Oil Change Myth

motor oil pouring out of quart

Smashing the 3,000 Mile/5,000 Km Oil Change Myth

Changing your oil every 3,000 miles or 5,000 Km is a habit handed down for generations.

Changing your oil every 3,000 mile/5,000 is a practice passed down for generations. The origin likely stems from the noble effort to provide consumers with a simple vehicle maintenance decree that left plenty of room for error.

Promoted By Fast Lubes

The fast lube industry, which first entered the market in the 1970s, embraced and amplified the message through constant advertising drives. Owned by major oil companies, fast lube chains had a monetary interest in seeing customers repeatedly and peddling more oil, the huge majority of which was conventional.

Endorsed by your Mechanic and Dad

While this timeline helps provide perspective, it does little to address the emotional link to changing oil every 3,000 mile/5,000. The intention so many motorists devotedly change oil every 3,000 mile/5,000 is because their fathers and their mechanics – two of the most important groups in automotive groups – told them they must. For many people, the 3,000 mile/5,000 oil change is a belief that ties them to the person who taught them many essential life lessons, like how to keep your car running well.

Traditions modernized with new technology

Many people pass down traditions, and while the spirit of the tradition is upheld, many essentials are updated to replicate current technology and lifestyles. Your call to a distant relative during the holidays may now involve Skype in its place of a phone. Also, your annual family vacation may start at the airport instead of in the family station wagon. In the case of the 3,000 mile/5,000 oil change, we can preserve the virtuous spirit of taking good care of our vehicles by establishing a habit of changing oil occasionally, but not necessarily every 3,000 mile/5,000.

Synthetic Motor Oil Technology

Synthetic lubrication technology plays an important role in moving beyond the 3,000 mile/5,000 oil change interval. Synthetic motor oil offers improved wear protection, enhanced resistance to temperature extremes and boosted cleanliness properties compared to conventional oils. For that reason, it’s safe to use them longer than 3,000 mile/5,000.

AMSOIL products provide confidence with additional protection that goes beyond the standard. It’s what your dad or grandfather may have called the “belt and suspenders” approach. For example, AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil…

  • Provides 75% more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear than required by a leading industry standard. ¹
  • Achieved 72% better protection than required by a leading industry standard2, providing ultimate protection against extreme heat and the harmful deposits that can plague turbochargers.
  • Achieved 100% protection against LSPI.3

So, while it’s vital to change your oil and take care of your vehicle, it’s also important to advance your methods to keep in step with the latest technology. And modern synthetic oils have made the 3,000 mile/5,000 km oil change as dated as the phone.


Since the introduction of the 3,000 mile/5,000 km oil change, improvements in lubrication and automotive technology have rendered it out-of-date. Like adding water to automotive batteries, replacing ignition points or even tweaking your carburetor. Now, many vehicle manufacturers advise changing oil every 5,000 miles/ 8,000 km or longer. Even BMW calling for 15,000 miles or 24,000 km between oil changes.

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1Based on impartial testing in the ASTM D6891 test using 0W-20 as worst-case representation.
2Based on impartial testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the GM turbo coking test.
3Based on impartial analysis of AMSOIL Signature Series 5w-30 motor oil in the LSPI engine analysis as necessary for the GM dexos 1® Gen 2 requirement.


Let us know what you think in the comments below


  1. Darlene Martinez on February 16, 2023 at 11:04

    Really? WOW!! Very impressed! I have a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu. How long can I go for a oil change?

    • Vyscocity Inc. on February 16, 2023 at 11:09

      If you use our 5W-30 Signature Series you can go up to 25,000 miles