Do you take your car to get its routine oil change every three months (because that little sticker in your windshield told you to)? You should, because that way you can rest assured that you are driving safely!
However, times have changed, cars have changed, and it’s time to take a look at your own. You may notice that you drive more or less than the average driver, or that your car takes a synthetic oil that lasts longer in between oil changes.
So how often do you really need an oil change, then? Learn what you can do differently to save your time and money.
What kind of oil does your car take?
If you don’t already know, find out what type of oil your vehicle takes. Depending on the car, it may be able to take more than one type. So, how often do you need an oil change depending on the oil type? Here is a rough guideline for the time span between oil changes and each oil type:
-Conventional: 3,000 miles
-High Mileage: 4,000 miles
-Full Synthetic: 5,000 miles
How much do you drive?
So, you know the standard amount of miles in between conventional oil changes is about 3,000. Therefore, if you’re basing your oil changes off of the date in your windshield, you might be getting them too often or not enough. Track your miles instead of time in between oil changes to find this out.
Pro Tip: Oil becomes less effective as it ages! If you drive less than 3,000 miles a year, our mechanics at Jack’s recommend still getting an oil change twice a year.
What are your daily road conditions like?
Driving in severe road conditions on a regular basis can cause you to need an oil change twice as often as the normal “3 month, 3,000 miles” rule.
Severe road conditions include:
-Dirt, gravel, or dusty roads
-Heavy vehicle loading such as trailers
-Taking short trips in below-freezing temperatures (causing your vehicle’s engine not to warm up properly)
-Low speeds and idling for long distances (if your commute includes miles of sitting in freeway traffic)
How old is your vehicle?
If you drive a newer car, you may want to check on that vehicle’s recommended oil change frequency. Many automakers have advanced oil efficiency so that you can go up to 10,000 miles, or 6 months, without needing an oil change!
Pro Tip: Check your car’s oil level once a month.
If you don’t know how to do this, see your car manual for directions. It is important to make sure you have enough oil in your car to run, so pay attention to this. In fact, most cars need their oil topped off in between oil changes.
Now that you know how often to get an oil change, you can save time and money on this– let’s be honest– daunting task. Plus, knowing your car better can potentially save you money on even more serious auto repairs.
For any other questions regarding oil changes, message Jack’s Brake & Alignment on Facebook!