2011 Infiniti M56 Long-Term Road Test

2011 Infiniti M56: Severely Scolded

August 30, 2011

Infiniti M56-severe or no.jpg

As the Infiniti M56 heads into its 15,000-mile oil change, I had occasion to look at the records from its 7,500-mile service back in May. The service advisor chided us in writing at the time, noting that the oil was "extremely dirty." (A subjective assessment, I would guess. I don't think the service included an analysis of the oil). He wrote that we should be changing the car's oil every 3,750 miles. As the consumer-advice team here reviewed the paperwork this morning, the warning gave us pause.

In this story, our writers debunked the myth of the 3,000-mile oil change. Most modern cars can go 7,000 or more between changes. The "less severe" Schedule 2 for the M56 calls for oil changes at 7,500-mile intervals. But according to the car's maintenance guide, Schedule 2 generally "applies only to highway driving in temperate conditions." If you're not on the open freeway in 70-degree weather, in other words, you should be using the "more severe" Schedule 1. That means an oil change every 3,750 miles.

Infiniti says severe means:

  • Repeated short trips of less than 5 miles in normal temperatures or less than 10 miles in freezing temperatures
  • Stop-and-go traffic in hot weather or low speed driving for long distances
  • Driving in dusty conditions or on rough, muddy, or salt-spread roads
  • Towing a trailer, or using a camper or car-top carrier.

In our time so far with the Infiniti M56, we've done the normal around-town trips that might have been less than five miles, and some measure of stop-and-go traffic in hot weather -- it's LA, after all. Does this really mean we should be changing the oil twice as often? Based on our oil-story research and articles on oil-testing, I'd say no. What do you say?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @15,211 miles

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