Is It Ok To Change My Car’s Oil Once A Year?
Oil changes are just one of the many minor car ownership problems, but they’re critical to keeping your car in good condition. In addition, if you don’t change your oil on time and with the correct materials, the car’s warranty can be void.
However, experts are now suggesting that the standard oil change cycle every three months — or every 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers)—is old news and that most cars will go a little further before they need to replace oil. If you change your oil more often than you should, it won’t help your engine. It doesn’t hurt, either, but you’re wasting money, time, and energy. Bear in mind, too, that throwing away oil that is still available is putting a strain on the climate.
There are four major “recommended” intervals for an oil change based on factors unique to you and your car:
- Every 1,000 miles (1,609 km) or every six months
- 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) every day.
- 5,000 to 7,500 miles (8,046 to 12,070 kilometers) each.
- Every 10,000 to 15,000 kilometers or every six months (16,093 to 24,140 kilometers)
Let’s take a look at the circumstances of each one.
Change Every 1,000 Miles
Second, if some experts say that 3,000 miles are too often, why would the same experts suggest intervals every 1,000 miles? All this depends on your driving habits. If your driving schedule consists mainly of trips of 10 miles or less, you should consider changing your oil more frequently than every 3,000 miles for two reasons.
- If you’re not making long trips at fast, steady speeds (like on a highway) then your engine doesn’t get hot enough to boil off the condensation that accumulates in the system. This could cause oil to break down faster.
- Most of the wear and tear on your engine happens when you start your car, and if you’re not going very far, most of your driving is of the sort that’s really rough on your engine. More regular changes in oil will help to mitigate the damage.
Change More Frequently
Some car experts say that the 3,000-mile interval is simply for the advantage of oil-change shops, since the more often you come in, the more money they receive. Still, if you have an older model car that suggests this interval, you might be better off sticking to it.
Scientific American advocates for longer periods, specifically every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, based on the fact that this is recommended in most car owners’ manuals. The 5,000-7,500-mile range is becoming increasingly popular, although some manufacturers suggest that you also take your driving style and preferences into account.
For example, if your car is fairly new and you usually drive 20 minutes or more and get fairly steady speeds (as opposed to stop-and-go traffic on the entire drive) you are the prime candidate to increase the time between oil changes. However, if your car is older, it’s best to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
Change Every 10,000 Miles
If the manufacturer of your car recommends synthetic oil, or if you plan to move, you may drive as many as 10,000 miles or more between oil changes. While synthetic oil is much more expensive than standard oil, it has more benefits. It works better than standard oil (see Now that’s interesting, below) and is better for the climate.
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What Is Included In A Standard Oil Change?
Is It Bad To Wait For An Oil Change?
What Happens If You Don’t Change Oil?
Can I Just Add Oil Instead Of Getting An Oil Change?
What Is Checked During An Oil Change?
How Long Can A Car Sit Without Oil?
Are You Looking for an Oil Change Shop You Can Trust?
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