Are you planning on performing an oil change on your car and you are asking yourself how many miles can you go over an oil change? Having your oil changed on time is quite an essential thing to do since you never know how long will this oil going to last before it starts causing damage inside of the engine.
- What Is Engine Oil (& What Does It Do)?
- Oil Types (Mineral vs Semi-Synthetic vs Full-Synthetic)
- Engine Oil Viscosity
- Signs (Symptoms) It’s Time To Get An Oil Change
- Recommended Oil Change Intervals
- Oil Change Myths & Misconceptions
- Time-Based vs Mileage-Based Oil Changes
- Factors That Impact Oil Change Intervals
- How To Check The Engine Oil?
- How To Change The Engine Oil DIY?
- Best Places To Get An Oil Change
- Final Conclusion
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
As such, tracking your oil changes is one of the best things that you can do for your car. Delayed oil changes are doing nothing good to the car and they will sooner or later bite you by the hand. First off, we are going to learn what is engine oil and the different types of oil. Then we will talk about the oil viscosity and how many miles can you go over an oil change.
Later on in this guide, we will learn what could happen if you delay the oil changes and if you should do it or not. We will also learn how to change your oil quickly and effectively and so much more. Our guide here will also look at the common urban myths around oil changes. That, as well as analyzing the oil condition, and much more down below…
What Is Engine Oil
Before we dive into how many miles can you go over an oil change, let’s first discuss some of the basics. Namely, what is engine oil and what is its purpose inside of the internal combustion engine, and what makes it so special? So, let’s get into it.
Engine oil is an automotive lubricant that was specifically designed to be used on internal combustion engines. The engine oil is not something like your cooking oil or any type of other oil. But the engine oil is quite special and serves a great purpose.
And the main purpose of the engine oil is to lubricate the components inside of the engine block and also the engine heads.
The engine oil is usually found in the bottom oil pan of the vehicle and then when you start the car, this oil is disbursed around the whole engine with the help of the oil pump. The oil pump is collecting the oil and is pushing it around the engine. It is making sure that it lubricates everything and that no component is left without proper lubrication.
And trust me, this is the most important thing. Since what’s the use if you have engine oil in your car and it is not delivered where it needs to? There is none. But thanks to the oil pump, the engine oil is delivered where it needs to and makes sure that nothing is forgotten.
In addition to this, engine oil also dissipates the heat out of the engine block. Meaning that the engine oil has a positive effect on the overall engine temperature. Maintaining it in check all the time. But how many miles can you go over an oil change? We will get there in a bit.
Why Do You Need To Change The Engine Oil
So, how many miles can you go over an oil change? We’ll get there, let’s first learn why changing the oil is so essential for you as a car owner. As we learned above, changing the oil is an essential thing. But what are the reasons behind this practice and why the oil has to be changed regularly? Let’s find out.
Engine oil is really important. Especially its cleanliness. As you know, the engine oil goes through countless cycles of heating up and cooling down. It is bashed against the cylinder walls and in the crankshaft. Its life is a real pain. But that is its job.
What is important though is that the life of the engine oil is limited. Meaning that you cannot run the same oil for decades and it needs to be flushed at specific intervals. But how many miles can you go over an oil change? We will get there. The important thing, for now, is to know that it needs to be replaced on time.
If you don’t replace the oil on time, you will start to face the consequences of these actions. Meaning that you will reduce the life of your engine if you delay these changes. And you probably don’t want that. Instead, you want your engine to last as many miles as it possibly can.
That’s why oil changes are essential. Replacing the oil on time will give your engine a prolonged lifespan of more than 100,000 miles in some situations. But how many miles can you go over an oil change? We will get there in a bit. Let’s first cover the types of engine oils that are out there.
Consequences of Neglecting Regular Oil Changes
Timely oil changes might seem trivial but skipping them has long-term consequences. For a vehicle to run optimally, safeguarding its engine with regular oil changes is pivotal. Whether you’re looking at performance, cost savings, or vehicle longevity, the humble oil change plays a crucial role.
1. Excessive Engine Wear Over Time
Oil is the lifeblood of the engine, ensuring components function smoothly. When fresh, the oil protects vital components, such as the piston rings, crankshaft, and valvetrain. As the oil ages and degrades, it loses its ability to shield these components, hastening wear. Ignoring this leads to reduced engine lifespan.
2. Cooling System Overburden
Engines don’t rely solely on radiators for cooling; oil dissipates heat from engine parts. Old, degraded oil struggles in this role, placing a greater strain on the cooling system. Over time, this might lead to overheating and potential engine damage.
3. Poor Fuel Economy
A well-lubricated engine performs efficiently, but as oil quality drops, friction rises, hampering fuel efficiency. Overlooking oil changes might have you visiting the gas station more often, hitting your wallet.
4. Increased Harmful Emissions
An engine running on old oil doesn’t burn fuel as cleanly. This can lead to higher emissions, affecting the environment and potentially failing emission tests.
5. System Malfunctions
Modern cars have intricate systems, such as direct fuel injection and active fuel management. These rely on clean oil to function. Contaminated oil can hinder their performance, leading to reduced efficiency and potential malfunctions.
6. Potential Turbocharger Failure
For turbocharged vehicles, clean oil is even more crucial. The turbo relies on oil for lubrication and cooling. Poor oil flow might result in catastrophic turbo failure, sending debris into the engine.
7. Impaired Performance
Old oil can slow your engine down, literally. It creates drag on moving parts, which can feel like your car has lost some pep.
8. Risk to Warranty and Resale Value
Frequent oil changes reflect diligent maintenance, potentially retaining higher resale value. Moreover, adhering to recommended service intervals ensures your warranty remains valid.
