Who came up with the 3000 mile oil change interval?

Patman

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Oakville, Ontario
I'm just curious as to why they arrived at this figure? Wouldn't it be much easier for it to be 5000 miles since it's easier to do according to your odometer? Up here in Canada, the most popular interval (by dealers and lube shops!) is also 3000 miles, but mainly because that works out to 5000 kilometers. So this also makes it easier for people to remember when to do it, since they can do it on the 5s. But it seems that doing it every 3k like a lot of people in the US do, makes it harder to remember. Even more puzzling is the 7500 mile interval. Why would they not have just rounded that off to 7k or 8k? I guess there is no real answer to my questions, I'm just pondering. [Razz]
 
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7
Location
So Cal
Some where in one of my Amsoil brochures I saw an article about the 'quickie lube service" mentality, It's all about $$$$$$$$$$. If they can get you back sooner its more $$$$$$ for them. And if you are draining synthetic, even the cheapest, before 5K you are putting $$$ in their pockets and doing nothing for your engine. Anybody remember when Mobil 1 claimer 25,000 mile changes back in the 70's!!! [ June 29, 2002, 01:05 PM: Message edited by: jochumr ]
 

Al

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19,200
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Elizabethtown, Pa
3K was around since at least the 60's. (VW was 1500 since they had no filter). They were not as sophisticated then to differentiate between hard and easy driving-I assume. 3K was probably the limit that an oil could go. Its logical that as quality of oils progressed the manufactures of vehicles wanted to play safe and keep the tried and true 3K. And at some point it was probably embraced and pushed by the JiffyLubes. 'Ya got to hand it to Jiffy taking advantage of granpa's "set in his ways" practices. Hey-it worked even with me up until 10 years ago. Thats my experience and best guess.
 

Patman

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Oakville, Ontario
I wonder how the different car makers come up with their various oil change recommendations for their owner's manuals? Do they actually do oil analysis to see at what point the oil has reached it's limit? Or do they just pull a number out of a hat?
 
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885
Location
North Carolina
Years ago 10w/30 was NOT used very often. 10w40 was considered THIN oil and anyone (maybe not EVERYONE, but the folks I worked with) down south considered straight 30 or 20w/50 normal. I think I first started using 10w/40 when I moved to NC in 1985. In Florida I always used 20w/50 before that. Back then oil would really oxidize and thicken up by the 3k mark, so a-changin-we-would-go. The 10w/40 breaks down by 3k miles and at that time you could really feel the difference in new oil at 3k miles. Newer oils (I'm talkin conventional oil) have improved considerably, I think we all know that. If you are using current SL conventional oil, and changing it yourself, every 3k is about as good a maintenance plan (and good economy on $$$) as you can get. If you really want to extend out the drain interval then the synthetics help with that (I agree that syn oils should not be changed at 3k...severe waste of $$$$$ and resources). I don't think the synthetic oils protect metal any better than the conventional, but they do last longer under any type of extremes (hot/cold) conditions. I pay $10 every 3k miles and don't strip any threads doing it , using good oil and filters every time. But you know the MOST important thing? Whatever makes you satisfied that you are doing what's right, know what I mean Vern? I think it's almost Happy hour! see y'all Rando
 

MolaKule

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Iowegia - USA
My records show that the 3,000 mile oil change came from the manufacturers recommendations of the late thrties, early forties, because they had determined that with the oil of the day, neither the base oil nor its additives could sustain engine protection past that mileage. The main problems at that time were additve life, base oil quality and consistency, and base oil oxidation.
 
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1,933
Location
Oklahoma
Next time you guys get a chance look at the back label of the Pennziol Synthetic with Pennzane. It recommends 3k intervals [Big Grin] Last I knew this the year 2002 [Smile] They just want to sell more oil
 

MolaKule

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Well we're still looking at the same dino base oils, except for the Group III VHVI stuff, and I think the major difference is in the additive package. The additive chemistry has certainly improved, but I still question the quality of the additive package and its strength, with possibily the exceptions being Maxlife and Schaeffer's.
 
