My Infiniti G recently would not start and was towed...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jan 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

My 1991 Infiniti G20 recently would not start, and was towed to my Infiniti dealer. When I went to pick it up, I was told that I was 5,000 miles overdue on my oil change (the dealer recommends changes every 3,000 miles). They said by waiting 8,000 miles since the last oil change, I had abused the car and caused it to foul out and not start. I grew up in a gas station, and I've never heard of a car fouling out due to dirty oil. Have you?

RAY: You might want to pick up a shovel, Byron, because it sounds like you were given a good, old fashioned snow job.

TOM: First of all, the oil change interval recommended by Infiniti--the manufacturer--is 7,500 miles. So you were only 500 miles overdue. Big deal.

RAY: Second, even if you were 8,000 miles late for an oil change, that wouldn't cause the car to not start.

TOM: The harmful effects of skipping oil changes don't show up for tens of thousands of miles....80,000 or 100,000 miles. And they tend to be more serious, systemic problems like worn out bearings or bad rings; problems that lead to low compression or burning oil. So this dealer is giving you a real slab of baloney.

RAY: Without seeing the car, we can't tell you why it wouldn't start, but you can be quite certain it had nothing to do with a late oil change.

TOM: And by the way, Byron, you're the first person I've ever met who grew up in a gas station. All the other gas station residents I've ever known have been German Shepherds.

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