Car owners to re-evaluate oil change habits

SACRAMENTO “Should motorists change their vehicle’s oil every 3,000 miles? Not necessarily, according to the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) and its “Check Your Number” campaign to encourage drivers to rethink their current driving habits and only change the motor oil as needed.

“With significant advances in auto technology, it’s important for drivers to understand that changing motor oil every 3,000 miles is an old default that may not be relevant for their vehicle,” said CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen. “Frequent oil changes do not necessarily mean better performance or longer engine life. By following the manufacturer’s recommendations, you will not only do right by your ride, but you’ll also benefit the environment by using fewer resources.”

A recent survey by CalRecycle indicates almost 10 million Californians change their motor oil every 3,000 miles or less. However, many cars can now go farther. For example, Ford recommends an oil change every 5,000 miles for a 2005 Explorer SUV, while Honda recommends 7,500 miles for its 2007 Civic.

Since launching in November 2011, the “Check Your Number” campaign has garnered mass media attention throughout California and nationwide from the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times, to name a few. Over a half-million visitors have flocked to the campaign website ( to find the manufacturer-recommended oil change intervals for most cars manufactured since 2000.

CalRecycle will host a public education “Check Your Number” campaign event at the Santa Monica Pier on April 14. Free parking will be available to drivers who agree to check their manufacturer’s recommended oil change interval and display that number on a windshield poster, creating a sea of “Check Your Number” supporters helping to educate their fellow Californians. Additionally, the CalRecycle team will be available to look up the recommended oil change intervals for any Santa Monica Pier visitors that day. Through this event, CalRecycle will demonstrate to Californians that different vehicles have different oil change needs and that re-evaluating their current oil change habits can help them save money while reducing their impact on the environment. “Check Your Number”  parking is available to the first 130 participating drivers.

Motorists can take the first step by checking their owner’s manual or by visiting to find recommended oil change intervals for popular vehicle models made 2000-2012. Additional tips and information can be found on the CalRecycle Facebook page and @CalRecycle on Twitter.

Do your part for your vehicle and the environment and Check Your Number today!