When Should You Change Your Motor Oil?

Estimates for oil changes used to be simple. Most “experts” pegged the interval at every 3000 miles. But there have been improvements in fuel-delivery systems, engine materials, manufacturing methods, and oil technology. The latest models don’t need an oil change for 7,500 or sometimes even 10,000 miles.

This makes things more complicated. How do you know when you should change your oil?    

Is Your Car Still Under Warranty?

When Should You Change Your Motor Oil

If your car remains covered by the powertrain warranty, you need to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil type, mileage, and time. We can make sure you stay on track so you don’t void your warranty. Some of the newest vehicles have oil-life monitors that use algorithms, sensors, and software to tell you when you need to change your oil. These track data such as driving temperatures, idling time, driving hours, engine revving, and cold starts. If you are unsure about intervals and don’t have an oil-life monitor to alert you, leave it to us to keep up with the timing and type of oil you need to stay in compliance with your warranty.

After the Warranty

You can use common sense after you move beyond your warranty. Oil changes are spelled out in your owner’s manual but are divided into two types of driving—normal and severe. How do you determine if you are operating your car under severe conditions? If you answer yes to any of these questions, your car is working hard and needs more frequent changes:

  • Do you frequently make short trips of five miles or less in normal temperatures?
  • Do you frequently make short trips of 10 miles or less in freezing temperatures?
  • Are you doing a significant amount of stop-and-go driving in extremely hot weather?
  • Are you often driving at low speeds for long distances?
  • Do you repeatedly drive on dusty, muddy, salty, sandy, or gravel roads?
  • Are you towing trailers for long distances?

Is More, Better?

Oil-change shops and dealerships might recommend more frequent changes and, hey, they don’t hurt anything besides your wallet. But deciding when you should get an oil change is more complicated and shouldn’t depend on the bottom line of the business that is providing the service. That’s why you need a trusted partner on your side. If you’re not driving under severe conditions, we’ll make sure your oil and hard-earned cash work as hard as possible for you. We’ve stayed in business for more than 45 years because our customers know they can rely on us to give them honest advice in plain language. We always use the right parts, fluids, and equipment, which is how we’re able to offer a 24-month/24,000-mile warranty honored at all 14,000 Napa Auto Care Centers across the nation. For an automotive shop that does things differently, call Bender’s Auto Care at 626-332-3022, or request an appointment online today!