Why should I continue to change my oil every 3,000 miles, even when using synthetic?
This is the fundamental question that is asked to us on a weekly and almost daily basis, as we only offer synthetic oil changes at our White Bear Lake location. There are several factors that tie in to our recommendation that your vehicle oil should be changed every 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. Regular oil changes are the single most important maintenance that your vehicle requires. Nothing will shorten your engine life faster than missing oil changes/cycling dirty oil through your motor.
Not all oil filters are created equal.
Premium oil filters are made from a synthetic fiber material and have a wire backing inside the filter to help prevent the filter from collapsing prematurely.
Standard oil filters have a paper filament (are made of paper/cardboard) and can only filter out so much dirt before you cycle dirty oil back through your engine. They are not designed to last more than about 3,000 miles. There is less surface area overall for the oil to flow through. These filters will begin to degrade, and as they fill with dirt/debris, will begin to collapse on themselves.
This, in turn, will cause premature engine failure as cycling dirty oil can clog oil passages. This can also have adverse effects on variable valve solenoids and timing chain tensioners, cause hydraulic systems failure, and stiffen piston rings.
Most modern engines have much tighter tolerances that their older counterparts, which is why modern oil is much thinner than the old “standard” of 10W-30. Standard oil filters with paper filaments are inferior to their synthetic fiber filaments counterparts.
Trinity Automotive uses paper oil filters for our standard oil changes that meet or exceed OEM specifications. We strive to educate our customers on the differences of the types of filters and choose which style suits your driving style.
Minnesota is considered to be “extreme driving conditions” with the severe cold, stop-and-go traffic, frequent cold starts, towing, short trips (less than 4 miles), humidity, and heat of the summer. All of these factors cause engine oil to prematurely degrade. Our temperature swings can cause condensation build up within the oil system. Poor driving conditions cause the oil to lose its viscosity (the ability to flow freely throughout the engine, as well as lubricating all moving and hydraulic parts appropriately).
Inspections every 3,000 miles
Trinity Automotive inspects your vehicle at every oil change to help monitor your vehicles health. We identify problems, potential problems, and maintenance items that are due or will be due soon. We keep you informed about the overall health of your vehicle, about what needs to be done, and what can wait. This is the vehicle equivalent of having your physical done.