I use synthetic oil and change every 10,000 miles in my cars. It's my own regimen based on the example of the big engines on my farms, operating in extreme environments, and manufacturer recommendations of 250-500 hours.
The idea a small car like my Equinox needs new oil every 3000 is absurd.
It turns out there is a tug-of-war between oil companies and the auto industry over this bad habit.
Our oil change addiction also comes from the erroneous argument that nearly all cars should be serviced under the "severe" schedule found in the owner's manual. In fact, a quiz on the Web site maintained by Jiffy Lube International Inc. (owned by petrochemical giant Shell Oil Company) recommends the severe maintenance schedule for virtually every kind of driving pattern.I use an app to track mileage and service intervals. It has become habit to enter the odometer readout and gallons each fill up. I set my service interval at 10K. Warranty be damned.
The argument that most people drive under severe conditions is losing its footing, however. A number of automakers, including Ford and GM, have contacted Edmunds data editors to request that the maintenance section of Edmunds' site substitute the normal maintenance schedule for the severe schedule that had been displayed.
About the only ones that really need a 3,000-mile oil change are the quick-lube outlets and dealership service departments. In their internal industry communications, they're frank about how oil changes bring in customers. "Many people...know when to have their oil changed but don't pay that much attention to it," said an article in the National Oil and Lube News online newsletter. "Take advantage of that by using a window sticker system [and] customers will be making their way back to you in a few short months."
Another National Oil and Lube News article tied the frequency of oil changes to success in pushing related products and services. For a midsize SUV, the stepped-up oil change intervals will bring in $1,800 over the life of the car, the article says. "A few extra services [or oil changes] can go a long way toward increasing the amount of money a customer will spend during the lifespan we estimated here," the article concludes. [More]
What's weird is how diligently I watch the mileage now.
(27.7, in case you were wondering)