Saturday, December 17, 2011

California wants to tell you when to change your oil

California thinks we change our oil too often. I only mention it because it seems these sorts of ideas get field tested in California before spreading to the rest of the country.

Basically, California thinks people change their oil too often. Many people change their oil at 3000 miles, while most manufacturers claim their vehicles can go much longer between changes. California thinks it’s a waste of oil to change it often.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but I don’t think it’s any business of the government’s. I change my oil at 3000 miles or so. That’s something I don’t do lightly with my truck as it takes 12 quarts. The thing is, my vehicles work hard under harsh conditions -subzero winters in New Hampshire and blistering Florida sun. Big loads are hauled up steep mountains and trailers pulled along at highway speeds.

I change the oil myself. What do I do with the old oil? It’s used for fuel. The truck has a totally separate fuel system for running with waste vegetable oil. I add a few quarts to that tank until the crankcase oil is used up. The filter system that removes bits of French fries and onion rings works just as well with bits of metal in the old motor oil.

I freely admit my vehicle system is unique. Of course, government likes to make rules that everyone has to follow. Right now it’s only a suggestion, but when government takes an interest in something, laws follow.

On the flip side, I rarely changed the oil on my old Mercedes. I put in a secondary oil filtration system that filtered the oil a lot cleaner than the standard filter. Once a month I’d change that filter and only added a quart of oil. That engine had 500,000 miles on it when the rest of the car wore out. The engine will have a new home running a generator.

It’s a small thing, this government interference in oil changes. However, it is a symptom of government slowly taking over every aspect of a person’s life.



  1. Where did the "land of the free and the home of the brave" go?

  2. I don't know. It must be around here someplace.

  3. It will be on five acres in east Texas next month...

    And this reminds me, I need to change my oil before I go!

  4. Craig: at least this post was good for something. Have a good time. I expect some interesting posts when you get back.