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

Don’t Let Sludge and Friction Enter Your Engine Party

As a full time gearhead, I often find myself talking to my non-gearhead friends about their cars and the importance of maintenance.  I always stress the importance of regular oil changes because it’s like super cheap insurance in my mind.  Clean oil and a fresh oil filter = happily rotating parts inside your engine.  Once Sludge enter the place, your engine-party is over.

Everybody knows that Sludge smells terrible and whenever you have Sludge, his best buddy Friction isn’t far behind. Great, who brought these guys? The Smoooooth Operaaator song (by Sade… you remember that one right?) comes to a screeching halt because nobody wants Friction at their happy-engine party.   Sludge is always so tough to get rid of though once he’s there. He’s always blocking door ways, getting in the way of activities, and stinking the place up big time.  The entire symphony of parts on the once flowing dance floor begin intently looking at each other watching for the first one to head out. Obviously no one wants to be “that guy” at the party. Read More