With today’s oil technology, along with the new engine and fuel delivery technology, this is a question that gets asked more often than one thinks. Oil manufacturers have made huge breakthroughs in oil technology. This has allowed engine designers to make some very significant engine design breakthroughs. I personally use full synthetic oil in all my vehicles and a high quality oil filter and change my oil every 5,000 miles. I do not use the month’s method just miles traveled. Every vehicle in my fleet has over 200,000 miles on them and still performing at peak efficiency! Let’s face it, the cost of ownership for a vehicle plays a big role in the wallet.
The 3,000 mile or 3 month oil change standard is a leftover from the days of sloppy fuel systems and old engine designs. Today’s engines are fitted with Sequential fuel injection systems and computer control timing. The amount of blow-by and fuel leaching into the crankcase, engine oil is virtually none existing. This alone was one of the major reasons for short oil changes. Engine sealing against moisture entering these new engine designs has been greatly improved. The Positive Crankcase Ventilation system (PCV) and increased engine operating temperatures have improved moisture control in the oil. This is all in place before the oil formula itself is managing all these engine and oil killing elements. A good oil filter will assist with keeping things clean and in order.
The benefit to using high quality synthetic oil is lower operating cost and longer engine life. If you operate your vehicle for the national average of 15,000 miles a year that’s three full synthetic oil changes a year. A full synthetic oil change average cost is $50.00. At only three a year that is $150.00 for maximum protection. Let’s look at the 3,000 miles or three months oil change we are being sold on. The average cost of none synthetic oil changes is about $30.00. You would need 5 oil changes a year if you operated your vehicle 15,000 miles. This would mean 5 trips to the service center. The cost would be $150.00 for the 5 oil changes at $30.00 per service. If you service the vehicles yourself like I do, you can get a full synthetic oil/filter change done for around $25.00. That would be $50.00 a year in oil changes. In my busy life, two less trips to the service center is time spent doing the thing I love to do. Time in my busy schedule is precious and in short amount. So the choice is yours, every 3,000 or 3 months with conventional oils or every 5,000 miles with full synthetic.