3,000 Miles To Oil-land: How Often Should You Change Your Car's Oil?

12.20.2018 by Search for Parts

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Step outside your front door, enter the garage, disengage the alarm system, open the car door, get in the genuine leather-fitted seats, stick the key in the ignition or press the push-start button, and start the engine! It’s time to embark on a journey 3,000 miles to Oil-Land with a long road ahead. Of course, you want to get there without any hiccups; therefore, your vehicle needs to stay in tip-top shape to perform at its best. One of the most profound questions often asked in the automotive industry is; when should you change your car’s oil? The answer might surprise you!

Why Is Putting Oil In Your Car Important?

Keeping track of the right amount of oil that you put in your car regularly is important because it will preserve the vehicle. A vehicle that is cared for will save you lots of money in the end because of the quality condition. High-quality cars that run well are great investments, selling for higher amounts than the original resale value when you decide to change vehicles. Some car experts would say that the life of an engine is based on the quality and amount of oil that you feed your car. A car that is in good shape means that less harmful emissions exerted into the air damaging the atmosphere. That also means less combustion gunk development, which promotes a cleaner drive. It also means less corrosion, clean filters, and no gasoline or coolant leaks in the oil.

How Does The Oil Work With The Engine?

As you already know, every engine has moving parts from the large pistons to the small valves. And just like the bones in your body, there needs to be some type of fluid between those bones to keep them working properly. Without it, the system will break down and make those bones useless. Oil is the fluid providing the lifeblood lubrication between the joints of the engine for an ideal performance. Proper lubrication will reduce wear and tear and carbon and varnish on the engine, so it does not work so hard and heat up. Normally, the engine heats up when it runs for a long period of time. Therefore, the job of the oil is to pull away the heat and disperse it in other areas. Every engine has small explosions that happen in different parts, which could potentially become dangerous. So, heat gets pulled from major flammable parts, such as the combustion chamber, to prevent a disaster. This is why a car that runs with no oil will start smoking excessively and break down. Oil forms a thick congeal substance that cools the engine and removes dirt and particles. This is essential to proper engine function. 22% of all vehicles brought to the community car care event in 2017 had oil problems. This is just to give you an idea of how extensive the problems can get. The U.S. Department of Energy conducted a study that suggests using grade motor oil and changing it often will yield 1-2% in better gas mileage.

Is Changing Your Car’s Oil Every 3,000 Miles Necessary?

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Hell no! The general consensus surrounding oil changes every 3,000 miles came from the hustlers in the automotive industry who wanted to make loads of money from unsuspecting customers who are unfamiliar about the inner workings of their cars. The world revolves around making money. Capitalism. Commerce. And fair exchange for a price. People want to get in where they fit in just to make a buck. Some people do not abide by the rules of the game. Therefore, they become sneaky repairmen who will attempt to exploit others by overcharging simple service or purposefully breaking parts so you are forced to bring your vehicle back to them. Some repairmen, lube chains, and third-party car dealerships will present the illusion that once a vehicle reaches 3,000 miles you need to change the oil, but nothing could be further from the truth.


When Is The Best Time To Change The Oil?

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Let’s take a look inside the car maintenance manual for an answer. Before we start, let’s make one thing clear: there is absolutely nothing wrong with changing your oil before these recommendations. It won’t affect your vehicle in a negative way. Performing this action will just become costly and inconvenient at times. However, keeping a fresh batch of oil will make your vehicle run at optimal levels. 

Although it is a good idea to have a fresh batch of oil in the tank at all times, it might be unnecessary because modern technologies created stronger mechanical tolerances. Therefore, there is no need to go overboard and constantly add oil that is not old, contaminated, or has run out. In this day, manufacturers suggest that owners should change the oil approximately every 7,500 miles.

More prominent car brands such as Porsche, Volkswagen, Ford, and Toyota have adopted these modern technologies and put their vehicles through strenuous testing to ensure the longer wait times are sufficient. They recommended changing the oil every 10,000 miles, 6 to 12 months. Budget-friendly brands such as Mazda requires the oil to be changed every 7500 miles, and Hyundai and Kia every 5,000 miles. 

