Does The 3,000 Mile Rule Still Hold For Oil Changes?

It’s no secret we’re keeping our cars longer and that means that routine maintenance becomes even more important. The most basic of all scheduled upkeep is the oil change and it’s also the most important.

Oil performs three vital functions for the performance of your car. It keeps engine components working smoothly together, oil helps draw heat away from your car’s combustion chamber and it helps prevent carbon from accumulating in the engine.

So How Often Should I Change My Oil?

Most of us have grown up with the 3,000 mile rule. We have our dads and quick change oil places to thank for that and it used to be pretty much true. These days it’s not so simple. Our driving habits are different, our cars are more efficient, and oil is made up of different stuff than it used to be. has a few guidelines regarding frequency of oil changes:

Read your owner’s manual. If you can’t find it behind the random CDs, hand sanitizer and Kleenex in your glove box you can usually find it online. Automakers have done extensive testing on your car’s engine in both the lab and in real world test driving ranges to develop a set of guidelines for frequency of oil changes.

Many newer cars have oil life monitors that can remind you of just when your oil needs a change. Some are more complex can take information directly from sensors throughout the vehicle and predict the life of your oil. Taking into account driving habits and conditions it can make pretty good predictions about your oil status. And you might be surprised just how long your car can go between changes.

If you still drive your older car (like a lot of us) you can send your oil in to be tested. For about $25 dollars you send a sample of oil from your car to an independent lab, which will provide an analysis of the condition of your oil. The analysis can be used as a future guideline for determining when you should change it.

Knowing just when to change your oil can save you money as well as save clean oil from heading for disposal or recycling.

If you have questions about your car’s performance call or come by Sallas Auto Repair. We can check all the fluids and systems, make any recommendations or repairs and keep your car running longer. And don’t worry, if your car is in great shape we’ll close the hood, give you a smile and see you next time.