How far can you go? Demystifying the oil change interval

For years, 3,000 miles was touted as the optimum interval for changing your motor oil and filter. It’s also an oil change interval that continues to be encouraged by the automotive oil change industry. Recently, automobile, oil filter and lubricant manufacturers have been educating consumers that oil drain intervals can be safely extended, saving you time, money and reducing the impact on the environment.

Breakthroughs in lubrication and filtration technology are two reasons why oil change intervals can be extended. Numerous factors come in to play when determining the oil change interval you should follow, including: whether your car is under warranty, the car’s condition, wear and tear you put on your vehicle and your oil and filter selection.

Every automobile manufacturer establishes a recommended oil change interval for each model they manufacture. Oil change intervals are now typically 5,000 to 7,500 miles for many new cars. You should follow your car manufacturer’s recommendations on oil and filter change intervals while the car is under warranty. If your car is no longer under warranty, you can extend your oil change and filter intervals by upgrading to a high quality synthetic motor oil and high performance oil filter. This will reduce the number of oil changes, saving you time and money, and reducing the amount of oil purchased and disposed.

There are a number of premium synthetic motor oils available to choose from. High performance synthetic motor oils such as Royal Purple typically have much greater oxidation stability than conventional mineral-based motor oils. Most lubricant manufacturers will offer a recommended number of miles you can drive between oil changes under normal conditions.

If you elect to upgrade your motor oil, you should also upgrade your oil filter. Inexpensive filters are typically made with the 3,000-mile interval in mind. These filters often use low-quality paper media for filtration and they deteriorate rapidly after 3,000 miles.

There are a number of new high performance premium oil filters on the market from manufacturers such as Royal Purple, Wix and K&N. These filters are made for extended oil drain intervals. For example, Royal Purple uses a proprietary long-life, micro-glass media that provides protection for up to 12,000 miles. It also provides an increased level of protection due to the density of the filtration.

Don’t get hung up on oil change myths. Upgrade to a premium synthetic motor oil and take advantage of the benefits: better wear protection for your vehicle’s engine, extended oil change intervals resulting in money savings and a reduced impact on the environment.