Unless you drive your car in round-the-clock Burning Man playa dust conditions, tow a giant trailer, OR work in a bauxite mine, the 3,000 mile oil change interval is a thing of the past. Modern oils, especially synthetics, are typically designed to go for 7,500 miles or more. Modern cars have oil life indicators on the dash – follow them and do as instructed, you’re not being bamboozled.
The most important thing is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for oil change interval AND the type of oil. The type of oil is described by API rating and it is easily found on the label. DO NOT buy discount store oil that does not meet your manufacturer’s API guidelines. Change the filter, every time. If you’re pinching pennies, watch the sale flyers from auto parts and big-box retailers.
Trust me, the car makers and oil companies have done more research on this than you or I ever could, and they aren’t in the business of paying out unnecessary warranty claims due to oil-related failures.
If you have a tow rig, a fancy sports or collector car, or take pride in being really anal (I understand!), then tighten up that oil-change interval as you see fit. ~ Bill