How often to change oil?


So I have a new car, a 2007 Impreza i Series. I recently read the back column: http://www…il/01.html

And the manual seems to suggest changing the Oil every 7,500 miles beyond the first service. The Dealer is similar. My Family and the Family mechanic swear by changing the Oil every 3,000 miles and say that’s why their cars last ~15 years and 140,000-200,000 miles.

Everything I see on the net recommends less often oil changes. Is it really necessary to change the Oil every 3,000 miles? I can’t hurt the car changing the oil too often right?


Except for some specific makes that recommend leaving the initial break in oil for a specific period, and assuming you don’t go to Skippy lube, and assuming you don’t strip the drain plug threads, there’s no reason whatsoever to not change oil every 3,000 miles. My own manual recommends every 5,000 miles, but I like 4,000 better. Oil and filters cannot be too fresh, only too old.

Remember that the goal is to make the CAR last, not to make the oil last.

Besides, it’s worth it if it helps you sleep better.

Some will disagree out of concerns for extending our oil reserves and/or not polluting the earth by having to process more used oil. I respect their opinions, but don’t feel that way myself.


Change you oil as specified in the owner’s manual* every 7,500 and use an oil that meets the specifications listed (like SJ) and you will likely get 200,000 miles or more before any oil related issues occure. Those who change it every 3,000 miles may get another 20 or 30 miles.

Cars and oils today are far different than they were even 10 years ago. They don’t need all those oil changes.

One good word of advice however is to never ever go to a quick change place, not even for directions. 

* Check for special recommendations for severe service, which many drivers do fit.


Your car will most likely last longer changeing the oil every 3-4000 miles , and it wont hurt to change it that often , I change my oil at 3500 miles , but make sure when you get it done that a reputable mechanic does it , I had a mechanic change the oil on my suburban and didnt really , I did it myself 3500 miles too late and all I had was sludge and no engine.


Personally, I would probably go 7500 using a good synthetic oil (I’m not so sure about the manufactures who are now recommending 20,000 km). I wouldn’t want to go that long with conventional oil, probably 3-5000. Considering the cost of the filter it may be cheaper to go 7500 with a synthetic, a win/win situation.


Conventional oil is fine at the recommended interval. See if you qualify as severe service. Even then I think it’s closer to 5k mile interval. I used conventional in a 90 accord at 7,500 mile intervals. Got 250k out of it and still running strong till it got in an accident.


Personally, I would probably go 7500 using a good synthetic oil (I’m not so sure about the manufactures who are now recommending 20,000 km). I wouldn’t want to go that long with conventional oil, probably 3-5000. Considering the cost of the filter it may be cheaper to go 7500 with a synthetic, a win/win situation.

BTW, if you want to be sure, have a used oil analysis performed after 7500 miles any see how much life is left in your oil. I like these guys:


I think it depends on your driving habits. In some cases, every 3k miles or 3 months is necessary.

My sister-in-law accumulates almost all of her mileage in a very narrow area. Work is 1/2 mile away as is the mall, grocery, etc.
Her car seldom ever has a chance to even get near a normal operating temperature.
This is the worst type of driving that can be done so the oil should be changed very often.

With driving that is not so extreme, I usually recommend 3 to 5k intervals. 7500 intervals is not a problem is there is a decent mix of highway driving mixed in.


Change it every 7500 miles or at least twice a year. You will have bigger worries than oil change interval. Did I get the good car or the bad car? Most of the possible problems with a car have nothing to do with how often the oil is changed. With transmissions, drive train parts and head gaskets all being part of the same car, you can forget about oil changes until the reminder light comes on. You’re not worried about any other parts that are more likely to quit? You would be better off worrying about your retirement plan. No matter what you do, you can’t control the future.


Well, I drive about 22 miles to work and 22 miles back home each day, with occasional trips on the weekends to 40 miles each way.

I drive in a hilly area, so I am up and down hills. I only have about 1 mile of “stop and go” each way on work days. I’m guessing this doesn’t count as “Severe” driving? Or does it?

I don’t have a “change oil” light, so I still have to do this the old fashoned way.


Subaru’s severe interval is 3750 miles. I simply go with the “new” 3000 miles interval which has been pushed to 5000 miles by most competent mechanics on my Subaru WRX using conventional motor oil.


Thats far from severe … engine always comes to operating temp for a large portion of your drive . Sounds like 7500 is right for you . For those that always yell for 3000 mile changes when I first started driving we changed at 1000 mile intervals . Why aren’t these guys asking for that ?


If you get it changed at a reputable place; they put a little sticker on your windshield that has the mileage of when you need to change it again. That’s always 3000 miles.

Our local mechanic yells out us if we let it go past 3000 miles even if its motorway mileage so who is right and yes we read all the prior posts?


The people putting those little stickers on there are selling oil changes. It does no harm to change every 3000, but it’s really overkill. I have been using a 5000 mile interval for over 25 years now and never had a car die a premature death due to engine problems. The 3000 mile thing is just a little excessive. I’m probably being too conservative with 5000, but the intervals are easy to remember.


times hAVE CHANGED, ENGINES AND OILS are vastly improved. today, engines outlive the rest of the vehicle with routine maintenance. Family and mechanic are living in the dark ages of 60-70s. Go by the owners manual and hope the transmission lasts as long as the engine.


Well there you go. The advice here is worth exactly what you pay for it. Fresh out of the factory or well used, I change oil and filter every 3000K period, except for rare occassions. I don’t care what the manuals say. That’s $15 every 3000 miles and I’m over 400K. What does it really cost? Its peanuts compared to the cost of a car or engine. And 90% of the population drives under severe conditions on hills or in traffic.


It does not make one whit how good the oil is if the driving habits are like my sister-in-law’s.
Condensation, an engine that hardly ever warms up enough to even open the thermostat, once a year oil changes, etc. can cause all kinds of grief.


It does not make one whit how good the oil is if the driving habits are like my sister-in-law’s.

You have one of those relatives too??? My Sister-in-law is EXTREMELY hard on a car…and rarely changes the oil. And she wonders why she can’t get a car to go past 70k miles.


In my opinion (as someone else said, worth at least what you’re paying for it), the whole 3,000 mile/severe conditions myth was dreamed up by Jiffy Lube marketing to increase their profits. Now, who do you believe, the engineers and scientists who built your car or a company that makes its profit by hustling you for unneeded maintenance (and has been caught by TV reporters not even doing the needed maintenance)? You decide.

Also, if you’re taken in by the “severe conditions” concept, look at the definition of “severe conditions” in your owners manual. I bet it more closely resembles a New York cab driver’s day than yours.

I agree that changing your oil too frequently is unlikely to damage your car, but for most of us, there are issues of cost, our time, hassle-tolerance, and the environment to consider as well.

–Mike (5,000 mile changer)


Aside from all this valuable input on proper car maintenance, there are plenty of car owners who are extremely neglectful when it comes to changing their oil.

Some do it by ignorance, others by intent (because they only plan to keep a car for a few years).

Lots of these drivers never encounter any engine problems with their neglect.

Joe (5,000 to 7,000 mile dyno oil changer)