Skip to comments.The 3,000-Mile Oil Change Is Pretty Much History
Posted on 09/17/2010 12:02:53 PM PDT by Vigilanteman
I STILL remember learning from my father how to carefully remove a dipstick to check the oil level in our cars. It was drilled into me along with turning off the lights when you left a room and clearing the plates off the table after dinner that oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles or so.
Kieron Kohlmann changing the oil in a 2007 Dodge Charger in Union Grove, Wis. Changing the oil every 3,000 miles is no longer a good guideline for cars bought in the last seven or eight years, says Philip Reed of the car site Edmunds.com.
Im not sure what I thought would happen if I didnt, but I vaguely imagined an unlubricated engine grinding to a halt.
Childhood habits are hard to undo, and thats often good. To this day, I hate seeing an empty room with the lights on.
But sometimes, we need to throw aside our parents good advice. In March, for example, I wrote about how we should relearn the dishwasher and laundry soap habits we inherited from our mothers.
Add frequent oil-changing to that list.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
If you have synthetic oil and don’t drive in traffic much, then yeah, you can pull 10K oil changes.
Drive in traffic? Make short trips? 3K-5K oil changes are still a good idea.
NYT idiot writer just trying to be “green”
3-5k is the rule (unless Obama Motors tells you otherwise.)
I drive a 1996 ford explorer with more than 200,000 mi. I only use mobil 1 synthetic and it’s 7500 between changes.
I doubt anyone in NYC named “Alina” even knows where to find the dipstick, but probably votes for plenty of them.
1) Yes, with synthetics you can get by with not chaning your oil as often.
2) Changing your oil is the cheapest insurance you can buy for your engine. It makes no economic sense to put your expensive engine at any additonal risk just to say a few bucks on oil changes.
The owner’s manuals for my cars (1999 & 2003) advocate 5000 and 7000 mile intervals. Personally, I’ve been using synthetic oil (and high quality filters) and changing more like every 10,000 or once per year.
I believe the oil industry and Jiffy Lubes of the world are the main proponents of the 3000 mile interval.
Older oil sometimes might be better chemically in some conditions, in that it is "broken in" to some degree. But new oil will never cause damage to the car.
I keep hearing this about oil changes from various sources, and all I can think of what is driving it is some "green" movement cause for not wanting the old oil out there. But, that oil is recycled. When you pour that oil into those big containers at the garage or local dump, it is not disposed into some hole in the ground at 3 am somewhere. They re-refine it and it is sold.
Parafin based oils and synthetics, yes, 3000miles is prudent.
One might get more milage,...if the RPM were consistently down low and trips short enough for the oil not to heat up.
Forgot to mention - most people fit the ‘severe’ service driving conditions listed in owners’ manuals, so it’s 3-5K in that case as well.
follow the advice at your own risk, especially in the hotter climes.
Remember, when the engine locks up at that most inopportune time, to figure in the repair, towing and rental charges plus lost time, and whatever inconvenience you face at the moment as a result. And the headaches of dealing with all the sharks in the process.
Yeah, it's cheaper to keep that oil changed.
I drive a 2007 Ford F-150 S/C, and the manual actually states that the oil should be changed every 5,000 miles...
I never change my oil more often than 5,000 miles. But my CAR gets new oil every 3K.
Then again, I lease and it’s included in the price.
You might want to get your oil analyzed. Doesn’t cost much, and it’ll tell you if you should be changing more often or not.
lots of blowing dust and sand in my area...
I use full synthetic and change oil and filter mostly every 3000.....the oil may not break down, but it can get dirty.
“A better average, he said, would be 7,500 between oil changes, and sometimes up to 10,000 miles or more”.
...BS! Just trying to throw a few rods to help further an agenda? I use synthetic and wouldn’t dream of going over 8,000. “Lifeblood of the car”...(my Dad. 1976 when I got my 1st car. A 1965 Pontiac Lemans. Aqua/convertible)
Then you get worse wear, because you get more wear upon starting your engine than at any other time.
Diesels can go that far between oil changes, but I wouldn’t do it in any of my cars. Mine all get 3-5k changes.
I used to go with the 3,000 mile interval, but not the “or three months” part Unless you leave your car parked at the Airport for 3 months at a stretch, it doesn’t ‘go bad’ three months after you open the bottle.
Now I go synthethic at 6,000 mile intervals. The oil changes cost twice as much, but are done half as often, and the engine gets better winter cold start performance.
It depends. Regular oil and a cheap filter? Probably 3,000 is best particularly if diring conditions are harsh.
For good synthetic oil and a good filter? Probably 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
Under no circumstance would I push my oil to a one year change interval and probably not beyong 7,500 miles.
Personally, using good synthetic and good filters, I change our oil every six months with about 5k to 7k miles.
With synthetics, and an engine that is not put under heavy loads (i.e., pulling trailers, etc.) 5k to 7k is safe. Also, engine type is a consideration ... a mildly tuned inline fuel injected 6 cylinder can be fine with long intervals, whereas a DOHC, turbocharged high-horsepower 4 cylinder would want short intervals.
