How Often Does My Car Need an Oil Change?
Even with modern advances in automotive technology, motor oil remains your engine’s lifeblood. It’s the key ingredient to a healthy engine that will last for years. In fact, oil changes are such a necessary and routine part of auto care that they can’t be overlooked. Changing your vehicle’s motor oil at regular intervals isn’t just a good idea — it’s essential to ensure the long-term health of your engine. Click the link below to call out service center today!
The purpose of engine oil is to lubricate, cool, and clean the internal components of a car’s engine. When lubricated with fresh motor oil, moving parts are better protected from friction, heat, and corrosion. Oil also helps collect any dirt, debris, and particles that could otherwise cause engine damage.
Oil becomes less effective as it ages, so it needs to be changed regularly to ensure it’s doing its job properly. Neglected oil will eventually break down, and its protective qualities will be lost. Without fresh oil, your engine could overheat, suffer from reduced fuel efficiency, give you poor performance, and, if things get bad enough, completely fail. So, how often should you change your oil, and where should you get it done? Our team at Performance Honda in Fairfield, Ohio, has created this list of the things you need to know.
How Often Should You Change Your Oil?
In the past, cars typically needed an oil change every 3,000 miles, but modern lubricants now allow for a much longer interval between services — from 5,000 to 7,500 miles and even up to 15,000 miles if your car uses full-synthetic motor oil. Let’s take a look at oil change intervals for older and newer cars.
Older cars typically have two maintenance schedules: one for normal use and another for “severe service” operating conditions, such as short trips (5 miles or less), extreme temperatures, stop-and-go driving, and carrying heavy loads or towing a trailer. If your car falls under this category, use the more rigorous schedule shown in the owners manual. Otherwise, you should adhere to normal oil change frequency.
On the other hand, if you drive a newer car, it may be equipped with an oil-life monitoring system that adjusts the oil change interval based on your vehicle’s operating conditions. The system will alert you when an oil change is needed, and a service technician should be able to reset the system after doing so.
Regardless of how often you get your oil changed, you should check the oil level monthly and top it up as needed. If you don’t drive much, most automakers recommend changing the oil annually, even if the maintenance reminder hasn’t appeared yet.
Common Factors That Influence Oil Change Frequency
Though the general rule of thumb is to get an oil change every 5,000 to 7,500 miles or more, depending on your car’s age and oil-life monitoring system, other factors can influence how often you should change your oil. These include:
- Level of engine wear: If you frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic or carry heavy loads, the engine will be subject to more wear and tear than those used for regular highway driving. As a result, you may need to change the oil more often.
- Type of engine oil: Synthetic motor oils last longer and offer better overall protection than conventional oil, so cars using synthetic oils can go much longer between services. Consult your owners manual regarding recommended intervals for synthetic oils.
- Quality of the engine oil: If you don’t use the right grade of oil for your car, it won’t last as long and will need to be changed more frequently. This is why it’s important to use the specific oil grade recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.
Where Should You Get an Oil Change?
If you’re comfortable performing basic maintenance tasks, such as checking fluid levels and replacing filters, you can carry out an oil change in the comfort of your garage or driveway. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to do the job safely and correctly, it’s best to leave it to a professional.
Dealerships are usually the most expensive option for oil changes, but they typically offer high-quality parts and use the correct oil grade for your car. Local independent repair shops are often cheaper than dealerships, but you should always check customer reviews to ensure they’re reliable.
Convenience stores, quick lube services, and discount chains offer fast, inexpensive oil changes — just make sure to ask which type of oil they use and compare it to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Factors To Consider When Choosing an Oil Change Provider
While you may be tempted to go for the cheapest option, there are other important factors you should consider when selecting an oil change provider. Here’s what to look out for:
- Quality of parts: Make sure the oil and filter used are of good quality and meet the specifications recommended by your car manufacturer.
- Technicians: Take a look at their qualifications and training to ensure they have the necessary skills and experience to do the job right.
- Other services offered: Many places offer additional services when changing your oil, such as checking tire pressure and topping off fluids. Ask if these services are included in the price or cost extra.
- Certifications and warranties: Some providers offer certifications or guarantees on their services, so ask about these before having your oil changed.
- Convenience: Factors such as wait times, appointment availability, and opening hours can all impact the convenience of an oil change provider.
- Customer service: Go for a service provider who offers good customer service and will take the time to answer any questions you have about your car’s needs.
By following these guidelines and understanding how often your car needs an oil change, you can keep it in good condition and extend its life span. Make sure to check the oil level regularly and adhere to the service interval recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer for optimal performance. Don’t forget that engine damage caused by low oil levels may not be covered by your new car warranty.
Performance Honda is your local source for Honda oil changes in Fairfield, Ohio. We use only genuine Honda parts, and our expert technicians are trained to provide the highest standard of service at competitive prices. We’re also your go-to source for quality new and used cars. And if financing your new or used car is a concern, our experienced finance team can help you find the perfect loan or lease option to fit your budget. Contact us at (513) 829-6900 today to schedule an oil change or learn more about our services.