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How Often Should I Get an Oil Change? All You Need To Know!

How Often Should I Get an Oil Change? All You Need To Know!

If you're wondering, “how often should I get an oil change?” The short answer is it depends. Depending on your vehicle's type and the type of oil they decided to go with, you might need to change the oil once every 3000 miles, but sometimes you can wait up to 15,000 miles without needing an oil change, especially if you're using full synthetic oil.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

Automobiles cannot run without engine oil. The engine oil is responsible for lubricating the internal moving components and preventing friction. Without the proper amount of lubrication, the engine can immediately fail, requiring installing a brand new or rebuilt engine which is a very expensive repair cost.

Not every vehicle requires the same type of engine oil. Over the years, manufacturers designed vehicles differently, and most modern vehicles require a specific type of engine oil that is typically full synthetic, multigrade, low viscosity oil. However, older cars require different types of oil that you must learn about.

Aside from choosing the right engine oil, you'll have to learn about the frequency of changing your vehicle's engine oil. Depending on the type of engine oil and your vehicle, you might need to change the oil once every 3000 miles, but in some scenarios, you might not need an oil change until 15,000 miles here at

This article walks you through all the details you need to know about oil change intervals. Then, we will break down oil change frequencies by older vehicles and newer cars. Finally, we will provide you with additional relevant information that helps you maintain your engine and never skip an oil change.

How often should I get an oil change?

Why oil change is one of the minor car maintenances that you need to perform is extremely critical and skipping an oil change might lead to significant engine damages that could cost you thousands of dollars. Therefore, one of the first questions you need to ask yourself as a driver is, “how often should I get an oil change?”

Many factors play a major role in determining how often to change your vehicle's oil. The frequency of oil change depends heavily on your vehicle's type and the type of oil you choose. Let's take a closer look at how long you can wait between oil changes:

  1. Oil change frequencies and older cars

If you are driving an old vehicle, dealing with oil changes might be significantly different from driving a newer car here. Typically, your vehicle's oil change interval will be provided in your vehicle's owner’s manual, and it will be broken down by either “normal operation” or “severe operation.”

Severe operation

Severe operation refers to situations where you are over-stressing the engine add that's when your engine requires additional help from fresh oil. These difficult situations could be things like driving for shorter trips that are less than five miles, driving in extremely hot or cold weather has, dealing with stop-and-go driving frequently, and hauling very heavy loads.

If you confirm that your vehicle has been involved in many severe operation conditions, you might need to change the oil more frequently than usual. That's why once you check with your vehicle's owner’s manual, you'll see that you must change the oil before 3000 miles.

Normal operation

Under normal operations, your vehicles should be good to go with the specified oil change interval mentioned in a new vehicle's owner’s manual. Usually, this interval will be much longer than the interval indicated in the severe operating conditions.

  1. Oil change frequencies in newer cars

In newer vehicles, however, you don't have to worry about severe versus normal operation conditions. This is because these cars are typically equipped with oil life monitoring systems that communicate with you and let you know when your vehicle is due for an oil change.

Typically, these systems will alert you way before the vehicle requires an oil change. That's why when you open a manual of a modern car, you might not find anything related to severe operating conditions because the oil monitoring systems take care of that.

Most automotive experts recommend that you check your vehicle's engine oil level once every month. The more you watch the oil level, the more you save yourself a lot of money on expensive repair costs like engine damages. So, therefore, even if you're driving a modern car, and even if it's the modern car has these systems to help you understand when to change your vehicle's oil, you still need to monitor the oil level and maintain a proper amount of oil in your vehicle all the time.

It is important to note that whenever you perform an oil change, the technician must reset the oil life monitoring system and get rid of the warning light if it's there. This way, your vehicle will understand that the oil is currently fresh, and the system needs to start over to count and let you know whenever you're due for a second oil change.

What happens if you go too long without an oil change?

