When should you take your car in for an oil change?
Does the “every 3,000 miles” standard still apply?
You’ve likely been told at some point throughout your life that an oil change every 3,000 miles is way to go. If you were told that 15 years ago, then that makes sense. However, if you were told that last week, you are behind the times. Like most everything in this world, you have to consider innovation, or technological advances.
Engine composition improves as new lines of vehicles are presented to the world. The function and stability of engine parts gets better and better. Plus, oil quality is consistently improving over time. These improvements extend the timeframe from oil change to oil change. Older vehicles, such as pre-2007 models, may still need to abide by the 3,000-mile standard. Though, newer models should be safe to wait 5,000 to 7,500 miles before getting an oil change.
When in doubt, review your owner’s manual. The manual obviously comes straight from the manufacturer, so you’ll be reading information that is 100% specific to your vehicle. There will be some wiggle room from what the manual recommends in regard to oil changes. Reason being, technology advancements should afford you an extra 500-1,000 miles from the recommendation before an oil change is necessary.
Additional factors to consider
Driving conditions play a role in oil changes as well. Essentially, consistent lengthy trips are best for your engine oil. It takes time for both the engine and the oil to warm up. Driving 20 miles somewhere gives both the needed time to warm up, while driving 10 miles may not. We’re not recommending you go out of your way and drive an additional 10 miles for the sole purpose of warming your engine. Though, if you do take frequent short trips, you’ll need to have your oil changed more often.
In addition, stop-and-go traffic can disrupt the lubrication of a vehicle engine, as can cold temperatures. Naturally, it takes vehicles longer to warm up when outside temperatures are cold.
Ultimately, review your vehicle manual, assess your driving habits, and use the 5,000-mile mark as the new rule of thumb rather than the 3,000-mile mark (at least if you have a relatively new vehicle). A number of manufacturers now include vehicle features to monitor and signal when an oil change is needed.
For any car concerns or maintenance procedures, call All Pro Autocare Inc at (972) 442-0032. Our experts will do what is needed to have your vehicle driving steady. Please visit our website—www.allproautocareinc.com—and our blog for additional vehicle maintenance input.
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