It probably varies a lot by vehicle. We've got 206,000mi on the 14 year
old Toyota and it's still on the original exhaust (and it looks like it
might last a while yet, although I need to fix the mounting points for
one of the heat shields as two of the four have rusted through)
The manual for our '02 Chrysler 300M has two maintenance schedules:
7500-mile oil changes for "normal" driving, 3000 miles when trips are
We've always aimed at 3000-mile oil changes, but we don't get too
concerned if the intervals are somewhat longer. I don't think we've ever
reached 4000 miles between changes.
Just a week or two back I posted there to advise somebody against buying
a used Sebring if it had the same or similar Mitsushitty motor that was
in our old Stratus ES. Other than that, there hasn't been much to write
Because if you don't change the oil more frequently if you
do city/in-town driving only consisting of short trips where
the engine oil doesn't get up to operating temperature for
a good length of time, it breaks down much faster and
does not do its job properly...
Not only does engine oil lubricate the engine's moving
parts, it also acts as a medium to transmit heat from
parts of the engine which are not near the coolant
It has nothing to do with the engine oil change military
industrial complex wanting to stiff consumers out of
money for more frequent oil changes at all... It is
whether you want to have to pay for costly engine
repairs or even replacement because you had
broken down oil in your engine for about 1/2 it's
operating life because you went twice as long
between changes given your type of driving and
any environmental conditions... You would want
to change the oil at the 3,000 mile frequency if
your driving environment is primarily desert
or beach landscapes as you would want to
rid the engine of any grit that gets past the
air intake filter and not allow it to remain inside
the engine to wet sand the parts and destroy
things like oil seals and piston rings...
B S While you are correct for severe service, the oil change places just
put that 3000 mile sticker on the car as they have been for 50 years. Under
normal conditions, you can easily go 5000 to 7500 miles and not do any
damage. Oils and engines have changed since 1960. I remember it was common
to do rings and bearings on an engine at 50,000 miles. Those days are long
Todya's engine and oil is more advanced compared to olden days. Like my
neighbors just delivered new BMW does not even have a dip stick. After
10K km oil change I never saw old oil coming out has color change or any
funny smell. If some one wants to change oil at 3K mile interval in most
cases that's waste of money and time.
Your new car will protect itself and not start unless all the pre-
conditions on the pre-flight check that occurs in the instant from
turn your key from "lock" to "on" to "start" are met and the computer
the engine to turn over...
If you have an older car and only drive on short trips (like less than
each way) your engine and the oil in it are not thermocycling properly
WILL NOT perform anywhere near "spec" for any length of time...
Not B.S. at all... Even modern oils will break down faster with short
driving only... Plus you can have all sorts of fun things happen with
condensation that occurs inside the engine with short trips...
Oils and Engines HAVE changed since 1960, they have become a lot
more modern and susceptible to having things like tiny fuel injector
ports clogged by grit and metal particles in the engine...
Have you seen what a new aluminum engine block looks like when
sand has been allowed to work on it for a while ?
As I said, with severe service you may still need 3000 miles. For many
others, a longer interval is just fine. I usually put 150,000 to 200,000 on
an engine and never had an oil related problem. I change at 7500. For me
to change sooner is a waste of money.
Always changed oil on recommended schedule, not 3000 miles.
Result NEVER had an engine problem, let alone failure, due to wear, or
heat. Used car for commuting and around town. Oh yeah my experience is
limited since I am only 71. Yes I would have changed oil more in tough
environments, but most folks do not have that issue so most folks can
ignore 3,000 mile BS.
Uh, I think the oil gets to operating temperature in about twenty seconds.
I may exaggerate, but if I move the car - after being parked overnight - to
the area where I'd like to change the oil, the oil draining from the pan is
hotter than a biscuit.
To get the oil to "operating temperature" generally takes 10 or more
miles - and to get the moisture boiled out, about 20 more minutes of
driving, if it has done a lot of short trips over a period of weeks
20 seconds ? No way... You haven't even sucked and pumped
all the oil and thicker stuff out of the oil pan yet...
"Operating Temperature" means that the oil, all of it in the system,
is up to engine temperature -- you know this by when the oil pressure
drops into its operating range rather than the slightly elevated
you have when you first start up and when the engine coolant temp
indicator moves from cold to its normal position in the operating
I just looked at mine (97 Lumina sedan) and it has "Short trip/city"
and "Long trip/highway" maintenance schedules.
It's a pretty lame format, showing pages for odometer increments.
The short trip/city has 3000 miles or 3 months, whichever first.
The long trip/highway has 7500 mile or 12 months, whichever first.
Darn, this manual has pages stuck together because my basement
flooded, and I'm throwing it away. But Chevy has a downloadable pdf
file and I just downloaded that. That's a new one to me.
I pasted what they say below.
Since most of the miles we put on it are my wife's 6 miles to work and
6 back, it comes under the short schedule.
And that's what I do, except it's sometimes closer to 4000 miles and
that 3 month stuff is crazy. Forget about that.
Maybe 6 months given out usage pattern.
Once a year we do a trip about 3000 miles and I usually change it just
before we go, along with doing any other maintenance I deem necessary.
That's when I check hoses, antifreeze, etc.
Not too long after we get back oil gets changed again.
I don't worry about going 500 over.
Every 3,000 Miles (5 000 km): Engine Oil and Filter
Change (or 3 months, whichever occurs first)
Follow the Short TripKity Maintenance Schedule if any
one of these conditions is true for your vehicle:
Most trips are less than 5 to 10 miles (8 to 16 km).
This is particularly important when outside
temperatures are below freezing.
Most trips include extensive idling (such as frequent
driving in stop-and-go traffic).
Most trips are through dusty areas.
You frequently tow a trailero r use a carrier on topo f
If the vehicle is used for delivery service, police, taxi
or other commercia1 application.
One of the reasons you should follow this schedule if
you operate your vehicle under any of these conditions
is that these conditions cause engine oil to break
Every 7,500 Miles (12 500 km): Engine Oil and Filter
Change (or every 12 months, whichever occurs first).
Follow this maintenance schedule only if none of the
conditions from theS hort TripKity Maintenance
Schedule is true. Do not use this schedule if the vehicle
is used for trailer towing, driveni n a dusty area or used
off paved roads. Use the ShoTrtr ipKity schedule for
Driving a vehicle with a fully warmed engine under
highway conditions causes engine oil to break
Recently, the guy I use started putting the stickers for 500 miles. I
change at 7000 to 7500 though, just like the book says. Maybe in mid winter
I'll go earlier, but at least half my driving is highway and 25+ miles
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