The oil in an engine can be called its lifeblood. The frequency of oil changes has a direct effect on the proper operation of an engine and the rate of wear and tear on the many moving parts engines contain. There are differing opinions on how often an engine's oil should be changed.
That oil is significant to an engine's operation is an irrefutable point. However, due to the evolutionary improvements made in both motor oil and engine design, the frequency at which engine oil should be changed has become a subject of interest and also a source of debate among both experts and lay persons. The old standard of changing oil every 3,000 miles has been challenged by these improvements, leading automobile manufacturers to revise their recommendations for how often an engine's oil should be changed.
The history of motor oil and the prevailing opinions on how often it should be changed is the result of the perceived quality of oil and engine technology dating back to the late 1960s. Since that time however, automobile manufacturers have begun to include additional factors in determining how often oil changes should be performed. Things such as how much time is spent idling, the RPM (revolutions per minute) of the engine and the oil temperature history have led to considerable increases in the number of miles between recommended oil changes.
New Oil Change Guidelines
Although many people, including some mechanics, still consider the 3,000 mile oil change interval ideal, automobile manufacturers have revised this number dramatically upward. General Motors' OLS (Oil Life System) has led it to increase the mileage between oil changes for their law enforcement fleet vehicles from 3,000 to 5,000 for patrol vehicles and 10,000 for administrative uses. In 2007 Ford Motor Corporation raised its oil change interval for fleet vehicles from 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
The effects of oil change frequency have direct and indirect impacts on several factors that many drivers probably consider important. It is certainly a cost-saving benefit to be able to drive farther between oil changes and still be in accord with vehicle warranty requirements. Fewer oil changes equate to actual dollar savings. Fewer oil changes should, theoretically, ultimately lead to a lesser demand for motor oil, causing oil prices to drop. Drivers, especially one-car owners, enjoy less down-time associated with oil changes.
One's opinion on how often an engine's oil should be changed may depend on certain other factors deemed to be of importance. Those who have a serious concern for the environment and are knowledgeable about how the ecology can be negatively impacted by petroleum products may support the increases in miles between oil changes; less petroleum waste to dispose of may be a positive to them. Others may be motivated by financial concerns; for mechanics, more oil changes equals more work and more profit.
- Photo Credit Auto Engine image by Andrew Breeden from Fotolia.com
How Often to Do a Synthetic Oil Change
Oil makes your car do what it does best with regards to its engine, transmission and motor parts. It is the fluid...
- How Often Should You Change Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil?
What is the Recommended Oil Change Interval?
Oil changes are critical to maintaining the health and functionality of a vehicle's engine. Frequent oil changes increase engine lubrication and reduce...
Oil Guidelines for Chinese Scooters
There are two kinds of Chinese scooter engines -- four stroke and two stroke. While two-stroke engines mix gasoline and oil and...
How to Change the Oil in a 2007 Mercedes-Benz
Oil changes should be performed routinely to ensure oil quality for your Mercedes-Benz engine. According to the Mobil oil website, very low-mileage...
Motor Oil Requirements for a Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Auto mechanics often call motor oil the "blood" of the vehicle. If you do not maintain your car by regularly changing the...
2005 Ford Taurus Oil Change Requirements
Up until around 2010, the Ford Taurus was an economically priced, mid-size sedan. Although its handling received only modest reviews, its low...
Hyundai Elantra Oil Requirements
The Hyundai Elantra began its life in 1992 as a bargain-basement sedan with no frills, an underpowered engine and serious quality issues....
How Often Do I Change My Synthetic Motor Oil?
The frequency of which synthetic motor oil needs to be changed will depend on the manufacturer of the vehicle and the type...
Toyota Oil Change Intervals
Oil changes are an important maintenance procedure to ensure the longevity of any car engine, including the engine of a Toyota. A...
Motorcycle Oil Change Intervals
Changing engine oil is a rudimentary skill for any motorcyclist. How often you change your oil depends largely on your riding style....
Toyota Avalon Maintenance
Introduced for the 1995 model year, the Toyota Avalon was the first full-size sedan sold by Toyota, a step up from the...