Change Your Oil! Or Not.

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How often do you change your oil? Maybe too often:

“There was a time when the 3,000 miles was a good guideline,” said Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor for the car site Edmunds.com. “But it’s no longer true for any car bought in the last seven or eight years.”

Oil chemistry and engine technology have improved to the point that most cars can go several thousand more miles before changing the oil, Mr. Reed said. A better average, he said, would be 7,500 between oil changes, and sometimes up to 10,000 miles or more.

You know, I’ve never changed my oil every 3,000 miles. Every car I’ve owned, going back to about 1980, I’ve changed the oil every seven or eight thousand miles and I’ve never had any problems. No unusual engine wear, no weird noises, no parts wearing out, no nothing. My current car (ten years old) almost seems to not even use any oil. I can drive it five or six thousand miles and it’s not even down a quart. More like a pint. Or less.

At this point, I have a feeling I might not ever get an oil change again in my life if it weren’t for the fact that it happens automatically when I take the car in for routine service every year or two. So far, no problems after a decade. Will I regret this slothful attitude someday?

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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