How often do you need to change your vehicle’s oil? It’s a question that many drivers are still unsure of. The answer, unfortunately, is not always black and white, as it depends on a variety of factors. These include the make and model of your car, driving habits, and the type of oil used. All of which can change the answer drastically. In this blog post, we’ll break down everything you need to know when your vehicle might need an oil change.
Indicators for a Change
While it’s important to understand when you need an oil change, you should also be aware of the signs that indicate a change is needed. One of the most common indicators is the check engine light. If this light pops on, it’s time to take your car in for service to see what’s wrong–it could be the oil. Other signs include an increase in engine noise, reduced fuel efficiency, low oil levels, and dark or dirty oil.
If you’re still unsure whether you need a change, the safest bet is to always read the owner’s manual. You can also check online for specific oil change recommendations for your car’s exact make and model. But if you still can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact the manufacturer directly.
Keep in mind that every car is different, and each has its own specific requirements when it comes to oil changes. Do not use one reference to make a decision for all your vehicles, including information from other people. Failing to properly maintain your car’s oil level can lead to big problems down the road, which can be very costly.
Make and Model
Some newer cars are equipped with oil-change monitors that keep track of oil quality and mileage. Once the monitor detects that the oil has degraded or reached a certain number of miles, it will notify you as the driver that an oil change is necessary. For cars with this type of system, it is generally recommended to follow the guidelines set by the monitor.
If your car doesn’t have an oil-change monitor, you will need to check your owner’s manual. Most manuals recommend changing your oil every 3,000-7,500 miles or so, but this number can vary depending on the car. For example, luxury cars with turbocharged engines may need their oil changed more frequently than non-luxury cars. Remember, when in doubt, consult with the manual. Usually, newer vehicles will be able to drive for much longer before requiring an oil change–some up to 15,000 miles or every six months.
Auto repair shops and dealership service departments usually adhere to an oil change sticker on the windshield of the vehicle to remind drivers of the miles and/or date when an oil change is required. MBR Marketing offers custom-printed oil change stickers, oil change printers, and supplies in both static cling and light adhesive varieties at competitive prices which are ideal for auto repair shops and dealership service departments. Check out their website at the following link: https://mbrmarketing.com/service-department/oil-change-stickers-and-printers.
In addition to the make and model of your car, your driving habits can also affect how often you need to change your oil. If you do a lot of stop-and-go driving in the city, you will likely need to change your oil more frequently than someone who drives on the highway for long distances. This is because city driving puts a lot of stress on your engine, which in turn causes the oil to degrade more quickly.
Conversely, if you do a lot of highway driving, you can probably go a little longer between oil changes. As a safety precaution and to take good care of your vehicle, head back to the owner’s manual and find the recommended oil-change interval. There might be one for city and highway driving. If you can’t find the values in the manual, try contacting the dealership or an authorized service center for your specific car.
Type of Oil Used
The type of oil you use in your car can also affect how often you need to change it. For example, conventional oil is a popular choice for many drivers, but it also requires more frequent changes than synthetic oil. This is due to conventional oil breaking down and degrading quicker.
If you use conventional oil, you will need to change your car’s oil every 3,000-5,000 miles or so. However, if you use synthetic oil, you can usually go a little longer between changes–somewhere in the range of 5,000-7,500 miles. Some vehicles will be up to push far beyond 7,500 miles with synthetic oil.
While it is true that synthetic oil is more expensive, many drivers feel that the benefits outweigh the costs. Synthetic oil not only lasts longer but also provides better protection for your engine. Depending on how you want to maintain your car, synthetic oil could end up being more cost-effective in the long run. Nearly all new vehicles use synthetic oil these days. It’ll state in the manual which type of oil your car needs.
Factory Oil Filter
A factory oil filter is designed to match the specifications of your car to help it run at optimal performance. These filters can become clogged with dirt and debris over time. And when this happens, it can reduce the flow of oil and put extra strain on your engine.
For this reason, it’s generally recommended that you change your car’s oil filter every time you get an oil change. This will ensure that your engine always has the clean oil it needs to run smoothly. Fortunately, changing an oil filter is usually a quick and easy process that can be done at the same time as an oil change. So, whenever you go for a change, be sure to ask your mechanic to also replace the filter.
This is especially important for those who drive in dusty or dirty conditions, such as on salted roads or any area that’s covered in dust. Over time, all that dirt and debris can really take a toll on the engine. You shouldn’t cheap out on these filter replacements, as all car manufacturers recommend replacing the filter after a year, regardless of mileage. This gets rid of any oil sludge that might have built up over time that’s still in the crankcase.