Should I Change My Car's Oil Change Every 3,000 Miles?

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Subject: LOF

Well, well, well. The old comparing apples to oranges continues. Longer oil change intervals are only recommended for full synthetic oils and only in some cars not all cars, not the cheapest oil change special oils that are who knows what kind of oil.

High performance engines will hold eight to twelve quarts of a 5W40 PAO synthetic motor oil. A whole lot of money for a whole lot of expensive oil. They have oil coolers on the engines and can run higher RPM's like nothing else. And they cost anywhere from $30K to $100K, engine only, car not included..

A typical domestic car engine holds maybe five quarts of some cheaper conventional 0W20 or 5W20 oil. They are designed only to give you more miles per gallon because of Federal guidelines. This thin oil will never be able to perform the same tricks as the high performance motor oils for high performance engines.

Just look at the SAE numbers: 0W20 vs.5W40. Which one do you think will be safe to leave in your engine for 7K - 10K miles?

MANY owners manuals dictate to NEVER leave any oil in the engine past six months or five thousand miles, period. Some still require 3K oil changes to uphold the 200K engine warranty (Hyundai). And all of the reputable oil manufacturers will tell you that you cannot leave the oil in the engine any longer than the owners manual dictates regardless of synthetic or conventional oil choice.

GM just released a memo in April 2013 that several hundred thousands of cars need to be brought into the dealerships to have the ECM reprogrammed for lower mileage oil change reminder lights since the timing chains were not holding up in certain models since this was costing GM in warranty repairs. The new "GM Dexos" motor oil just wasn't holding up to the extended oil change recommendations programmed into the engines computer.

jay buckley

Subject: oil change intervals

It's important to remember a couple things- Your driving style has an impact on when you should change oil. If, for example, you do nothing but short trip driving (under 3 miles at a time) you should change oil sooner than recommended. the other thing to remember is that the OE change intervals are based on using high quality oil and filters rated for the change interval. FRAM makes oil filters for 5k, 10k and 15k change intervals. Another thing to keep in mind is all cars can use a little oil between changes so if you are going 5-15k miles between changes, it is a very good idea to check your oil at least every two months and add as needed. Learn more at


Subject: Oil change

It has been my belief that the first one to two thousand miles of both stop and go and highway speed driving provides a "wearing-in" or "seating" of internal engine and transmission parts. The engine oil filter and transmission fluid filters should catch most of this "sloughed off" material. I tend to play it safe and assume that whatever miles are on the odometer may very well have been some "hard on any engine" miles and the filters may not catch everything. I change after around 1500 to 2000 miles the first time and then go with a compromise of time and distance as suggested in the manual. I agree that changing too often is a waste of time and money and does not produce any significant results in engine life. Also, don't forget to follow the manual as far as the transmission fluid change and filter cleaning or replacement.


Subject: Transmission Fluid Change

I understand about the oil. What is your recommendation on the transmission fluid being changed at 50K. We used to be told to not change the fluid once the mileage was high cause we'd sure enough lose the transmission. My 2003 Chevy Trailblazer had 146K and I had not changed it. Of course I worried about it everytime I drove it with that many miles on it.

Deborah O'Brien

Subject: Oil change intervals

Oil change and service are key to a well maintained and safe vehicle. With proper care and service todays vehicles can last for several years and several hundred thousand miles longer we are accustomed to. Keep in mind the manufacture does not want you to keep your car that long. Getting to know your local service porvider. Who knows your driving habits and usage would be the best way to protect your investement.


Subject: Oil Changes

The problem is that the local lube shops want that repeat revenue and still put that lil sticker in the top lefthand corner of your windshield - with the date and $3K miles later! So, you go back w/o questioning their motives. READ YOUR MANUAL! The manufacturer knows your car better than the local lube shop!


Subject: Oil Change during winter months?

being retired and driving less...had oil change in Sept is now almost March 2013 (6months on oil change--and only 3000 miles during that time) should i change now? how does winter driving..some short some longer trips effect the oil change theory? Thanks..Frank

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.