How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

March 4th, 2020 by


Oil changes are part of regular car maintenance, which plays a major role in a car’s overall health. There is a lot of misleading information in circulation concerning proper oil change intervals. The result of this being car owners changing their oil more frequently or less frequently than necessary, which is not a good thing. Provided below is the definitive guide for how often you should change your oil.

Standard Oil Change Intervals

According to auto experts, standard oil change intervals are as follows:

  • Every six months or after every 1000 miles
  • Every 3000 miles
  • Every 5,000 to 7,500 miles
  • Every six months or every 10,000 to 15,000 miles

The above oil interval changes depend on two factors like your car and your driving habits. Now let’s look at how often you should change your oil.

After Every 1000 Miles

This oil change interval may seem overactive for many but there are specific reasons behind this recommendation. If you do not take your car on long trips and your typical trip is 10 miles or less, you should change your engine oil every 1000 miles or after every six months. Here are some reasons behind this short oil change interval:

  • If your car is not going on highways, the engine does not heat enough for the condensation (that accumulates on the system) to vaporize. This causes the oil to break up faster.
  • Most of the engine damage happens while starting the car and if you are not driving the car far.  An oil change after every 1000 miles can minimize the damage in such cases.

Change More Frequently 

According to car experts, those recommending an oil change after every 3000 miles tend to be mostly shop owners who sell engine oil. However, if you drive an older-model car and the car’s manual recommends an oil change after every 3000 miles, then you should adhere to the manual. Thus, the 3 months or every 3000 miles rule no longer applies to the new cars. 

Automotive technology has improved drastically in the past decade and today’s car can run longer without needing an oil change. Also, the arrival of modern lubricants has also affected the oil change interval. According to experts, the catchall recommended oil change interval is every 5000 to 7500 miles.

After 10,000 Miles

If you use synthetic oil, your car can run longer without an oil change. For synthetic engine oil, the recommended oil change interval is every 15,000 miles. Synthetic oil is more expensive than regular oil because it offers a host of benefits over regular engine oil. There are several opinions regarding switching to synthetic oil. Most auto experts advise sticking to the manufacturer’s recommended oil.

Car manufacturers are known to test their engines with several different oil types before making their recommendations. Because there is so much research involved in this process, it is always a good idea to follow the manufacturer recommendation. You can switch to synthetic oil if your car manufacturer recommends it or mentions it as a good alternative to the recommended oil type.

Follow the guidelines and tips above and you can rest assured that your engine will keep working at peak performance for you. Just like an apple a day keeps the doctor away, an oil change at recommended intervals keeps larger problems from developing.

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