Oil is an essential part of any car, and its role cannot be underestimated in keeping your vehicle running smoothly. But changing your oil is a delicate balancing act. You want to change it before it becomes usable, but not before it becomes unusable. Because of that, it may seem like a confusing topic.
What factors influence the optimal oil change intervals of a car? Do some oil need to be changed more frequently than others? When should you use your oil dipstick to check your car’s oil level? Can you trust the car’s oil life monitoring systems?
A variety of factors determine this process. The type of vehicle you drive, your location, and your driving habits all influence how frequently you should change your oil and oil filter.
If you’ve ever pondered these questions, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about frequent oil changes and their intervals for different types of cars.
Factors to Consider When Changing Your Oil in Your Car
Driving conditions can impact the efficiency of your oil. If you go to a town with lots of stop-and-go traffic or on a dusty road, you may want to change your oil more frequently. More contaminants will enter your oil if you often drive in a dusty environment, compared to going on a highway where there isn’t as much dust.
Dust, dirt, and other small particles enter your engine through the air intake while you’re driving. They travel through the engine and get stuck in the oil.
Oil changes these particles into sludge. As this sludge builds up in your engine, it can impair proper oil flow, clog oil passages, or cause other damage to your vehicle’s engine.
Moreover, the conditions can impact your oil life if you drive in extremely cold or hot weather. Your oil will break down faster if you drive under hot conditions. If you drive in very cold conditions, it can take your engine longer to warm up, and your oil will thicken up.
Do you make a lot of short trips or long trips? Do you do a lot of idling or acceleration? These things affect how your car’s engine works, your oil works, and the rate at which your oil breaks down.
Some owners change their oil based on the odometer reading, changing it every three to five thousand miles. Oil’s ability to protect your engine diminishes after about three thousand miles.
If you drive less than 10,000 miles yearly, you’re probably better off changing your oil every 5,000 miles. If you drive more than 10,000 miles per year, you should probably change your oil every 10,000 miles.
Type of Oil Used
One of the most important factors to consider when determining when to change your car’s oil is the type of oil used in your vehicle, as it will affect its lifespan.
Oil is the lifeblood of your car, responsible for keeping everything from the engine to the transmission running smoothly and efficiently.
If you use a low-quality oil, it can break down much quicker than oil made with higher-quality ingredients. This means you will have to change it at much shorter intervals. For example, you might have to do an oil change every 3,000 miles instead of 7,500.
The quality of the oil is determined by the base stock used to produce it. Base stock comes in three varieties:
- full synthetic motor oil
- synthetic blend
Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Petroleum oil is the cheapest option, synthetic oil is the most expensive, and synthetic motor oil blends are a good compromise.
To find the oil type your car needs, you must check the engine oil container, ask your mechanic, or do some online research on sites like car forums.
If you’re unsure when to change your oil, consult your owner’s manual or the car’s oil life monitoring system if it has one.
This is because the manufacturer knows their cars and engines best. Your car’s manufacturer will have tested their oils in various conditions and chosen the right oil for your vehicle.
Some automakers recommend changing your oil every three to five thousand miles. This is because the ability of the oil to protect your engine begins to deteriorate after about three thousand miles.
Other manufacturers recommend changing your oil at a specific time interval because the older your oil is, the less effective it is at protecting your engine from wear and tear.
However, if you choose to change your oil based on the manufacturer’s recommendation, you should be aware of specific risks.
Manufacturers don’t test their engines with the type of oil their customers will be using. They try their engines with the oils that come standard in the cars. You usually don’t have the same option when buying your engine oil at the store.
Another risk of changing your motor oil based on the manufacturer’s recommendation is that you might be doing it too late or too early. This is because your engine and its oil are used in real-world conditions. Your engine is being used by a specific owner and is undergoing particular driving conditions.
Need Change Oil for Your Vehicle? Contact Our Car Experts in Gilbert, AZ Today
An oil change is an essential part of maintaining your car. They involve regularly changing your car’s oil and filter to keep it running smoothly and safe from mechanical failure.
So, what is the optimal oil change interval for your car? It all depends on your driving conditions, the oil used, how frequently you drive, and the vehicle type.
If you would like to know more about oil changes for your car or other different ways you can care for your vehicle, give Highline Car Care a call at (480) 933-5255 to speak to one of our mechanics.