The true benefit of oil changes every 3,000 miles has been disputed over and over. Some people claim that the guideline is a scam initiated by the automotive industry, especially since drivers in other parts of the world don’t change their oil nearly as often. So who do you believe? Prudence would suggest changing your oil every 3,000 miles just to “be on the safe side”, but for some people the costs are prohibitive. If you’re confused about the truth about oil changes, here are some of the known facts.
Changing Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles Means Better Gas Mileage
If you neglect to change your oil after it reaches the three-, four- or five-thousand mile mark, you could actually be cheating yourself out of money. When you change your oil regularly, you create a more efficient machine that doesn’t have to fight the sludge and bad oil that can hinder the engine as it runs. With gas prices shooting up every five minutes, gas prices are prohibitive, so you might want to spend the forty bucks every three months to keep your car in efficient condition.
Not All Oil Is Created Equal
When you pay $12.00 at the quick lube down the street for an oil change, you’re not getting the same benefit as having your oil changed at a dealership or a more upscale auto shop. Unless you’re purchasing the correct oil for your car (check the owner’s manual) and providing it to the quick lube, they are using whatever oil happened to be cheapest when last they ran out. Make sure you’re using the proper oil for your vehicle, and if you want to use a cheaper establishment, provide your own oil that you purchase at the store.
Oil Changes Shouldn’t Finish in Ten Minutes
We all have jobs to get to, families to take care of and other obligations that make oil changes a pain. That is why many oil change establishments are advertising fast changes — sometimes in less than ten minutes. While this might seem like a positive thing, it can actually damage your car. In order for an oil change to be effective, the bad oil must have time to completely drain. When auto shops are trying to rush customers in and out as quickly as possible, they sometimes neglect this crucial step.
You Shouldn’t Change Your Own Oil
You might decide to save a few bucks and change your oil yourself, but this usually doesn’t pay. Unless you are specifically trained in this procedure and in EPA guidelines, you could potentially do far more harm than good. Furthermore, it can be difficult to dispose of a large quantity of oil and it’s quite a messy job. You’re better off springing for the price of an oil change at your local auto shop.
Many people choose to cut corners when it comes to changing their oil every 3,000 miles, but this is something you should keep track of for the sake of your vehicle. After all, it’s less expensive to change your oil regularly than to purchase a brand new car.