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Okay I have what seems like a simple question but I don't know the answer.

Who came up with the "Change Your Oil Every 3000 Miles" statement?

I have a theory that it is perpetuated by a combination of the Oil Companies and the instant oil change outlets.
It would seem to me, and I am no expert by any means, that years and years ago it may have had some validity. But with the advances in oil technology and the advances in engine technology that the mythical 3000 miles would no longer apply.

But even way back when. Where did the 3000 mile interval originate? Why not 4000 miles? And if 3000 miles is perfect wouldn't 2500 be even better?

Now I do realize that if you tow with your vehicle or do a lot of city driving and lots of short trips or any number of other extreme duty scenarios that the oil should be changed at a shorter interval than you would normally use. But since the owners manual says to use the oil change monitor to determine the interval I can only assume that the software algorithm used for the oil life monitor factors in most of these conditions and adjusts accordingly.

Years ago I changed my oil every 3000 miles. Why? Because that's what my Dad said you should do. I don't do that anymore. While the oil life monitors aren't perfect they do meet the specs required by GM and they take the guesswork out of deciding when to change the oil. It would seem to me that GM would require a specific mileage if it would be beneficial to the life of the engine and they don't. Besides, with the newer oils like the dexos required in the Equinox / Terrain and full synthetics being rather pricey, it saves money and keeps a lot of old oil from having to be recycled. A win win.

So for me I have used the oil life monitor on my last three vehicles and will continue to do so. Just food for thought and opinions are more than welcome.
 

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wikipedia said:
...In the 1970s, typical cars took 10W-40 oil which was used for a duration of 2,000 mi (3,200 km) or less[citation needed]. In the 1980s, to improve fuel economy and engine performance 5W-30 oil was introduced which was then used for a duration of 3,000 miles. A modern typical application would use 5W-20 viscosity oil or synthetic oils for durations greater than 7,500 miles (12,100 km).

From the early 1980s most oil change shops have been recommending an oil change every 3,000 miles. During the following decades engine technology and oil technology have advanced requiring less frequent oil changes under normal driving conditions...
I think its just oil shops keeping this myth alive to make some extra cash. Everyone heard to change your oil every 3,000 or 5,000 and they still "enforce" that myth by putting a little sticker on your windshield stating it should be changed again at that point.
 

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cottonseed - What is your oil change policy ? Seems like you put more miles on a car than anyone else on the forum. And, how long (miles) do you keep your vehicles?
 

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RIT333 said:
cottonseed - What is your oil change policy ? Seems like you put more miles on a car than anyone else on the forum. And, how long (miles) do you keep your vehicles?
I change mine when the monitor gets no less then 35% but usually around 45%. My nox I will keep until the wheels fall off, with proper maintenance it should last me a solid few more years before I have to start replacing anything major..knock on wood.
 

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I change the oil in my Beetles every 3000 miles or less, but that's because there's no oil filter! Plus, the owner's manual says so, even recommending 1500 in extreme cold or severe service. But those are 37 year old models. :D
 

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Not only oil itself has improved, but also engine design and build tolerances. I use synthetic which would likely be fine for 10-15k miles if not longer....but I don't think filters should be used much past 5k. I have a friend who uses synth and changes the filter alone at every 5k and then oil and filter at 10k. I just do the whole thing at 5k to be safe...and since I live very close to work and don't have many long trips, I can go just as long time wise between changes as someone who does an every 15k change and racks up mileage more quickly.
 

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I am old enough to be allowed to forget some stuff, but I remember some time in distant past GM suggested 5000 mile changes on one of my vehicles. I believe it was either my 91 Lumina or 96 Grand Am that had 2 service intervals 3000 miles for severe driving or 6000 miles for more normal driving. I sort of got the impression everyone thought they were in the severe class :eek: and the 3000 idea stuck. In the Grand Am I always split the difference between the 2 and changed somewhere in between. That one never saw a drop of syn oil but I only drove it for 247,000 miles before giving it to my SIL for another years worth of driving. Who know how long it would have lasted with the other :) .
 

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From the stories I've read on some oil web sites, Amsoil started selling syn oil for consumers back in 1973 after being heavily in the aircraft industry for years.
Supposidly Amsoil and Mobil both were recommending syn oil for automobiles and saying you could prolong oil changes if you used syn. Then, I think it was Jiffy Lube wrote a letter to Amsoil and Mobil, that said either you stop recommending longer oil change intervals or they would stop using their oil. Mobil knockled under and stopped......until a couple years ago when they came back out with their 2 new extended oils. One of the websites had a copy of that letter.
Amsoil continued to promote syn oil ever since and decided not to sell through retailers in order to keep prices down and sell directly to the public, which they still do today, but now I'm seeing more stores and especially Harley dealers selling it.

