For anybody who has driven or owned a vehicle for a considerable amount of time, you know that car oil changes are a regular maintenance task. The question of how often you need a car oil change is one that has evolved over the years. There are many factors to consider when assessing the need for an oil change. Crossroads Ford Lincoln examines some of those factors to help you determine how often you need a car oil change.
Why Are Car Oil Changes Important?
Your car’s engine simply cannot function without oil. Oil changes are not intended to replace an empty oil tank like a stop at the gas station. They are meant to add clean oil and make sure your engine is being lubricated properly. Car oil changes keep sludge and harmful particles out of your engine. These particles can cause significant damage as they build up, and they can harm components and corrode your engine.
How Often Should You Change Your Oil?
There is no single answer to this question. According to Edmunds, most manufacturers recommend oil changes between 7,500 and 10,000 miles. This is a far cry from the typical 5,000- to 6,000-mile recommendation that many people have become accustomed to. Some manufacturers mention a mileage limit and a time frame. You should change the oil by going with whatever event happens first. For example, Ford recommends an oil change every 7,500 miles or after six months for newer models, whichever comes first.
There are two ways that you can determine how often you need an oil change. Start with the manufacturer’s recommendation. Secondly, you should evaluate your driving habits. Drivers with typical driving habits — reasonable commute to work, occasional travel, average miles per month, and more — won’t need an oil change as often as drivers with less typical habits. If you have a lengthy daily commute, frequently drive off-road, or tow heavy loads regularly, you should get an oil change every 5,000 miles.