This may come as a surprise to some, but there are some people out there who question ‘why’ there is a need to change engine oil. If you happen to be one of them, then you have come to the right place. This is because I will tell you not only why you need to change the engine oil in your car, but also how frequently you need to change it.
To answer your first question, you need to change engine oil in your car after some time because not doing so will cause your engine to become contaminated and lose its efficiency. Are you willing to risk this? If the answer is NO (which it most likely is), then you need to start thinking about how frequently you should be changing your engine oil.
While the popular belief is that you should change engine oil every three months or after every three thousand miles (whichever comes first), the truth is that the ideal frequency of oil change will depend on your driving habits and specific needs. It may also depend on the quality of the engine oil you use. For example, a high-quality engine oil such as Mobil1 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil may need to be changed less frequently than a low-grade engine oil.
Nevertheless, based on your driving habits and specific needs, you should choose a frequency of oil change from the following four recommended intervals for oil changes.
Change After Every Thousand Miles
If you regularly make trips in your car of ten miles or less, then it would be prudent to change your engine oil more frequently than every three thousand miles. Ideally, you should change the engine oil every thousand miles. Why is this recommended?
For its long term health, a car’s engine needs to boil off any condensation accumulating inside it. This does not happen when you make only short trips of ten miles or less; this is because the engine is not getting as hot as it should. Why is condensation accumulating inside your engine bad? Because it causes oil to break down faster, which can cause the engine’s components to wear out quickly.
So, if you’re not frequently driving at high, steady speeds or making long trips in your car, then change your engine oil after every 1000 miles to minimize damage and keep the engine useful for longer.
Change After Every Three Thousand Miles
This is the standard or recommended frequency of oil change. While you can go an extra thousand miles without an oil change, if you own a newer model car, you should not risk this if you own an older car or a car manufactured before 2010. The only exception is if your car, including the engine, is in excellent condition. In that case, you can change your engine oil every five to seven thousand miles, which is recommended by many car manufacturers today.
Change After Every Five Thousand to Seven Thousand Miles
Today, an increasing number of car owners are changing their engine oil at intervals of five thousand to seven thousand miles. This is especially true for owners of newer model cars and owners of cars whose manufacturers recommend this frequency of oil change.
An oil change interval of five thousand to seven thousand miles is ideal for you if you drive at fairly steady speeds and frequently make trips of twenty minutes or longer. In other cases, you’d do well to follow the recommendation for an oil change in the car manual.
Change After Every Ten Thousand Miles
You can go ten thousand miles or more without an oil change if your car’s manufacturer recommends using a synthetic engine oil like the Mobil1 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil. Although it is more expensive than conventional oil, full synthetic engine oil has far more benefits than the conventional one, which makes up for the cost. Changing engine oil after every ten thousand miles is also a good option if your car was manufactured no more than two years ago.
As seen above, the frequency of oil change will depend on your driving habits and the age of your car. The car manufacturer’s recommendation for an oil change is another important consideration. By considering all these factors, you should be able to determine how often you need to change your engine oil.