I know I am wasting money, but I just can’t seem to bring myself to go against my dad’s advice from 35 years ago.
He changed his car’s oil every 3,000 miles. So do I. But today’s cars don’t need oil changes as often as we think, according to a New York Times story. In fact, you could probably go twice as long between oil changes and have no problems at all, the story says. Changing oil too often could even be considered wasteful and an environmental issue.
I may be coming around to a new way of thinking after reading the Times piece:
“The California Integrated Waste Management Board ran public service announcements for several years about ‘the 3,000-mile myth,’ urging drivers to wait longer between oil changes. Although the information is a few years old, the board has a list of cars on its Web site and how often they need oil changes. The concern is not only the cost to drivers, but the environmental impact of throwing away good oil, said Mark Oldfield, a recycling specialist for the agency.
“But the situation is not that clear cut, according to Robert Sutherland, a Pennzoil scientist who works at Shell Global Solutions.
“Rather than picking a number, Mr. Sutherland said, he recommends following what your owner’s manual advises.
Here is a company that, for $25, will analyze your vehicle’s oil and “gauge the health of your engine.” It is sort of like a blood test for your car (or boat or plane or motorcycle.) Take a look at a sample report.