The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Calif. EPA, GM Educate Drivers on 3K Oil Change Myth

June 12, 2008

AUBURN HILLS, MI  AND SACRAMENTO, CA - General Motors, the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) and the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) recently announced that they are joining forces to encourage drivers to follow their vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations on oil changes, which for millions of GM vehicles could be much longer than the decades-old standard of every 3,000 miles.

This summer, GM will support public outreach efforts by the Cal/EPA and the CIWMB to help motorists understand how frequently they need to change their engine oil, and the proper methods of doing so.

The traditional 3,000 mile oil change recommendation was based on engine and oil technologies of the past. Today’s engines are built to strict tolerances using advanced technology, reducing or eliminating contaminants that might enter the engine. In-vehicle technologies like the GM Oil Life System can also reduce the frequency between oil changes by determining each engine’s oil “life.”

The American Petroleum Institute states that more than 1 billion gallons of motor oil are sold each year in the U.S.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 185 million gallons of used motor oil are improperly disposed of each year – dumped into the ground, tossed into the trash, or poured down the drain.

For drivers of GM vehicles equipped with the GM Oil Life System, your car or truck can tell you when it’s time to change the oil.

Equipped with the GM Oil Life System, the average GM vehicle typically needs oil changes half as often as the 3,000 mile recommendation. Based on driving 15,000 miles per year, this could mean between two and three less oil changes annually.

For more information on the GM Oil Life System, go to

Motorists should check their owner’s manual for their specific oil change and waste oil recycling recommendations.


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