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Feb 5, 2015

How Often Do You Really Need To Replace Your Engine Oil?

Posted By in Maintenance Tips | No Comments »

3,000 miles. 5,000 miles. 50,000 miles. Do you know which one of these is the correct interval for changing your car’s engine oil? Here is a hint, it is a trick question! We had to throw the last one in there for fun; whatever you do, please do not wait until your car makes it way well into the 5-digit range before replenishing its oil supply.

Oil Change Rules

Interestingly enough, a vast majority of car owners are completely unaware about when they should drain and refill their oil, so allow us to clear up the confusion. This is an age-old question, and one that has been contested by mechanics and automobile professionals for just as long.

When should you change your oil?

The conventional 3-month or 3,000-mile mark once stood true, but with the development of modern engine technology and high-performance oil products, it is a fact that you can drive much farther these days. Given their higher susceptibility to damage and internal wear and tear, the motors on older and high-mileage vehicles should have oil replacements sooner.

The answer to the question on what the appropriate oil-changing interval is depends on a number of factors, the most important of which is the type of oil and filter being used. Many car owners are unaware of the importance of the filter; its role is to keep the oil clean and free from harmful contaminants. Thus, the better the part, the better the oil will perform under normal and high-load driving conditions.

Conventional motor oil is not made to last nearly as long as synthetic blends and full synthetic products, so if you plan to use it, expect shorter changing intervals. Every 5,000 miles is a safe bet, but certain conditions may warrant the traditional, 3,000 mile change (e.g. driving frequently in cold weather, in stop and go traffic, in dirty and dusty conditions, etc.).

The additives and cleansing detergents in higher quality oils are made to last longer and not breakdown as quickly, thereby giving the oil the dual-benefit of lubrication and protection. Please note that other factors outside of changing the oil can affect interval times, namely, how well you are maintaining your engine.

Every part of a motor is interdependent; nothing operates in isolation. A dirty air filter will make the engine work harder, thus putting excess strain on the oil. To keep it running like a top, pay attention to everything.


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