Vehicle Maintenance 101: When to Get Your Engine Oil Changed

Mechanic Changing Oil and FilterIn the past, the recommendation was to change the engine oil of your vehicle every 3,000 miles or three months. This recommendation now seems outdated, since it is possible for many vehicles these days to run between 5,000 to 10,000 miles before getting an oil change. One of the primary reasons for this is the advancements in the design and manufacture of vehicle engines – one such development is that vehicles these days run on superior quality engine oil. Most vehicles nowadays are designed to use fully-synthetic or synthetic oil blends that last longer prior to the breakdown of viscosity.

So, How Often Should You Change Your Engine Oil?

The consensus among vehicle manufacturers is to change your engine oil at 5,000-mile, 7,500-mile, or 10,000-mile intervals. However, the specific kind of oil, your vehicle’s make and age, and your driving habits could also dictate when you need an oil change, Alexandria mechanics may point out. In general, drivers who own vehicles manufactured in 2008 or later must change their oil at least every six months or 7,500 miles, while drivers with older vehicles should aim to change oil every six months or 5,000 miles. However, if you have a significantly older vehicle or if you drive long distances, drive in dusty or muddy environments or off-road, idle your vehicle excessively, and carry or transport heavy loads, you might need to change your oil at least every three months or 3,000 miles.

Most mechanics also recommend changing your oil between 3,000 and 5,000 miles if you have a secondhand or older vehicle so that they could also perform routine maintenance and check for other issues. Additionally, getting an oil change more often means that your mechanic can check your vehicle four times annually instead of the standard twice a year. This is a wise idea, for older vehicles.

3,000 Miles, 5,000 Miles, 7,5000 Miles, or 10,000 Miles?

To figure out how often you have to get your vehicle’s engine oil changed, it’s best that you look to your owner’s manual or ask a trusted mechanic. Remember, no two drivers and vehicles are alike, and there are many factors to consider. So, do your own due diligence when determining the best times to get your oil changed.