is it worth the risk to save the $30 per year? Think about it… if you drive your vehicle 15,000 miles a year, the difference in cost between changing the oil every 3,000 vs. 5,000 miles is one oil change…$30 per year. Call me silly but… it seems like pretty inexpensive insurance to avoid major auto repairs.
When to change your oil varies with driving habits and type of car. Whether you’re driving a Honda or Toyota… Ford or Chevy… Domestic auto or Foreign auto… I’m assuming we share the goal to minimize the need for major auto repairs. If you’re driving 20 miles one way to work & 15 of those miles are on the highway, must vehicles should have the oil changed every 5000 miles. If you’re like me, drive 8 miles to work from West Ann Arbor to downtown Ann Arbor, never going more than 2 miles without stopping, most vehicles should have the oil changed every 3000 miles or every 3-4 months. If you ride the bus to work and only drive your car to run a few errands on the weekend, that is the hardest type of driving on an engine. You may need preform an oil change every 3-6 months regardless of the mileage.
Remember, even though the engine oil itself may not have broken down, the engine internal combustion process is a very dirty one at that, the oil collects the contaminants, the oil filter traps most of the contaminants but, not all. If you drive short trips daily (under 3 miles) and have minimal driving on the highway (less than a monthly 20 mile trip)…under those conditions the engine doesn’t get an opportunity to warm up enough or long enough to evaporate the condensation that develops inside the engine during cool down. The condensation & contaminants accumulate & create blockage in the oil galleys… similar to the way plaque builds up in your arteries… that blockage restricts oil flow & cause premature internal engine wear… which = major auto repair.