If you ask this question, most car owners would probably answer every 3,000 miles. This guideline has been around for so long that most drivers accept it as fact without checking if it’s true. And yet the fact is, the 3,000 mile rule is no longer applicable as today’s cars are much more sophisticated, but the question remains, how often should car oil be changed?
Oil Change Frequency
The majority of carmakers have done away with the 3,000 mile rule years ago, and if you check your car manual, the recommendation is usually around 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Generally speaking, you should follow the change guide recommended in your manual to avoid trouble or possibly voiding the warranty.
However, there are drivers who don’t change the car oil until they go 10,000 or 15,000 miles without causing engine damage. In fact, some of the more sophisticated cars today can go 25,000 miles before requiring an oil change.
The old 3,000 mile oil rule change came into effect years ago when motor oil weren’t as efficient as they are today. Back in the days, the oil would degrade if left in the crankcase for an extended period, leading to serious sludge buildup. However, technology and new tailpipe transmission regulations allow modern oil and engines to hum along smoothly.
Driving Conditions Play a Part
As noted earlier, modern cars can go up to 25,000 miles under ideal driving conditions. The keyword however, is ideal driving condition. If there’s a lot of stop and go due to traffic, idling and it’s very hot or cold, your engine oil’s lifespan will be affected. Humidity and towing can also have an adverse effect, and you also need to keep in mind that each car is different so a prolonged interval might be okay for one model but not for another.
What this means is even if your car is capable of going 25,000 miles without an oil change, it’s not advisable to do as there could be long term repercussions for the engine even if it’s high grade synthetic oil. At the same time, it’s not a good idea to go with the 3,000 mile rule since it’s a waste of money and time. Contrary to popular belief, changing oil excessively won’t make your car last much longer, so the “better safe than sorry” rule doesn’t apply.
Check for Signs of Dirty Oil
One indicator your car needs oil change is if the oil has gotten dirty. If left unchanged, the additives boil and contaminants will appear in the crankcase, corroding the metal components and eventually causing wear and tear.
No matter what oil you use it will look very black, so the best way to keep track of changes is to note when you last changed the oil. If you drive under extreme conditions, then you may need to change frequently to get as much mileage as possible, but otherwise there’s no reason for changing too often.
Finally, remember the age of your car, because the older it is the more oil change will be required especially if you do frequent stop and go, make frequent short trips and let the engine cool down when you park. If this is the case, the engine won’t generate sufficient heat to vaporize the water that builds up in the crankcase.
The bottom line is to simply go with what your car manual says, which should be between 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Again however, you should pay attention to what your car is telling you, so if you sense a problem, then make a change early if it seems required. Don’t forget to check out Jiffy Lube oil change price.