Every few months, some article pops up on the internet talking about how people don’t need to change their oil at 3000 miles “anymore”. This article on Yahoo News is a great example of this, and it bothers me. To save you some time, I’ll give you the cliff notes of the linked article. They basically tell people that 73% of California drivers are changing their oil too often, and wasting their money (I’m still cringing). Then the article goes on to say to look at your owners manual, and do oil changes at whatever mileage interval it says. Seems like a good idea right? Well, sure in a fantasy world, yes. In the real world, no. Also, how does the author of this article knows that people are changing their oil too often if he doesn’t know the oil change intervals of all of their vehicles. Seems odd to me, but I’ll move forward anyway.
About 9 years ago…. when I was a technician at a dealer, it was a frequent occurrence for customers to come in for an oil change with less than half of their recommended oil left in their car. The majority of cars that I did oil changes to held 8 quarts of oil, and 3 quarts frequently came out at the manual-recommended oil change interval. The manufacturer of this particular car claimed that it was “normal” for these types of engines to burn 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles. Nice! So even if you did a 5000 mile oil change, you’d likely only have 3 quarts left. (more…)