When to Change the Oil In Your Car?
The #1 rule is to read your car’s owner’s manual and follow their recommendations. The manufacturer knows your car best and what’s required to keep it running properly. The old rule of thumb was to change your car’s oil every 3,000 miles or every 3 months, whichever came first.
But with today’s advances in motor oil, that’s no longer necessary. Depending on the type of motor oil, your car’s driving conditions, and other factors, you can now go 5,000 to 7,500 miles before an oil change.
What Do The Numbers On The Quart Of Oil Mean?
The numbers on the can refer to the weight or thickness of the oil. The higher the number, the thicker the oil. Thicker oils are better at resisting heat and shearing forces, which is why they're used in high-performance engines.
Viscosity is the oil’s resistance to flow and it’s important because it affects an oil’s ability to lubricate. The thicker the oil, the better it will lubricate, but thick oil doesn’t flow as easily and can cause engine parts to run less efficiently.
How Often Should You Check The Oil Level?
Most cars have oil sensors that will give you a low oil warning when the level gets low. It's still a good habit to check your oil at each fill up to make sure the sensor is working.
What the sensor doesn't tell you is if your oil is dirty and needs to be changed. So, it’s a good idea to check your oil level regularly. Checking your oil only takes a minute and could save your engine.
Which Oil Type Should I Be Using?
Again check your owner’s manual for the type of oil recommended for your car.
If you have an older car, it might require conventional motor oil. Newer cars often require synthetic motor oil, which has special additives that provide better protection against engine wear, extreme temperatures, and sludge buildup.
High mileage oils are designed for vehicles with over 75,000 miles. These oils have special additives that can help prevent leaks and oil consumption in worn engines.