California Governrment Telling Drivers to Change OIl Less Often

The California government is on a canmpaign advising drivers to change oil less often. They claim that many drivers still change oil every 3000 miles, and that most cars now have a much longer oil drain mileage interval. It is likely driven by the environment folks who want less waste oil.

This could have unintended consequences; people with older cars driving short trips only will assume tha Nanny State knows best and not change oil at all. The department does advise owners to read their manuals, many of which will likely not be in the glove box.

Any opinions on this? California probably wants to emulate Germany and Britain with those insanely long drain intervals.

One size does not fit all in automotive maintenance. I can imagine conditions where a 3000 mile interval may be too long. On the other hand, a 10,000 mile interval may be fine for a vehicle that is on the interstate every day. The 2006 Chevrolet Uplander that I used to own had a indicator that told when the oil needed to be changed based on conditions. I could go 7500 miles in the summer when I was on the highway before the indicator said that the oil should be changed. On the other hand, in stop and start winter driving, it would indicate an oil change was needed after only 3000 miles.
Is the next step for the California government an Oil Change Police Force? It would create jobs.

“…most cars now have a much longer oil drain mileage interval.”

Isn’t this the same advice that we always hand out?

Steve, yes and no. We tell most posters to 1) read the manual, 2) apply judgement to change more frequently for short trip and cold weather operation.

Also, to cut the European car drain interval in half.

WOW…REALLY? I have never heard of such a thing… Only in CA I guess.

I tend to agree that the 3000 mile oil change interval is getting a bit dated…ONLY when we are talking about NEWER vehicles…and FULL SYNTHETICS. This does not hold true for say…a 70’ Chevelle with a 454. I am now JUST starting defer my oil changes till 5K…and even then I cringe all along the way after I pass 3K . I’ve been a dyed in the wool 3000 miler for ages…and I’ve never ever seen an oil related failure of any of my engines. Nowadays…with my “New” car a 2003 VW I am using FULL Synth and trying to get to 5K before my oil changes…I don’t think I will ever go beyond that mile marker.

But for the Govt to actually disseminate this info to the public is a little weird to me…but I can see it in CA.

Like I said…I think with new vehicles and their more tightly controlled tolerances and the repeatability of those tolerances…by robotic milling machines…etc… The 3K oil change interval is a bit on the shy side… I’d go 5K…But then there are those who think that they can go 10-15K or BEYOND on their oil changes…Theyre simply nutz if you ask me…

I think 5K is safe for all but the most extreme conditions. GMs oil life monitors typically go off in the 7k-8k+ range, with oil tests supporting those intervals.

Hmmm, I remember in Army basic training we were taught to get in a hole and cover ourselves with a poncho in case of nuclear attack. I put this advice in the same category.

So worried about using a few extra quarts of oil in a year and never stop to think about the life cycle environmental costs and savings of extending the life of equipment. Throw the old cheap light bulbs out and instead use the Chinese made mercury laden ones to save a few pennies and polute the water for future generations. I thought California was in dire condition and this might be a good place to cut back on staff costs.

Rant over.

One of the unintended side effects may be more wrecked cars due to failed engines, adding to the disposal problems and cost. The latter will no doubt outweigh the little extra refining of used oil.

Aw, I bet next to no extra engines wear out ‘pushing’ change intervals to 5k. Maybe 0.

And guess what - they have actual facts to back them up! Unlike us!

“Finding 1
For any type of vehicle, oil change intervals can be simply and safely extended beyond their current level to the maximum mileage recommended by the vehicle/engine manufacturer.”

California is probably doing this because they, in their infinite wisdom, decreed that used motor oil CANNOT be used as heating oil. This turns used motor oil from an asset (in the other 49) to a liability that shops have to pay to process legally…

…of course, rather than PAY to follow the rules, certain businesses just DUMP the stuff to save money. This gives CA incentive to cajole their citizens to extend drain intervals.

To me, this is a non-issue. I change every 4,000, and–to the extent this is “too much”–I am happy that my oil goes to heat the homes of the needy over the winter (most likely poor, because if you haven’t upgraded from heating oil by now…you probably ain’t rich).

(Of course, I don’t live somewhere that the gov’t artificially creates a “peverse incentive” towards pollution!)

It is an oil conservation recommendation, not an engine conservation measure imho.

Texases; those “actual facts” are suspect as usual, and seldom include extreme conditions. As Barkydog comments, like in Germany and Britain, it’s a government sponsored oil conservation and waste oil reduction program. It is definitely not an engine life extension recomendation.

Okay guys, look at it THIS way …Would any of YOU buy a jug of motor labeled “Contains up to 50% recycled content”…??? or would you buy the “100% virgin lubricating oil”…??

Recycled motor oil…Isn’t that for those “less fortunate” than ourselves??

So what do you do with it?? Millions and millions of gallons of it in California alone??

I heard the railroad companies bought it, filtered it, blended it in with locomotive fuel and burned it…

Nothing wrong with educating the public that 3000 mile oil changes are old school thinking. Very few vehicles in the last 10 years require it out there.

5000 miles is the new 3000 mile oil change interval.

“Okay guys, look at it THIS way …Would any of YOU buy a jug of motor labeled “Contains up to 50% recycled content”…??? or would you buy the “100% virgin lubricating oil”…??”

So long as it was run through a still, I’d consider it the equivalent of “virgin” Motor Oil with the same additive package. I think Valvoline is making a 50% recycled blend like this…I’d consider it equivalent to Valvoline conventional.

What I’d NEVER do is run “Brand X Recycled” or anything “cleaned up” by filtration instead of re-distillation.

There’s not a thing wrong with the state announcing that people shoud read their owner’s manuals - since almost none of those will recommend a 3000 mile oil change. The only people who are going to avoid changing their oil altogether are those who abuse their cars to begin with. The only thing the 3000 mile interval does anymore is keep quickie lubes in business. Its an old recommendation which is largely maintained in people’s minds by those who make $$ on oil-change based auto services. Its true that certain kinds of severe service would still require it. But most drivers don’t. And we know from these boards that huge numbers of drivers are completely clueless about what their owner’s manual says on the subject.

In other words. Good for CA doing a little driver’s ed.

And so we have come full circle. From an initial roasting of the Golden State to realizing the soundness of its recommedation.

Like I said, don’t we always hand out this advice?

I agree with cig. A friend and retired cop has a 200k mile Camry with an oil change interval it’s entire life of 10k miles. That was his working interval, that’s what he uses now, but with synthetics. California is correct, occasionally. 5k is good enough for extreme conditions. Buy more sushi, yogurt and tofu you Californians with what you save in oil changes.

As far as using recycled oil, in a few years, I mistakenly predict that it will be the norm, not the exception. But who cares, most of our regular contributors to this forum along with Tom and Ray with be outlived by their cars by then regardless of what we do…what’s the big deal ?

I have a friend who’s an astronaut who does the same thing. As a sideline he carves ice-sculptures for wedding receptions with a chainsaw.

California can tell people how frequently to change their oil, but how many will listen?

Anyone with a car uses recycled oil every day.

Nothing on that list of mfg recommendations newer than 2007. Interesting that very very many list 3000 as the recommendation and many more at 5000. Doesn’t say whether that is for severe service or not which most of us fall into.