We live in an ownership society, and as such, we take care of things. Renters don’t take care of things… but owners do. If you lease a car, any maintenance it needs is just a pain in the ass. And it is also an expense you can do without… mainly because it’s not yours. It’s somebody else’s problem. Usually if you skip on maintenance, nothing will really happen to it while your driving it but the next guy is the guy that pays up.

Manufacturers are also guilty here. In order to make their cars look good in comparison to other cars they have lengthened the maintenance intervals. It’s like their cars don’t really need to have the oil changed much. However, yes they do. One reason is the EPA. In order to meet emission standards, car makers have had to go to great lengths to make a car run clean. They have emission controls that do this pretty good, but the EPA also wants a car to run clean while it’s warming up, something that emission controls can’t really do. So car makers try hard to get their cars warmed up quickly, one of the ways is to stuff the catalytic converter up against the engine. These things can run 1600 degrees at times, and warms the oil up quick. But it is always there. Your oil is getting baked every day in the interest in tailpipe emissions, coupled with lengthened oil change intervals and bingo. Now you got a crankcase full of sludge and hard things that plug up the oil pickup. Now you need an engine…

The best thing you can do for a car is change the oil… 3500 miles for regular oil, 5000 miles for semi-synthetic oil, and 10000 miles for synthetic. (somehow, even with synthetic, I still can’t let it go that long…) Your car will be grateful….