Just last week I noticed that it’s about time for me to get another oil change. At least according to that little sticker on my windshield. How kind of that garage to remind me. I’ve been sticking to the “every 3,000 miles” rule pretty much since I got my license. However, now that I’m driving a car that wasn’t built before the year 2000, it’s just not necessary anymore. Advances in engine and oil technology have put this old rule to rest.
So how do you know how often to change your car’s oil? CHECK YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL. Not all cars have the same maintenance schedules. I opened up the book for my 2005 Subaru, and lo and behold… change oil at 7,500 mile intervals.
That’s twice the industry standard that I have followed since high school!
From now on, I’ll just add another 4,500 miles to that number on the sticker.
Moving past the outdated 3,000 mile rule will save me about $50 a year (2 oil changes). It’s not that much, but why spend it when it’s truly unnecessary. Some people might say “Is saving $50 worth the risk of damaging your engine? Better safe than sorry.” Well, to that I say… there is no risk. I’m following my vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule of 7,500 miles. The 3,000 mile rule doesn’t apply to me. Now get away from me, old-timer.
People have been so ingrained with the idea of an oil change every 3,000 miles that anything longer seems dangerous. IT IS NOT.
Reach in your glove box, open up the owner’s manual, and look up “oil change” or “Maintenance”.
One more thing… pay attention to the manual’s recommendation for the oil filter as well. It may need to be replaced more frequently than the oil itself.
When it comes to vehicle maintenance, always look in your owner’s manual before making a decision based on a “general rule.” As I found out in this example, not all cars are the same.