How often should I change my car oil?


The engine is the heart of a car. And oil maintenance is crucial for the proper work of the engine. Failing to take proper care of it, you risk engine issues that might turn out to be indeed costly.

Engine oil is the thing that lubricates, cools, and cleans the engine system. This allows it to run smoothly, and not overheat or break from friction and corrosion. However, the oil tends to get dirty with time, as it collects particles that can stack up and damage the engine. This is why it needs to be changed regularly.

By simply making sure to keep an eye on your car oil levels, you do not have to worry about costly expenses and engine problems. Moreover, having a well-oiled engine will help you maintain fuel efficiency and enjoy the nice performance of your car.

Over time, neglected engine oil will degrade and lose its protective properties. Your engine may overheat, use less fuel efficiently, perform poorly, and, in the worst-case scenario, fail if you don’t change the oil. This is why car oil maintenance is crucial, and in this article, we will share more about it.

So, How Often Car Oil Has To Be Changed?

In the past, vehicles had to have their engine oil changed every 3,000 miles. Nowadays, this number has increased, mostly due to the quality of the oil. The distances now are about between 5,000 and 7,500 miles. However, a car may go for up to 15,000 miles on premium full-synthetic motor oil before needing an oil change.

The procedure for changing the oil in different kinds of cars differs. The mechanism in a newer model vehicle will usually alert you when an oil change is necessary. Nevertheless, you should check the level every month and add more if needed, regardless of how frequently you adjust it. As an alternative, most manufacturers recommend changing the oil once a year if you don’t drive very much, even if the maintenance reminder hasn’t appeared yet.

Most contemporary cars are equipped with oil-life monitoring devices. They automatically detect when an oil change is needed and alert you with a message displayed on the instrument panel. Unlike the time and mileage-based systems of the past, the more advanced versions of today determine when the oil will start to deteriorate by assessing real vehicle running conditions.

However, many contemporary car owners and maintenance manuals remove the advice for “severe service” since the oil-life monitoring system automatically shortens the interval between oil changes when it detects heavy-duty usage.

Remember that most manufacturers recommend an oil change every 12 months if your automobile doesn’t have a lot of miles on it, even if the maintenance reminder hasn’t been set off. You may reduce the cost of repairs by keeping the oil levels in your automobile at optimal levels. Under most new automobile warranties, engine wear and damage from low oil levels are not covered.

Car Oil Change For Older Models

There are typically two oil change schedules for older vehicles. There are two types of driving: “normal” driving and “severe service.” Standard mileage-based intervals are used for “normal” oil changes. The latter group also includes driving in harsh weather (hot, cold, or dirty), towing or carrying a large cargo, making frequent stops and starts, or mostly making short excursions.

For earlier models, the oil-life monitoring system needs to be reset by the service expert each time the oil is changed. But now you can reset the system yourself. As with any other car maintenance procedure, it is always a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and gather the information from the best source. And if you just want to leave this job to the experts, you are almost always a few clicks away from typing “oil change near me” and finding the ideal auto service.

The Different Types of Car Oil

Different kinds of automobile oil exist. For the majority of automobiles, conventional oil is the most popular type and is advised. For high-performance engines, synthetic oil is more costly but provides superior protection and performance.

Synthetic blend oil is a combination of the two that offers a balance between affordability and performance. Selecting the appropriate type of oil for your car is crucial to ensuring long-term engine health. We shall delve a little further into each type’s attributes.

Crude or base oil is processed to create conventional oil. It is being cleaned of a lot of impurities throughout this process. Moreover, it contains additives that reduce sludge, inhibit corrosion, and enhance lubrication. Its lack of manufacturing means that it typically has fewer additives than synthetic oil, which drives down the price. Regular drivers will typically find that conventional oil is the best option.

On the other hand, fully synthetic oil is produced. Because of its high level of refinement, most of the impurities found in ordinary oil are removed. Synthetic motor oil also contains a variety of additives to aid improve the oil’s capacity to sufficiently lubricate and clean the engine. It costs more as a result of these manufacturing procedures. For drivers who operate their vehicles in a manner that puts stress on the engine, synthetic oil is a smart option.


In conclusion, car engine oil should be changed on average every 6-12 months or each 6,000 – 9,000 miles. Of course, some factors may affect these numbers. Such include the type of oil you are using, your style of driving, and your environment. It is always best to consult with your owner’s manual.

Also, if you’re searching for a “cheap oil changes near me” location in the Sacramento region, SmogMart’s skilled auto mechanics can handle your car’s needs promptly and carefully.

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