I still get a little annoyed when some people keep saying syn is more expensive (another myth that will probably never die away). It's not. I've seen comparisons showing the costs for each over a years time. Syn came out a little cheaper due to less oil , less labor, less filters, less down time getting an oil change and less impact on the environment with all the empty plastic containers.

A New York cab company did a years test with syn oil. They save thousands of dollars by switching.
 

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I remember seeing this test along with a few others. They all pretty much agree on the same thing. I use to use Mobil in my bikes untill they took out the phosphorus(?) and other bike friendly additives. Then I switched to Amsoil because of their additive package.

I remember when I bought my first Harley back in the 80's. Harley said if you dared to use syn oil in the engine it will tear itself apart and leak all over the place and there would be no warrenty. Now that they see how everyone is switching to syn, they've come out with their own syn oil and theirs is OK. LOL That's why I question mfg's and dealers when they say certain things.

For a while I use to send out my oil to a lab for analysis ($25 including postage). It always came back saying no appreciable wear and I could extend the change out period.

I read an article about a trucker that goes 100,000 miles without an oil change. He has two filters, a regular filter and a dual bypss filter. He just changes the filter regularly. An oil change for a truck usually runs into the hundreds of dollars. Not something you want to do often. ;D
 

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Amsoil now has a 25000 mile - once a year premium oil. I may try that next.
 

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From what I've read, the suggested oil change was 1000 miles or so way back in the 20's. Kendall oil started selling '2000 mile' oil in the late 20's. It wasn't until the 50's (don't quote me) that that figure was boosted to 3000 miles. Even then, the flat head motors, low temp engines, and crappy gas, it was pushing the limit.
By the time multi grade oil came out, l953, 3000 mile changes started showing up.

3000-3500 mile oil changes were the norm for a long time. The oil companies like it, the filter makers liked it, and the service stations and garages liked it. The myth persists even these days in some circles.

Most 'experts' say 5000 miles is a reasonable interval for most folks.
With the better engines, better oils, and hotter running engines (burns off acids and water contamination), most engines have a 7,500 mile suggested change. (normal duty).

With oil life monitors, some are finding 10-12,000 miles (mostly highway use) before the gizmos tell you to change oil.

Pick a reasonable interval that you're comfortable with and stick to it.

Synthetic oil can go a lot longer that conventional oil, and some higher end filters can go that long too.

Do some reading on Oil Life Monitors here: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php


 

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I did not read this thread in detail, so apologies if this was already mentioned.

Oil does not wear out, the additives in it do wear out or get depleted and the oil also gets contaminated.

Additives are better today (for the most part, at least if you have a modern roller lifter engine).

Oil generally does not get as contaminated today since most vehicles are fuel injected and the raw gas getting dumped down the cylinders is much lessened from the carb days, especially when starting cold engine. There is still blowby that usually gets worse as the engine gets many miles on it.

We also run hotter thermostats (common to see 190-195 thermostats) that allow the engines to get warm enough to evaporate condensation.

So my opinion is that we can run longer intervals (more than the 3000 miles from the olden days) in most cases. For folks that don't drive much and when they do, they only have short trips, I would still change it sooner than later. for the rest of us, OLM is a good guide.

Use the right oil, quality filter and keep an eye on the level... happy days ahead!
 

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dwendt44 said:
From what I've read, the suggested oil change was 1000 miles or so way back in the 20's. Kendall oil started selling '2000 mile' oil in the late 20's. It wasn't until the 50's (don't quote me) that that figure was boosted to 3000 miles. Even then, the flat head motors, low temp engines, and crappy gas, it was pushing the limit.
By the time multi grade oil came out, l953, 3000 mile changes started showing up.

3000-3500 mile oil changes were the norm for a long time. The oil companies like it, the filter makers liked it, and the service stations and garages liked it. The myth persists even these days in some circles.

Most 'experts' say 5000 miles is a reasonable interval for most folks.
With the better engines, better oils, and hotter running engines (burns off acids and water contamination), most engines have a 7,500 mile suggested change. (normal duty).

