Everyone who owns a vehicle has probably asked this question a thousand times: “How often do I really need to change the oil in my car?”
The answer is this: You probably change it more than you need to. While regular oil changes are crucial to keeping your car functioning properly, most experts agree that the classic 3,000-mile rule is old news for newer cars, though this does depend of owner’s manual recommendations.
Separate Myth From Fact
The 3,000-mile rule has been around for a very, very long time, and many drivers still stand by it. They argue that with regular oil changes every 3,000 miles, their vehicle is still reliable after years of wear and tear.
However, studies show differently. Even aNew York Times article says the 3,000-mile oil change simply isn’t necessary anymore for most new cars.
Why can most vehicles now travel much farther before needing an oil replacement? Well, technology has changed so much within the past 50 years, and even the last decade.
High-quality synthetic oils paired with advanced vehicle tolerance creates a longer window between oil changes. Many cars can now make it 5,000 or even 10,000 miles before an oil change.
However, if your car is older or you’re in the camp determined to stick with the 3,000-mile rule, that’s okay, too. You’re not harming your vehicle by doing so!
Figure Out Your Car’s Needs
According to the Scientific American, depending on factors specific to each person’s car, there are four main oil change intervals.
Most fall under the following category:
· Every 5,000-7,500 miles
· Every 10,000-15,000 miles
However, intervals do depend on your driving habits, the year, make and model of your vehicle and more, so it’s entirely dependent on your specific needs. Occasionally, some cars will need an oil change every 1,000-3,000 miles.
Follow Your Owner’s Manual
To be certain about what your car needs, the easiest solution is to look at your owner’s manual. The manual will list exactly what kind of oil you need and when.
Keep in mind that mileage recommendations are based on 1) engine type and 2) specific oil. So, if members of your household have Toyotas of different years and models, you can’t assume you’ll be on the same schedule — you’ll still need to vary your oil and changes.
For example,only Toyota vehicles in which 0w-20 synthetic oil is required, like the new Prius, have been approved for extended oil change intervals of 10,000 miles or every 12 months. In contrast, you’d need 5W-20 in Toyota’s Rav4 every 5,000 miles.
Regardless of the amount of time a manufacturer recommended between oil changes, you should still regularly keep an eye on oil levels so that you can top it off if necessary.
Is your car ready for an oil change? Bring it in toLiving the Dream Auto Care today for assessment!