Fun Fact: Recycling all the oil filters sold annually in the United States would result in the recovery of about 160,000 tons of steel, or enough steel to make 16 new stadiums the size of Atlanta's Turner Stadium.

It's something very important to the longevity of your vehicle and maintaining your warranty- getting timely oil changes. The question is, who should you believe?

Keeping it simple, you should always follow your owners manual. There's no one that knows more about your make and model than the manufacturer. Many people will try and tell you that 3,000-mile oil changes are a must, or that going any further will cause damage. There's one simple way to find out the truth- read your owners manual. Car dealers and scrupulous oil change businesses will tell you that you must return every 3,000 miles. In fact, one major oil change company now offers a warranty- but only if you get your oil changed every 3,000 miles.

With newer engines and better technology, many cars today don't need an oil change every 3,000 miles- it's simply a waste of oil and hurts the environment.

According to manuals for newer vehicles, the interval for oil changes now ranges from 5,000 miles to as many as 7,000 miles! In this case, getting an oil change at 3,000 miles is unnecessary and will double or even triple your oil change expenses. Not only that, but each time you get your oil changed, the dealer will have the ability to tell you that they'd like you to purchase an add-on service. You'll end up walking away each time with a lighter wallet.

Let's show you an example of costs over the life of a car. For this example, we'll use a popular, brand-new, Honda Civic. Honda recommends oil changes every 5,000 on this particular model. Based on driving the car 150,000 miles, here are the costs for oil changes over the life:

$30/oil change
5,000 mile interval: $900
3,000 mile interval: $1500

If you have more expensive oil, such as synthetic the cost savings is even larger!

$50/oil change
5,000 mile interval: $1500
3,000 mile interval: $2500

The simple answer to 3,000 mile oil changes is to read your owners manual. Save your money for something else!