Wednesday, May 09, 2012

3,000 Mile Oil Change Marketing Myth / Urban Legend

[Don't Do Oil Change Yourself Except for Synthetic]

Auto service shops and oil change shops advertise to make sure you change your oil every 3,000 miles, but auto manufacturers haven't recommended an oil change interval that short since before the 1980s. Note: if you do a lot of short trips or winter cold weather driving, then the factory does recommend intervals this short.

Wikipedia even has a page on this:

3,000 mile myth

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 3,000 mile myth refers to a common belief that all cars should have their motor oil changed at least every 3,000 miles (4,800 km) to maintain their car engine correctly. Efforts are under way to convince the public that this is not necessary, and that people should follow the advice given in their owner's manual rather than the advice of the oil-change businesses.[1]

In the 1970s, typical cars used 10W-40 oil which was used for a duration of 3,000 mi (4,800 km) or less. In the 1980s, to improve fuel economy and engine performance 10W-30 oil was introduced 10W-30 oil was in general use in the 1960's if not the late 1950's. which was then used for a duration of 3,000 miles and later in the decade, 5W-30 became more commonplace. Today, one will see 5W-30 but more commonly 5W-20 and even 0W-20. Most European cars today use 0W-40 synthetic oils, and the dexos standard on some North American cars require synthetic oils.
From the early 1980s most oil change shops have been recommending an oil change every 3,000 miles. During the following decades engine technology and oil technology have advanced requiring less frequent oil changes under normal driving conditions.


This recently identified "myth" has continued to exist due to the complexity existing in today's car industry. The diverse array of cars and oil types available make it hard for an average person to reliably know what to do.
In response to this, car manufacturers include a manual with recommendations for how often the oil should be changed[2][3] often including recommendations based on driving conditions. Some models now come with a monitoring system that alerts the driver when the oil needs changing. Depending on driving conditions, these can extend change intervals to 10,000 or 15,000 miles.[4][5] In case of diesel engines and manufacturer recommended long-life oil, the indicated change interval can be as long as 19,000 miles (31,000 km) (BMW) or 30,000 miles (48,000 km) (VW).


1.                              ^ State says many drivers change oil too often
2.                              ^ California EPA and General Motors team up to Help Drivers Reduce Oil Consumption
4.                              ^ Carmakers increase oil change intervals
5.                              ^ Ford Extends Oil Change Intervals

[edit]External links

  1. Shortcuts - No Reason to Change the Oil Every 3000 Miles ...
    Sep 10, 2010 – Knowing how often to change your car oil takes more information than in the past. The good news is that it's probably less often.
  2. Stop Changing the Oil Every 3000 Miles Already! | Moneyland ...
    Dec 19, 2011 – The idea that the oil must be changed in a car every 3000 miles or three months is a myth that even Jiffy Lube admits is not true.
  3. How often should I change my oil? — Yahoo! Autos › Auto Repair Tips & Advice › Air Filters & Oil
    For maximum protection, most oil companies say to change the oil every 3000 miles or three to six months regardless of what type of driving you do.
  4. HowStuffWorks "Do you have to change the oil every 3000 miles?"
    Do you have to change the oil every 3000 miles? Find out if you have to change the oilevery 3000 miles at HowStuffWorks.
  5. Don't Get an Oil Change Every 3000 Miles (34/365) | The Simple ...
    Feb 4, 2012 – With an oil change every 3000 miles, you'll have to change the oil 40 times. That's a total cost of $1200 over the car's lifespan just for oil ...

    This is a good article, highlights here:

    Stop Changing Your Oil

    Breaking the 3,000-Mile Habit

    Although the average car's oil change interval is around 7,800 miles — and as high as 20,000 miles in some cars — this wasteful cycle continues largely because the automotive service industry, while fully aware of the technological advances, continues to preach the 3,000-mile gospel as a way to keep the service bays busy. As a result, even the most cautious owners are dumping their engine oil twice as often as their service manuals recommend.
    After interviews with oil experts, mechanics and automakers, one thing is clear: The 3,000-mile oil change is a myth that should be laid to rest. Failing to heed the service interval in your owner's manual wastes oil and money, while compounding the environmental impact of illicit waste-oil dumping.
    The 3,000-mile myth is also promoted by the quick lube industry's "convenient reminder" windshield sticker. It is a surprisingly effective tool that prompts us to continue following a dictate that our fathers (or grandfathers) drummed into our heads: It's your duty to change your oil every 3,000 miles — or your car will pay the price. But as former service advisor David Langness put it, the 3,000-mile oil change is "a marketing tactic that dealers use to get you into the service bay on a regular basis. Unless you go to the drag strip on weekends, you don't need it."
    Because busy car owners seldom read their owner's manuals, most have no idea of the actual oil change interval for their cars.
    Our oil change addiction also comes from the erroneous argument that nearly all cars should be serviced under the "severe" schedule found in the owner's manual. In fact, a quiz on the Web site maintained by Jiffy Lube International Inc. (owned by petrochemical giant Shell Oil Company) recommends the severe maintenance schedule for virtually every kind of driving pattern.
    The argument that most people drive under severe conditions is losing its footing, however. A number of automakers, including Ford and GM, have contacted Edmunds data editors to request that the maintenance section of Edmunds' site substitute the normal maintenance schedule for the severe schedule that had been displayed.
    About the only ones that really need a 3,000-mile oil change are the quick-lube outlets and dealership service departments. In their internal industry communications, they're frank about how oil changes bring in customers. "Many people...know when to have their oil changed but don't pay that much attention to it," said an article in the National Oil and Lube News online newsletter. "Take advantage of that by using a window sticker system [and] customers will be making their way back to you in a few short months."
    Today's Oil Goes the Distance
    (snip) Among 2010 models, the average recommended oil change interval, based on a normal service schedule, is about 7,800 miles — more than double the traditional 3,000-mile interval. The longest oil change interval is 20,000 miles, for all Porsches. The shortest oil change interval is 5,000 miles in some late-model Toyotas, but the carmaker has begun shifting its fleet to 10,000-mile oil change intervals using synthetic oil.
    Mobil's  most advanced synthetic product (Mobil 1 Extended Performance) is guaranteed for 15,000 miles.
    Today's longer oil change intervals are due to:
    • Improved "robustness" of today's oils, with their ability to protect engines from wear and heat and still deliver good fuel economy with low emissions
    • Tighter tolerances (the gap between metal moving parts) of modern engines
    • The introduction of oil life monitoring systems, which notify the driver when an oil change is required and are based on the way the car is driven and the conditions it encounters (snip)

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