Case For the 3,000 Mile Oil Change

Why it’s a great idea for you to change the oil every 3,000 miles:
Like most U.S. drivers – more than 80% of drivers, according to a recent study – drive under SEVERE conditions, as defined in most owners’ manuals. In other words, for most drivers “severe” is “normal.”
Sampling of Automaker oil change recommendations for NORMAL and SEVERE driving:
AUTOMAKER, Normal, Severe
FORD, 7500, 3000
CHRYSLER, 5000, 3000
TOYOTA, 5000, 3000
NISSAN, 7500, 3750
NOTE: Typical automaker recommendations (can vary by model, engine, etc.)
A Word on Oil Change Indicator Lights
While we believe most consumers can rely on these indicator lights, we decided to stick with the 3,000 miles interval – to be safe and reflect the way most people drive. Typically, such systems continuously monitor everything from vehicle speed, rpm, oil and coolant temperature – to calculate motor oil additive degradation. At Valvoline’s laboratory and engine testing facilities we’ve NEVER seen an engine failure when the oil is changed at 3,000 miles using quality Valvoline products.
Older vehicles, older recommendations
Want another reason to change the oil every 3,000 miles? The median age of passenger cars in operation in the U.S. was 9.4 years in 2008, according to R. L. Polk & Co. Just over 41 percent of all cars were 11 years or older. Automakers recommended the 3,000 mile oil change interval for most of those 100 million older cars and trucks.
“Based on the uncertainty of what the future holds, consumers are trying to keep their current vehicles running longer, until their confidence improves,” said Dave Goebel, solutions consultant for Polk’s aftermarket team.
It kind of gives you a new perspective on recent automaker recommendations that raised the oil change interval, doesn’t it?
Why change the oil?
Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicles engine. Quality motor oil keeps engines clean by:
o Minimizing deposit formation;
o Reducing oil consumption by fighting volatility and oil evaporation;
o Resisting oil thickening by providing enhanced oxidation control;
o Suspending contaminants and keeping them from interfering with vital engine parts;
o Preventing sludge from forming;
Changing the oil and filter removes the suspended contaminants and replenishes the oil’s performance agents that get consumed.
Who says so?
The Car Care Council
The most recent National Car Care Month check lanes found that 32% of vehicles failed the inspection because of low, overfull or dirty motor oil. “The Car Care Council recommends changing your vehicle’s engine oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on the vehicles make and model, how you drive the vehicle and the conditions under which you drive,” the Council stated. “Always consult the owner’s manual.” Regular maintenance involves more than oil changes, too. Routine maintenance helps keep the vehicle safe and can save money. “Since four out of five vehicles checked need some type of service, it’s important to remind motorists that those who keep their cars, treat them as valuable investments and commit to regular vehicle maintenance, end up saving a lot of money,” according to the Council.
National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)
ASE’s mission is to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service through the testing and certification of repair and service professionals. ASE recommends changing your oil and filter as specified in your manual – more often if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips. The Valvoline/ASE Poll of the American Mechanic consistently finds that the nations top mechanics (ASE Certified Master Automobile Technicians) overwhelmingly recommend regular oil changes as the most important thing consumers can do to make their cars perform and last longer.
A Leading Consumer Advocacy Magazine
A 2002 report documented problems with sludge relative to specific engines made by several manufacturers. The magazine recommended changing the oil on the “extreme” (or “severe”) schedule to protect those engines from sludge.

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