When should I get my oil changed?

Short answer: every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or 3 - 6 months depending on the type of driving you do.

Long answer: Oil change intervals vary with driving habits and type of vehicle. I’m assuming we share the goal to minimize the need for major auto repairs. If you’re driving 20 miles one way to work and 15 of those miles are on the highway, most vehicles should have the oil changed every 5,000 miles. If you’re like me, drive 8 miles to work, never go more than 2 miles without stopping, most vehicles should have the oil changed every 3,000 miles or every 3-4 months. If you ride the bus to work and only drive your car to run a few errands on the weekend, that is the hardest type of driving on an engine. You may need to change your vehicles oil every 3-6 months regardless of the mileage.

Remember, even though the oil itself may not have broken down, the combustion process is a very dirty one at that, the oil collects the contaminants, the oil filter gets most of the contaminants out but, not all. If you drive short trips daily (under 3 miles) and have minimal driving on the highway (less than a monthly 20 mile trip)…under those conditions the engine doesn’t get an opportunity to warm up enough or long enough to evaporate the condensation that develops inside the engine during cool down. The condensation and contaminants accumulate and cause premature internal engine wear… which equals major auto repairs.

Think about the difference in cost…if you drive your vehicle 15,000 miles a year, the difference between changing the oil every 3,000 vs. 5,000 miles is one oil change…$30 per year. Ask yourself, is it worth the risk to save the $30 per year? Seems like pretty inexpensive insurance to avoid major auto repairs.

Hoover Street Auto Repair performs oil change in Ann Arbor MI. All vehicle types and makes. Standard oil types or synthetic oil change Ann Arbor MI

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