How/where did the 3k/3mo oil change idea start?

JHZR2

Staff member
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New Jersey
I believe long ago it was even less. kendall oil came out with the 3/3 change (thus the three fingers in its symbol) long ago, and that became the rage. I guess people became comfortable with that, and didnt like the idea of stretching it beyond that amount. Thats what ive heard, take it for what its worth... JMH
 
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Pittsburgh, PA
[Cool] I think at one time because of looser clearances and fuel contamination, 3/3 was a good idea. Plus back in the day, oil and filters weren't as good as today's either. I change my work van oil every 3 months regardless of mileage. It tends to either sit a lot or get driven a lot, depending, so waiting 3k might not be fair to the engine. [Smile] [ March 04, 2004, 05:20 PM: Message edited by: JohnnyO ]
 
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MN
It started when oil technology wasn't as good. 3000 miles was ideal. When oil started improving manufactorers lengthened the OCI, my 85 Buick, says 7500 miles. But people felt more comfortable with the 3000 figure. Mechanics feel more comfortable with 3000 because people can't be trusted to check their oil level. -T
 
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Vermont
quote:
Originally posted by JHZR2: I believe long ago it was even less. kendall oil came out with the 3/3 change (thus the three fingers in its symbol) long ago, and that became the rage. JMH
Kendall's logo shows two fingers, and while I don't know sign language, I have a strong suspicion the logo is sign language for the letter "K".
 

Patman

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Guelph, Ontario
Kendalls logo is two fingers, because they were the first oil company to come out with what they called the "2000 mile oil" Back then the regular interval was 1000 miles!
 
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I think that is/was the official "severe" interval for all manufacturers. With the 7500 being a "normal" interval. Then, Jiffy lube adopted that (since nobody drives 'normally') as the standard ideal OCI for everyone.
 

TC

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California
This was covered about two months ago in a similar link. On the Net then, I found and linked a scanned magazine ad from Chrysler for their 1966 Imperial which trumpeted that model's features. It mentioned that oil changes were required every 90 days or 4,000 miles for warranty purposes. Might help put this "3,000 mile" thing into a timeline perspective -- this habit goes back not years, but several decades or longer. This is very anecdotal, but (link below) look at all the API oil upgrades implemented since that '66 Imperial rolled off the assembly line. This highlights the folly of adhering to such an absurdly conservative oil change interval here in 2004. http://www.citgo.com/Products/LubesOils/EngineOilClassification.jsp [ March 04, 2004, 06:49 PM: Message edited by: TC ]
 
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USA
probably the 3k came about because dino oil wasn't that good back in the old days where engines barely made it to 100k miles. 3 months? my guess is an oil change for spring, fall, summer, winter. since I drive so infrequently, I only change twice a year. spring..winter
 
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Patman, perhaps I'm revealing a little about myself by saying I clearly remember when Kendall came with what they called the 2,000 Mile Oil. This was, indeed, when 1,000 miles was the norm.
 
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Nothern USA
Yes Kendal pioneered the extended oil interval, 2000 miles. As oil, engines, and filters improved, OCI's became longer and longer. I think I was into every 6 months whether it needed it or not in the 70's and 80's. I ran into big sludge problems with QS in my 81 Phoenix V-6. Then the owners' manual for my 92 Grand Am was more explicit about severe duty. I have stuck to new Pennzoil din every 3 months since then. I figure if I go over 3000 miles in 3 months, I am getting away from the short trip, severe duty. When I do, it is usually due to some extended Interstate cruising.
 
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[Cool] When I was a kid, PA had twice-a-year vehicle inspections and my dad and most people would get their oil changed then, regardless of mileage. Dad was never a freak about his cars but he didn't neglect them either. Pretty much all our cars were shot by 70,000 miles. Even if they still ran decent, they were rusted out from road salt.
 
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Rio Grande Valley
In 1958 when I started work in a service station most OCI's were 1,000 miles and the predominent oil used was non-detergent. There were practically no spin on oil filters and vehicles would commonly 2 dozen or more grease zerks. I think(read as don't know) that detergent oils and spin filters had a lot to do with 3,000 mile OCI.
 
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Pac NW
Are you serious? TWICE a YEAR vehicle inspections? How long were the plates good for? Must have kept a whole lot of people busy "working" for the State (County, whatever)????????? [Eek!]
 
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