Oil Change Interval

…Should I change my oil at 3,000 mi.

could it wait longer.

I usually do it around 3,000 ,but am trying to save $.

3,000 is not needed, in my opinion. In most situations 5,000 is fine with modern oils. Most important, though, is this: What does you manual say? Does your car have an oil change reminder? If it does, I’d follow it.

What does the owner’s manual say? Lots of manufacturers are at 5K recommended oil changes. What year is that Malibu? Doesn’t it have the “GM Oil Life” system? Although I’m not a fan of that system, you could just listen to it and depending on driving style will likely land you at 5-6K oil changes.

Of course, the other thing to think about is that oil changes are really cheap.

Obviously if the oil change indicators on the new vehicles are accurate, they are stretching the oil changes to over 4-5K and I’ve seen some indicate 20% of oil life with 6000 miles on the oil. I am strictly a 3k oil change kind of guy. I do that in both my main driving vehicles, on the third vehicle, I just change the oil twice a year, because it is an extra vehicle and only gets driven on some weekends. If you want to stretch your oil changes out to 4k, I’m sure you would notice no ill effects. Unless you drive your vehicle hard and/or in dusty or really hot conditions I’m betting you can stretch it to 5k miles with no ill effects.

I change the oil and filter on both of my cars at 5,000 mile intervals. I’ve been doing this for many years with no problems.

You realize when you ask this question, it’s like asking a group of people which horse is the best one to bet on. You’ll get lots of different opinions.

I too believe in following the manufacture’s recommendations. The industry moved past the 3000 mile oil change years ago.

5000 mile oil change interval is the new 3000 mile change interval.

Why don’t you trust your owner’s manual? Tell us that and we can go from there.

Rick, How Many Miles Do You Drive Per Month Or Per Year?

What model year Malibu and how many miles on it?

Describe your typical driving. How far are the trips? Highway driving or stuck in traffic?

Do you change the oil yourself?


being in the oil change business i don’t see anything wrong with 5k oil change intervals. Where you have to be careful is what type of oil do you use(conventional, semi synthetic, or full synthetic) and how much oil does your engine take to fil it up. On a 3 qt fill on a nissan i would rec 3k oil change intervals but on say a trailblazer with a 7 qt fill i’d say 6 to 7k miles. If it we’re my vehicle i’d change it every 3 to 4k miles or 5 months. Me and my wife both do alot of city driving and hence we change between 3 and 4k miles and use full synthetic oil. like stated before oil changes are cheap insurance but you should pop your own hood atleast once a month to check things out and atleast fill the washer fluid. hope this helps.

On a 3 qt fill on a nissan

What Nissan has only 3 qts??? For that matter…what CAR has holds only 3 qts???

If it is a model T Ford I believe you need to change it every 500 miles, Most modern cars have something called an owner’s manual and it will tell you what kind of oil and how often it should be changed. Doing more changes will not hurt it, but doing fewer can cause damage.

Remember they will list both a number of miles AND a number of months. You do which ever comes first.

I think the type of oil is one of the key factors. I recently pulled the intake manifold and valve covers on an engine that had 275K mi. that rarely saw an oil change. (once every 6 mo. or so) and the parts of the engine I saw were clean and appeared to be in good shape. I didn’t measure any of the bearing clearences though…

" that rarely saw an oil change. (once every 6 mo. or so)"

Rarely? That’s pretty often.

The Nissan Sentra did. I remember changing a girl friends engine oil and thinking hmmm.

I average about 30K a year. Of course, I failed to mention that a persistent oil leak caused me to add a quart every 10K or so. I guess this would be close to an oil change every year.

My wife’s 86 Dodge Colt (1.5L) took 3.5 quarts. My 67 Volkswagen Beetle only took 2.5 quarts, I checked the dipstick on a regular basis.

Ed B.

Mobile has oil guranteed to protect your engine for 5000 miles. It is indicated on the front label.

As some have pointed out, it depends on your driving pattern and where you live. One poster drives 30,000 miles a year, meaning that his engine will never sludge up if the oil is changed regularly. He can easily go 5000 miles.

If you drive the normal mix of urban and highway, and drive 15,000 miles ayear or so, 5000 mile intervals make sense for most cars. That’s likely what you OWNER’S MANUAL will say. I have a Toyota and it calls for 5000 miles for all types of driving, but more frequently if you drive very few miles.

For most of us, with modern oils, we need 3 oil changes per year, and 2 if we drive very little. My mother-in-law only drives 3000 miles per year, and changes oil is spring and fall!!

If you live in Minnesota and park outside, I would change oil every 3000 miles in the winter and 5000 miles in the summer.

I am using my oil change light. 7 K so far and still 24 % left, I would say about another 2 K or one year.