Tuesday, June 17, 2008
It always seemed to me that those little stickers the oil change shops put on the inside of your windshield - the ones that tell you to return in another 3,000 miles for another oil change - were an exceptionally good sales tool.
It says right in the back of the owners manual that unless you operate your vehicle under "extreme" conditions or unless you prefer "premium" care, anything under 5,000 miles between oil changes is just a waste of money and oil.
This report from GreenCar.com via Yahoo! Finance confirms that view and provides evidence of just how successful those little stickers are in generating more business for Jiffy Lube and their competitors.
According to a recent study by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, 73 percent of California drivers change their oil more frequently than required. This same scenario no doubt repeats itself across the country. Besides wasting money, this translates into unnecessary consumption of $100-a-barrel oil, much of it imported.Now you don't have to feel guilty anymore about exceeding the mileage on that little sticker before your next oil change. What's more, you can still make good use of the information it provides - just add 3,000 miles to it.
Using 2005 data, the Board estimates that Californians alone generate about 153.5 million gallons of waste oil annually, of which only about 60 percent is recycled. Used motor oil poses the greatest environmental risk of all automotive fluids because it is insoluble, persistent, and contains heavy metal and toxic chemicals. One gallon of used oil can foul the taste of one million gallons of water.
It’s been a misconception for years that engine oil should be changed every 3000 miles, even though most auto manufacturers now recommend oil changes at 5,000, 7,000, or even 10,000 mile intervals under normal driving conditions.
BTW - have the cost of oil changes gone up much lately as a result of higher oil prices? It's been quite some time (at least 5,000 miles) since we've had any oil changes.