Duke here, and you've heard that expression: change is good. When it comes to your vehicle's oil, change is not only good, it's vital for the health of the engine. But there's one question that puzzles many drivers: how frequently should my vehicle's oil be changed? There is not one simple answer, but I'm here to bark to you about some guidelines that will help. So let's change it up and roll into this topic!
It used to be pretty much a rule of thumb that vehicles got their oil changed once every 3 months or 3,000 miles/5,000 kilometers. But times have changed. Oil formulations have gotten better and engine designs have made longer oil change intervals possible.
Most experts advise you to read the recommendations from the manufacturer that designed and built your vehicle. Their designers and engineers know more about your vehicle than anyone else. They spell out their recommended oil change interval and type of oil in your owner's manual. Many automakers say you can go at least 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers between oil changes and recommend even longer intervals. If you use synthetic oil, it doesn't have to be changed as often.
Ever wonder why you have to change your oil? Your vehicle lives in a dirty environment. Contaminants build up in your engine oil and, after time, inhibit the oil's lubricating properties. Without optimal lubrication, increased friction inside the engine starts wearing down the metal parts, shortening the engine's life.
Not only do vehicle manufacturers recommend oil change intervals in the manual, but many also now alert drivers by a light or other electronic indicator on your dash. It doesn't exactly say, "Hey, time to get your oil changed. This oil's starting to wear on me." But it does give you a pretty good hint. Some of these warning systems simply measure the distance you've traveled. More sophisticated vehicles have sensors that measure temperature, driving time, and engine revolutions to determine when the oil is getting past its useful life. Here's one situation where it's easy to see the light. Do yourself a favor, and don't wait too long before coming in for an appointment at Allied Auto Works.
Oh, and driving habits matter, too. Short trips with a lot of stop-and-go driving will stress your engine and oil more than longer trips at highway speeds.
And here's another plus side to regularly changing your oil at Allied Auto Works in Los Altos. Our technician will also keep an eye on the rest of your vehicle to spot anything that might need attention.
The bottom line is this: Oil changes are good for your vehicle in so many ways and are probably the most important maintenance service you can get.
I leave you with this famous "change" quote for the week,
"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." — John F. Kennedy
Allied Auto Works
2073 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024