Engines are complex and maintaining them can be expensive. However, by going in for an oil change at the correct intervals, you can keep your car running smooth and your repair costs down for the life of your vehicle. What follows is a short guide explaining some oil change basics and the factors that cause them to differ in so many ways.
What Is the Right Oil Change Interval for Your Vehicle?
This is a very difficult question to answer as there are a number of factors to consider, like engine design, working conditions, driving habits, fuel and oil quality, and the climate in your region.
- If you spend a lot of time driving in a heavily polluted environment like dusty, dirt, or gravel roads, your vehicle will require a more involved maintenance schedule that includes frequent oil changes around every 3000 miles.
- If you typically drive in a cold climate and always drive below highway speeds, you need to change the oil often. This is due to the formation of condensation inside the engine. This condensation forms in droplets of water that mix with your oil. Since your car never achieves highway speeds, the engine does not heat up enough to evaporate the condensation. The result is that the water molecules combine with additives in the oil to become soluble particles. These particles cause damage to the engine. Thus, frequent oil changes are recommended
- If your daily commute involves a lot of stop-and-go driving, engine condensation causes early oil breakdowns. This requires an oil change every 3000 miles to keep everything running smooth.
The right oil change interval varies with engine type. To know how often you should change your oil, read the car owner’s manual. Manufacturers provide information related to basic maintenance in the owner’s manual that includes a recommendation regarding the type of engine oil, viscosity, and oil change interval.
Oil Change Intervals for Modern Cars
Modern cars have refined engines with low tolerance. In simple words, the space between moving parts is greatly reduced which also reduces the amount of oil needed for lubrication. Also, modern cars use advanced lubricants that have special additives and fewer impurities.
These oils don’t breakdown as fast as traditional oils, thereby affecting the oil change interval. Most modern cars have an oil change interval of 5000 miles or more.You can even find cars that only require an oil change every 10,000 to 15,000 miles.
How Does Synthetic Oil Affect Oil Change Intervals?
Synthetic oil is superior to traditional oil in many ways. It does not have any organic compounds and it is more man-made. The organic compounds in oil are the cause of sludge or grime formation, which is why an oil change is needed. Do you know some synthetic oils are guaranteed for 15,000 miles or more? If your car uses synthetic oil, check the owner’s manual to find out how often you should change your oil.
Above all else, if you want to extend the life of the engine, you cannot afford to ignore the recommended oil change intervals.