Current Poll Results: How Often Are People Changing Their Oil?

Last week we had a poll called “How often do you really change your oil?”.  Now that several hundred people have taken the poll, I figured I’d post up the current results.  Note:  The poll didn’t specify whether each person was using synthetic or non-synthetic oil, so think of this as a baseline, not the “end all / be all” test.

It looks like 3001-5000 miles is the winner at about 50%.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by this, because there have been many articles floating around the internet claiming that you don’t need to change it that often.  While I agree that synthetics can handle longer oil change intervals, I believe that going more than 5000 on the non-synthetic oil (and filter for that matter) is pushing your limits.  This result gives me hope for all of the non-synthetic engines out there.

The second highest result was the 5001-8000 mile range.  My best guess is that this is where many of the synthetic oil users are landing.  Many synthetic users change it around 7-8000 ish, that seems to be the “norm”.  If you are running non-synthetic up to 8000 miles, you are bold.  I won’t judge though.

Next up is where I fall, in the 17% range. I realize that I’m not in the majority, and I could go to 4000 or maybe in 5000 for my oil changes and probably not see a difference. However, I will spare you because I already cover my thoughts on this whole subject a short time ago.

The “whenever my car tells me to”  was the biggest surprise for me because I expected that to be far higher.  Is it that many vehicles on the road don’t have this feature or do drivers not trust their dashboard?  It’s something to think about for sure!

Newsflash! 1% of people don’t know that oil needs to be changed.  Note to self: Do not buy a vehicle from that 1%.

For what it is worth, I’m going to keep the poll open and review it again in a month or so to see how / if the results change.

The 3000 Mile Oil Change: Why I Do It, and Why I Always Will.



Oil Antifreeze Milkshake
Oil Antifreeze Milkshake


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.   Read More