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Oil Change

I have always changed my oil on my vehicles every 3,000 miles. Last year I bought a new Honda CR-V it has a system that tells me when an oil change is due. I have driven this vehicle for 23 months and have 4,000 miles on it, the system tells me I have 60% left before I need to change the oil. ? Should I trust this system or should I change oil be mileage.

The system is probably very accurate. But it won’t hurt anything if you change it early.

What does your owner’s manual say? Does it add a ‘or 12 months, whichever comes first’? kind of comment? Either way, while I’m a believer in the oil life monitors in modern cars, I would change it every 12 months, regardless. Also, I would insist on getting a filter with the change. Many here will be amazed that some of the oil changes for Hondas are now supposed to be oil-only, no filter change. I don’t agree with that.

You have been changing your oil more often than needed for years. Modern cars don’t need their oil changed as often. Changing it too early has only a very remote chance of damaging something. If you want to change it early, go for it, it will not hurt anything other than a little additional cost.

Once a year should be enough at the rate you drive.

I am not a believer in the computerized oil life systems. The manufacturer of the car has no real interest in the its longevity beyond the warranty period. Its best interest lies in increasing sales and every kind of thing that can provide an appearance of lower or easier maintenance will do that. Witness the huge number of manufacturer recommended maintenance intervals for transmission fluid that are clearly bad to follow. Some say never service it. Others give insanely long periods. Yet most any experienced transmission rebuilder will give you a 30K mile interval - if you want it to last.

That said, 3000 miles these days is very conservative. I’ve always taken 5K to be more reasonable (but I admit to going on intuition there). In your case - you are putting 2000 miles per year on a car? In many ways that is worse for an engine than doing 20K miles per year. It just depends on how those miles are put on. Lots of short trips? Or a small number of long trips? If it is the former then I’d stay with 3000 miles (typical of a “severe” maintenance schedule) or 6 mos - whichever comes first.

I guess you don’t have a yearly state inspection requirement…we drive one car about 7000 miles and change the oil/filter when inspection is done.

Usually these systems have a 1 year max irregardless of mileage listed in the maintnenance manual.

Why the big concern over oil changes ? Generally, you’ll find these monitoring systems under normal conditions may take you over the 5000 mile change limit…which in this day and age is the new 3000 mile change. No problem. It’s better for the environment and diminishing returns to change any earlier. Frequent oil changes are over rated for a cars longevity. Monitor and change all fluids on a recommented schedule, drive conservatively and maintain the body. More frequent wash and clean debris from drain areas every 5k is more beneficial than you over changing the oil to maintaining a car’s value.