How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

June 1st, 2023 by

To keep your vehicle in great shape, you must change the oil regularly. But how long should you wait between changes? You don’t want to wait too long, as this could cause problems with the vehicle, and the cost of changing it too frequently soon adds up. Below, we’ll answer how often you should change your oil, along with why you should make an oil change one of your top priorities as a vehicle owner.

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How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

Jeep Wrangler in the shop

How often you should change your oil depends on a few factors. Generally speaking, car manufacturers recommend changing your oil every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. Changing your oil this often typically results in better engine protection. However, there are a few factors to consider that may alter these adjustments.

For example, if you use your vehicle for “severe” driving, then you’ll want to change your oil more frequently. Severe driving includes things such as making many short trips under 5 miles, driving in extremely hot weather, driving at low speeds for long distances, taking your vehicle off-road, racing your vehicle, or using your vehicle to tow something over long distances. Driving in these sorts of conditions can put extra strain on your engine, which is why we recommend that you change your oil a little more frequently.

You’ll also want to consider the age of your vehicle. Newer vehicles use synthetic oil, which lasts longer. If you’re driving an older vehicle, it may use regular oil, which doesn’t protect the engine as well. In this case, you may want to change your oil every 5,000 miles or so.

Lastly, if you have a new vehicle that’s still under warranty, this can impact when you should get an oil change. To ensure you don’t void the powertrain warranty, you’ll want to bring your vehicle in for an oil change at the recommended intervals within your owner’s manual. Your vehicle may even have a built-in oil-life monitor, which uses real-time data to alert you when it’s time for an oil change. Check the various menus in your dashboard to see if there are any alerts related to getting an oil change.

In short, to determine when to get an oil change, all you need is a little common sense. Take the recommendation of 7,500 to 10,000 miles and adjust it based on your personal driving habits. If you think your driving habits may warrant getting an earlier oil change, you certainly won’t do any harm by replacing it early.

Benefits of a Regular Oil Change

Getting a regular oil change is one of the best things you can do for any vehicle. When you regularly change the oil, you get a few key benefits, including:

Better Performance

Regular oil changes lead to better performance. Your engine is a finely tuned piece of machinery. It relies heavily on clean engine oil to operate at its best. As engine oil degrades, the engine has to work harder and as a result, loses efficiency and power. If you want to get the most out of your engine, you should change the oil at regular intervals.

Better Protection

By changing your vehicle’s oil regularly, you’re helping to protect your engine in the long run. As we said, when an engine has dirty oil, or when it’s low on oil, it doesn’t operate as efficiently. This leads to the engine having to work harder, which can result in damage. Since engine repairs are some of the most expensive you can face as a car owner, you should do what you can to avoid them. When compared with the cost of engine repairs, an oil change every few months is a small price to pay.

Retain Vehicle Value

A vehicle that receives regular oil changes will retain more of its value. When it finally comes time to sell or trade-in your vehicle, you’ll want to get as much for it as you can. One of the factors potential buyers will look at is how well you cared for the vehicle. A vehicle history report will show how often you received oil changes, which will let potential buyers know what sort of condition the engine is in. Schedule regular oil changes now, and you’ll be glad you did when the time comes to sell or trade your vehicle.

Signs You Need an Oil Change

While it’s a good idea to change your vehicle’s oil at regular intervals, there are also signs that may indicate it’s time to change your oil. For example, if you notice that your vehicle doesn’t accelerate as fast as it used to, it could be due to poor engine oil quality. Similarly, if your vehicle takes longer to start up, it could be because the engine oil isn’t moving as quickly through the engine, something that an oil change can remedy.

Look out for any strange noises or smells. If you hear a knocking sound while you’re driving, this is often the result of needing an oil change. You may also notice a burning smell, which is a common sign that you have an engine oil leak. In either case, it’s important to have an expert service technician investigate the issue as soon as you can, otherwise, it could lead to lasting damage and expensive repairs.

Schedule Your Next Oil Change at Meadowland of Carmel

When you need an oil change near Carmel, New York, bring your vehicle to Meadowland of Carmel. Our expert service team will be happy to assist you, quickly performing an oil change and getting your vehicle back to you in no time at all. We can also answer any questions you may have about getting an oil change, such as what type of oil to use, how often to change the oil for your specific make and model, and how to check your oil in-between visits. To get started, please schedule an appointment online today, stop by during business hours, or contact us at any time.

Photo Credit: Image by Kenny Eliason is licensed with Unsplash License

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