Change your oil habits

Debunking the 3,000-mile myth

How often do you change the oil in your vehicle? Well, if you’re like the majority of drivers in the United States, you probably try to do so about every 3,000 miles.

But do you really need to and should you?

Not always, say officials from the California Integrated Waste Management Board, who estimate 73 percent of California’s drivers change their oil more frequently than is necessary.

Both CIWMB and the California Environmental Protection Agency are encouraging drivers to check manufacturer guidelines, which oftentimes recommend oil changes every 5,000 miles—or more.

Since the average California driver travels 15,000 miles each year, extra oil changes mean extra oil heading into the waste stream. About seven or eight extra quarts per year. Do the environment and your pocketbook a favor by cutting back on consumption when possible.