How Often Should You Really Change Your Oil?

engine oil

Conventional car wisdom says that you should have your oil changed every three months or every 3,000 miles, but do you really need to seek out Subaru service in Denver whenever you hit either of those milestones? A lot of car experts now say that isn’t the case. There was a time when a car almost certainly needed an oil change after driving 3,000 miles, but that time has passed. Vehicles have evolved since then, and they go longer periods of time without needing an oil change, especially if they use synthetic oil.

So, if you don’t need to change your oil every three months or 3,000 miles, how often do you need to change it? That all depends on the kind of vehicle that you’re driving, how often you drive, and how you treat your vehicle on the road. The manuals of most newer vehicles suggest changing your oil ever 5,000 to 7,500 miles if you engage in regular highway driving such as if you commute to and from your job. If you use synthetic oil and you have a newer vehicle that you keep in great shape, you might even be able to go as far as 10,000 miles before you need to change your oil.

By now, it should be pretty clear that you probably don’t need to change your oil as often as service shops recommend, but there is a scenario that will call for more frequent oil changes. If you have a car that you don’t drive very often and you generally stay off the highways, you might have to change your oil as frequently as every 1,000 miles. This is because engines are at their most efficient when you get a car up to regular highway speeds. If you mostly stick to driving 30 miles per hour or slower, your oil won’t last as long and will need to be changed more frequently. In fact, you’ll probably be putting more strain on your vehicle by starting it up than by driving.

The bottom line here is that there is no “one size fits all” answer to how often you should change your oil. While you should absolutely head to a shop if you see your oil light on or you’ve gone farther than 10,000 miles, it’s best to consult your owner’s manual and consider the kind of oil you use in your car if you don’t know how often you need an oil change.