The only answer to this question depends on what your view on the car is.
If you’re only keeping the car for a year and selling it, why change it at all? This is not a joke, the answer to this question and the economics of how often you need to change your oil really boils down to why you care in the first place. If you don’t care about the car or don’t intend to keep it for long, then it makes total sense to act accordingly.
However, if this is a new car you invested a lot of money into and keep for a long time, regularly changing the oil is very cheap insurance on your investment to avoid engine wear in the long run.
It is definitely a fair question to ask because the 3,000 mile cycle was invented by Jiffy Lube to help their business, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to change it at some point around there.
Many modern cars, like newer BMWs, have dynamic systems for monitoring oil life and base it on things other than mileage. If your car has one of those, nothing wrong with following it. If not, it’s really a good idea for most people to have their oil changed regularly and with good quality oils and filters. It is relatively cheap insurance against potentially catastrophic problems. If you spin a crank bearing or lose cylinder compression your car is toast, as rebuilding or replacing the engine often costs more than the car is worth.
If you are the type that wants to get all scientific and seriously answer this question there is a ton of reading out there on the subject and you can even order a kit to test your oil for how much it has broken down since your last oil change.
If you are just a normal driver trying to understand what you can intelligently get away with, I would just stick to the intervals recommended by your manufacturer to be on the safe side because it is such a cheap method of insurance. I would also highly recommend using synthetic oil and good filters because cheap filters clog up almost immediately and synthetic oil lasts longer, but also more importantly, it performs better in the conditions that are worst for your engine: very cold, and very hot.
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