How often does your car get an Oil Change?

Do you ever get that sticker that reminds you to come for an oil change after 3000 miles or 6 month later whichever comes first? If so, then you have been lied to also.

Shops that do oil change make you think that you are not keeping your car in good shape or that you are not maintaining your car properly if you are not changing your car’s engine oil every 3000 miles. But that is completely bogus.

If you look at your car’s maintenance manual you’ll see that pretty much all the car manufacturer’s recommend changing the oil at round 5000 miles under normal driving conditions, and only to change the oil at 3000 miles if drive under harsh conditions.

Harsh conditions usually are defined driving in sub-zero or under extreme heat 90% of the time. It’s not considered a harsh condition when you go to your local ski resorts once or twice a year when the temperature is below freezing point, or when the temperatures are in triple digits in the summer; It has to be 90% percent of the time. Therefore, pretty much nobody drives under harsh driving condition, at least nobody in United States.

Now, here is the good part. You don’t have to make that decision anymore if you have a new car. Nowadays most new cars have a built-in maintenance¬†adviser¬†where the car will let you know when to change the oil. New cars have sophisticated computers that calculate when the oil needs to be changed based on your driving habits. And from oil change to oil change it varies; sometime the oil change notification comes on at around 6,253 miles and sometimes at 6,892 miles. Again, you are not making the decision, but the car is, and who calibrates the computer that makes those calculations? The manufacturer does.

In conclusion, don’t trust what your mechanic says, but trust what the manual or the car’s onboard computer says.