How Far Can We Really Extend Oil Change Intervals?


Depending on the manufacturer, an oil change interval can vary greatly, and has for the last 30 years or so without being clearly defined to one standard. So how can a driver determine exactly how far a vehicle should go without an oil change? The manufacturer and the oil company both make different claims regarding this interval. There are other claims made by the oil change stores who want customers to believe them.

For most of the past 3 decades, it was stated that 3,000 miles was the cut off point in which the old oil had to be exchanged for a new batch. Nowadays, the major car makers are now claiming that a range of 5,000 miles to 7,500 miles is the standard. This is in direct contrast to the quick oil shops that are still proclaiming that the 3,000 mile limit is still the limit.

Additional numbers are put forth by drivers of foreign makers BMW, Audi, and Volkswagen. The German automakers will go as high as 10,000 miles with their specifications, while BMW will approach 15,000 miles. The quality of German cars has long been an accepted standard among owners, and they are not at all taken aback by the higher limit recommended by any of these companies. Some of the dealerships performing oil changes typically charge more than $80 for this service. This might help to explain why the German autos have such a high disparity when compared to American cars when getting an oil change. This is good new for most of the foreign car owners who love the longer time span for this service.

In fact, in Europe most of the car owners only change their oil once per year. This is due to the higher quality synthetic oils that are being manufactured and used in European cars that can safely be used for as much as 25,000 miles before needing to be changed for fresh lubricant. This leads many consumers to wonder why these brands are not available in the United States.

This is not total true if the individual is willing to do some research. There is in fact speculation that at least 2 of the main European oil manufacturers have exported some of this special blend into the U.S. Many estimates have put forth, which put the cost of one quart at a high end of $12.00. Of course, this is not cheap, but considering the myriad of benefits that are the result of putting this oil into a car, it could prove to be worth the price in the long run.

A cleaner running motor and better fuel mileage are some of the perks that are afforded by the use of this high quality synthetic motor oil. At this time there is one firm in this country that is providing this lubricant through a system of distributors that has been set up. Probably the best reason for seeking this type of oil is that it will not void the warranty of any vehicle in which it is used.

Any oil change recommendations are not law or even fact; they are just what are advised. They will not void the car’s warranty if they are not followed precisely. The major oil producers probably should have more of a say in how long a valid interval is without voiding the warranty.

It is very hard to know who to believe when it comes to the subject of proper oil change intervals. This whole process could be simplified greatly if a standard could be developed. Car makers, oil companies and mechanics would all have input. The specifications could be agreed upon and a fair time limit could then be established where every consumer would then understand without complexity. With one or two oil types and the same amount of specifications, it would be easy to deal with this issue and make life simpler for everyone involved.

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