Do I Need to Change my Oil every 3000 Miles?

This is probably the most common question I get asked.  My short answer is usually, “No! However it’s a good idea to get it changed often!  Getting it changed every 4000 miles is reasonable if you prefer, but it's good to try to get it changed around 3,000 miles.

Many then argue that in their Scheduled Maintenance Booklet, it might say change the oil every 5,000 miles or even 7,500 miles.  Why spend money every 3,000-4,000 miles?  Modern oil might be able to last that long, but that cheap oil filter you have on your engine won’t!  In my experience I haven't seen these cheap oil filters last long.  Many mechanics I’ve talked to agree on this as well.  Many of the oil filters out there just don’t last long enough to truly filter out contaminants and work properly!

That mileage figure they tell you in that booklet might work in labs, but in the real world it doesn’t!  Check your oil just after it’s been changed.  Then check again 3,000 – 4,000 miles since you last changed it.  You’ll noticed a significant difference.  The new oil will have a Golden-Honey color.  The old oil will look Black and Dirty.

I change the oil on my Mom’s van about every 3,000 miles.  It has over 100,000 miles on it, and I feel it’s the best way to ensure the engine will last a long time.  Even if you only drive a few thousand miles a year in your car, get it changed at least twice a year.  Getting your oil changed isn’t expensive, so do it often.  Your car's engine will reward you with a long life if you do.  Remember….. Oil is Cheap, but Engines are Expensive!