Yes, my family and I follow the 5000 mile service schedule. If you think this is a long distance between service and oil change, think about the German cars. My brother's C230 didn't have the 1st service performed until 15,000 mile, samething with my friend's BMW. I think Lexus service does use Synthetic oil, and with today's tolerance on the parts used by Lexus, you shouldn't have to worry about going 5000 mile before each service.
Synthetic oils do have a longer life-span than dinosaur oils, but think.....It's the chemical additives that gives them the anti-wear properties, and they're not fully functional until the oil is fully warmed up.
These chemical additives actually will degrade/evaporate during use, especially with the 5W-30 grade.....(they put alot of it in)
Any of you noticed that using 5W-30 for over 2000 miles result in dropped engine oil levels on the dip-stick?? That's NOT because of the engine oil burning but the evaporation of the anti-wear additive chemicals....
Also, you also have to consider the engine oil has harmful particles, carbon deposits, etc. created from the engine. The oil filter does quite a good job in filtering out those harmful particles, but think how much they can filter. More dirt accumulation in oil filters mean partial clogging....which hinders the performance.....Your engine basically will 'suffocate' from the not so sufficient engine oil supply because of the clogged-up filter.
You won't see the damage in the short term, but long term with less than sufficient engine oil supply for lubrication?? You be the judge.
15000 miles without changing oil?? Well, would you take that risk??? I certainly wouldn't. Besides, a simple oil change doesn't cost much, and the performance of your car is 'insured' (so to speak.)
Using 5W-30 (as recommended by most/all manufacturers) is geared more toward fuel economy than anything else. Especially if you drive on the aggressive side, 5W-30 is definitely not enough for the engine protection.
[This message has been edited by dude (edited July 11, 2000).]