Are you getting your oil changed in your car too often?

Diane Wilson Image
Monday, May 23, 2016
Changing your oil too often
Are you changing your oil too often? Troubleshooter Diane Wilson investigates.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Are you getting the oil changed in your vehicle too often? Just because the sticker on your windshield suggests you get it every 3,000 miles, it doesn't necessarily mean that's the case. You could be wasting money by getting it changed that often.

I asked drivers here in the Triangle how often they get their oil changed, and I got a variety of answers.

"When I notice the sticker on my windshield is getting due for it, about every 3,000, said Shana David Massett. Carolyn Moore tells me, "I have a car that tells me when I need to change it, so I go by that."

Experts say when it comes to oil changes you should be following your car manufactures' recommendations as they now vary by type of car, type of oil and how you drive.

"What's happened is oil has improved. Car engines have improved and just the two things working together have meant that people can go longer without an oil change," said Tom Appel, publisher, Consumer Guide Automotive.

Appel suggests opening your glove box and look at your owner's manual. He gave an example with a 2016 Nissan.

"They recommend 5,000 miles or 6 months for each oil change with no qualifications, so if you own that car, 3,000 miles is just a little bit too soon," Appel said.

Our sister station in San Francisco took that same car a 2016 Nissan to three different auto shops and got three different answers ranging from every 3,000 miles to every 10,000 miles.

Experts also say if you follow the manufacturer guidelines that should keep you covered under your vehicle's warranty plus it will be better for the environment.

Environmentalist Mark Murray says, "They are going to spend less money on oil changes and it's going to be better for the environment because we are not disposing of so much motor oil."

The best advice is read your owner's manual. In newer cars, pay attention to warning lights that tell you when you need service. If you've lost the manual, you can try to look it up online, call the manufacturer or get help from a service manager at a dealership.

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