Oil Change Every 3,000 Miles? Not So Fast | NBC4 Washington

Oil Change Every 3,000 Miles? Not So Fast

Old rule no longer applicable to new cars



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    Online tools to help you maintain your car.

    You might not know anything about cars, but almost everyone knows you should change your oil after 3,000 miles.

    But new research is debunking this long-standing idea, with some cars even going 10,000 miles in between oil changes with no ill effects.

    Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor for the car site Edmunds.comtold the New York Times that oil chemistry and engine technology has improved enough that newer cars don't need an oil change as often.

    "There was a time when the 3,000 miles was a good guideline, but it's no longer true for any car bought in the last seven or eight years," Reed told the Times.

    But it's not as simple as a number, said Robert Sutherland, a Pennzoil scientist who works at Shell Global Solutions.  He suggests going by the make and model of your car, as well as your driving habits to determine when you need an oil change.

    Sutherland told the Times that the longer you drive without starting and stopping the car's engine, the longer you can go in between oil changes.

    Click here for a list of some of the most popular cars and their oil change frequencies.

    A company called Blackstone Laboratories will analyze your vehicle's oil and "gauge the health of your engine" for $25.