Know When To Change Your Oil

Change engine oil soon warning light on dashboard

Cars with healthy engines tend to last longer, explaining why changing the oil at the right time is so important. The recommended oil change schedule isn’t the same today as in the past, so you might be unsure how to proceed. Solve that problem instantly by finding out when to change your oil.

When to Change the Oil in Older Cars – Regular Service

If your car is of the older variety, it likely uses conventional motor oil that needs to be changed based on mileage. You should change the oil every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. Still, checking your owner’s manual is wise to ensure your vehicle follows that schedule.

When to Change the Oil in Older Cars – Severe Service

Mechanics follow a separate oil change schedule for older cars that are put under severe driving conditions. This doesn’t mean taking your vehicle off-roading or getting it up to 100 mph. In this situation, severe driving conditions refer to a handful of things that cause your car to burn excess oil.

You’ll need to follow the severe service schedule if any of the following apply to you:

  • Most of your car rides are five miles or less.
  • Your commutes include a lot of stop-and-go driving.
  • You use your car to tow a trailer or transport heavy loads.
  • Your car is exposed to extreme dust, cold, or heat.

If you meet the criteria, you should get oil changes more often than every three months or 3,000 miles. Discussing the proper oil change schedule with your mechanic is a good idea. That way, you’ll be sure to change the oil as often as your car needs.

When to Change the Oil in Newer Cars – Regular and Severe Service

While older cars use conventional motor oil, most newer vehicles operate with synthetic oil. Synthetic oil burns cleaner and lasts longer than conventional oil, all while reducing friction and protecting the engine. Thus, you don’t have to change synthetic oil nearly as often as conventional oil.

Most newer cars running on synthetic oil can go 5,000-7,500 miles between oil changes, but some can go for 15,000 miles. Synthetic blends usually hit the 5,000-mile mark, while full synthetic oils generally last for 7,500 miles or longer.

If your car doesn’t have an oil-life monitoring system, check your owner’s manual for the specific mileage and follow that. However, if your car does have an oil-life monitoring system, it’ll do the work for you. Your vehicle’s oil-life monitoring system will keep tabs on your driving style, conditions, and oil quality and lets you know when it’s time to change the oil.

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Checking the Oil Between Service Appointments

It’s always a good idea to check the oil between service appointments to ensure you don’t need to top it off. Older cars can burn through some serious oil, so you could run low before getting to the mechanic.

Newer cars generally don’t burn through oil, but you need to keep an eye on it since you won’t get the oil changed very often. It could be six months or a year between oil changes, so checking it from time to time will ensure that your car is good to go.

Are you ready for an oil change? Schedule service online or over the phone with Apple Honda in Riverhead, New York. When you bring your car in, your technician can also discuss the appropriate oil change schedule.

If your car is on its last wheel, paying for yet another oil change might seem like a waste. The team at Apple Honda can help you pick out a new Honda. Since most new Hondas use full synthetic oil, you can spend more time on the roads and less time getting your car serviced.

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