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3,000 Mile Oil Change, False or Fact?


You’ve probably heard your auto mechanic repeat multiple times that you need to change the oil in your vehicle every 3,000 miles. But your car’s service interval in the user manual probably suggests a much more modest number. When you get your oil changed too often, you end up wasting fuel and paying more than you need to.

How Has This Myth Lasted So Long?

Auto shops use several different tactics to enforce this myth. For example, they give out convenient little oil change reminders in the form of windshield stickers. These stickers report when the car owner needs an oil change, but the mechanics put down the 3,000 mile myth because

  1. They haven’t read the manual or

  2. They want to bring you back every couple of months.

Many car owners blindly follow whatever the sticker dictates without reading their manual themselves.

If the auto mechanic does read the manual, he probably follows the “severe weather conditions” option, which puts your car in need of an oil change at about 3,000 miles. However, most car owners live under “average” conditions.

Why Is It A Myth?

Over the last decade, technology has improved both engine economy and fuel efficiency, making the 3,000 mile oil change nothing but an old-fashioned, outdated rule-of-thumb. In addition to that, vehicles are made with tighter tolerance; the metal parts are manufactured to fit together exactly. Synthetic oil increases the durability of fuel as well.

So Go The Extra Mile Before You Get Your Oil Changed

So what is an appropriate range of miles before changing your oil? Most makes suggest somewhere between 7,500 to 10,000 miles. That’s more than half the typical 3,000 mile mark. So what’s the last line? You can save hundreds of dollars over the next few years, dollars that you would normally spend getting your oil changed twice as often as necessary.

Written on Friday, October 3, 2014 by
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