How often should you change your oil?
How often you get your oil changed will depend on the type of oil you choose to use, what kind of car you have, and how often you drive. While it was previously suggested that it be performed every three months or 3,000 miles, the amount of mileage you drive is more important than the amount of time.
Pay attention to the odometer and how you’ve been driving your vehicle, as it might take you a few months or a few weeks to reach the recommended mileage.
The importance of oil changes
Oil changes are important to your car’s well-being for five important reasons:
Maintains engine lubrication. As mentioned, the engine parts — from pistons to valves — are moving at high rates of speed under the hood of a car. This creates heat and without lubrication, this will dramatically wear down the engine. While a year of oil changes costs around $100, a new engine will cost thousands of dollars.
Cools engine components. When moving parts lack proper lubrication, this creates friction, which in turn creates heat. The way to prevent overheating of the engine from too much friction is to maintain clean and sufficient amounts of oil.
Removes engine wear particles and sludge. A danger to the engine is something as simple as dirt particles, as they can cause corrosion and decrease the life of an engine. In addition, oil breaks down and turns to “sludge” as time goes on. Routine oil and filter changes help remove particles and sludge and helps engines work at peak condition.
Improves gas mileage. When an engine isn’t properly lubricated, this leads to increased fuel consumption. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, gas mileage can be improved over time by 1-2% through routine changes and the right kind of oil.
Promotes vehicle longevity. You want your vehicle to last longer, and the easiest way to ensure that is through routine maintenance. Internal components have to work harder when there is buildup from dirty oil. An engine that works too hard will run into problems down the road, which decreases the lifespan of your car.