You get what you pay for and technologically advanced mechanical systems keep the oil fresh for longer. Therefore, high-end luxury vehicles that are made by BMW or Jaguar only require oil changes every 15,000 miles. It seems when you spend a lot of money upfront, you will save more money in the long run. Surprisingly, a couple of these brands use synthetic oil because it helps promote an easy transition between the moving parts.

Some high-end models can last well over 150,000 miles before an oil change is required. If you need to know when to change the oil for your specific vehicle, then look inside the user guide that came with the vehicle or call the car manufacturer or dealership and ask what they suggest. Make sure to measure that information against the advice that we give in this article and decide from there. All pieces of information are imperative, so use them to your advantage.

Mike Calkins, technical services director for AAA (“triple-A”) Roadside Assistance, says, “Every new car today is built to last a quarter of a million miles.” This is why some manufacturers suggest that you should measure the oil level at least once a month. It is best to get it done by the professionals because they have an expert eye to look for impurities that could affect the engine and find other potential problems more easily. 

Don't have one of these cars but need to have your oil last for 15,000 miles or more? Click or press here to find out how!

How To Do It Yourself

If you decide to complete this process yourself, then take a look under the hood for signs of leaks. Use the dipstick to measure the amount of oil in the tank. When you pull it out and the oil is below the mark, then add more. The normal color of the oil is black or brown. Milky colors or coolant in the oil is bad, indicating that a change needs to happen asap.

How Much Stress Do You Put On Your Vehicle? 

Sometimes we get the desire to push our vehicles to the max by shifting the throttle forward on a lonely dark road and get that temporarily rush from a Fast and Furious moment. But think twice about putting the pedal to metal because that might make the engine use more oil. Understand that any type of high performance activity might require more frequent oil changes to keep the parts working properly under stress. 

Let’s say that you tow large cargo on a tractor-trailer for your job in an SUV. Naturally, the vehicle will use more oil to help the engine process the extra pressure. For example, if you constantly perform stop-and-go techniques on the road like in city driving, more oil is going to be used. Likewise, if you have a habit of hopping on the road and driving long distances to work or for pleasure, then you need to get in the habit of learning how to change the oil.

So, just like creating balance between the yin and yang, vehicles that are constantly operating on either side of the hot/cold spectrum are automatically under a considerable amount of stress. Cold weather will break down the oil and turn it thicker. Thick oil means more difficult processing for the engine. On the flip side, hot temperatures make the oil heavy and thin, which decreases engine performance. In this case, heavier oil is needed.

New Features & Maintenance Made Easy

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Automotive manufacturers have taken revolutionary steps towards creating technologically advanced features and systems that measure and monitor performance metrics, speed, temperature, and oil change warnings. All these important factors display on the screen above the steering wheel for an easy view. Keep track of them because they all work with one another.

How Often Should You Change The Oil?

Generally speaking, an oil change should be performed every 6 months. If you do not drive the car often, then changing it at a later mileage and date is fine. GM suggests that you get the procedure done at least once a year. 

How To Increase The Life Of The Oil

Always have your tires up-to-date because worn out ones would put stress the engine. Less slippage means less gas mileage, which translates to less work for the engine.

What Type Of Oil Should You Choose?

Synthetic oil is good for luxury brands because it runs smoother with the vehicle. Not too many people will take a Mercedes sedan out into the desert. Synthetic oil resists breakdown tolerances during high temperatures.

Safety 

Whatever maintenance you perform on the vehicle, make sure to use basic safety precautions, such as wearing protective glasses, using rags to wipe oil off parts, and gloves to protect your hands.

Final Word

cheers!

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Getting your oil changed every 3,000 miles is excessive and wasteful. The normal amount of miles required for an oil change is every 7,500 up to 10,000. This number could vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle and according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

You can also increase this number and save time and money! Change your oil up to 15,000 or even 25,000 miles! Learn how by clicking or pressing here!

Matt Snider, project engineer in GM's Fuels and Lubricants Group, says, "Vehicles are so sophisticated that oil is one of the last things that customers can have a direct influence over," So, keeping the proper amount of oil in the tank is all up to you. Just everything else in life, you make the choices of what you want for the future. Keep that car oiled up! Cheers!