How Often Do You Really Need an Oil Change?

October 27, 2020 11:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s one of the first car maintenance rules most of us ever learn: “You need to change your oil every 3,000 miles.” Most of us just hear that when we’re young and stick to it forever, but the truth is actually far different. Most cars on the road today can easily go 5,000 miles or more before needing an oil change, and that number can fluctuate based on everything from the size of your vehicle to the type of oil you use. Understanding these factors can help prevent your car from needing premature auto repair in Port Charlotte, FL.

Factor 1: Using conventional vs. synthetic oil

Conventional oil is the type most of us likely grew up with, and it does have its shortcomings. It can contribute to engine sludge and breaks down quicker than synthetic alternatives. Synthetic oil is cleaner in your engine, and it’s more effective at reducing wear and tear while protecting engine parts in extreme temperatures.

The two types also have different oil change intervals. Since conventional oil breaks down quicker, it usually needs to be changed more often—Ford, for example, recommends changing conventional oil in its vehicles every 7,500 miles. However, it’s not uncommon for cars that use synthetic oil to go 15,000 miles between changes. This durability does come at a price—synthetic oil can cost a bit more than conventional options.

Factor 2: Driving habits

Many drivers don’t realize that their driving habits can create significant differences in how their car performs. For example, there’s almost nothing worse for your car than stop-and-go traffic. Your vehicle was built to cruise at highway speeds, and a car that drives in a city will require an oil change far more frequently than a car that travels primarily on open roads.

External factors can also impact the length of time between oil changes. Dusty conditions or frequently towing heavy loads can take a toll on the length of your oil’s useful life.

Factor 3: Make and model of the vehicle

Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for fixing cars and trucks. Each one has its own requirements and limitations, and it’s important to understand these differences. The manufacturer’s manual is going to be your best friend here. It will tell you all about basic maintenance for your car, including how often you should be getting your oil changed and with what type of product.

Oil change technology has come a long way since you first got your car serviced by an auto repair shop in Port Charlotte, FL. The old 3,000-mile rule is a thing of the past, and you can safely bet that your car will be able to go closer to 5,000 miles before needing fresh oil—and opting for synthetic oil will stretch this even further.

Bringing your car in for an oil change is also a chance for the pros at Ice Cold Auto Repair to check over your whole vehicle for any maintenance or repair concerns. Come see us today!

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