• Dec 17, 2004

Here's the debate. How many miles before you change your oil? In this article about the eight auto maintenance myths, one myth is that changing your oil every 3000 miles is not necessary. And so is synthetic oil unless called for by the manufacturer. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but my father has stuck to the "3000 mile" rule and has never had a problem with any of his engines. And I know that it is faulty cause-and-effect logic – he over-maintains all his vehicles – but if it has caused no problems, then what the heck. My Z28 always gets Mobil 1 every 3000-4000 miles. 97,000 miles later, no problems.



The other tips are pretty true, and tend to be ploys for garages to get money from the uninformed. Most chassis are ?lubeless?, tune-ups happen every 100,000 miles (I still did mine at 75,000 ? broke the rules again). I don?t agree with ?blowing clean? an air filter. That?s one area I don?t want sand/dirt getting in. Not changing oil filters at every oil change? That?s crazy-talk. I don?t believe in ?power-flushing? engines or transmissions. Fuel injector cleaning by pouring a bottle of STP in the tank? I do it, but not sure if it?s really worth it.

Then there?s the opposite end of the spectrum, those that do nothing to their cars and seem proud of it. ?I got 60,000 miles and never changed the oil.? What do you want, a medal? Should I be impressed? I?m curious what intervals you guys change your oil and if you use synthetic or not?



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  • 30 Comments
      • 10 Years Ago
      I used to have a toyota echo that had its oil changed every 5-7000 miles with mobile 1. Now I'm driving an 83 rx7, it has its oil changed every 3k on the button. 100k and no problems yet. Guys with turbo rotaries will change it between 1500 and 2000 miles for best engine life.
      • 10 Years Ago
      Ya they said for Helen's Mini 15k miles. I was like ummm... I'll do it at 7500. I can agree that it's possible for an engine to be able to go that long but I'll let someone else be the ginny pig. As for "over maintaining"? No such thing. I have a 19 year old Saab turbo with 266k miles. She gets her oil changed every 3000. Original timing chain and original turbo (oil cooled only). Also I use dino and not synth. If it aint broke... see that it dosen't get that way.
      • 10 Years Ago
      I generally change oil/filter between 3k and 5k miles, never more than 5k. Though I was interested to note that the sticky my mechanic (a VW specialist) put on the windshield after the last change indicated the next change was due in 5k miles. If that's what he recommends, that's what I'm doing. He knows his stuff. And I've yet to go full synthetic. Perhaps if I were to get a brand new vehicle, but at this point (almost 80k miles) it doesn't seem it'd help much.
      bhugginess
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have 2002 Camry Le and it's been 3,100 miles and oil is still mad clean so I don't know if it's necessary to change it or not???
      • 10 Years Ago
      In my first two cars, a 1988 Mustang GT and a 1995 Ford Probe, I changed the oil/filter religiously at 3000 miles. Mustang got to 250,000+ miles (relatively problem fee) before I sold it, Probe got to 140,000+ miles (with some problems, but nothing engine related). MINI now says I can go 15,000+ between oil changes running Castrol Syntec in my MINI Cooper S. I'm a little sceptical, so I change my oil myself at 7500 or so and let the dealer do that standard maintenance oil changes at 15K. 15K out of an oil change seems unreal though...but I have no doubt that 3K would be "over maintaining" your vehicle (if there is such a thing).
      • 10 Years Ago
      when talking synth's you need to remember these are considered longlife oils. These do not break down like conventional oil's therefor you can have longer intervals before changing. this also takes into consideration the type of driving you do and type of engine. i drive a vw new beetle 1.8T. its been modified with a chip, some engine xtras, exhaust etc. (close to 200HP) the turbo / engine run extrmemly hot and i drive a little more on the fun side. I use Mobil 1 0W-40 Euro blend w/ a Mobil 1 filter or OEM. I change every 5K. I have taken it to 10k and felt good about it but like the fact of 5k and turbo life. vw's (1.8Ts) come factory fill with Pentosin Synth (german) there has also been a huge issue with sludge in vw's.. why? because owners were not taking care of their cars and maintenance. another note: dont always listen to the stealership.. they even tell you to use 89 oct gas in a turbo... always use premuim!!!!
      • 9 Years Ago
      I change the oil on cars when I buy them (never yet bought new and don't imagine I ever will) and then never again. I do however change the oil filter about every 4000 miles and always use fully synthetic oil. My last car, a 1960s-technology Skoda (4-banger on three main bearings), had 57000 miles when I got it, 112000 when I threw it away for a host of little things, and the engine was fine. A friend who suggested this regime to me drive a Ford Cortina (Pinto engine) 180000 miles without an oil change. His authority was in turn a relative who worked on aero piston engines for 40 years.
      • 10 Years Ago
      I bought a 2005 Mercedes c 230 They recommend the first oil change 16000 KM then after between 19000 & 22000 KM.No more dip stick.Computer tells you when to change the OIL. Best regard W.MAttes
      • 10 Years Ago
      I've owned 6 new cars each for +100,000 miles, last one being 158k. Oil and filters were changed on average every 10k and never had a problem. All six were running strong when I sold/traded in. Oil does not have to be spotless 100% of the time, this is idea auto companies started to protect them to keep warranty replacement costs down. Now that doesn't mean I didn't keep an eye on the level of oil (most important) or if it was getting unusually dirty, but every 3k is just throwing money away. If after 3k oil is still clean why dump it??
      • 10 Years Ago
      I change my civics oil with mobile 1 every 5k miles so that I don't have to write anything down. I just change on the 5's and 10's. Seems to work out well for me over the years.
      • 10 Years Ago
      I usually stretch my 99 Grand Prix to 5000mi now that I don't drive it so hard anymore... used to do 3000mi religiously. The trip computer's "oil life" monitor suggests about 6000mi for me. It does adjust according to your driving style. My Miata gets 3000mi on the nose, because I live in a dusty area, autocross it, and generally beat the snot out of it on the road. I use Mobil 1 synthetic on both.
      • 10 Years Ago
      I remember reading an article by Consumer Reports several years back. They did a test using New York City taxi cabs (I can't imagine a more 'severe' environment in terms of stop and go driving). They set up several different test groups of vehicles, disassembled their engines and took measurements and tolerances. They then changed their oil & filter at 3,000 5,000, and 7,500 miles respectively. After 100,000 miles, they disassembled each engine and checked for signs of wear, re-measured and took tolerances and found no statistically significant difference between the 3,000 mile oil change and 7,500 mile oil change vehicles. Ever since that article, I no longer change at 3,000 miles. I now change at 6,000 miles, which is probably still overkill. Have had two vehicles reach 100k miles + without incident.
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