Sometimes the age of a belief is reason enough to accept it as fact. Certainly, things such as apple pie being the most “American” of all desserts are widely accepted. Other things are blindly accepted without conscious thought or research, such as the fact that it is cheaper to cook at home than it is to go out, mutual funds are safer than investing in stocks and U.S. Savings Bonds are a good safe investment. With conscious thought and calculation, we find that most of these things are not as true today as they once were.
Recommended Oil Change Timelines and Miles
Some myths take longer to dispel than others and that is the case with recommended oil change timelines and miles. The fact that you should have an oil change every 3,000 was the agreed upon manufacturer’s guideline from most car makers. What we fail to realize is that this was applicable to cars manufactured in the 1950’s.
If you pull out your car manual, something few of us do, you will likely be surprised to see that if your car is newer than a 1990 your recommended oil change mileage is 5,000 miles.
Synthetic Oil’s Affect on Oil Change Timelines
Now, consider that in 1990, few had access to synthetic oil. Once you factor in the advances in synthetic oil technology you will find that many cars made within the last ten years can go easily from 12-15,000 miles between oil changes.
Oil Change and the Environment
So why is this such a well guarded secret? For the most motivating type of reason of all, oil manufacturers sell more oil, if this myth of 3,000 mile oil change rule is perpetuated. However, there is stark proof that the oil change measurement of 3,000 miles is a complete fallacy; and in a word, it comes down to the environment.
If you were to visit your state’s recycle.gov website, or possibly even the transit authority or department of motor vehicles you will find just what is stated on California’s CalRecycle.ca.gov site. This site states that even cars of an older make can go from between 5,000 and up to 15,000 miles before needing an oil change. Now knowing California’s famous grid lock traffic, consider the number of car owners in that state. That’s a lot of cars in need of an oil change.
Now from strictly a conservation perspective, calculate how much more used oil there would be in California if drivers all stuck to the 3,000 mile oil life fallacy. Keep in mind that all used oil, whether synthetic or conventional, is completely insoluble and contains not just heavy metals, but also toxic chemicals. That equates to damage to the planet that, if not addressed by just that state alone, would rapidly increase the hundreds of thousands of gallons of extra hazardous waste. Now multiply that by all 50 states, and the environmental damaging impact is staggering.
Consult with a Technician
So, be responsible with our planet and save yourself the time, trouble and expense and talk to a repair and service specialist on the best timeline for your car to receive an oil change.