Benefits of Timely Oil Changes
Meanwhile, here are some of the benefits of getting your engine oil changed regularly:
1. Proactive Problem Detection
A routine oil change isn’t just about fresh oil; it’s a chance for a mechanic to inspect your vehicle. They might spot issues – like worn belts or corroded battery terminals – before they turn serious.
2. Adherence to Maintenance Timelines
Regular oil changes provide an ongoing reminder of your vehicle’s health. It ensures you stay on track with other maintenance tasks, optimizing vehicle performance and longevity.
3. Ensuring Peak Engine Performance
Fresh oil allows the engine to run at its best. Components move seamlessly, providing optimum power and efficiency, translating to a smoother driving experience.
4. Environmental Benefits
Clean oil supports better combustion, reducing harmful emissions. Thus, regular oil changes contribute to a greener, cleaner environment.
5. Extended Engine Life
Timely oil changes extend your engine’s life by reducing wear. With fresh oil, the engine operates under minimal stress, ensuring longevity.
6. Enhanced Resale Value
A well-maintained vehicle fetches a better resale price. Documented routine maintenance, including regular oil changes, can increase the trust potential buyers place in your vehicle’s condition.
7. Avoiding Severe Engine Failures
Sludgy, degraded oil can’t lubricate. Running on such oil risks severe engine failures, including the dreaded engine seize-up – where components fuse from heat and friction. Regular oil changes keep this disastrous scenario at bay.
Engine Oil Types
But how many miles can you go over an oil change? We will explain that a bit later. Let’s first learn the engine oil types. As you know, there are a couple of oil types that are marketed out there and you should know them.
Knowing the type of oil can deliver you the best performance for your engine and will increase the engine life as well. Meaning that with the proper oil, you will have extended engine life and enjoy many more miles than on average. So, what are the different types of engine oils that are out there? Let’s elaborate.
So, how many miles can you go over an oil change? We will cover that in a bit, let’s first learn the first type of engine oil. The first type of oil that we are going to cover is mineral oil. As we all know, mineral oils are produced from natural solutions. Like crude oil for example. The oil is usually a by-product of the oil refinement.
This means that these oils are fully natural. Even though, they need to be disposed of like with any other oil type. This doesn’t mean that you can pour the oil into the ground whenever you finish flushing it.
Mineral oils at the moment are not as used as they were used in the past when they were irreplaceable for any internal combustion engine. This is the case because engines have evolved immensely over time and these oils become something that a modern engine doesn’t really like.
Mineral oils usually don’t last like other modern oils and often lack some of the properties that are essential for a modern engine to run right. Even though, they are still recommended on older types of engines that are designed to run with these oils.
Similar to modern engines, they don’t like modern oils that much, and using zinc-rich mineral oil on your classic motor is the key if you want to increase its life and make sure that your motor runs well for the years to come. But how many miles you can go over an oil change? We will get there, let’s first cover the semi-synthetic and synthetic oil types.
Before we learn how many miles can you go over an oil change, let’s first learn the second type of oil and that is the semi-synthetic oil also marketed as a synthetic blend. But what does this mean?
This means that this oil is a mixture of mineral oil and synthetic oil. The synthetic properties that are inside of the oil are improving the characteristics of the oil. Making it perform much better when it is mixed with synthetic than on its own.
There are many components that are inside of the engine oil that we cannot see and these components are boosting the oil and helping reduce wear and tear of the internal components.
Meaning that this oil lasts for longer miles. But how many miles can you go over an oil change? We will learn that in a bit. The important thing is that with the semi-synthetic oil, you will be able to go double the miles in comparison to the classic mineral oil and also with less engine wear and tear.
So, if you own a vehicle that is built after the ’80s. This is the oil that you want to look for if you want to get the best for your vehicle. In addition to this, it is quite an affordable option to purchase. Making it ideal for everyone’s budget. Now let’s move on to the last oil type that is important for you as a car owner.
Fully Synthetic Oils
And the last type of engine oil that we are going to cover is the fully-synthetic one. This oil is really heavy duty and was patented by the Germans in WW2 for use on the eastern fronts where the temperatures get well below zero and starting heavy equipment, especially in the winter can be a real struggle.
Mineral oils are too thick at these temperatures so something else had to be created to tackle these temperatures and that was the fully synthetic oil.
This type of oil doesn’t contain any mineral oil and is fully produced out of synthetic compounds. Making it extremely durable and able to keep its viscosity in extreme situations. That’s why it is so demanded in racing applications and other types of situations that require something really special.
But since recently, these oils also started to be marketed for regular use in commuter cars. These oils are marketed as fully synthetic or long-life oils. Meaning that they last for quite a bit of time more than your regular semi-synthetic or mineral oil. But how many miles can you go over an oil change? We will cover that in a bit.
The important thing with this type of oil is that not only works for a lot more miles than semi-synthetic and mineral oils. But it also has some additives that increase the engine life and make sure that the engine that is running this oil lasts quite more than your regular engine that is using mineral or semi-synthetic oil.
The downside is that these oils are quite more expensive than your regular semi-synthetic oils, so you can keep this in mind when buying motor oil for your car.
What Is Oil Viscosity
Now before we dive into covering how many miles can you go over an oil change, let’s first cover something really important. And that is the oil viscosity. This is a really important thing that you need to know if you are trying to learn what is the right type of viscosity that you can use on your vehicle. Why I’m saying this?
Well, I’m telling you this because not every oil works on every vehicle out there. Meaning that if you put the wrong viscosity oil, your engine could potentially struggle to keep up and work with this oil.
So, you need to be aware of the climate where you live in. If you live in cold climates you need a specific oil for your place and if you live in some hotter climate, you also need something different that will perform well in this climate.
So, to understand the viscosity, you need to understand the numbers on the oil jug. Let’s say the oil is 5w30. What does this mean? These are the characteristics of this oil. The first two characters are indicating the winter viscosity and the second two are indicating the performance in hot weather. W indicates the winter season.
