Busting the oil-change myth
Many drivers still think you should change oil at 3,000 miles, a number perpetrated by oil change companies. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
It may be the biggest myth that most drivers still believe: You should change your cars oil every three months or three thousand miles.
Turns out that myth was built and perpetrated primarily by the quickie lube companies. But just how far many cars can go before you need to change it's oil?
When it comes to oil, everyone has an opinion. Oil production was the first main issue in the presidential debate and in a country that wants to reduce it's dependence, the best thing you can do is forget about three months and three thousand miles.
"Obviously, we're using too much oil, it's not necessary," says Dave Carlson with Idaho AAA. "According to groups like Edmonds, 75 hundred miles is more acceptable mile change."
Carlson says you should consult your car manual, unless you're racing your car on the weekends, newer cars under warranty can go anywhere from 5 to 10 thousand miles before an oil change. So where did the myth of 3,000 miles come from?
"To keep service bays busy if you have 3,000 mile reminder, you're also in the shop for other things," says Carlson. In California alone, it's estimated people waste 10 million gallons of oil, thanks to the myth.
And only in the last year or so, have companies like Jiffy Lube ended their 3000-mile recommendation. If you have a fairly new car, make sure to check the service guide, it probably recommends changing your oil at 7500 miles. And if you're no longer worried about warranty, you can use high quality synthetic oil. It costs more but can go up to 15-thousand miles before a change.