Routine Oil Changes
How often do you need to change your engine oil?
Answer #1: In the 20th century, the automotive industry suggested that average drivers with average vehicles and average driving conditions should change their conventional (petroleum-based) oil and filter every 3 months or 3,000 miles.
Are you, your driving habits, driving conditions, and vehicle average? How can you be sure?
Answer #2: When it gets dirty.
21st century automotive manufacturing has led to better parts, less friction, and fewer contaminants over time. Some manufacturers now recommend 5,000 – 7,000 miles between oil changes, but it depends.
- If you drive in harsh conditions (hot climates, dirt roads, hauling a trailer, frequent starts and stops, mostly short trips) you might need to change your oil more frequently.
- If you drive in normal conditions, check your owner’s manual and manufacturer recommendations: you might be able to go longer. BUT if you extend the time between oil changes, you MUST check your oil level. Your oil level naturally depletes over time, so going longer between oil changes means you will probably need to occasionally add some oil.
Does Synthetic Engine Oil Last Longer?
Learn more about the difference between conventional and synthetic engine oils, and whether they can extend the time between your vehicle’s oil changes.