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Changing the Oil: How Frequent Should Your Regular Oil Change Be?

At some point in your life, some well-meaning “car experts” probably told you that you need to get your oil changed every 3,000 miles or every three months.

While this advice was probably spot on a few decades back, modern cars don’t need their oil changed anywhere near that often.

So, the question remains, how often should you get a regular oil change?

So, How Often Should You Get an Oil Change?

In short: it depends. Generally speaking, most modern cars can travel anywhere from 5,000 miles to 10,000; it all depends on the type of car, how you drive, and the type of oil you use.

Your car’s owner’s manual will tell you exactly how often you should get your oil changed to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.

That said, like brakes, oil doesn’t last forever. When it comes to car maintenance, like checking wheel alignments or cleaning your upholstery, the key is to be as consistent as possible.

Some people can get away with waiting until they hit the mileage limit for their car. But, if your vehicle is older, or you drive in severe conditions or over a lot of sand, dust, or grit often, then you should consider getting your oil changed a bit more often, or at least twice a year.

Most auto experts recommend getting your oil changed every six months, at the very least. Keep in mind that frequent oil changes won’t hurt your car. Keeping to a fixed schedule, even when you don’t need an oil change, will help ensure that you never miss one.

What Can Affect How Often You Need an Oil Change?

There’s a good chance you can ignore everything your regular auto repair shop tells you about how often you need oil changes, for a couple of reasons. First off, the more you come in, the more money they make. Secondly, while they may know everything about your car, they probably don’t know all that much about your driving habits.

If you’re only using your car for short, five-minute trips to the store and back, you may not think you’ll need to change your oil as often as someone who commutes an hour every day. But, driving short distances doesn’t give your engine enough time to heat up to the point where it can boil off any condensation build-up, which can break down your oil faster.

Frequently stopping and starting your car can also wear down your engine faster, and more frequent oil changes can help counteract that damage.

On top of that, it doesn’t matter if you’re driving a brand new hybrid or and old rusty truck; If you’re taking your vehicle out on a lot of dirt, gravel, or salted roads, you’re going to need to get your oil changed more often.

Your engine’s filter can only scrub so much. If you’re driving your car in places where a lot of fine particles can work their way into your vehicle’s inner workings, you’re going to need to swap out your dirty oil with fresh and clean oil more often.

Planning For Your Regular Oil Change

Now that you know how often you need a regular oil change, you may be asking yourself, “when was the last time I got an oil change?”

If your car is ready for an oil change, then we’re here to help. Contact us for more information about our available services or to request an appointment today.