Mileage or Months: When to Get Your Oil Changed


Most people know that, when you buy a car, you’re going to need regular oil changes. However, manufacturers, oil-change shops, and synthetic oil companies all have different ‘rules’ to determine how often you should change the oil. It can get confusing quickly, and while most people prefer to stick with the car manufacturer’s recommendations, many wonder if they really need to change the oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Along with such, some manufacturers only tell you how many months to wait between oil changes, which confuses people even more!

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Driving Patterns
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Instead of focusing on a particular number, drivers should focus on their driving patterns to determine how often to change the oil. For example, if you drive your vehicle once a week about 15 miles away from your house and back, it’s going to take you 41 weeks or about 10 months to reach 5,000 miles. Waiting that long could be hard on your engine because the oil still gets dirty even when the vehicle just sits.

Those who drive 1,000 miles a week would then get their oil changed every five weeks, which also seems a little premature.

Along with such, people who start the car when the oil isn’t hot may want to consider changing the oil more often because engine wear occurs most frequently when the oil isn’t warm, and it’s started from a cold state. Therefore, if you rarely drive more than 2,000 miles a year, you should still change it twice a year.

Environmental Confusion

Oil changes aren’t usually that expensive, so most people don’t mind the cost of changing their oil every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever happens first. However, environmentalists claim that it is damaging to the environment when you change the oil in your car that frequently.

The problem isn’t that there is so much engine oil out there. The problem resides in the fact that many companies don’t dispose of it correctly or spill it into the environment. Therefore, if you choose a quick-lube company or a mechanic who practices safe disposal, you shouldn’t worry about contamination. Along with such, many companies now have ways to recycle the used engine oil, which helps the planet.

If your primary issue with changing the oil so much is because of environmental concerns, you may be able to put those issues to rest and relax a little.

3,000 Miles is a Myth

Of course, you’ve also got those people who claim the myth of 3,000-mile oil changes was created by the quick-lube industry. Regardless of your take on that, most people need a specific number to go by, especially if they don’t keep track of it themselves and rely on the little mechanic sticker.

However, if you want to save money and change your oil less often, you may want to consider switching to synthetic oil because it is designed to perform better and last longer. These synthetic oils are usually good for about six months or between 10,000 and 15,000 miles.

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Mileage or Months: When to Get Your Oil Changed

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