Meaning that this oil works well in places with a moderate winter season. If you need something more extreme, you should opt for oil that is 0w20 let’s say.
The second two letters are indicating the performance in hot climates. Meaning that if the number is bigger, the oil gets thinner when it reaches operating temperature. 5W40 is quite thinner oil on normal temps than 5w30 let’s say. 10w40 is even thinner.
But how many miles can you go over an oil change? That’s what we are going to cover next.
Overdue Oil Change Symptoms
Driving without regular oil changes can seriously harm your vehicle. Knowing when to get an oil change is vital. Here are some common signs and symptoms indicating that your car needs fresh oil.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Symptoms #1: Dark and Dirty Oil
Check the Color and Consistency – Fresh oil is amber in color and somewhat transparent. Over time, as it collects particles from the engine, it darkens. If your oil looks black and gritty, it’s time for a change. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, reinsert it, then pull it out again to check the color.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Symptoms #2: Louder Engine Noise and Knocking
Listen to Your Car – Oil lubricates parts, preventing excessive wear and keeping the engine quiet. Old oil doesn’t lubricate as effectively. If you hear a louder rumble or knocking from the engine, it’s a sign the oil isn’t doing its job.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Symptoms #3: Oil Change or Check Engine Light
Pay Attention to Warning Lights – Cars have a built-in oil change reminder. If you see this light or the check engine light, don’t ignore it. It’s your car’s way of telling you it needs attention.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Symptoms #4: Oil Smell Inside the Car
Detect Any Unusual Smells – If you’re smelling oil inside your car, it could mean a leak. If it’s accompanied by the smell of gas or exhaust, your car could be at risk of overheating, which is dangerous.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Symptoms #5: Exhaust Smoke
Monitor Your Tailpipe – While some vapor from the tailpipe is normal, especially in cold weather, excessive smoke is a sign of problems. If you notice more smoke than usual, it’s a good idea to check your oil.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Symptoms #6: Analyzing The Mileage
Keep an Eye on the Numbers – Even if you haven’t noticed any of the above signs, if you’ve driven 3,000 to 5,000 miles since the last change, it’s probably time for a new one. Some modern oils and engines can stretch to 7,000 miles, but always check your vehicle’s recommendations.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Symptoms #7: Ticking Sounds When Starting
Sounds at Startup – Upon starting the car, if you hear a ticking noise, it means the engine isn’t getting the oil it needs immediately. This could be due to the oil being too thick from waiting too long between changes.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Symptoms #8: Oil Level Drops
Monitor Levels Between Changes – If you find yourself needing to top off the oil frequently, it means your car is either burning or leaking oil. Both situations need attention, and an oil change is a good place to start.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Symptoms #9: Reduced Fuel Efficiency
Check Your Mileage – Deteriorated oil can affect engine efficiency. If you notice your car isn’t achieving its usual miles per gallon, old or dirty oil might be a factor.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Symptoms #10: Feel Changes When Driving
Trust Your Feel – If the car doesn’t drive smoothly or you feel more vibration than usual, it could be due to old oil. A smooth drive often depends on clean, quality oil.
Oil is your car’s lifeblood. It keeps things running smoothly and efficiently. Regular oil changes can extend the lifespan of your vehicle and reduce the risk of more costly repairs down the road. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to visit your local mechanic or dealership for an oil change. Always prioritize the health of your car to ensure safe and efficient rides ahead.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change
Now we came to the important bit and that is how many miles can you go over an oil change? And the answer to this question really depends. Let’s elaborate.
If you purchased a new vehicle from the dealership, this means that your car is under warranty. So, you need to follow what the dealership tells you to do if you don’t want to lose your warranty. Meaning that whenever your car is close to the service interval, you need to take your car to its place and flush the oil.
On the other hand, if the car is out of warranty and you can do whatever you want, the best time to flush the oil is every 6,000 miles. This interval is the standard when it comes to changing the oil and most of the oils that are synthetic blend also semi-synthetic will require flushing on this mileage.
Mineral oils are useful to be flushed every 4,000 miles or less. Since they are lacking the additives that are increasing the engine life and keeping the oil health in check. Mineral oils burn far quicker and this means that they will lose their lubricating characteristics far quicker than your regular oil. That’s why flushing it more often is the best.
When it comes to fully synthetic oils, the situation is quite different and these oils are really more liberal when it comes to oil changes. These oils can be even pushed up to 15,000 miles as some manufacturers claim.
The best thing is to learn how many miles can you go over an oil change and make sure that you change the oil on time. Which is the case with synthetic oils is about 10,000 miles. This is the sweet spot.
What If You Go Over An Oil Change More Often
We learn how many miles can you go over an oil change. Now let’s see if it is useful to change the oil more often. Changing your oil more often is not a bad idea but it is very beneficial for the engine. The engine loves clean oil and will benefit greatly from running this oil instead of oil used for who knows how many miles.
This is the case because engine oil over time starts to burn and lose its lubricating characteristics and this greatly affects the oil’s overall performance. You just don’t want to have oil like this in your engine. At the moment the oil starts to go black and develop some contaminants it is recommended to be replaced.
I’m saying this because these contaminants will degrade the rod bearings inside of the engine far quicker than you have previously anticipated. In addition to this is the problem with the oil being too thick.
As you know, when the oil gets too thick, it will not work quite well. The oil passages will get blocked and the oil will not reach where it should reach. This will deteriorate the engine’s health much quicker.
So, if you really want your engine and want this engine to serve you far into the future. Replacing the oil every 5,000 miles is a good idea. This is the case if you run semi-synthetic. On fully synthetic oil, the best thing is to replace the oil every 10,000 miles or so. Meaning that these oils last quite a bit more than the semi-synthetic. But still, it is best to flush the oil at 10,000 miles.