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Location
Oklahoma
When we speak of differences in Group II+ vs Group III base oils are we not getting too close to splitting hairs? I am personally not concernd between the two cracked bases based upon what I have read. Every other oil change is free if you buy a group II+ and not the group III because the III is over double the cost easily
 
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St. Charles County, Missouri
I assume the cars have changed a great deal as well. Certainly computerized systems and fuel injection throw in a lot less crud than what was the norm in the sixties. Of course clearances, heat load, emissions, etc. must have changed too. I can't imagine that SL's advantages over a 1962 model MS oil is strictly in the additive package. You mean there's been no advances in refining technology since then? I would have thought that the refineries were computerized, just like the cars are. [ June 29, 2002, 11:16 PM: Message edited by: csandste ]
 
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Oklahoma
Don't know who or why the 3k intervals,,on the safe side I guess. We need a success story section it seems. I had a Company car that was a clean running carb wise 302 Ford LTD that I ran to 6k with hiway use only using the Mobil 10/30 formulation they had from 92-95 I doubt we will see many analisyis of the Dino oil because we that use that oil know it is going to be ok at 3k unless that is 3k of in city use that is [Smile]
 
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903
Location
CA
I used to change mine every 5k miles. But even that got to be a too much trouble. So I change mine around the first of the year and again around July 1. It's easy to remember and works out to be between 6k and 7.5k miles. If I used dino oil I would go back to 5k miles.
 

Patman

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Oakville, Ontario
By the way, I in no way condone the 3k/3mo rule, as a matter of fact I hate it that so many people blindly use this interval, especially when they do it with synthetic oil! (which means they are simply draining out perfectly good oil that could have gone a lot longer in most cases)
 
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7
Location
So Cal
Back in the old days that was a good idea, but I have to wonder how much of the current mentality is based on "my dad always said...." and the fact that Madison Ave and the service industry have got us thinking that we need this.
 
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3,202
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Far North East Texas
3000 miles in the late 1930's-early 1940's? [I dont know] Maybe so, but I don't think so. Oil change recommendations when I was a kid in the early to middle 60's were often 2000 miles. Full flow oil filters were rare in the 30's-40's. We had a 53 chevy Bel-Air that had the old partial flow cannister filter on it. I can only say from experience that the 2000 mile change was still common in NE Texas in the middle to late 60's.
 

MolaKule

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Iowegia - USA
csan, Computerization at the refineries is used mainly to reduce labor costs, and increase the efficiency of the refinery for incoming stocks and production of outgoing refined products. The only labor now used is in pipefitting and welding, in chemical engineering design, and in development of additives. OHHHHH, and don't forget the amount of money poured into marketing hype and making those pretty plastic bottles that look so "RADD." Except for Group III, which I believe to be overpriced and misdefined, there have only been very small, incremental improvements in petroleum refining. Here is one other thing to consider, look at the starting product! A mish-mash of mixed-up molecules that are difficult to separate econmically.
 

MolaKule

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21,706
Location
Iowegia - USA
"My records show that the 3,000 mile oil change came from the manufacturer's recommendations of the late thrties, early forties, because they had determined that with the oil of the day, neither the base oil nor its additives could sustain engine protection past that mileage. The main problems at that time were additve life, base oil quality and consistency, and base oil oxidation. " 3K was the max with <=2k as the norm. I recall my father chaning oil after a 700 mile trip in a '50 Plymouth, and the oil was just about beat-down then. I also recall the original oil from the can was a somewhat cloudy greenish color. Don't recall the brand, might have been an early Mobile, since he bought gas at the "flying horse" station there in Flint, MI. Of course, I was very, very, very, young then!! [Big Grin]
 
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263
Location
DFW, TX
I am one that has changed syn oil every 3k - 4k miles. This is the point where I would change my filter. Once I'm down there, I just pull the plug on the oil. It's just a little assurance that I'm keeping my engine healthy. I do realize that it may be overkill and a waste of money, but it gives me peace of mind and it only costs me about $15 per 3k miles. By the way, how many run premium gas? If I would actually try a lower octane gas, it might work for me and then I'd see some serious savings.
 

Patman

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Oakville, Ontario
I run premium gas in my car, but only because I know for sure that it needs it. The LT1 has a 10.5 to 1 compression ratio, and even with 92 octane gas I still see a bit of spark retard on the scan tools. So even higher octane is needed. I run 94 octane when I go to the dragstrip though, but the stuff we have here in 94 octane has 10% ethanol, and it hurts my gas mileage quite a bit (2 MPG loss) I drive my car all year round, and once the weather gets colder I do switch to 89 octane, as I know the engine doesn't need the premium gas once the weather gets cold. Most people don't realize this. An engine that absoultely needs premium in the summer, can easily get away with midgrade once winter weather sets in.
 
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