How Often Should You Change Your Oil?


One of the most important maintenance needs of any car is getting the oil changed on a regular basis. However, there is a lot of debate surrounding what kind of oil you should use and how often your oil should be changed. Most people have been advised to get their oil changed every 3,000 miles, but auto manufacturers are now coming out and saying this isn’t necessarily true. According to leading auto industry experts, not every single car requires an oil change at the 3,000-mile mark. Your best bet is to check your vehicle’s owner manual and see what it recommends. Technology has progressed over the years, making it unnecessary for many modern cars to get an oil change every 3,000 miles. Many years ago, it was a good idea to change the oil and filter frequently, but these days most manufacturers recommend 7,500 miles.

Again, when it comes to getting your oil changed, it is always a good idea to consult your owner’s manual as well as a trusted mechanic. Someone who knows your car well will be able to guide you on when it is really time to get an oil change. It should be noted that manufacturers also note that you will likely need to get your oil changed more often during the winter and when severe driving conditions are present, such as a lot of stop-and-go driving, idling in traffic, driving short distances, driving in extreme cold or heat, or frequent trailer towing. Definitely, keep these situations in mind when trying to determine what the best interval is for you to get an oil change.

Top Considerations for Getting Your Oil Changed

How often you need to get your oil changed will depend on your car. Older cars usually require oil change intervals based on mileage, which is where the 3,000 mark comes into play. If you drive an older car and drive under the conditions listed above, it may behoove you to have your oil changed every 3,000 miles. We recommend discussing this with your local McKinney car shop before you settle on a specific interval, as there are numerous factors that many people don’t take into consideration. Many cars now come with a built-in service reminder monitor that is designed to alert drivers as to when to change their oil. This is a great guide that will help you gain a better understanding of how your car operates and when it is in need of service.

Here are a few other considerations to help you learn more about your vehicle and what its requirements are in regards to having the oil changed and keeping it in tip-top running condition:

  • Keep an eye on your car’s oil level – Many cars require an oil top-off in-between oil changes. The best way to determine if your oil is getting low and could use a refill is to check it at least once a month. If you are doing a lot of traveling, it may be a good idea to check it more often. If you notice your car is leaking oil, it may require a more frequent top-off. You should also pay close attention to the oil’s color – it should always appear brown or black. If it is light or milky in appearance, it could indicate the coolant is leaking into the engine, which could be a sign of internal engine damage.
  • Choose the right oil for your car – Again, ask your mechanic and check your owner’s manual to determine which type of oil is best for your vehicle. Many places will try to upsell you on synthetic oil, but for most cars, this isn’t unnecessary. In some cases special oil may be necessary, but not always.

To learn more about when you should get your oil changed or if you have any additional questions about your vehicle’s maintenance needs, please contact our McKinney car shop.


Car Tips