Oil Change Recommendations
To help debunk some common urban myths and misconceptions around engine oil changes… Such as how many miles can you go over an oil change… Here are some truths that you need to know:
1. The 3,000 Miles Mantra
The conventional wisdom of changing oil every 3,000 miles is outdated. Most modern vehicles, with improved engine designs and better oils, can go beyond this without harm. Sticking to this old rule might mean you’re changing your oil more than necessary, costing you more in the long run and putting unnecessary strain on the environment.
2. Quality Over Quantity
Expensive doesn’t always mean better. While synthetic oils, known for better performance and environmental benefits, can be pricier, they might not be necessary for every vehicle. Some cars might not gain significant advantages from synthetic oils, especially if they aren’t exposed to extreme conditions. Consult your car’s manual and understand its needs.
3. The Infrequent Driver’s Dilemma
Driving less doesn’t mean fewer oil changes. Cars driven infrequently, especially on short trips, may accumulate condensation in the system, which can degrade oil faster. Even if your mileage remains low, changing the oil twice a year can counteract the wear and tear from those short, hard-on-the-engine trips.
4. Trust the Light, but Know the Difference
Many modern cars have oil life monitoring systems, alerting you when it’s time for a change. However, understand the difference between the oil life monitor and the oil pressure light. If the latter illuminates, it indicates potential problems, from leaks to failing pumps, and requires immediate attention.
5. Checking Oil’s Health
Regularly checking your oil’s condition helps gauge its effectiveness. Oil that’s murky, opaque, or milky could indicate issues. Although the color isn’t the sole determiner, a clear brown-black hue indicates good oil health. If you spot abnormalities, it’s best to consult a mechanic.
6. Adhering to Manufacturer Recommendations
Your car’s manual is its best friend. Manufacturers often provide specific recommendations based on rigorous testing, keeping in mind the vehicle’s design, engine type, and other factors. These guidelines give a clearer picture of when oil changes are necessary, tailored to your car’s unique needs.
7. Filters: An Overlooked Aspect
Remember, oil isn’t the only thing that might need changing. Oil filters play a crucial role in maintaining engine health. Some filters are designed for longer intervals, while others might need frequent replacements. Ensure you’re not only changing the oil but also using a filter suited to your change interval.
8. Environmental Concerns
Tossing out still-usable oil harms the environment. If you’re keen on reducing your carbon footprint, extend your oil change intervals by using high-quality oils designed for longer lifespans, but always within your car’s recommended guidelines.
9. Towing and Heavy Loads
If your car regularly tows heavy loads, consider switching to synthetic oil. It can handle the extra stress on the engine better than conventional oils, ensuring your engine remains protected during high-strain activities.
10. Modern Tech and Oil Longevity
Some cars don’t feature dipsticks due to the incorporation of advanced oil monitoring systems. Trust in the technology but ensure you’re familiar with its indications. Modern tech, like other tools, aids in extending oil longevity, but understanding it is key to reaping its benefits.
Oil changes are more than just a routine car chore. They’re pivotal for engine longevity. While there are several myths and misconceptions, always prioritize understanding your car’s specific needs and consult its manual. This not only ensures optimal performance but also helps in saving money and the environment.
Oil Change Time vs Mileage
Every car owner knows the importance of regular oil changes. But determining the ideal interval remains a subject of debate. With engines evolving and oils improving, the old norm of every 3,000 miles doesn’t always apply. Let’s explore the two prevalent methods used to determine when it’s time to change your engine oil.
Your engine oil’s primary role is to lubricate internal engine components, reduce friction, and disperse heat. Over time, oil breaks down and can’t perform its function as effectively. Additives wear out, and contaminants accumulate, which is why timely oil changes are crucial to prevent engine wear and maintain optimal performance.
1. The Time-Based Approach
What It Is: This method sets oil changes at regular time intervals, such as every 3 or 6 months.
Why It Matters: Oil naturally degrades over time. Whether you drive 1 mile or 1,000, the oil experiences oxidation and may accumulate moisture from condensation, particularly in cars that sit without regular use.
The Caveat: A car parked in a garage for months may not accumulate many miles, but the oil can still deteriorate, emphasizing the importance of time-based changes for infrequently used vehicles.
2. The Mileage-Based Method
What It Is: Here, oil changes are set after covering a specific number of miles. Modern cars often recommend intervals from 5,000 to 10,000 miles.
Why It Matters: The more you drive, the more contaminants the oil gathers, and the faster its protective additives are exhausted.
The Caveat: If you drive frequently but cover short distances, you might not hit the mileage threshold quickly. However, such driving can be hard on the oil because the engine may not fully warm up, leading to moisture accumulation and potential sludge buildup.
3. Oil Life Monitors
Today’s technology offers a hybrid solution: the Oil Life Monitor (OLM). These systems use algorithms, tracking your car’s usage patterns, and considering factors like driving conditions, to predict optimal oil change intervals. It’s like having a personal assistant for your car, gauging the health of your oil, and notifying you when a change is due.
For cars equipped with an OLM, relying on this system can be highly effective. It adjusts recommendations based on your unique driving habits.
However, if you lack an OLM, it’s essential to heed both time and mileage recommendations. For instance, if your guide says “6 months or 7,500 miles”, consider the sooner of the two. If you drive 7,500 miles in 4 months, change the oil then. If you’ve driven only 2,000 miles in 6 months, it’s still wise to change the oil due to the time factor.
4. Special Considerations
- Driving Conditions: Harsh environments or regular heavy towing can affect oil life. In such cases, consider more frequent changes.
- Oil Types: Synthetic oils typically last longer than conventional ones. Ensure you follow manufacturer recommendations for the type and frequency.
- Regular Checks: Regardless of your chosen method, regularly check the oil level and its condition. Dark, gritty, or low oil levels indicate it might be time for a change.
