How often do I REALLY need to change my oil?
You’ve probably heard the advice to ‘Change your Oil every 3000 miles.’ The majority of vehicle manufacturers will state you are required to change your oil at this interval as a requirement of vehicle warranty and to ensure your car is running in tip top shape. But you might have wondered, ‘How often do I REALLY need to change my oil?”
The recommendation to change your oil every 3000 miles came about in the 1970s. Vehicles used 10W-40 oil and it tended to wear out at 3000 miles. In recent years, vehicles have improved and the 3000-mile baseline no longer applies to our modern engines.
How frequently you change your oil really depends on a few factors. The age of your car is a definite consideration, as older vehicles will require more frequent changes. Most manufactures now recommend a 5000-mile baseline for oil changes, but they can also stretch that number to up to 15000 miles for newer models who drive under ideal conditions.
One of the reasons to stretch out your oil changes is that it limits our use of motor oil, saving the strain on the environment by not wasting oil. However, if you drive in colder climates of 10 degrees or warmer climates of 90 degrees, idle frequently or drive in stop and go traffic, or do repeated trips of less than five miles, you may wish to change your oil more frequently than 5000 miles.