Oil is the Lifeblood of Your Car
Oil is the most important fluid in your vehicle. It is the lifeblood of your car and serves many purposes, such as protecting your engine against wear, corrosion, and the build-up of dirt and deposits. Dirty, used or broken down oil can cause major problems for the engine, exhaust system, and other components of your car if left unchanged. Changing the oil regularly ensures that your engine operates cleanly and efficiently.
How often do you need to change your car’s oil?
It used to be the general rule that you changed your car’s oil every 3,000 miles or three months, whichever came first. Now, as engines have become more efficient, built with advanced materials and tighter tolerances, most carmakers recommend intervals of 7,500 miles or more. The intervals vary by manufacturer, models, and engines, so consult your owner’s manual for how often to change the oil in your car and what type of oil to use.
Oil changes have changed, and so has the oil
The improved performance and resilience of today’s oils, with their ability to protect engines from wear and heat, and still deliver good fuel economy with low emissions, have led automakers to build engines that operate best with synthetic oil. This artificial oil, or man-made derivative of crude, has a controlled molecular structure with predictable properties, which is important for today’s computer controlled and calibrated precision-crafted engines.
If you have an older car and have been using conventional (non-synthetic) oil, it is safe to make the switch to synthetic. There are some factors to check to make sure you choose the right oil. For information on which motor oil to choose, see our blog article, “Which Motor Oil Should I Use?”.
Cars have changed, too
Modern cars are also coming off the line with oil life monitors that tell you when it’s time to change the oil. It records data such as vehicle speed, engine temperature, climate conditions, cold starts, and other factors to determine when to alert you. With all the technology that has improved engines, oil, and the ability to monitor it all, it is still a good idea to manually check the oil level in your engine at least once a month – especially with the increased times between changes. Even with synthetic oil, you might want to change it more often if you do a lot of “severe driving” – stop-and-go traffic, a lot of idling, driving in extreme weather and temperatures, trailer towing or off-roading.
Check your owner’s manual for complete information on how often to change your car’s oil. There will be other information, too, including recommended maintenance schedules.
Stop changing your oil every 3,000 miles
So, the 3,000-mile oil change is a myth that is causing people to waste money, waste oil, and add to the growing problem and environmental impact of waste oil recycling and dumping. Save money, time, and the environment – follow the service interval specified in your owner’s manual.
For normal, everyday car maintenance and repairs, such as oil changes, brake inspection and service, shocks and struts, mufflers, and tune ups, AAMCO can help. Schedule an appointment today at your local AAMCO Minnesota shop.