Theoretically, every driver knows about the importance of changing the oil on time. In practice, we often notice that people really have no idea how often they should do it.
Some simply forget about this necessary maintenance procedure and may end up with a damaged engine and a need for costly repair. Others, and vice versa, are constantly worried about the quality and condition of the oil in their vehicle.
In this article, we shall try to clear this matter up and help you understand how often you actually need to change the oil in your vehicle.
Why some vehicles may need an oil change more often than others
The frequency of oil changes in your car may depend on several different factors:
- In which climate and road conditions you usually drive;
- Whether you often get stuck in traffic jams;
- How long are your daily driving distances;
- Whether and what weight the vehicle has to tow.
It means that the type and model of your vehicle do not necessarily determine the frequency of oil change. The same Chevrolets that drive in Montana and California may have different oil change schedules.
The type of oil that you have in your car is also important. As a rule, synthetic oils last longer.
Despite all those factors, there is no particular formula that will let you determine precisely when do you need to change the oil in your car. The best way to keep the track is to check the oil every time (or at least every other time) that you fuel your vehicle and make a habit of changing the oil every time you rotate the wheels or replace tires for the new season, which will be approximately every half a year.
What do manufacturers say about an oil change?
Back in the day, a manufacturer would simply point out that you need to change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles.
Today this number is not that relevant due to the fact that the engine manufacture, quality of roads as well as the properties of oils themselves have advanced greatly.
The average minimal distance you can drive a modern car with non-synthetic oil is about 5,000 miles. Once you use synthetic oil, this number doubles and can reach up to 10,000 miles and even 15,000 for some models.
Modern vehicles are so complicated (and so are their manuals) that it is always best to address professional advice if you are concerned about the condition of your engine and want to work out the best maintenance routine for your car.
It is also important to remember that there are lots of different oils on your market, and sometimes it may be hard to make an informed decision without an expert opinion of a person who knows the peculiarities of your particular vehicle and the local road conditions.
Living in Montana’s Great Flathead Valley, you can always count on the experience and professionalism of mechanics from OHS Body Shop. Make sure to visit one of our branches in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson next time your car needs a routine check-up or repair. Here you will find experienced mechanics that will help you work out the best maintenance schedule for your car and help you get the most out of your driving experience in the future.