How Often Should You Change Your Oil

How Often Should You Change Your Oil


When you own a car, changing its oil regularly is just part of the deal. Adhering to regular oil change intervals is so important because additives develop over time making the oil dirty. Dirty oil can form contaminants and sludge in the crank base of your car’s engine. By sticking to the manufacturer recommended oil change schedule, you can avoid costly repairs and engine damage. Figuring out the proper oil change interval for your vehicle may not be as easy as it seems. It depends on several factors discussed below.

Working Conditions

Your car’s required oil change frequency largely depends on the way you use your car and where you use your car. If you drive your car under extreme working conditions, it may require regular changes as often as 1000 miles to 3000 miles.

Examples that demand this high frequency are when you take your car to shorter trips every day, keep them parked for long hours, or drive during peak traffic hours. Also, if you rarely find yourself on the highway or driving at steady speeds, this can affect the engine and increase your oil change frequency.

However, if your car is new and you maintain it in optimal working conditions, you can wait for every 7500 miles or more before changing the oil. Even if you own a new car, try to change the oil at least after every 5000 miles or so to keep the engine up and running smoothly.


If the car is new, you should simply follow the recommendations in the user’s manual to change the oil. It is recommended that you take your new car to the dealer not only for oil change but also for regular inspection and maintenance at specified intervals.

Most of the newer models today have an automated oil-life monitoring system to track the condition of oil and remind you when it needs to be changed. But, when your car is out of warranty, you have to do your best to make an educated guess as to when to change the engine oil.

Oil Type

Most of the conventional oil types are cheap but they deteriorate quickly. While using cheaper oil may save you money in the short term, you’ll find that you need to change it more frequently, costing you more overall in the long run. However, if your vehicle comes with synthetic oil, the engine will be safer for an extended period. Synthetic does not need to be changed as frequently and may last up to 12000 miles in ideal conditions.

Synthetic oils have better resistance to breakdown and high temperatures. They can reduce sludge buildup and increase the lifespan of the engine. If your car is an older model and you aren’t sure about the type of oil it needs, check the user’s manual or take your vehicle to the nearest dealership for an oil change.

What Precautions Should You Take?

Even if your car has the latest oil-life monitoring system or synthetic oil, make it a habit to check the oil once every week. This practice helps to ensure there’s no leakage or burnt oil in the engine. When the oil gets dark and murky, it may be time for a change. If your oil is still lighter but also a milky shade, you may have a leak in the coolant.

The main rule is to be diligent. Know what to look for and check your engine often. Keeping a keen eye on your oil change frequency is one of the easiest ways to keep your engine in the top shape.