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Oil changes

I have heard that it is not necessary to get my oil changed every three months and or every 3000 miles. I have a 1995 Corsica with a little over 60000 miles on it. I have had the oil changed every three months since I purchased it in 1995.

Any thoughts on this?

Thank you

The best thing to do is check your users manuel or a repair manuel(Chilton’s or Haynes). They list the recommended interval for oil changes. My Mitsubishi Mirage has recommended oil changes at 7500 miles. Other cars I have owned have listed 2 intervals…highway driving and city driving. Use this as a guide to judge how long to go between oil changes. As always, you should monitor your oil levels and condition.

The only authority is the manufacturer and they printed what is needed in the owner’s manual that comes with every new car. Changing it more often will not hurt, at least it will not hurt enough to measure, too few can hurt. Follow the instructions in the owner’s manual.

You appear to be driving only about 5000 miles each year. You can easily get by now with semi-annual oil changes, and you could have done so from the beginning. On the plus side, your version of car care has yielded excellent results.

If I were you I would change the oil and filter once a year and use 5W30 synthetic or 0W30 synthetic if you live in the colder areas of the country. Oils are a lot better than what your manual specified. You are probably one of the few people who “over-maintained” their car.


If I were you I would change the oil and filter once a year and use 5W30 synthetic or 0W30 synthetic if you live in the colder areas of the country.

5w-30 is fine for everywhere here in the US. 5w-30 is good to -25F. You need to get to the Mountain areas’, or Alaska or Norther Maine to see temps below that.

Minnesota has brutal winter temperatures, and if OP parks outside, the 0W30 will ensure lubrication in any weather. Agree that for most of the US 5W30 is just fine.

Minnesota has brutal winter temperature

But NOT BELOW -25.

By your statement of “I have had the oil changed” tips me off that someone else, probably a repair shop or a quick lube (watch out for those!) have been doing your oil changes. What are they selling? Why oil and filters, of course! Now look at the site that Tester has turned us onto. My general rule of thumb is: severe or normal driving? If severe, you’re not wasting money on getting it done as per Manufacturer’s recommendations. With the numbers that you gave us, you typically put less than 5K miles a year on it. If normal service, change oil and filter every six months. Now here’s where my little formula comes in. Start out with the manufacturer’s recommendations. You’re past that phase. Let’s assume the recommendation is every 6,000 miles. Just for rough figuring purposes. At 30,000 miles, start changing every 5,500 miles. At 60,000, change every 5,000. When you hit 90K miles, change every 4-5K miles. You’ll keep the engine running sweet and can just do oil and filter changes every 4,000 miles for the rest of that engine’s life. It won’t cost you as much and you’ll be assured that your baby is well cared for. If your oil/filter person notices a faily accelerated level of dirty oil at the regularly-scheduled interval, then start checking the cause of additional carbon build-up or more/larger metal particles in the bottom of the drain oil receptacle. Have someone check the engine for the cause of the increased oil contamination. Might be time for you to get trade-in value towards another vehicle. Before you take it anywhere for trade-in purposes, don’t forget to change all of the obvious lubes and fluids, i.e.: power steering, auto tranny fluids, etc. That’ll show whoever you’re dealing with that you have cared for your car pretty well. Others may have other recommendations for intervals but the web site that Tester turned us onto doesn’t seem to have any other agenda except for putting out facts. Can’t go wrong following that advice. Oil is cheaper than metal. Preventive maintenance is less costly than repair maintenance. But you’ll still end up having to repair/replace something. That’s just the nature of the beast.