Regular oil changes are an inexpensive way to ensure the longevity and performance of your car’s engine. Whether you follow a time-based or mileage-based approach, or rely on an OLM, the key is consistency. Regular maintenance will ensure your engine runs smoothly and lasts longer. Remember, it’s always better to change the oil a bit early than too late!
Factors That Impact The Oil Change Interval
Here’s a more in-depth look at all the key factors and variables that will impact the oil change interval, and how many miles can you go over an oil change…
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Factors #1: Type of Vehicle and Its Age
New vs. Older Models: Newer vehicles often have advanced engine designs, which may allow for longer oil change intervals. They may also come with oil-life monitors, as mentioned earlier. On the other hand, older vehicles might not have the same design benefits, which means they could require more frequent changes.
Car vs. Truck: Trucks, especially those used for towing or carrying heavy loads, may need more frequent oil changes due to the added stress on the engine.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Factors #2: How and Where You Drive
Driving Style: If you tend to accelerate rapidly or brake hard frequently, you’re putting more strain on your engine, potentially shortening the time between necessary oil changes.
Driving Conditions: Those who drive in stop-and-go traffic, take numerous short trips, or drive in extreme weather conditions might need to replace their oil more often. Similarly, routes that involve dirt roads or areas with significant pollution can impact oil change frequency.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Factors #3: Type of Engine Oil Used
Conventional vs. Synthetic: Synthetic oils, thanks to their chemical makeup, can often last longer than conventional oils. If your car’s manufacturer recommends synthetic oil, you must use it. However, for older cars, using synthetic oil might be an upgrade that extends the time between oil changes.
Additives: Some oils come with additives that can enhance their longevity. These can resist breakdown better, meaning you might not need to change your oil as frequently.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Factors #4: Powertrain Specifications
The unique combination of engine, transmission, and drive system in your vehicle, referred to as the powertrain, plays a role in oil change intervals. High-performance engines or vehicles with turbochargers may require more frequent oil changes due to the additional stress on the engine.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Factors #5: External Factors
Climate: Cars driven in hotter climates might require more frequent oil changes, especially if you frequently use your vehicle for short trips where the engine doesn’t fully warm up. On the other hand, freezing conditions can also affect oil viscosity and its protective capabilities.
Altitude: Driving at high altitudes can be harder on your engine and might necessitate more frequent oil changes.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Factors #6: Vehicle’s History
Maintenance History: If a car has been neglected in the past, its engine might have built up sludge, which could require more frequent oil changes until the issue is addressed.
Previous Use: A used vehicle that was previously used for towing or driven hard might have unseen wear and tear, affecting how often you should change the oil.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Factors #7: Manufacturer’s Recommendations
Always default to your vehicle’s owner manual. Manufacturers test their vehicles extensively and provide the best guidelines for maintenance, including oil changes. As noted in the excerpt, while under warranty, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s advice to avoid voiding it.
Oil is the lifeblood of your engine, and ensuring you change it regularly and appropriately is crucial for your vehicle’s health. While advancements in technology and better oil chemistry have allowed us to push the boundaries of oil change intervals, it’s essential to remember that every vehicle and driver’s situation is unique.
By understanding the factors listed above, you can make an informed decision about when to change your oil, ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly for years to come.
How To Check The Engine Oil
One of the easiest ways to gauge the state of your car’s engine oil is through a visual inspection.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Analysis#1: Determine If You Need An Oil Change
Here are some quick steps to determine if you needed an oil change:
1. How to Do a Dipstick Check
- Firstly, ensure your car is parked on level ground.
- With the engine turned off, open the hood of your car and locate the dipstick.
- Pull the dipstick out and wipe it clean with a rag.
- Reinsert it fully, then pull it out again to check the oil level and color.
- Good oil should be a transparent amber color. If the oil is dark, muddy, or has particles floating in it, it’s time for a change.
Here are some warning signs to look for:
- A frothy appearance, resembling café latté foam, indicates potential coolant leaking into the oil, often due to a faulty head gasket.
- Glittery specks in the oil could be a sign of metal parts wearing down due to insufficient lubrication. Both instances demand immediate attention.
2. The Smell Test
Your nose can be a helpful tool too. If your oil smells burnt or has a strong odor of gasoline, these are signs that it’s time for a change.
3. Monitoring Oil Level
Consistently low oil levels may indicate a leak or that your engine is consuming more oil than usual. Check the level monthly, topping off as necessary. But remember, frequent top-offs aren’t a replacement for regular oil changes.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Analysis#2: Getting Your Oil Analyzed
Understanding the true condition of your oil via professional analysis can provide valuable insights. It can help pinpoint potential problems early and guide your oil change frequency.
Step 1: Preparing for an Oil Change:
Hold off on the actual oil change. You need a sample from the oil currently in your car.
Step 2: Warm Up Your Engine:
Run your engine for a few minutes. This warms up the oil, making it flow more easily and ensuring any contaminants are well-mixed.
Step 3: Drawing an Oil Sample:
Begin draining the oil, but wait for a few seconds before collecting a sample. This ensures a more accurate representation of the oil’s condition. Use a dry, clean container for this purpose, like an empty water bottle.
Step 4: Packaging the Sample:
Using services such as Blackstone’s engine oil analysis, you’ll typically wrap the sample jar in an absorbent material, place it in a sealed plastic bag, and then in a larger container. Should any postal issues arise when mailing the sample, reference USPS Publication 52. Otherwise, package it in a box.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change, Analysis#3: Benefits of Regular Oil Analysis
- Determining Oil Change Frequency: The results can show whether you’re changing your oil too frequently or not enough, helping you optimize for longevity and performance.
- Detecting Engine Issues Early: An oil analysis can detect abnormalities like increased metal content, indicating wear, or other contaminants, pointing to specific engine issues.
