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When to change oil

http://fin…mily-home; this article says changing oil every 3000 miles is wasteful and 5000- 10000 miles makes more sense. 3000 is engraved on my brain,but I am a certified old fart

Oils and engines are better than they used to be. 3,000 would be excessive unless you only drove 3,000 miles every 6 months. What does your owner’s manual say about oil changes? I aim for 5,000 or 6,000.

I would say to go with what the maintenance schedule that came with your car says to do about oil changes. I would also note that few people can actually claim to operate their car under ‘normal’ operating conditions. The description for ‘severe service’ includes almost everybody, unless you really do just drive down the Interstate and don’t drive in the city, and only during spring and fall. Severe service usually includes things like extreme heat, extreme cold, dusty conditions, off-road use, stop and go driving, and short commutes.

I had a customer once who considered himself to be a certified old fart. He drove a brand new (at the time) 2006 Chevy Impala and would bring it in for an oil change every ten weeks, without fail, no matter what. Most of the time, he had only driven 400-600 miles since the last time we saw him, but he always still wanted his oil change. I tried to tell him it was unnecessary, but he always insisted, saying that he would rather be safe than sorry. I even tried dating his sticker to have him return in six months rather than the usual three, but he still came back ten weeks later. I wonder if he was paying for conversation and social interaction with car guys rather than an oil change…

Automotive technology has come a long way, and like you I’m an old air biscut.

With computers and fuel injection control, the oil doesn’t get contaminted like it did with carburators. With carbs, you had a crude method of metering fuel into the engine so the oil was exposed to more unburned fuel. Then if the choke system should ever malfunction where it didn’t open that dumped even more fuel into the oil. With fuel injection this can’t happen unless a sensor for this control fails. But that will usually turn on the Check Engine light.

Engines are built with closer tolerances. So this also prevents the oil from becoming contaminated as before.

And the oils have gotten better than before.

So. I’ve changed my oil/filter change interval from 3,000 miles to 5,000 miles. Not because of electronic engine controls, better engine construction, and better oils, but while changing the oil I have a chance to inspect the vehicle while doing so. And this is when you can find a small problem before it becomes a big problem.