It is no secret that oil degrades over time. The longer it sits, the less viscous it becomes. But how long is really “long enough”? When I went to a local mechanic, the TLC Auto & Truck Repair Service Center, the professionals said the modern engines need oil changes every 7000 miles or once a year. At the same time, some others said, every 3000 miles or every three months. But are they telling the truth? Or just trying to make money by ensuring that customers keep coming in. Plus, is it indispensable to change engine oil that often?
Well, that’s what this article is about. This guide will inform you of everything about engine oil. But specifically, we will focus on how often you should change your oil. Moreover, we will learn what could go wrong if you didn’t change the engine oil.
How Often Should You Change Your Oil?
Most of the time, it is not the oil that degrades. Instead, the moisture accumulates over time which is the enemy. The engine oil could do its job for years; however, as your vehicle rests, the moisture could affect the quality of the engine oil.
And that is why mechanics often recommend changing the oil. Of course, the question is how often? Well, a generic answer would be — twice a year.
However, there are so many factors that come in. And if you do not want to dwell on details, just remember to change the engine oil — twice a year — as a thumb rule. Nevertheless, if you are a motor enthusiast and want to learn just for the sake of learning, let’s dwell on the details and find out how often you should “really” change the engine oil.
What Is a “Normal” Vs. “Severe” Maintenance Schedule for Oil Changes?
One other way to describe the schedule for an engine oil change is to decide based on the conditions, i.e., severe or normal. Severe conditions are extremely cold or hot temperatures. The road that you take your vehicles on. That is, is the countryside bad rocky roads or urban plain roads. On the other hand, normal means driving your car in average weather conditions and ensuring that there is no stress on the engine while driving.
Moreover, it comes down to driving habits. For instance, the moisture condensed requires the drivers to drive at least the speed of 10mph.
So, if you fall into the standard category, you do not have to worry about changing oil much and can be reckless on schedules. As a thumb rule, you could consider changing the engine oil every eight months or so.
Nevertheless, if you fall into severe conditions, it is better to change the engine oil every six months (7K miles).
Oil Change Intervals – Older Cars
While the above conditions are suitable for modern engines, following them will ensure that your engine is in healthy conditions. However, when it comes to older cars — 15 years old or more — follow either of these schedules for changing oil.
Firstly, the older cars require you to change the engine oil depending on the miles. So, once you have driven for the average period mentioned by the manufacturer, it is better to change the engine oil.
Nevertheless, the “normal” and “severe” conditions apply even here. So, ensure to prepone going to the mechanic if you drive under severe conditions. On the other hand, driving under normal conditions means you can go for the oil change when you have driven for the miles mentioned by the manufacturer.
What is the Reason for Changing the Engine oil?
Well, there are multiple reasons for changing the engine oil:
● Ensure Uptight Engine Performance:
Engines are the reason your wheels rotate. They have many moving parts, and these parts produce a lot of heat while in action. Moreover, friction is another thing that could increase the heat, eventually destroying the parts. And that’s where lubrications like engine oil come in. Changing the oil means you remove the dirt and debris accumulated, which could otherwise affect your engine performance badly.
● Gas Mileage
One of the most significant factors that drastically influence gas mileage is engine oil. The better the engine oil condition, the mileage factor will be better.
● Extended Engine Life
Another benefit of changing the engine oil is that it extends the engine by ensuring that all the internal parts are running in optimal conditions, guaranteeing an extended engine life.
● Catch Up on Other Maintenance
One of the best things about changing engine oil at your mechanic shop is they assess the entire vehicle and find out about vulnerabilities. In turn, repairing the damage instantly and preventing further degradation of the mechanical parts. Depending on how thorough you want to be, you might be interested in checking the smallest in-parts like LS ignition coils.
Ensure not to get fooled by the mechanic shop’s advice to change the oil every three months. It sounds good, and there is no harm. But oil change comes with a huge bill, and no reasonable driver would want to waste their money unnecessarily on car oil.
That is why it is better to change the oil — twice a year. Nevertheless, suppose you drive under severe conditions. In that case, it is better to prepone the schedules and get it checked and often changed to avoid the moisture accumulation that could lead to severe damage if ignored. Moreover, you could follow your manufacturer’s advice and follow the schedule recommended by them.