With oil life monitors, some are finding 10-12,000 miles (mostly highway use) before the gizmos tell you to change oil.

Pick a reasonable interval that you're comfortable with and stick to it.

Synthetic oil can go a lot longer that conventional oil, and some higher end filters can go that long too.

Do some reading on Oil Life Monitors here: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php


With the 12.5 to 1 compression ratio and the high pressure fuel injection of the 2.4 DI engine in the 2010 & 2011 Terrain & Nox fuel blow by is a real problem. Fuel blow by results in reduced oil viscosity and therefore reduced engine lubrication.

Changing the oil and filter every 3,000 or sooner will be the norm for me with this engine.

And as I have stated before someone else will own my Terrain before the warranty is up.
 

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I'm taking mine to 6000 miles, because viscosity seems to be low even after 1500 miles, and doesnt really get much worse at 5000 miles.

Viscosity is low, for sure, all of my oil analyses has shown this, even though dilution was "only" 1-2%.

As for the 3000 miles, imagine back when you didnt have hydrualic roller lifters, and the camshaft was getting ground down with ever turn of the crank. The 3000 rule should have changed with the advent of hydraulic roller lifters, but the oil company wouldnt have liked that.
 

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Changing engine oil at 3,000 miles is a waste of time and money, normally. While modern synthetic oils are designed for long life, keep in mind the harsh enviornment in which oil has to function. So don't think you can run oil for exceedinly long periods irreguardless of what the oil looks like.
Having said that there are good reasons for changing oil on an accelerated schedule.
One reason for a 3000 mile oil change is severe duty. Here are two examples of severe duty, if you do a lot of short trips (especially in cooler weather) condensation can build in the oil which will cause sludge. Likewise, hauling / towing / extended idling in hot weather can cause the oil to overheat and thicken. So in those type situations shorter oil chage intervals is prudent.
If you routinely get your car up to operating temps and keep it there for a few miles, don't race around at high RPMs and generally drive sanely you can expect 4,000 - 5,000 miles between changes. Also keep in mind that oil filters use paper filtering media and they should be changed annually, even if the oil has not hit the change mark.
Generally, a person should famaliarize themselves with their vehicle and get feel for oil consumption. If you just had your oil changed by a service person CHECK to see if they put the right amount of oil in it. You would be surprised at the number of times I have found my oil level to be wrong after having it done. Remember that having too much oil in an engine is bad too. Then check the dipstick every 1,000 miles or so. Add oil as necessary to keep the level towards the "full mark". When checking the oil LOOK at it to see if it is dirty. SMELL it to see if it is contaminated with gasoline.
Many people (men and Women) have no clue as to what goes on under the hood. By sticking your head in the engine bay regularly you can look around and maybe spot some trouble area, leak, or whatever before it turns into a major problem.
Happy motoring!
 

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New guy here, If links aren't allowed here I'm sorry. If you want to know about your oil, here's a website that doesn't want to sell you anything, they just want to inform you. Google "bob is the oil guy" or http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/

***I AM NOT AFFILIATED WITH THIS SITE,*** I just read it from time to time.

This is what there about:

Bob Is The Oil Guy (BITOG) began in May 2002 with a handful of participants and now our oil forums have over 38,000 registered members. We have well-respected tribologists, chemists, and oil analysis professionals who regularly participate and contribute their knowledge and expertise.

Unlike most private motor oil web sites, Bob Is The Oil Guy is not about selling you something; It’s about educating you so you can make informed decisions about the life blood of your engine: motor oil.
 

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In fact, with my 09 G6, and using Mobile 1 since new, I'd go about 10-12,000 km between oil changes. And that's even before the OLM said to change it.
 

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Spook has some good points. I normally run 5k to 7k on Amsoil oil and filter, BUT - I am having problems with excessive fuel in my oil mainly do to the DI engine, at least that's what I'm reading from the posts on this forum. I have been working(?) with GM customer service and a dealer trying to fix the problem.
I do not qualify for severe duty, but may have to change more often(****) because of the oil dilution - at least until they can fix the problem.

Amsoil has a synthetic medium in their oil filters and it filters better and lasts longer then paper.

I do my own oil changes so I don't have an under/over fill problem like I did back in the day. And I've even had the drain plug fall out once from a quick change facility.

I think the very best thing an owner can do is get a Used Oil Analyst done, especially with a DI engine - 4 cyl or 6 cyl.

FYI - Amsoil even has a 25k/1 year oil do to the use of premium additive packages.
 
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