Chris' Corner: Change Your Thinking, Not Your Oil

Change Your Thinking, Not Your Oil


Darrel Walters, a mortgage broker from Newman, Georgia and fellow active rain blogger, posted this timely reminder many of us can heed.  He recommends that we follow the recommendations of our automobile manufacturers with regard to oil changes.  I asked my Chevrolet dealership in 1998, when I bought a Malibu, whether I could increase my oil change interval over that recommended in the owner's manual and was told that I could.  There are several factors that could affect the interval appropriate for you... That said, when possible, increasing our oil change intervals will have a positive effect on our planet and our scarce resources...


OilThe rising cost of crude oil has everyone talking about gas prices at the pump, but what about the oil in your engine? A recent study in California indicated that 73% of Californians change their oil more frequently than recommended by the manufacturers. Are you spending too much on oil by changing it too often?

So how often should you change your oil?
We’ve all heard that a car’s oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles, but did you know that many car manuals now actually recommend changing the oil every 5,000, 7,500, or even 10,000 miles? That means you may be changing your oil twice or even three times as often as you need to!

The fact is, oil changes should be determined by what, how, and where you drive. If you have a newer car with little or no engine wear, you can probably go 7,500 miles between oil changes. And even if you have a slightly older car, but drive under ideal conditions such as predominantly highway, you can go a similar distance before changing.

Of course, many of us don’t actually drive under “ideal” conditions. If you make many short trips, endure lots of stop-and-go traffic, drive on gravel or dusty roads, then you might need to change your oil more frequently. So how do you know? And how do you take advantage of saving money by only changing oil when it’s really needed?

Technology to the rescue!
There are a few ways you can actually eliminate the guesswork. If you have a newer car, it may have a built-in sensor that estimates oil life based on engine running time, miles driven, outside temperature, coolant temperature and other operating conditions. When the indicator light comes on, it’s time to change the oil. It’s that simple.

Another idea is to purchase an oil monitoring sensor, such as the IntelliStick. These sensors are used in place of your car’s original dipstick and provide you with real-time, accurate information about the true condition of your oil. Better still, these sensors often have a transponder built into them so you can quickly and easily check the condition of your oil at any time using a cell phone, PDA or computer with Bluetooth connectivity – now that’s really going high tech!

Let’s face it, dollars spent on oil changes can add up fast, especially with the increasing price of oil. With this in mind, it pays to be smart, to check the manufacturer’s recommendations, and not let too-frequent oil changes cost you.

How are you saving on higher fuel costs? Give us a call, and share your secrets.

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If you’re looking for a mortgage in the Atlanta area, you can visit my primary Peachtree City and Newnan mortgage lender website at If you’re interested in Free Business Boosters for Real Estate, visit Thanks!


Chris Smith CSSBB
          Sales Representative

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Comment balloon 0 commentsChris Smith • June 08 2011 10:13AM