When To Get An Oil Change

February 11, 2020 / Car Authority

How Often Should You Change Your Car Engine Oil?

There’s a constant debate about how often you should change your car engine oil. Your mechanic probably insists on every 3000 miles, whereas your car manufacturer recommends 5000 miles or more. Confusing, right?

Well, an oil change depends on various factors. Read on for valuable tips on when to get your oil change and keep your car running at optimum.

Best Type of Engine Oil To Use For An Oil Change

The type of oil you use determines when to change the oil. Synthetic oil protects your vehicle better than conventional oil. Synthetic oil is better as it has many benefits that regular oil does not. One thing to note is that when you start using synthetic oil, you should keep using synthetic moving forward as mixing this type of oil with regular oil can leave harmful deposits on your engine.

When To Get An Oil Change

Benefits of Using Synthetic Engine Oil

• It produces less friction because of the uniform molecular sizes
• It reduces deposit due to its refinement
• Synthetic oil cleans the engine and boasts protection due to the additives
• The oil works better in extreme and cold weather
• Synthetic oil contains fewer impurities


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Synthetic Oil Changes Last Longer

If you have a BMW, for example, you can go up to 15000 miles before oil change while using synthetic oil. However, if using other types of oil, you may have to change them sooner to protect your engine from damage.

Synthetic Oil Can Benefit Many Different Driving Habits

When off-roading, racing, towing, idling in traffic, driving in extreme heat or cold, or making frequent short distances, you’ll need an oil change more frequently than someone who drives under normal conditions.

Follow your mechanic or manufacturer’s oil change recommendation if you off-road often. Also, regularly check the oil, and if it’s changed color to a very dark brown, it’s time to change it.

When To Get An Oil Change

The 3000 miles’ oil change has been around for quite a long time and is recommended by repair facilities, quick-lube chain, and service departments. But the 3000 miles is no longer necessary in modern cars. The majority of car owners change their oil between 5000 miles and 10000 miles.

It was necessary to change oil frequently back then, but due to advances in engine materials, tighter tolerances, and improvement in oil quality, manufacturers now recommend 7500 miles or even more.

Mileage recommendation from manufacturers varies depending on the recommended motor oil and engine type. Most manufacturers recommend an oil change once a year or after every 10000 miles, whichever comes first.

Again, some modern cars have oil-life monitors which will tell you when it’s time to change the oil, depending on climate conditions, engine temperature, number of cold starts, and vehicle speed.

If you feel uncomfortable going 10000 miles and beyond before an oil change, do it when having your wheels rotated, which is mostly after every six months. However, check the oil level every month.

If you’re not sure of when to change the oil, follow your user manual, or seek help from a reliable mechanic.

Why You Need an Oil Change

Oil lubricates the metal parts of the engine to prevent premature wear. The engine oil also collects particles from the engine. The oil’s detergents break down the engine particles to keep your engine running smoothly.

Without an oil change, the engine won’t last long, and you’ll replace your engine sooner than expected. Also, the particles in the oil will settle and cause corrosion, if you don’t change the oil.

Over time, the unchanged oil begins to solidify and build up in the engine, leading to oil starvation in the bearings, camshafts, and crankshafts leading to engine damage.

Get Your Car Engine Oil Changed Today

If you’re not sure whether to get an oil change, visit an expert mechanic for recommendations. The experts will inspect your car and ask questions about your driving habits to determine the best time interval for oil changes. Alternatively, you could check your manufacturer manual for model-specific details on car and engine maintenance and oil change intervals.

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Changing Your Oil FAQs

What do the different motor oil types mean like 10w30?

The numbers represent the viscosity of the oil and the W stands for "winter". The number before the W describes the viscosity of the oil at low temperatures. The lower the number, the thinner the oil and the better the oil’s temperature when starting from a cold start. The number after the W describes how thick the oil is at the engine’s normal operating temperature.

How do I clean up an oil spill in my driveway?

You can use common household cleaners to clean oil off of your driveway. Take some laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid and pour it over the spot. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes and then scrub using hot water. You can also use baking soda by sprinkling over the spot and then scrubbing with a splash of hot water.

Why is Synthetic oil more expensive?

Synthetic oil provides more effective protection for your car and can extend the life of your engine. Also, Synthetic oil helps reduce deposits that can damage your engine

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