Just How Frequently Should Your Oil Be Changed?

Your vehicle should have come with an owner’s manual. Garage Services in Reading advise that this is the first place you can look to get recommendations on how often the oil should be changed. This is a baseline number which proves a sound starting place. On the other hand, your individual driving habits can mean you need to get the vehicle oil changed either more frequently or perhaps even at longer intervals in between. The wear and tear on an engine is one of many other factors that go into this.

Check the Owner’s Manual Before You do Anything Else

The primary source for information about oil changes is either going to be your owner’s manual or the maintenance manual. If you do not currently have one, either consult your dealer, or just look online. The owner’s manual should tell you the specific engine oil recommendations appropriate for the specific year, engine, make, and model of your vehicle. Capacity, viscosity (or weight), and oil type are all just as crucial as the actual interval between oil changes, so make sure that you only use an oil that is compatible.

Today’s vehicle makers typically specify a variety of oil change intervals depending on whether or not there are ‘normal operating conditions’ versus ‘special operating conditions’, which also might be known as severe service conditions. Normal driving conditions typically refer to national averages of 11,500 miles every year, only light cargo and passengers, and a bit more motorway driving than city driving. Severe service is more about drivers who spend most of their time in traffic that is stop and go where they make short trips, or if they haul heavy loads. It might seem counter-intuitive, but motorway miles are actually better for an engine and its transmission.

Cars driven through normal driving conditions don’t need as much maintenance. For vehicles like these, the recommended schedule for oil changes might be at 7,500 to 10,000 miles. If a vehicle is instead driven in special or severe conditions, then the suggested oil change frequency for the very same vehicle could be every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.

Analyse Your Vehicle and Driving

Where and how you drive can be just as crucial as the kinds of vehicle that you drive and what kind of oil you are using. For instance, if you drive in traffic that involves a lot of stop-and-go action, it can lead to deposits, oxidation, and overheating, since short trips don’t leave enough temperature and time to burn off any water condensation, which is a natural consequence of combustion. If your driving style sounds like this, then you should get your oil changed more frequently per the severe service schedule.

On the other hand, if a lot of your driving is happening on motorways, then your engine will have a lot more temperature and time to burn off any accumulated water. You can then extend your interval between oil changes safely.

Synthetic oils tend to last longer than the conventional oils given how they have fewer impurities. If you choose to use synthetic oil, then you can likely go with the normal service schedule and get your oil changed less frequently.

Engine problems are able to shorten the service life of engine oil. Worn piston rings and seals can mean an increase in oil consumption, which would leave less oil for running the engine. Overheating means oil will oxidise faster, and that leads to deposits. Cylinder misfires also can lead to the oil thinning, which will reduce how effective it is as a lubricant. If you have recently experienced such engine problems, then you need to change the oil more frequently and see to engine repairs.

Oil Changes Are Important

Engine oil is a hydraulic fluid, coolant, and lubricant. It’s crucial for the longevity and function of your engine. Every engine oil will wear out in time, which reduces the protective level they offer, and that’s why they should get changed regularly. A new filter with fresh engine oil can help restore the free-flowing lubrication, as well as piston cooling, that extends your vehicles engine life.

Keep in mind that every engine will consume oil, and a lot of engines leak, which means that you need to check and possibly adjust your engine oil level on a routine basis. Check your oil each 1,000 miles, since you only need a rag and a couple of minutes. Every owner’s manual will show you just how you can do this. If you’re unsure, consult a technician you trust for help. Carry a funnel and extra oil so you can top things off if your oil level gets under the ‘Low’ marker.