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My mother thinks that you only need to change your oil every 7,500 miles, like the owners manual says. I tell her that she is making a mistake by waiting this long, and that this may cause major engine damage. What can I tell her to change her mind?

Your mother is correct that the owners manual says change your oil every 7,500 miles! What she didn’t read or understand is this recommendation is for normal driving conditions. If she reads the manufacturers definition of normal and severe driving conditions, you will see that she is NOT driving her car in normal conditions. The marketing of extended oil change intervals seems like a great idea to most customers. The reality is that most of us drive short trips or we spend hours every week idling in traffic. Daily stop and go driving in hot dusty climates are the norm for just about everyone in the south. In short, we are ALL driving our cars in severe conditions. I have met some salesmen over the years that put 100,000 miles a year on a car. They change their oil every 5,000 to 7,000 mile. These salesmen are normal drivers according to the manufacturer owner’s manual. Yet, they still bring their cars in to be serviced before the owner’s manual recommends to. This type driver understands the value of having a dependable car more than most people. Having it looked at more often gives them the “peace of mind” needed to put so many miles a year on their car. If my explanation does not change your moms mind, ask her how much money she thinks she is saving a year by waiting between oil changes? Most oil changes with an inspection are less than $45. If she is like most people who put 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year on a car she is skipping two oil changes. She is saving $90 a year and possibly doing thousands of dollars in damage to her cars engine. This is may be a case of being penny wise and pound foolish!

 

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