Many car enthusiasts always change their engine oil at 3,000 miles. That has always worked well to preserve an engine if you want to keep a car or truck for 100,000 miles or more. But do you really need to change oil that often with today’s cars? It may be getting to the point where changing oil unnecessarily is a waste of oil and precious energy resources.
A good article posted in the Yahoo! Autos section of their news web site raises some good points about the need to change engine oil that often with newer engines. The article is titled, How often do you really need to change motor oil?.
The author cites the facts that lubricants have greatly improved over the years and engine tolerances are much tighter than they were 20 or 30 years ago. Car manufacturers have also relaxed the intervals between changes. Some have stretched the oil change intervals to 10,000 and sometimes as high as 15,000 miles. Many of us have always changed engine oil early because we believed that the car manufacturers preferred that the engines wear out just so that you will buy another vehicle. That may not be the case any longer.
- Almost all 2012 Toyota vehicles now suggest 12,000 miles between changes.
- 2012 Ford requirements for oil changes for Mustang, Flex and Focus are now 10,000 miles.
- All 2012 BMW cars now call for 15,000 oil change intervals.
The bottom line is that you need to check the owner’s manual for any new vehicle and you should follow their recommendations. This not only preserves a resource and saves you lots of money, it also lessens our dependence upon Middle East oil, which is a very serious problem for the Entire Western world because we are funding terrorist activities through oil purchases from some countries.
Make sure to check the type of oil that a new vehicle requires. Some auto manufacturers now recommend the use of synthetic oil, which is one way that they are stretching the oil change intervals. Make sure that you keep receipts and records for all oil changes, at least until the warranty expires for your vehicle. Some manufacturers now require proof that you are following the maintenance schedule, especially if you run into engine problems near the end of the warranty. Keep a spreadsheet with dates and mileage for all of your maintenance issues, or document it in the maintenance manual that comes with your vehicle and keep your receipts.
It would not be a good idea to go too much beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil changes. First, when oils gets too dirty, it no longer provides the proper lubrication. Second, although most synthetic oils are capable of lasting beyond 10,000 or 15,000 miles, the oil filter in your car may start to clog up before you reach that point.