5 Myths About How Cars Used to Work

The 3,000-mile Oil Change
Is 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) still the standard? (small_frog/E+/Getty Images)

Let's call this one sort of true-ish. It has a touch of truthiness to it, if you will. Any mileage marker for an oil change is basically a suggestion to: 1. Cover the manufacturers, um, warranty, and 2. to keep you from being so lazy about engine maintenance that you run your car into the ground. For decades, 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) (or three months, whichever came first) was a safe number. Change the oil that often, and all the crud the oil picks up will be gone along with the old oil and filter. But modern engines are made of metals with near magic properties and they run much cleaner, so your oil isn't quite as foul, quite as fast. Most manufacturers recommend oil changes at 5,000 miles (8,047 kilometers), 7,000 miles (11,265 kilometers) or even 10,000 miles (16,093 kilometers) Lucky, lazy you!