You can usually find an estimate for how frequently to change your vehicle’s oil in the owner’s manual that came with it. This basic estimate is a great place to begin. You may be able to adjust your oil change frequency, however, based on your individual driving habits, how old your engine is, and other variables.
Read the Owner’s Manual
Your first resource for information about your vehicle should be the manual. If you no longer have it, talk to your dealer or research the information online. This comprehensive guide should give you a recommendation as to the type of engine oil to use for your specific vehicle. The type and weight of oil are important as well, so make sure you select one that works well with your vehicle’s engine.
Modern manufacturers often clarify a variety of oil change intervals, specifying one length for special operating conditions and another for normal operating conditions. “Normal operating conditions” usually refers to the national average of about half city and half highway driving and around 12 thousand miles a year, with only passengers and light loads. “Special operating conditions” are harder on the vehicle and refer to drivers that spend more time in traffic, hauling heavy things, or making shorter trips. More miles spent on the highway are actually healthier for your vehicle.
Cars that are driven under normal conditions tend to need less maintenance work. They may only need an oil change every ten thousand miles. However, if they’re driven in harsher conditions, they may need their oil changed as frequently as every five thousand miles.
Pay Attention to Your Driving
The way you drive and where you drive the vehicle can have a dramatic effect on it. Driving in city traffic can cause oxidation and overheating, and only making short trips doesn’t allow for enough time to burn off water condensation, which is a normal result of combustion. If you usually drive like this, you should change your oil around every five thousand miles to keep your engine working at its best.
On the other hand, if you usually drive on the highway, you likely have enough time to burn off condensation and for your car to function at its best. This allows you to extend your oil change interval a little bit.
Synthetic types of oil can last longer, as well, as this type of oil doesn’t have as many impurities. If you utilise synthetic oil, you can change your oil less often.
If your engine has mechanical issues, it will shorten the life of the oil itself. If your engine has worn piston rings and seals, it will use more oil and may leak oil, which will leave less oil to actually run the engine itself. If your car is overheating, the oil can oxidise faster and you may have deposits in the engine. If you have a cylinder that is misfiring, the oil may thin, which can reduce its functionality. When you have issues with your engine you should change the oil more frequently, as well as getting the problem repaired using your local garage services.
Oil Changes are Vitally Important
Engine oil keeps everything in your engine working correctly and acts as a lubricant. It’s incredibly important for the life and correct function of your vehicle’s engine. Oil does, however, wear out after time, which reduces the protection that they give and means that they need to be changed. Fresh engine oil and a new filter will allow parts to move freely and extend the life of your entire engine.
Keep in mind that all engines need oil, use up oil, and many of them leak, so it’s very important to check the oil level regularly and adjust it as needed. Checking your oil every thousand miles only requires a rag and a few minutes of your time. Your owner’s manual will show you how, but if you still aren’t sure, ask a technician you trust to show you how. Keep extra oil and a funnel in your vehicle so you can top it off as necessary when it’s low.