Several factors determine how often you should change your vehicle’s oil, including your driving habits and vehicle age.
The oil change frequency for older models of vehicles will be different from that of newer models or modern vehicles.
Take a look at these:
1. Older Vehicles
There are several older models of vehicles that have a time and mileage-based oil-change schedule. In order to change your vehicle’s oil, you must check its oil level manually.
Whenever possible, it is best to get your vehicle’s oil changed twice a year, even if it doesn’t do heavy driving. Then you can simply add clean oil every few months to your engine.
In addition to the frequency of oil changes, your maintenance recommended maintenance category may determine how often you change your oil.
2. Newer Vehicles
Modern vehicles and newer models often have oil-life monitoring systems that let you know when the oil is low. The benefit of these is that you never have to worry about the oil change frequency on your own.
The manufacturer’s warranty will likely still cover oil maintenance and changes on a newer car. In that case, you shouldn’t hesitate to schedule frequent car service appointments!
What factors determine the frequency of oil changes for both old and new cars?
Frequently Asked Questions
Following factors determine the frequency of oil changes:
i) What Type of Oil is Used
The type of oil used in car engines is either conventional oil (such as crude oil) or synthetic motor oil.
Due to its crude nature, conventional oil requires frequent oil changes and maintenance.
Motor oils made from synthetic ingredients have a longer oil life and are more stable at high temperatures. Therefore, synthetic oil will require fewer oil changes.
Depending on the type of oil you use, you will have to decide on an oil replacement schedule.
If your car’s oil system has any specific requirements or oil change tips, you should consult the owner’s manual. There are some older car models that are better suited to mineral oil, while others need synthetic oil.
ii) How to Check Your Car’s Oil Level
Car owners should keep track of their car’s oil levels. When this occurs, you can top up with clean oil or replace it when necessary.
By using the dipstick that came with your car, you can easily check your car’s oil level. Dip the dipstick in the engine oil and then check the oil level based on the oil marks on the dipstick. Fill up the old oil or replace it with synthetic or conventional oil if necessary.
iii) Conditions While Driving
High temperatures, rough driving habits, and uneven terrain can adversely affect the life and consumption of your engine oil.
As an example, an older car used for short trips will require a different oil change interval than a newer car used for off-roading and heavy towing.
In cold weather, shorter, infrequent trips may also put pressure on your engine’s oil system and oil filter.
Furthermore, if the oil is dark in color and smoking comes from the exhaust pipe, you may need to replace it more often. In this case, you should check your oil filter if you see smoke coming from your exhaust pipe.
iv) Engine Types and Car Types
There are different oil change tips and specifications for different engine types.
Diesel engines, for instance, dirty your car’s oil more frequently than petrol engines. Additionally, turbocharged engines use more engine oil than regular ones.
For this reason, it is best to consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual before forming a routine.
The owner’s manual will tell you everything you need to know about your car’s service needs.
The oil change schedule for a 3-liter Toyota engine may be very different from that of a 3-liter BMW engine. In the same way, a Toyota Rav4 will cost more than a Toyota Prius.
According to your category of service maintenance, the recommended oil change frequency changes as well.
Let’s examine them.
‘Normal’ vs. ‘severe’ Service Maintenance: What’s the Difference?
Normal and severe service maintenance schedules fall into two categories.
The categories are determined by your driving style and the type of car you drive.
A person who practices good driving habits, drives frequently, rotates his or her tires frequently, and mostly rides on the road can usually abide by normal service maintenance. The same holds true for people with relatively new cars.
However, severe maintenance requires frequent oil changes and is designed for users who fall into one of the following categories:
- Keep trips to less than five miles under normal conditions
- Make short trips of ten miles or less under freezing conditions
- Driving stop-and-go regularly when the weather is extremely hot
- Long-distance driving at a below-average speed
- Driving on dirt, mud, sand, or gravel roads a lot
- Tow heavy loads long distances
- Track driving is a must
It’s recommended to get an oil change every 3000-4000 miles if you operate your vehicle in any of these categories.
In addition to oil changes and oil filter replacements, older cars also require regular oil changes. The owner’s manual may provide you with specific information about maintenance requirements and oil changes.
How often should you change your oil?
Generally, oil changes should be performed every 5000 miles by your car service provider. As we’ve seen, it completely depends on the oil type, driving style, and oil levels in the vehicle.
Frequent oil changes don’t hurt anyone, but you’re simply wasting your time and resources if you do them more often than necessary.
The best course of action is to check the oil level in your car every one to two months in the beginning. The engine consumption figure gives you an idea of how often you should top off or change your oil.
In the future, you can always go by instinct and previous experiences. Mechanics can also help with questions about oil maintenance.