Emergency Alert - Salted Roads Oil Change Intervals

Oil Change Intervals

3000 miles is the correct oil change interval.

A. If your car is twenty or more years old.

B. If you don't have a long commute, or do few highway miles.

C. If you don't use your car for days on end.

D. If you are:

1. Smart

2. a little uptight

3. O.C.D.

4. Just want insure Art's waste oil heater has plenty of oil for the winter.

4000 miles is the correct oil change interval:

For most post millennial cars doing a "normal" amount of driving, say ten to twenty thousand miles per year.

5000 miles is the correct oil change interval;

For most commuters and New Jersey drivers who have to drive way too much in a state that is completely paved over.

The 7000 mile interval set by the manufacturers [ I believe with some government guidelines ] is bogus. These large mileage intervals led to many Saab engines around 2000 [A.D.] to clog the pickup screen in the sump, leading to low oil pressure and engine failure. Stripping an engine down with high mileage oil change intervals shows large amounts of sludge everywhere. The dirty oil can hold only so much particulate matter, hence sludge formation. If you car manufacturer says use synthetic oil, by all means use it, even though I believe [ as did Mercedes Benz when synthetic oil made its debut ] that it is wishful thinking to believe it lasts that much longer. Synthetic oil may keep from breaking down at high temperature, but it has no magical properties that allow it to hold more particulate matter in suspension. A number of years ago I took some advice from a chemical engineer who worked on developing Mobil 1 oil when Mobile Research was in Hopewell Township. This guy, with no axe to grind, said synthetic oil was better oil, but by mixing a quart of it with "regular" mineral based oil, you get all the advantages of synthetic without the cost. I have been following his advice on my own ancient fleet of cars for over twenty five years and have had no lubrication problems whatever.

The other reason I stress a 3000 mile interval on older cars is that it gives a mechanic the opportunity to spot other areas of the car that may need attention. Of course this gives additional opportunities for nefarious mechanics to run more scams on you, but that is another story. In places like Jiffy Lube or other corporate outlets, the mechanics usually [not always] lack the mechanical aptitude to deliver [dare I say it?] a holistic assessment of you car.