How often should a fingerboard be overhauled? I noticed some wear lines under my strings at last change. I can't feel a noticeable groove, but have noticed a lot of whistling on my e string lately. I haven't done anything with my fingerboard in the 4 years I've had the violin.
I guess the period between interventions depends on how much you play and the quality of the material your fingerboard is made from.
at any rate, that whistling e-string has nothing to do with the wear grooves on your fingerboard? moreover, if it's only 4 years old, chances are that these are not really "wear grooves" at all, but just "aluminum dust" that got there from the pressing of the strings on the board. if you're worried, let it check in a violin shop.
correct, it seems you have nothing to worry about
I don't mess with fingerboards; I get them planed.
Agree with the others-I would get my violin checked by a luthier. They will know immediately if/when the fingerboard needs to be planed. As far as maintenance, I use tiny alcohol prep pads every week or so to clean my fingerboard & remove sticky rosin dust. They are for medical use, but they work perfectly for fingerboard cleaning too (they are 70% isopropyl alcohol and you can get a box of 200 for $3 at Target). Just put a soft cloth down first to protect the varnish on your instrument. Cleaning may help get rid of the whistling...or changing string/brand of E string may help. Also, careful your left hand isn't accidentally touching your E string when you play-that would definitely cause whistling.
I found that the E string that came with the set (Vision Solo) whistled, so I exchanged that string for a Goldbrokat steel E, which whistles much less. Everyone has their own preferences and experiences in this regard. I was working on Mozart 5 and there's that one jangly chord in the middle of the piece that has an open E and it was driving me insane. I also discovered that if I concluded the chord with my bow at an angle that was NOT perpendicular to the strings, the chord did not whistle any more. That's not an option in every context, but my point is that there are aspects of your technique that you can explore to control the whistling too.
Paul, have you tried twisting your E string a couple of turns to see if that cures the whistling?
I was using a peter infeld platinum e but it never stopped whistling. I think it was bad, looking at it after I changed it I noticed obvious signs of the playing wearing off after just a few months of use. I swapped it out with a pirastro gold and it is much improved.