questionshow long can you go without getting your oil…

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I read this article on lifehacker a while ago

http://lifehacker.com/396709/the-3000-mile-oil-change-myth-debunked

They say most newer cars do not require the 3000 mile oil change.

here's a PDF of your owner's manual. I can't get it to load here well but chapter 9-5 is the section I think you want. I also believe it's 7500 miles for you.

http://www.nissan-techinfo.com/refgh0v/og/altima/2010-nissan-altima.pdf

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http://www.nissanusa.com/pdf/techpubs/2010/2010_N_SMG.pdf

This is the service and Maintenance guide it page 15 of the PDF (which says page 13) seems to back this up.

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I can go without an oil change until my engine seizes.

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I follow the 5000-7000 mile rule. Occasionally I've made it to 10k, but I notice my mileage starts to drop. You're probably good with skipping the 3000 mile cycle, but pa attention to your car's performance.

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A friend of mine used to work for a testing company that actually took a crap load of engines and put that whole notion to the test. The control group all had oil changes every 3k miles, the rest were changed in increments of 1k additional miles up to 10k miles between changes. The oil was analyzed after each change and even the oil changed out at 3k miles had lost most of it's protective qualities. the bulk of the non control group seized up before 100k miles. If you want to keep your engine, I would highly recommend sticking with the every 3k miles irregardless of what the car company told you. (Remember, they can't sell you a new car till you decide to trade it in or it dies.)

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@woadwarrior: Thanks. That's what my dad told me. Every 3k no matter what. But he got a new beamer & his manual tells him he can wait 10k-15k between oil changes. His takes synthetic oil. I'm not sure what they used in mine. I'll ask them more questions next week after the scheduled maintenance & oil change.

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Do you have a close friend or family member who is a greatly experienced mechanic working on vehicles similar to yours? That may be the best place to go to get a good answer to your question. It's hard for me to trust the dealer or a stranger mechanic since they may tell you something that may be "true enough" but also helps them get more money out of you.

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If you're concerned, you should follow the manufacturer's instructions (likely 7500 miles). If you really want to be safe, go with the "severe duty" change interval (probably 4000-5000 miles). To REALLY find out what's going on inside your engine you need to have your oil analyzed by a place like Blackstone Labs. They will send you a collection kit, when you have your oil changed, you have the tech collect a small sample mid-stream, and you send it in along with $25. In a week or two they send you a report which will give you a much better idea on what is going on with your engine and will tell you if your change interval is OK or if you can go longer between changes. http://www.blackstone-labs.com/what-is-oil-analysis.php

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Your oil life will long outlive your oil filter, if the oil filter becomes clogged it no longer filters contaminants from your engine. The best measure of filter life is based on hours of use. Since most cars don't have a hobbs type of meter the manufacturer uses a conversion table. If you do slow, stop and go, long idles, or towing, you tend to not get as many miles per hour as if your commute is mostly unobstructed surface roads or highways. So they convert your miles per hour based on your driving conditions to miles between oil changes. You should change your filter between every 100 to 150 hours of use. So if you average thirty miles per hour you should get your oil changed every 3000 miles. (3000mi/30mph=100hours 7000mi/70mph=100hours) So if you know how fast you usually drive it is fairly easy to convert how long you can go befor changing your oil filter.

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It's not untrue that newer cars don't require oil changes at 3k because the engines are better as well as the oils. Follow the manual as the intervals really depends on the cars.

For example, Porsches have oil change intervals at every 15k with synthetics.

As to that study, again, it depends on the engine and the oils so that study may not be done to the level to come to any conclusion.

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I know people will think I am a conspiracy theorist, but the reason for the 3k oil change was a group of vendors/oil people agreed and marketed it. I can't recall what the name of the group was, but I know where I found it out. Turns out the largest reason for them agreeing to a 3k oil change was simply due to economics. At the time they did it, oil was dirt cheap and filters didn't cost much. They made their recommendation on two key points, the cost of the change and the need for the change.

Yahoo auto and life hacker didn't go deep enough with their story. The yahoo article title was correct, 3k is a myth.

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Continued from above...
Also Synthetics tend to have lower viscosity so they can pass through a more clogged filter more easily so you can lean more toward the 150 hours between changes. There you go all your oil changing mysteries solved!

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@ecriscit: Bear in mind that back then, cars weren't nearly as clean nor efficient nor were the quality of the oil as good. I'd say it's less a conspiracy on this part and more the rule of thumb not keeping up with technology.

As to the conspiracy and economics, remember that most people didn't change their own oil and took it in so that artificially increased a level of employment kind of full service only gas stations back then and now.

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I'm a big believer in following the guidelines published by the manufacturer in the maintenance handbook. I drive a 2003 Honda CRV and the handbook says to change the oil at 7k miles for normal use and somewhat less (5k?) for severe duty driving.

I spent about a year in South Florida a few months after I bought the CRV and once got into a ferocious argument with a Honda dealer's service manager down there who insisted I had to change the oil every 3k miles or it would void the engine's warranty. I ended up getting a written statement from the Honda regional headquarters that following the handbook guidelines would NOT void the warranty; sent that letter back to the dealer and found a better place to get oil changes done.

I still get 22-23mpg around town and about 24-25mpg on road trips, by the way.

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My cars on-board computer starts at 10,000 miles between oil changes and will go as far as 15,000 miles... I must use the Mobile 1 0-40 Synthetic Oil... The oil Filter in my car is also about 4 times the size of a typical oil filter...

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I use synthetic in my Jeep, and I change it every 8,000. I could probably go more if I really wanted, but I figure that's a nice safe number to change at. Better too soon than too late.

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I think it's funny that as car engines have become more efficient and motor oil technology has improved, the suggested intervals between oil changes have gone steadily down over the years. I agree that the 3,000 mile rule is nothing but marketing hype. I remember back in the 70s-80s 12,000 miles was the standard then by the 80s-90s it was 6,000, then the 90s-00s came along and suddenly we were supposed to change it every 3,000 miles.

As others have suggested, the best bet is to follow the guidelines in your owner's manual as they are vehicle specific instead of a general rule of thumb like 3,000 or 6,000.

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if this car has some sort of maintenance monitor, or oil change Monitor,(most newer cars do) that's what you should go by.

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Consult the owner's manual, but ask your mechanic too. Mine told me that a 5000-7000 mile interval is fine when the engine is new, but over the life of the car, the interval decreases. For my '96 Acura with nearly 200,000 miles on the odometer, he recommends a 3000-mile interval. And he has nothing to gain by misleading me, since I don't normally take it to him for oil changes.

I prefer to err on the side of caution. Oil changes are cheap. Replacing an engine is expensive. I speak from experience.