering magnetic drain plug is cheap, easy insurance.

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