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Frequency of oil changes

I have a 2010 Nissan Frontier pickup truck with over 80,000 miles. My primary mechanic that does my oil changes says that changing oil every 4000 miles is adequite. The owners manuel says every 3700 miles. I recently had the oil changed at a new place and they recommended changing oil every 3000 miles. What do you recommend?

The difference between 3700 and 4000 miles is negligible. If the owner’s manual says 3700 miles, I’d round up to 4000 to make it easier to keep track of.

Of course the oil change place will recommend a lower interval because that’s how they make their money. You can safely ignore them.

Follow the owners manual. But I find no fault in the mechanic letting it go to 4000 mi…

Chain shops, weather they are oil change places, tune-up shops, brake shops, or transmission shops are all the same. They are in the business of making as much money as they can out of each car that comes in the door. Your car comes in for an oil change and they will do their best to up-sell, and convince you that you need other critical work that they can schedule you in for.
Your power steering pump could be squealing like a banshee, but if it is not on their list of fixes that they do, they will not even mention it and suggest that you have this looked at. They have their 12-15 service items that they specialize in and that is all.

The employee’s are mostly younger that have little knowledge of how anything on your car works except simple things that most DIY backyard mechanic’s could handle, and it has to be on their list of repairs offered. Most of these young people are paid just above what a hamburger flipper would make and get a few perks of being able to change their own oil after their shift is over. Rarely will you find one that is truly a trained mechanic that has more that a year or two experience. Just peek in the door and see that none of them have much for a tool box, so that means less tools to do any specialty work.
It is also common for these places to have a higher incidence of mistakes than other shops and in many cases they can do more harm than good. It is common for them to tighten the oil drain plug so tight as they strip the threads or forget to tighten it all together.

I drive past a chain, oil change shop a couple of times a week and more often than not the young guys there are just standing outside smoking and chatting between themselves about the weather…I’m sure. If you drive around the back, where the employees park, you will find a bunch of junk that they drive. Either the cars are ready for the crusher, or they are sporty little cars that they think are fast because it has more racing stripes on it and a loud muffler.

If you are looking for a good mechanic, check out “the mechanic’s files” on this site for one listed in your area.
I prefer that you ask around with friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors for a good independent mechanic. I always suggest asking for recommendations from 30 people, on who they use for their work. If you hear a name mentioned more than the rest, consider using that shop.


See above.

Better still, go to 5k and make it easier to keep track of. It’s easier to work with multiples of 5 and today’s oils can easily handle it. The exception would be, IMO, if you don’t drive 5k miles in a year…then change it yearly.

Your owners manual calls for 7500 miles for normal driving and 3500 for severe driving.

With your annual mileage of 16K-20K (80K miles on a 2010 vehicle), if it were my car, I’d be using the normal schedule.

On my 89 Mustang GT which gets driven a little ( 1500 miles per year since retired ) I change it once a year with 15w-40. car does go once a month on a 60 mile round trip to a car show to burn off any moisture buildup in the oil …Its been 10 months and the oil still looks clean. Will change it in December to prevent any sludge buildup. 116 k on the clock and had it since new In hot southern Florida, owners manual says 10W30 but no problems with 15w-40… Using that 5W-20 sewing machine oil would ruin this older engine in this heat like newer designed motors. If I had newer cars I would probably run a 5w-30 here instead of the 20 weight. have a 74 Nova and 59 T-bird and gets the same juice as the GT with a zinc additive…The 5.0 has a roller cam so zinc not an issue as its needed for flat tappet engines to stop flat cams and lifter wear.

3000, 3700, or 4000, I doubt there’d be much measureable difference in engine lubrication performance. Whichever of those is most convenient is what I’d use. If this is something you desire to worry about, focus your worries more on the oil itself. Use a well known brand of oil you know meets the manufacture’s specifications per the owner’s manual, and stick with the same oil (including the brand) for each oil change. If I didn’t change my own oil, me, I’d still buy the oil myself and give it to the mechanic to use. That way I’d know the correct oil was being used. Same with the oil filter.

I would keep changing the oil at 4K and drive on. Nissan is trying to get your attention with a 37K recommendation. It has nothing to do with actual facts. I just saw a speed limit sign in North Georgia recently that had a 47mph speed limit posted. I’m sure, like Nissan, that it was just an attention getting ploy. I doubt than any cop would pull you over at 50mph.

I’ve included an ad for a company that produces speed limit signs in oddball configurations. I couldn’t find any for “official” oddball speed limits:

This may appear to be SPAM but it’s not. Please take note @cdaquila because I’m just making a point here.

That was a good link @Missileman and I’d order one, but my driveway is only about 45 feet long.