Change your oil for holiday travel? Maybe not …
If you’re hitting the road for Thanksgiving dinner this week, you might be trying to fit in an oil change before you go. Depending on when you last checked that task off your to-do list, it might be best to skip it.
Advances in modern engines and improved oil formulas—including for rerefined oil—have made the 3,000-mile oil change obsolete. We’ve updated our Check Your Number database, which shows the manufacturer-recommended oil change interval for your car, whether it’s brand-new or older than your teenage driver. Changing your oil at your automaker’s recommended intervals, rather than adhering to the old 3,000-mile myth, will not affect your car’s engine, its performance, or your warranty.
Used motor oil is one of the largest hazardous waste streams in California. It ends up in lakes, streams, and oceans through the storm water system, where it endangers fish, waterfowl, and other aquatic life. One gallon of used motor oil can affect 1 million gallons of water. Almost 115 million gallons of used oil is sold in the state each year; while about 70 percent is collected after use, it continues to be a serious environmental problem.
The next time you get your oil changed, and a mechanic puts a little sticker on your windshield to remind you of your next oil change, check that number against our database—which, again, is based on automakers’ recommended intervals. If you need to, use a marker to scratch out the number from your local lube shop and write in the correct number.
With this one habit change, you’ll save yourself time and money, and you’ll be taking a step to protect the environment. That’s a lot to feel good about.