Hugh Pickens writes writes "The LA Times reports that quick-lube companies have done such a good job convincing consumers that they need to change the oil in their cars every 3,000 miles that drivers are wasting millions of gallons of oil annually because they have their vehicles serviced too often as improvement in oils, friction proofing and car engines have lengthened the oil-change interval, typically 7,500 miles to 10,000 miles for most vehicles. "Our survey data found that nearly half of California drivers are still changing their oil at 3,000 miles or even sooner," says Mark Oldfield, a spokesman for the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery, which has launched a website, checkyournumber.org, where drivers can look up the suggested motor-oil change interval number for their vehicles. Ford Motor Co. recommends oil changes for most of its new vehicles at 10,000 miles, although some still require the service at 7,500 miles. "Our new generation of engines have tighter internal tolerances, which reduces the amount of carbon and other products from combustion that gets into the oil," says Richard Truett, a Ford spokesman. Both Honda and Acura are equipped with a maintenance minder system that recommends oil changes and other services based on a number of vehicle-usage factors, including mileage and climate and other manufacturers have similar systems that alert drivers to the need for an oil change. "The idea is to prevent either over- or under-maintaining a car by following a set schedule," says Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman. "Now, there is no guesswork.""