Does Your Car Really Need an Oil Change Every 3,000 Miles?
We hear that question a lot at Tiny’s Auto, and while most drivers think there’s some kind of conspiracy of mechanics, automakers, and oil companies forcing them to get their oil changed more often than they need, the reality is that there’s not a simple answer.
You Need Regular Oil Changes
We hope all drivers know that they need to have their oil changed regularly, but the 3,000 miles (or three months) suggestion has always been a suggestion for peak performance and should be treated more as a rule of thumb. The same car can often go longer between oil changes if it uses synthetic oil, for instance, as it degrades more slowly. Some cars are engineered better than others as well—the manual for your car might say the manufacturer recommends oil changes every 7,500 miles.
The important thing is to have your oil changed regularly, and often enough to keep your engine running smoothly and free of gunk. The regularity with which you change your oil or have it changed will depend greatly on how much you drive, whether the driving is city or highway, what kind of car you drive, and what kind of motor oil you are using. If you’re not quite sure about how these effects can change how often you should change your oil, then it’s a good idea to stick with the three months or 3,000 miles rule of thumb or read your car’s manual.
Benefits of Oil Changes
Even if your car’s manual says it only needs its oil changed every 5,000 miles or every 12 months, there are benefits to having oil that doesn’t have 4,000+ miles on it, including superior fuel economy and a more responsive engine. Long oil change intervals won’t turn your Civic into a gas guzzler, but you will notice the difference. Regular oil changes will also keep the engine healthier, which can improve long-term performance.
Remember, if you’re ever unsure, talk with a mechanic you trust, and be sure to keep coming back to Tiny’s Auto for answers to your car ownership and maintenance questions.