How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

Every driver knows oil changes are a huge part of the regular maintenance required to keep your car running smoothly. But the big question is how often you should be changing your oil. If you’re facing this question and are unsure what to do, keep reading. Below, we have provided all the information you need to decide the right oil change interval for your car.

General Oil Change Recommendations

The traditional oil change recommendation is to change the oil every 6 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. This rule generally applies to older cars. According to auto experts today, most modern cars can go 5,000 miles before needing an oil change. This is because most newer-model cars have computer-controlled engines and use advanced lubricants that improve engine longevity.

The truth is oil change intervals depend on how much wear and tear your car has experienced. This is based on the car’s operating conditions and car manufacturer recommendations.

Extreme Operating Conditions

Did you know that extreme operating conditions cause the oil in your car to breakdown faster? Here is a list of a few extreme operating conditions that may be affecting your engine.

If you typically take short trips each day or you find yourself in a lot of stop-and-go city driving, you should be going in for an oil change every 1,000 to 3,000 miles. The moisture in the air inside the crankcase condenses into liquid form and gets mixed with the engine oil. According to auto experts, water leaking in your motor oil can cause serious damage to the engine. Since your car never reaches a high speed during city driving, the engine never heats enough to evaporate the moisture. This water can cause permanent degradation of the motor oil.

Similarly, if you spend a significant amount of time traveling on a gravel or dirt road, fine dust particles enter the engine and get mixed with oil. The solid particles floating in the engine oil are bad for your engine. Hence, you should change the oil more often- every 1,000 to 3,000 miles.

Optimal Operating Conditions

Car manufacturers provide oil change interval recommendations in the owner’s manual. These instructions are based on optimal operating conditions for your car. If your owner’s manual recommends an oil change every 5,000 to 7,000 miles, follow that. However, you need to also follow recommendations related to the type of engine oil.

Modern cars send alerts to the driver when there is a need for an oil change. The oil change message is displayed in the instrumentation panel. In such cases, you can head in for an oil change whenever your car’s system sends an alert.

Many car owners think using synthetic oil means the car can go for 10,000 miles before an oil change. This is not true. Regardless of the oil you use, the recommendations given by the car manufacturer are the best guideline for facilitating the long-term health of your car.

Changing engine oil at the recommended intervals is necessary to protect your engine and save yourself from costly repairs down the line.