Experts Say Stop Changing Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles

Oil changes are just one of the many minor hassles of car ownership, but they’re crucial to keeping your car in good shape. Of course, if you don’t change your oil on time and with the proper products, it can void your car’s warranty. However, car experts are now saying that the standard oil change interval of every 3,000 miles (or every 3 months) is old news. That’s because most new cars can travel a bit farther before needing the oil replaced. If you’re changing your oil more often than necessary, it won’t help you. It doesn’t harm your car, but you’re wasting money, time and resources. There are four main recommended intervals for oil changes, based on factors specific to you and your car: 


  1. Every 1,000 miles — If your driving routine consists mostly of trips that are 10 miles or less, you should consider changing your oil every 1,000 miles. That’s because if you’re not making long trips at high, steady speeds, your engine isn’t getting hot enough to boil off condensation that accumulates and that can cause oil to break down faster. 
  2. Every 3,000 miles — While the old rule of thumb of changing your oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles is no longer tree, if you have an older-model car that recommends an oil change every 3,000 miles, you're probably better off adhering to it. 
  3. Every 5,000 to 7,500 miles — If your car is fairly new and you normally drive 20 minutes or more and achieve fairly steady speeds (as opposed to stop-and-go traffic the entire drive), you're a prime candidate for increasing the time between your oil changes. 
  4. Every 10,000 miles — If your car's manufacturer recommends synthetic oil, or if you decide to make the switch, you could go as many as 10,000 miles or more between oil changes. Though synthetic oil is much more expensive than regular oil, it has more benefits and performs better than regular oil. If you frequently tow heavy loads, or if you own a car that’s known to be prone to sludge issues, synthetic oil can ease the strain on your engine.

Get in the habit of checking your oil at least once a month to make sure your car's not leaking or burning oil. If you don't know how often to change your oil or how to check it between oil changes, consult your owner's manual. These habits will help ensure the longevity of your engine.