Featured image for post: How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

Oil changes are a necessary part of regular car maintenance. Without proper oil changes, your engine can become damaged, leading to costly repairs and risks of being stranded on the side of the highway. But how often you change your oil depends on several factors, including driving habits and vehicle information. Keep reading to find out how often you need an oil change.

The Four Primary Oil Change Intervals

How often you have your oil changed will depend primarily on your driving habits. While it used to be recommended to change it every three months or 3,000 miles, this may not be accurate for most cars anymore. Many newer cars can go longer in between oil changes. Experts recommend four main oil change intervals depending on your car and driving habits.

Every 1,000 Miles

If you don’t drive your car often and tend to only make short trips of ten miles or less, it may benefit your car to have the oil changed every 1,000 miles. This is because when you don’t drive at high speeds for long enough, your engine doesn’t get hot enough to boil off the condensation that has accumulated, causing oil to break down faster. If you drive less than 1,000 miles in a 6-12 month period, you should still have your oil replaced every six months, as it degrades over time.

Every 3,000 Miles

While the 3,000-mile oil change interval is no longer considered necessary for every car, there may still be cars that benefit from it. If you have an older model and your manufacturer recommends changing the oil every 3,000 miles, you should follow that recommendation. The good news is that changing your oil too frequently will not damage your car, so it never hurts to be extra cautious if your car is on the older side.

Every 5,000 – 7,500 Miles

Most modern cars only require oil changes every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. While this number depends partially on your driving habits, your vehicle manufacturer should recommend exactly how often you should have your oil changed. If you regularly drive your car for more than 20 minutes and typically achieve fairly consistent speeds during these trips, you may be able to wait until closer to 7,500 miles to change your oil. If you drive less frequently and take shorter trips when you do, you may need to have it changed closer to the 5,000-mile mark. Remember to reference your car owner’s manual and manufacturer recommendations to determine the best oil change schedule for you.

Every 10,000 Miles

Some car manufacturers now recommend using synthetic oil for newer cars, which can increase the number of miles you drive between oil changes. Newer cars using synthetic oil can go as many as 10,000 miles between oil changes. It is worth noting that synthetic oil is more expensive than conventional oil, but it does have more benefits for your car. Some experts recommend only switching to synthetic oil if your car needs it, while others suggest it for its benefits. Check your car manufacturer’s recommendations and discuss with a mechanic if using synthetic oil is right for your vehicle.

Pay Attention to Dashboard Lights & Notifications

Many modern vehicles now include oil life monitoring systems that can alert you when it’s time to get your oil changed. This light is not the same as your oil pressure light and instead keeps track of your mileage to analyze when an oil change is necessary. Consult your owner’s manual to see if you have an oil life monitoring system and become familiar with the oil pressure light and oil life light so that you know the difference should one come on. If you get a low oil pressure warning while driving, you must pull over immediately to avoid engine damage.

Car & Truck Oil & Lube Services in Burlingame

If you need an oil change in Burlingame, Putnam Automotive Group can help. Your car’s oil change is a necessary simple service. Don’t overlook vital routine maintenance once your vehicle approaches its scheduled oil change period. Oil change services are ideal for the performance of your car. It helps ensure your car engine’s health by enabling it to run well for many miles.

Dirty or low motor oil could result in corrosion, heat damage, and more. Engine repairs could be expensive and demanding. So, it’s best to prevent significant engine issues by considering your vehicle’s regular oil change.

Putnam Automotive Group has been in the business of carrying out oil changes in vehicles for years. Drivers and vehicle owners looking for an oil change in San Francisco can visit our oil change shop for affordable services.


Image Source: Somchai_Stock / Shutterstock