- Savings: While there’s a fee for the test, it could save you money in the long run. If the results show that your oil is still in good condition, you might be able to extend the time between changes.
Your car’s engine oil plays a vital role in its performance and longevity. While manufacturer guidelines provide a general guideline for oil changes, factors like your driving habits and environmental conditions can influence the oil’s lifespan.
Regular checks, both visual and professional, can offer more specific insights tailored to your unique circumstances. Stay informed and your car will thank you with better performance and a longer lifespan.
How To Do An Oil Change
We learned how many miles can you go over an oil change. Now let’s see how you can change your oil DIY.
DIY oil changes are the essentials if you are one of those guys who want to change their oil regularly and not use any oil that is usually poured in the big service centers where they are changing the oil on hundreds of cars each day.
Doing this stuff at home will save you some money but will also allow you to run your car with the oil you want. If you want the best you get the best. So, how this process is done? We will attach a video for those who want to learn how to perform these oil changes at home using common tools. And who can explain it better than CrisFix himself?
Otherwise, if you want to learn and practice how to do an oil change DIY by yourself, here’s a quick guide on all the steps needed…
1. Benefits of Changing Your Oil Regularly
Regular oil changes can help you with:
- Keep engine parts lubricated.
- Prevents dirt and debris buildup.
- Boosts gas mileage.
- Increases engine lifespan.
2. Tools and Materials Needed
- Engine oil: Check the owner’s manual for the recommended type.
- Oil filter: Specific to your car make and model.
- Wrench set: For removing the drain plug.
- Oil filter wrench: To remove the old filter.
- Funnel: For pouring new oil.
- Oil drain pan: To collect old oil.
- Gloves and safety glasses: For your protection.
- Rags or towels: For cleanup.
3. Steps to Change Your Engine Oil
Changing your car’s engine oil is a fundamental aspect of vehicle maintenance. A routine oil change ensures your engine runs efficiently and extends its lifespan. For many, a professional mechanic handles this. But if you’re feeling hands-on, here’s how to do it yourself.
How To Change The Oil, Step #1. Prep Your Car
Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. This warms the oil, making it flow out smoothly. Turn off the engine and wait for it to cool slightly.
How To Change The Oil, Step #2. Position Your Car
If necessary, raise the front of the car using a jack and secure it with jack stands. Ensure it’s stable before going underneath.
How To Change The Oil, Step #3. Locate and Remove the Oil Drain Plug
Under the car, find the oil pan. Wearing gloves, use a wrench to remove the drain plug. Let the oil drain into the pan.
How To Change The Oil, Step #4. Remove the Old Oil Filter
Using the oil filter wrench, unscrew the old filter. Be careful; it’s filled with old oil.
How To Change The Oil, Step #5. Install the New Oil Filter
Before screwing in the new filter, apply a little new oil to the gasket on top. This ensures a tight seal. Screw it in by hand.
How To Change The Oil, Step #6. Replace the Oil Drain Plug
Once drained, replace the oil drain plug securely.
How To Change The Oil, Step #7. Pour in New Oil
Position the funnel over the oil filler cap on top of the engine. Pour in the new oil.
How To Change The Oil, Step #8. Check the Oil Level
Start the engine and let it run briefly. Turn off, then check the oil level with the dipstick. Add more if necessary.
4. Safety and Disposal of Old Oil
Once you’re done changing to the new motor oil, here’s how to safely and properly dispose of the old one…
Option 1. Store the Used Oil Properly
Transfer the used oil from the drain pan to a container with a tight-fitting lid.
Option 2. Never Dump Used Oil Illegally
It’s harmful to the environment. Plus, it’s illegal in many areas.
Option 3. Take the Used Oil to a Recycling Center
Most auto parts stores or service stations accept used oil for recycling.
Changing your car’s engine oil is a rewarding task. While it requires attention to detail, the process saves money and gives a sense of accomplishment. Regular changes ensure your car remains in top condition. If you’ve successfully changed your oil, why not delve deeper into DIY car maintenance?
How Much Does An Oil Change Cost
We learned how many miles can you go over an oil change. Now let’s take a look at how much money oil change usually costs? And luckily for you. It isn’t much.
Depending on where you take your car to flush the oil. An oil change for most cars is about $100 or less in some cases. If you decide on flushing your oil at home is even cheaper and could cost you about $50 for the oil alone.
Some oils can be more expensive than others. So, it’s the best to learn how many miles can you go over an oil change and get proper oil for your car. Plus, there are certain factors that impact the cost of getting an oil change done:
- Type of Oil: Synthetic oil, known for its longevity and resistance to temperature extremes, typically costs more than conventional oil. Some high-performance or newer cars might specifically require synthetic oil, increasing the cost.
- Additional Services: Many places bundle oil changes with tire rotations or inspections. While this might increase the immediate cost, it can offer long-term savings and preventive maintenance.
- Location: Just as the cost of living varies across the US, so too does the price of an oil change. Urban areas might have higher prices than rural regions.
Best Places To Get An Oil Change
If you’re thinking of sending your car elsewhere for an oil change, here are some of the best places to seek for an oil change service:
Oil Change Cost Option #1 – Traditional Dealerships: Quality Assurance with a Price Tag
Many vehicle owners turn to dealerships for their oil changes. One reason is familiarity. Dealerships have intimate knowledge of the vehicles they sell, from engine specifications to the nuances of every model.
This expertise ensures a high-quality service, often accompanied by a vehicle inspection. However, this caliber of service often comes at a premium. On average, oil changes at dealerships may cost between $40 to $100, depending on the car’s make and model.
Oil Change Cost Option #2 – Chain Auto Service Centers: Accessibility and Competitiveness
Names like Jiffy Lube, Valvoline, and Midas are familiar to most drivers. These service centers offer a quick and efficient oil change service often with multiple bays to serve several customers simultaneously.
