How Often Should You Change Your Car’s Oil?
If you own a car you are responsible for keeping up with regularly scheduled maintenance,
including getting regular oil changes. Oil needs to be replaced in your car because as the oil is
used and reaches high temperatures over time it will become less effective as a lubricant and
gets dirty. When this happens it can wear out your engine and eventually cause engine
failure. If the oil isn’t kept clean, it will create sludge and ruin the engine over time. If the
engine fails, the car won’t run, and an engine is very costly to replace.
So, how often should the oil be changed? The old standby is that it should be replaced every
3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. However, that standby has come under
attack in recent years. Car experts now claim that that is a myth. The only true way to know
when to get an oil change is to follow the recommendations set forth by the vehicle’s
Car manual recommendations vary between 3,000 and 10,000 miles, but a good rule of thumb
for a modern car (no more than seven years old) is to get the oil changed every 5,000 miles.
However, if your car is older it’s best to stick to the “3,000 miles or 3 months” rule. In
addition, for older cars it’s recommended to use high mileage oil. It’s a bit pricier, but can
keep your old car running smoothly for a longer period of time.
Since everyone has a different driving style, determining when to get an oil change isn’t an
exact science. In fact, some car manufacturers don’t recommend a timeframe, but instead
warn drivers when they need an oil change by a displaying an oil reminder light in the
dashboard. If car owners are going by the warning light, they need to understand that the
light means that it needs to be replaced soon. You can’t ignore the light for weeks and weeks.
In addition to driving an older car, there are other reasons to change your car motor oil more
frequently. Change oil more often if you drive in very hot or very cold climates, drive on
surfaces other than pavement often (like dirt roads or gravel roads), carry heavy loads in your
vehicle, or are a very fast driver.
An additional oil change tip is to change the oil filter when you change the oil. The oil filter
will have gunk on it from the old oil. You don’t want to risk contaminating the new oil with
the old oil’s gunk. It defeats the purpose of getting the oil change in the first place.
About the Author:
Tom’s Foreign Auto Parts is a used foreign auto part retailer that offers a large selection of
quality used foreign auto parts. For more information please call 800-255-6656 or visit