How frequently your vehicle needs an oil change depends on several factors. The tried-and-true guideline about changing oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles is no longer viable. Depending on the vehicle and type of oil, some vehicles may not need an oil change until 10,000 miles or every 7-9 months.
So, how does the average consumer know when to change their vehicle oil? There are several helpful guidelines available.
Start with the Manufacturer Recommendations:
What does the owner's manual say? Read and follow the manufacturer's guidelines about what type of oil to use and when to change it. Often, the manufacturer will recommend changing the oil filter at the same time.
How do you drive?
Owner's manuals often separate regular and extreme driving. Extreme driving may include items like towing, racing, and off-road driving. Stop and go driving or quick trips in a city also fall under these guidelines. These driving conditions require more frequent oil changes.
Where do you live?
The extreme driving classification also applies to people driving in extreme heat, cold, and humid weather. Frequently driving on gravel roads means more pressure on the air filter to keep dust or dirt out of the oil. These conditions warrant more frequent oil changes.
What type of oil do you have in the vehicle?
Older vehicles may have conventional oil rather than synthetic oil. Synthetic oil is a purer oil with more durability. This increased durability means a longer time between oil changes. Many modern vehicle manufacturers require synthetic oil to keep the vehicle warranty valid.
Check your oil:
Perhaps the vehicle isn't running right, or you are unsure about your oil levels. It is a straightforward procedure to check your oil. Does the dipstick say your oil level is in the minimum to the maximum range? What color and consistency is the oil? A darker, thick oil may mean it is time for an oil change. Proactively checking your oil can save unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle.
Changing your oil when needed keeps your vehicle in the best possible condition. We invite you into our auto repair shop for a fast and efficient oil change whenever it is needed. Call us today!