One benefit is their widespread presence, making them a convenient choice. Prices at these chains generally range from $25 to $50, but there are often discounts or coupons available that can lower this cost.
Oil Change Cost Option #3 – Local Garages: Personalized Service with Potential Savings
Smaller, local garages can offer a more personalized touch. Many have established trust within their communities and might offer competitive pricing to win loyal customers. Prices can vary significantly, but expect to pay between $20 to $45. One advantage here is the potential for more tailored service, as local mechanics often value repeat business and personal referrals.
Oil Change Cost Option #4 – DIY Oil Changes: Savings for the Hands-On Driver
For those who possess the tools and knowledge, doing an oil change at home can offer the most significant savings. While you’d only be paying for the oil and filter, which may range from $15 to $40, you’re also investing your time and effort. Ensure you’re following environmental guidelines when disposing of old oil.
Ultimately, the best place for an oil change is a balance of cost, convenience, and trust. While some drivers prioritize savings, others might be willing to pay a bit more for a comprehensive service or the assurance of a particular brand or mechanic. Regular oil changes are vital for the longevity of your vehicle.
So, regardless of where you go, make it a routine to ensure your car stays in peak condition.
Oil Change Facts
- Synthetic and blended synthetic oils flow more easily than crude oil, minimizing friction between components and extending engine life.
- Synthetic oils resist degradation and sludge formation better than crude oil, reducing the frequency of oil changes.
- Recommended oil-change intervals have become longer due to advancements in synthetic oils.
- Car makers began using synthetic oils in specific automotive applications in the 1960s and it has since become mainstream, with about 70% of 2019 models using some sort of synthetic oil.
- It is important to consult your car’s owner’s manual to determine the recommended oil type and change frequency to avoid potentially voiding the car’s warranty or causing engine damage.
- Modern cars can typically manage 5,000 to 7,500 miles between oil changes, while those that require blended or full synthetic oil can go up to 10,000 miles.
- Old cars that predate synthetic oils typically require more frequent oil changes.
- Many modern vehicles have oil-life monitoring systems that can estimate the amount of life left in the engine oil and inform the driver when an oil change is needed.
- Cars that are used in more stressful conditions, such as hauling heavy loads or driving in extreme climates, may require more frequent oil changes even with synthetic oil.
- If a car doesn’t get much exercise, it may be necessary to change the oil based on time rather than mileage, and it is generally not recommended to keep the same oil in a car for more than a year.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change: In Conclusion…
In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to how many miles can you go over an oil change.
First, we learned what is engine oil and why it is so important. We learned all of the engine oil types and as we can recall, there are three types. Mineral oil, semi-synthetic also known as a synthetic blend, and fully synthetic oil. Then we also covered the oil viscosity which is extremely important to know.
Then we discussed how many miles can you go over an oil change and we concluded that the best are the recommended intervals of about 6,000 to 8,000 miles. But it is often useful to do an oil change earlier if you want to extend that engine’s life.
How Many Miles Can You Go Over An Oil Change: FAQs
Here are some popular frequently asked questions (and their answers) about how many miles can you go over an oil change…
How Long Does an Oil Change Take
Typically, an oil change at a professional shop takes between 30 minutes to an hour. If you’re doing it yourself, it might take a bit longer, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process or lack all the necessary tools.
How Often Should You Change Your Oil
For most cars, it’s recommended to change the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. However, always refer to your car’s owner’s manual. Some modern engines with synthetic oil might allow intervals of up to 7,500 miles or more.
How Much Is an Oil Change at Valvoline
The cost of an oil change at Valvoline varies based on your vehicle type and the kind of oil you choose. As of writing, a standard oil change might range from $30 to $70. Prices can fluctuate, so it’s a good idea to check their website or call ahead.
What Oil Does My Car Take
The type of oil your car needs is usually listed in the owner’s manual. It will specify the right viscosity and type, such as 10W-30 or 5W-20. If you’ve lost your manual, many auto parts stores or online resources can help you find the correct oil based on your vehicle’s make and model.
How Many Miles Can a Car Last
A well-maintained car can last over 200,000 miles. However, the lifespan depends on factors like the make and model, driving conditions, and maintenance. Regularly servicing your vehicle, including timely oil changes, plays a crucial role in its longevity.
How Much Is an Oil Change at Take 5
Prices for an oil change at Take 5 can differ based on the type of oil and your vehicle. Typically, you might expect to pay anywhere from $35 to $80. It’s best to check with your local Take 5 branch for the most accurate pricing.
How Often to Change Synthetic Oil
Synthetic oil generally lasts longer than conventional oil. Many manufacturers recommend oil change intervals of 7,500 to 10,000 miles for synthetic oil. But always refer to your car’s owner’s manual for specific guidance.
How Long Can I Run My Car with Too Much Oil
Running a car with too much oil can harm the engine. If it’s only slightly overfilled, you might be okay for a short distance, like driving to a nearby mechanic. However, if it’s significantly overfilled, it’s best not to run the engine until some oil is removed.
How Long Can You Go Without an Oil Change
While it’s not recommended, if you miss your oil change interval, going an additional 1,000 to 2,000 miles probably won’t cause immediate damage. However, prolonged delays can lead to engine wear, reduced performance, and potential long-term damage. Always try to stick to the recommended schedule.
How to Change Car Oil
To change car oil, start by warming up your car for a few minutes. Then, turn off the engine and lift the car safely. Next, locate the oil pan and unscrew the drain plug to let the old oil drain out into a container. Once drained, replace the plug, and then remove and change the oil filter. After that, pour in the new oil using a funnel. Lastly, check the oil level using the dipstick, and you’re done.
How Many Miles Does the Average Person Drive a Year
The average person in the U.S. drives about 13,500 miles a year. This can vary based on factors like location, occupation, and lifestyle.