I would tend to avoid a new car that even recommends a 5,000 mile oil change on the expectation that it must be old technology and not built to modern standards. My impression is that most cars have gone to the 7,500 mile cycle (with regular oil, not synthetic). Of course if you drive like a maniac, see the Severe Duty Cycle schedule as noted above. But if you take it easy and are a normal driver, you should be fine with the longer cycle.
These guys went over 18,000 on synthetic oil:
I believe that most recent models have oil change indications as part of the electronics. My Honda Civic 2006 has an oil change indicator. I follow this indicator although I am not sure if its measurements and oil change model are reasonable.
I change my oil religiously...........every 50,000 miles.......or so.............
Owner’s Manual for my 1996 Chevy Astro Van says 7500 miles between oil changes, so the article is not implausible. I always chuckle a little when the shop puts the “Next oil change due in 3000 miles” sticker on the window :-)
The manual for my 2010 F150 FX4 says to change the oil every 7,500 miles.
I’m going to stick with what the maker of the automobile says.
For some autos and motorcycles (i.e., mine, for example) the recommended change interval is around 8,000 (more for the cars) miles. Having followed these factory guidelines for over a decade with no resulting problems or oil consumption on any vehicle, I am inclined to think more frequent oil changes are totally unnecessary. It may, however, depend on the vehicle.
ooooooh, good one:)
Anything but a FRAM Oil filter.
But a hundred extra oil changes are always going to be cheaper than any repairs or replacement of an engine. Same with the tranny and brake system.
To me this is the best website on this subject, period.
I just changed the oil in my Ford Escape...it had about 2,000 miles. But, since it’s been a year....
(Didn’t go much of anywhere since I bought the car last year.)
although ive seen many a vehicle that gets regular *annual* service and runs for years too...
Do you get better gas mileage with the synthetic oil?
If you are a typical driver, just change your oil and filter twice a year. Use semi-synthetic oil at the very least.
If you drive a little more than the average, use the full synthetic oil.
Assuming that you don’t tow a trailer or are driving a taxi cab, that should be just fine.
Places like Jiffy Lube use bulk oil, which may not have the detergent and additives that are used in better quality motor oil.
From what I’ve read and seen of dissected oil filters, the Purolator Pure One is the one to buy.
I drive a Jeep Liberty, so a 10% increase in gas mileage would be 1.6 mpg, below the noise compared to how much stop-and-go driving I do on any particular tank.
So, to answer you question: I don't know.
If you REALLY want to be safe you should buy a new car every 3000 miles.
My older brother tells me he can remember in the 50’s dad had to buy new tires every 5,000 or so. Dad was a salesman.
Vehicles on hand:
1976 Chevy 454 1 ton dually w/ over 345,000 miles
1979 Buick wagon with Olds 403 engine & over 191,000 miles on it.
Oil gets changed at 3,000 or less. Oil & Air filters also. Cheapest thing I can do to get a very long life out of my vehicles. Auto parts store takes used oil.
There are three separate considerations for oil changes.
1) Is the condition of the base oil
2) Is the condition of the additives
3) Is the level of particulates/contaminates
Generally speaking, synthetics address #1. Synthetics tend to break down less at higher heat than conventional oils although most people who aren’t driving high performance vehicles don’t need the extra protection
#2 is dependent on the particular brand of oil and the additive package included
#3 depends on a lot of things. The environment in which you drive, and the condition of your engine being the main two. Dusty environments will lead to particulate contamination. Older, worn engines will have more metallic particulates, and may also contain more combustion contaminates, especially as the piston rings wear.
Broadly speaking, however, you don’t change your oil because of #1, you change it because of #2 and #3. Old oil still (genearally speaking) lubricates just fine, its just that it’s contaminated, and the additives (which do many things) have been broken down or used up.
One of my jobs to pay for college was a certified auto mechanic.
Stating that, 3000 for regular oil and 4000 to 5000 for full synthetic.
Using that formula my last van had 255,000 miles when I gave it to a newspaper delivery person (it is still running as a delivery van three years later). and my wife’s commuter car just rolled over 182,000. Neither burn more oil than what they did when new.
My current “new” van has only hit 80,000 miles so the jury is still out on that one.
every 3000 is still a whole lot cheaper than an engine rebuild
FRAM & AC DELCO are all I use.
In my lifetime- I probably have driven close to 1,000,000 miles on all my vehicles. Am now almost 71. Had first car at 17. A total of 10 vehicles, including my Chevy 1 ton 454 dually that tows horses & works very hard.
One of my sisters recently bought a late-model used Saturn SUV recently.
I was surprised to hear her tell me that it has a sensor that operates between the oil pan and the oil filter.
It monitors the oil level and its “purity” - which would vary depending on amount use and type of use over time.
When the oil becomes lower than some level the sensor is looking for, or the purity is less than some level the sensor is looking for, a “change the oil” idiot light on the dash lights up, when the engine is running.
I’m not that fond of Saturn’s myself and I don’t know how good its oil sensor system is; I just didn’t expect it from them.
$25 a change is cheap insurance.