When Do You Really Need An Oil Change?

From the moment we received the keys to our first car, we are constantly reminded to get an oil change every 3,000 miles. This message has been passed down from generation to generation. Now, we’ve all heard the stories of those on the open road, enjoying the weekend scenery and all of the sudden, and the car stops dead in its tracks due to old, cruddy oil. It’s the story told to us by our parents to instill the fear of the car breaking down in us.

If you’re not keeping up with frequent oil maintenance, you can expect to see a decrease in gas mileage, and eventually even worse, damages could occur, amounting in the thousands to repair. To keep your engine running smoothly and safely, it’s important to follow the owner’s manual recommendations for oil changes and to consult a mechanic that specializes in the make and model of your vehicle.

Each and every manufacturer manual lists two suggested mileage intervals to get an oil change. One is for regular driving conditions and the other is for severe driving conditions. When taking into consideration of what ‘severe driving conditions’ entails, 80% of Americans drive in these conditions.

Characteristics of driving in severe conditions include:

  • Frequent stop and go traffic
  • Excessive idling
  • Excessive driving in hot temperatures (over 90 degrees)
  • Excessive driving in very cold temperatures (under 10 degrees)
  • Excessive towing
  • Regular trips of under ten miles
  • Frequent driving in dirt and dusty areas

Regular driving conditions’ are said of drivers that get in their vehicle, drive 300 to 400 miles without stopping, on a major highway. As you can tell from this description, not many drivers fall into the regular driving conditions category.

Of course each vehicle I made differently and is going to operate under a different set of rules.

Vehicles that drive in more extreme conditions, such as stop and go traffic, frequent short trips or driving in extreme heat or cold, will want to keep a more frequent oil maintenance plan. Trips under ten miles do not allow the engine to get to running temperatures, which prevents the oil from doing the same, resulting in the inability to cycle smoothly and correctly. Driving in traffic, extreme temperature or frequent short trips will cause for quicker buildup of dirt and sludge.

After consulting your owner’s manual for suggested oil change mileage intervals, go and find yourself a mechanic you can trust. Your best bet will be to contact your local manufacturer dealership’s service center. The mechanics there specialize in the make and model of your vehicle and will be able to give you trustworthy feedback as to the current condition of your vehicle and recommend a plan that will keep your engine running longer and in peak condition.

By keeping up with correct maintenance of oil changes, your engine will continue to perform the way it’s supposed to, with power and longevity. You will also dodge those large repair bills that will come about if you do not take care of the motor oil needs of your vehicle. And when in doubt of when you need an oil change, read your owner’s manual and consult a trusted mechanic. If you’re in need of an oil change or having car problems come and check out Cerritos INFINITI Service center. Located at 10901 East 183rd St, Cerritos, CA 90703.

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