How Long Does Synthetic Oil Last
Synthetic oil can last between 7,500 to 15,000 miles, depending on the brand and specific conditions. However, it’s vital to follow the manufacturer’s recommended oil change intervals.
Why Is Take 5 Oil Change So Expensive
Take 5 Oil Change might be perceived as expensive due to its focus on speed, convenience, and quality. Their prices might reflect the premium oils they use, the efficiency of their services, and any additional checks they perform.
How Much Oil Does My Car Need
The amount of oil your car needs is specified in the owner’s manual. It typically ranges from 4 to 6 quarts, but it can vary based on the vehicle’s make, model, and engine size.
What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Oil
If you don’t change your oil, it becomes dirty and loses its lubricating properties. This can lead to increased engine wear, reduced fuel efficiency, overheating, and eventually severe engine damage.
Where to Get an Oil Change
You can get an oil change at various places, including dealerships, auto repair shops, dedicated oil change centers, or even do it yourself if you have the necessary tools and knowledge.
How to Put Oil in Car
To put oil in your car, first, locate the oil cap under the hood. Unscrew the cap, and using a clean funnel, pour in the required amount of new oil. After filling, check the oil level with the dipstick to ensure it’s at the correct level.
How Many Miles on a Car Is Bad
A car with over 200,000 miles is often considered high mileage. However, the condition of the car matters more than just miles. With proper maintenance, many cars can run well beyond this milestone.
What Happens If You Go Too Long Without an Oil Change
Going too long without an oil change causes the oil to become thick, dirty, and less effective. This can lead to accelerated engine wear, potential sludge buildup, decreased performance, and ultimately severe engine damage. Regular oil changes are crucial for your car’s longevity.
Is Valvoline Good Oil
Yes, Valvoline is a reputable brand and is considered good oil. They have been in the industry for many years and offer a range of products suitable for different vehicle needs.
How Often Should You Change the Oil and Oil Filter in Your Vehicle
You should typically change the oil and oil filter in your vehicle every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. However, if using synthetic oil or if the manufacturer recommends, intervals can be extended to 7,500 miles or more.
How Long Can You Go Without an Oil Change After Its Due
If you’ve missed your oil change schedule, you might safely go an additional 1,000 to 2,000 miles without causing immediate harm. But it’s not advisable to delay further as it can lead to engine problems.
How Often Change Oil Filter
It’s generally a good practice to change the oil filter every time you change your oil. This ensures any contaminants trapped in the old filter won’t mix with the fresh oil.
What Should You Rely on to Determine When to Change Your Oil
Always rely on your vehicle’s owner manual for oil change intervals. However, modern cars also come with oil-life monitoring systems that alert the driver when an oil change is due based on driving conditions and habits.
How Long Is Synthetic Oil Good For
Synthetic oil can typically last between 7,500 to 15,000 miles. But, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and consider driving conditions.
Does Synthetic Oil Last Longer
Yes, synthetic oil generally lasts longer than conventional oil due to its superior resistance to breakdown and the ability to handle extreme temperatures.
What Do You Need for an Oil Change
For an oil change, you’ll need the correct grade and amount of oil, a new oil filter, an oil filter wrench, a drain pan, a funnel, gloves, safety glasses, and ramps or jack stands if elevating the vehicle.
How Long Does Oil Last in a Car Not Driven
If a car isn’t driven, the oil can last up to a year before it starts to degrade. However, even if not used, it’s recommended to change the oil annually as certain engine conditions can still impact the oil quality.
What Is a Conventional Oil Change
A conventional oil change involves replacing old engine oil with conventional or regular motor oil, which is refined from crude oil. It doesn’t have the advanced additives or processes that synthetic oils have, making it less expensive but also requiring more frequent changes.
Can You Go 10,000 Miles with Synthetic Oil
Yes, many synthetic oils are formulated to last up to 10,000 miles or even longer. However, always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual and consider driving conditions before extending intervals.
Where to Buy Oil for Car
You can buy oil for your car at auto parts stores, big-box retailers, gas stations, and online marketplaces. It’s essential to choose the correct grade and type recommended for your vehicle.
Does Motor Oil Go Bad
Over time, motor oil can degrade, especially if exposed to moisture and temperature fluctuations. However, sealed motor oil bottles can last for several years. Once in an engine, its lifespan depends on driving conditions and the oil type.
How Long Can You Wait to Get an Oil Change After the Light Comes On
Once the oil change light comes on, it’s recommended to change the oil within the next 500 miles or as soon as possible. Delaying can increase the risk of engine wear or damage.
What Color Should Engine Oil Be
New engine oil is typically amber or light brown. Over time, as it collects dirt and contaminants, it becomes darker. Extremely dark or black oil may indicate it’s time for a change.
How Long Can You Drive with Oil Light On
If the oil light comes on, it’s crucial to stop driving and check the oil level immediately. The light indicates low oil pressure, which can lead to engine damage if ignored.
How Long Will an Engine Last with Blow-By
With significant blow-by, the engine’s lifespan can be significantly reduced due to increased wear. Regular maintenance and addressing the root causes can prolong the engine’s life, but it varies based on the severity.
Will Putting Oil in My Car Make It Start
If your car isn’t starting solely due to low oil levels, adding oil might help. However, if there are other underlying issues, simply adding oil won’t resolve the starting problem.
How Long Does Car Service Take
The duration of a car service depends on the type of service and the specific tasks involved. Basic services like oil changes can take 30 minutes to an hour, while more comprehensive services might take several hours or even a full day.
What Will Happen If I Don’t Use Dexos Oil
Not using Dexos oil in engines that require it can lead to reduced performance, decreased fuel efficiency, and potential engine damage. Always use the recommended oil type to maintain your vehicle’s warranty and ensure optimal performance.