The standards have changed when it comes to servicing your car’s oil. In the past, getting an oil change every 3,000 miles or three months was common advice. Just as putting a cassette in your vehicle’s stereo or unfolding a road atlas have become obsolete, the rules on oil changes have, well, changed.
The guidelines on when to get an oil change are found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, while many of today’s cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs have automatic reminders that account for miles driven and a driver’s habits. In general, modern cars can safely go 5,000, or even 10,000 miles from one oil change to the next. The reasons include better quality automotive oils, changes in engine design, and innovations in manufacturing.
Also, synthetic oils tend to last longer before they break down. The typical time intervals for oil changes are usually around six months or a year, depending on how frequently the vehicle is driven.
A few factors influence when your vehicle needs new oil and other car maintenance. These factors include:
- The type of engine oil used.
- The age and make of your vehicle.
- Your driving habits.
Oil change intervals are often based on typical driving habits. Non-typical driving habits include driving in dusty conditions, towing or transporting heavy loads, or frequent off-road driving. Excessive idling and driving at low speeds over long distances can also shorten oil life.
But even if you don’t drive much, oil should still be kept fresh. Dirty oil will cause engine wear if you drive only a few miles at a time.
Why Does My Car Need an Oil Change?
The longer oil stays in your car, the less effective it is. Running with older oil can cause an engine to run cooler, enabling excess moisture to form inside. A buildup of moisture isn’t the only thing that can shorten engine life; contaminated oil can as well. Particulates from the air and within the vehicle can build up. These increase friction between engine parts, causing them to wear out more quickly.
Some engines are more prone to sludge buildup than others. A breakdown in oil causes residue to form, blocking oil flow and potentially damaging the engine beyond repair. Synthetic oil can prevent sludge buildup. It also benefits vehicles that haul heavy materials and that are driven in climates with extreme seasonal temperature variations.
Checking the Oil Level
The oil change benefits on your car apply whether you replace oil regularly or service the vehicle when oil levels are low. Check your car’s oil monthly to determine if there are significant changes. If so, top it off or bring the vehicle to a shop for repairs. An oil leak can seriously damage your vehicle. You can check the exact level by using the engine’s dipstick or the vehicle’s electronic oil monitor.
Automotive oil should also have a brown or black color. If it is light or milky, there may be a coolant leak, while the presence of metal particles can indicate internal damage to the engine. Consult a mechanic right away if you see any of these signs.
Find High Quality Used Vehicles at CarWorld
At CarWorld, each used vehicle on our lot has been carefully inspected to ensure it has been properly maintained and is road ready. Our team will help find a car that suits your wants and needs, while aggressive financing is available so you can drive away the same day. Call 833-219-9951 or come visit our Hawthorne dealership today.