Did you know that you don’t need to change your car’s oil every 3,000 miles? I wish I knew this yesterday when I took my car in. It had about 4000 miles since the last change. But I probably didn’t need to change it for another couple thousand miles at least. There are a few reasons for this.
First of all, people are recommended to change their oil because over time the oil degrades and pollutants build up in the oil itself, reducing its quality and effectiveness. Back in the 1970′s it was recommended to change the oil every 3k miles because the oil wasn’t as good. It wore out faster.
Nowadays however, with improvements in the oil quality as well as the car engine quality, you may not have to change your oil for at least 5,000 to 12,000 miles, depending on the car you own. Check manufacturer specs in the owners guide.
The thing is, with millions of people changing their oil too soon they are needlessly creating waste. That oil is usually properly disposed of when it comes out of your car, but not always. It can end up polluting the environment.
If just the state of California were to change their oil according to manufacturer specs, it would reduce oil consumption by 10 million gallons! That is a LOT of oil.
The onus is on the oil change places, which should be required (or self regulated) to write the manufacturer spec’d oil change interval on the small sticker in the windshield. It shocks me that I get my oil changed at the Jeep dealership and THEY should know when my oil should be changed….yet they still write a 3,000 mile interval on the sticker. Is it so they can make more money? How do they know I’ll come back to them to get the oil changed anyway?
And besides that, if you have a newer car it just might have an oil change sensor that will alert you when it’s time to change the oil. My car does, and I haven’t seen it go off in a long time because I get the oil changed much too soon. I’m going to wait until the sensor tells me to get it changed this next time.
Should the oil change places be regulated to advise on oil changes specifications more accurately on a per-car basis? It’s certainly not a mystery as to what the suggestions are per make and model. I’m not that into creating more regulations and laws, BUT, when numbers and population increase and waste becomes exponentially more, that’s when I draw the line. In this case I would be in favor of a regulation to tell oil change establishments to write the manufacturer spec on the little sticker in the window. I’d rather save the environment AND some money.
Of course everyone could self regulate, so maybe we should push for a more grassroots campaign to increase awareness? What do you think?