Most people know that motor oil is needed for a car to run smoothly, but not everyone knows the truth about oil maintenance. There’s a lot of misinformation out there that comes from various sources like friends, family, the internet, and even mechanics. In this post, we are going share the top 5 oil change myths and the real stories behind them.
1. Change Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles or 3 Months – Whichever is First
This common recommendation is untrue for most modern cars. This is a myth that still exists because quick oil change shops want to get customers in as often as possible. Check your owner’s manual and follow the schedule listed.
2. All Cars Should be Serviced Under the “Severe” Maintenance Schedule
The quick change oil industry uses this myth to convince drivers to change their oil more often than they really need to. The “severe” schedule applies to vehicles that pull heavy trailers, cars that race on closed tracks, or cars that idle for long periods (like taxis). Standard everyday driving does not equal severe use.
3. After Buying a New Car, Change the Oil at 3,000 Miles to Remove Metal Particles from Breaking in the Engine
Experts at Blackstone Laboratories have analyzed oil samples from engines running their first 3000 miles, and results showed that there were elevated “wear in” metal levels. BUT, according to Ryan Stark, Blackstone president, “It doesn’t make much difference because if the filings are big enough to cause damage, they’ll be taken out by the oil filter.”
4. If You Check Your Oil and the Oil on the Dipstick is Black, Change It
Oil is supposed to get dark – that means it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. Darker oil still has plenty of life left in it – you’re still safe if you stick to the oil change schedule in your owner’s manual.
5. If You Use Synthetic Oil, You Have to Keep Using It
You can change oil types as frequently as you’d like, as long as the oil you use meets the viscosity and service requirements in your owner’s manual.