A 7,500-mile interval between oil changes is emerging as the industry standard. Automakers cite improved vehicle quality and longer-lasting synthetic motor oil.
The reduction in factory-recommended service visits is good news for consumers. But it's potentially bad news for dealerships, which could lose service and parts business that accompanies oil changes.
An Automotive News survey finds that the traditional 3,000-mile oil change interval is out of date. In general, seven vehicle brands prescribe intervals of 5,000 to 6,000 miles, and four have intervals of 10,000 miles or more. Automakers caution that they base their recommendations on normal driving conditions.
More than a third of brands use onboard software to determine when oil needs to be changed, based on the vehicle and how it is driven. As more automakers introduce software to gauge oil life, oil changes will become even less frequent. Factories that use such software monitors say intervals of 8,000 to 10,000 miles between changes are typical.
With a 3,000-mile interval, new-vehicle buyers often returned to dealerships for service three times a year. Longer intervals between oil changes enable customers to make one or two annual service visits.