In March, 2007, Ford became the latest auto manufacturer to recommend that you change oil every 7,500 miles instead of every 5,000 on their latest model automobiles.
According to Peter Lord, executive director of GM's service operations, motor oil can generally last 12,000 miles or even more if you don't run your vehicle in extreme heat or cold or tow heavy loads
The reason for recommended increase in oil change intervals is that engines are designed better and today's motor oil is higher quality than just a few years ago.
Dennis Bachelder, senior engineer for the American Petroleum Institute agrees. He said, “The oils have advanced a lot since the days when 3,000 miles were the typical oil drains.”
Take note: This recommendations by Ford, General Motors, and an Oil expert are well beyond the oil change intervals that auto manufacturers and quick lube shops recommend.
The truth is that car manufacturers can't accurately recommend your oil change intervals because they don't know the conditions in which you drive or the quality of oil that you use. For that reason, it's probably a better idea to follow the recommendations of the oil manufacturers instead of the auto manufacturers.
Quick Tip: Most Oil Change light on vehicle dashboards are only a mileage counter. Most Oil change dashboard indicator lights do NOT check your engine to tell you that your oil is dirty and you need to change it. The oil change light on your dashboard tells you only that a certain number of miles have passed on your odometer since the oil change reset button was last pressed. If you're annoyed by the the oil change light
In fact, the Mobil Oil website recommends different oil change inte
rvals, for the same vehicle, depending on the quality of the Mobil oil you choose. According to the Mobil Website:
- Recommended oil change frequency for Mobil 5000 oil is every 5,000 miles
- Recommended oil change frequency for Mobil 7500 oil is every 7,500 miles
- Mobil 1 Extended performance Oil is guaranteed for oil changes every 15,000 miles
Of course, the better oils are more expensive. However, more expensive motor oil could be a bargain when you consider the time and expense required if you have it changed by the quick lube shop. Time is money, and if you only have to change your oil once each year instead of two or three times, it means you have time to enjoy other things.
The average cost of a full service oil change can be as much as $30. If you follow the manufacturer's recommendations, you'll change your oil about six times or twice each year for a total cost of $180 over three years. Instead, if you follow oil manufacturer's recommendations and use higher quality oil for longer oil change intervals, you can cut your cost of oil changes in half. You'll save $90 over three years for a single vehicle. Multiply that times two or three cars in your household and you can save hundreds of dollars on oil changes each year.
Quick lube shops have good reason to put a sticker on your windshield and remind you to return often — because the more often you return the more money they make. Today's oils are better and the engines are better. So while your local Jiffy lube may still use scare tactics to get you to change your oil every few thousand miles, ignore the oil change guys, follow the better recommendations of the OIL manufacturers, and you'll save money on oil changes as a result.
Citation: “Automakers lengthen intervals between oil changes,” By Tom Krishner, Associated Press, 03/22/07
Citation: Mobil Web Site, “Oil Change Intervals”