Good maintenance of your car engine is essential for its longevity and performance. One of the most important maintenance tasks that you should regularly perform is an oil change. Changing your car engine oil is essential to keep it running smoothly and maximizing its lifespan.
In this guide, we will look at all of these factors and provide you with an answer to the question: ‘How often should you change engine oil?’
What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Car’s Engine Oil?
If you don’t change your car’s engine oil, you could be putting your engine at risk of major damage. Over time, the oil can become contaminated with dirt, debris and other particles that can cause it to break down and become less effective. This can lead to poor engine performance, reduced fuel efficiency, and even engine failure.
Additionally, not changing your oil can cause deposits to build up in the engine, leading to higher levels of friction and heat. This can lead to further damage and even engine seizure, resulting in costly repairs or even total engine replacement.
How Often Does Engine Oil Need to Be Changed?
The general rule of thumb is to change your car’s engine oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on the type of oil you are using and the manufacturer’s recommendation. However, it is important to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the specific recommendation for your make and model.
If you do mostly highway driving, you can go longer between oil changes than if you do a lot of city driving. You should also pay attention to the type of oil you use. Synthetic oil can often go longer between changes than regular oil. Additionally, if you use your car for towing or hauling heavy loads, you may need to change your oil more often.
It is also important to pay attention to the warning lights on your car’s dashboard. If the oil light comes on, it is time to change your oil, even if it has not been 3,000 miles yet. Additionally, it is important to have your oil checked and changed at least once a year, no matter how many miles you have driven. This will help your engine stay in good condition and extend its life.
Other Factors That Affect How Often Engine Oil Needs to Be Changed
In addition to the type of oil used and the manufacturer’s recommendation, there are other factors that can affect how often engine oil needs to be changed. The age of the car, the type of driving you do, and the climate you live in can all affect how often you need to change your oil.
For older cars, it is important to check your oil more often than newer cars to ensure that the engine is running properly and efficiently. If you drive in extreme climates, you may need to change your oil more often than if you live in milder climates. Additionally, if you do a lot of stop-and-go driving, you may need to change your oil more often than if you mostly drive on highways.
By paying attention to all of these factors, you can ensure that your car’s engine is running smoothly and efficiently and extend its life.
Engine oil should be changed every 3,000 miles or every 3 months, whichever comes first. However, if you drive in stop-and-go traffic or in extreme conditions, you may need to change your oil more often.
Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for specific recommendations, as different vehicles have different oil-change intervals. And when in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and change your oil more frequently rather than less.
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