Skipping an oil change is a huge issue. There are many negative consequences that you will deal with immediately after going too long between oil changes, including:

  1. Voiding the warranty

Most manufacturers and automotive experts recommend performing oil changes whenever needed. However, by skipping an oil change, you can easily void the warranty. If you did not already read in the paperwork, an oil change is one of the important elements you must maintain to keep your warranty.

Experts understand that oil is a necessary component in your vehicle. However, by skipping an oil change, you sacrificed the engine and led to significant damages that your manufacturer must take care of here. Typically these damages require much higher power costs than simply performing an oil change.

  1. Damaging the engine

As oil runs around the engine, it collects a lot of debris and contaminants. Therefore, the longer you wait on an oil change, the dirtier the oil gets here. That's why oil loses some of its main characteristics as it gets old. Therefore, older oils do not help maintain the engine temperature, and that's why you deal with significant engine overheating the more you wait on the oil change. Overheating is one of the worst enemies of any engine, which leads to significant engine seizing and damaging.

  1. Reducing engine efficiency

When the engine doesn't receive the proper lubrication, it stresses out and works more than it needs to perform and generate the right amount of energy. Therefore, the more you wait on the oil change, you will realize that the engine is not operating as it should. Therefore, one of the first negative consequences of skipping an oil change is significantly reducing your vehicle’s efficiency.

  1. Dropping the fuel economy

Since the engine needs to work more to generate the proper energy, it will also consume more fuel. That's why you'll notice that you must visit the gas station more frequently than before whenever you wait on the oil change. Therefore, if you plan to save on money by not performing the oil change, you are spending more fuel.

Do I need to change the oil every six months?

Although the general recommendation for an oil change is every 5000 miles or six months, that's not always the case for every vehicle. As we indicated earlier, the frequency and interval of oil change depending on your vehicle type and the type of oil you decided to go with.

Many synthetic oils do not require oil change before one year or 15,000 miles, whichever comes first. Therefore, you must consult your mechanic or go through your vehicle's owner’s manual to get an idea about whether you should change your vehicle's oil once every six months or not.

Keep in mind that synthetic oil might not be compatible with every vehicle, especially when driving an older car. Automotive experts showed that synthetic oil could harm your engine when used in an older car because synthetic oil has some detergents that take care of deposits and debris inside the engine. These detergents can damage the weak seals around older engine components.

Is it OK to change the oil once a year?

Depending on your driving operation, environment, vehicle, and type of oil, you might be OK with not changing your engine oil for up to one year. However, some specific operating conditions require you to perform an oil change way before then.

Therefore, you must go through this article and familiarize yourself with whether you can wait for one year or not. After that, an accurate answer comes from your mechanic, who can look at your vehicle's type and the type of oil your engine is using.

What are the signs you need an oil change?

While it's our responsibility to be proactive about oil changes, sometimes we get busy and forget about an oil change. Sometimes we might even need an oil change before the due dates. Luckily, there are some signs you can keep an eye for indicating that your vehicle is due for an oil change, including:

  1. Warning lights

If you're driving a more modern car, you might notice specific warning lights associated with engine oil issues. In addition, some vehicles might tell you that your vehicle is due for an oil change before the due date comes. Therefore, you must never ignore a warning light on your vehicle's dashboard as it's your vehicle's only way to communicate with you and bring your attention to important internal problems.

  1. Loud engine noises

If you skipped an oil change for a long time, you might start noticing weird engine knocking noises. Unfortunately, if you get to this point, it indicates that the oil change due date passed a long time ago. When the knocking noise happens, it is because of the metal-to-metal banging against each other, which is never a good situation.

  1. Different oil color

When you first use engine oil, you'll notice that it's bright shiny clean color. However, the older it gets, the darker it gets and the dirtier it is. Therefore, to determine whether your vehicle is due for an oil change, perform a quick visual inspection and look at the current engine oil color. If you found it very dark and very muddy, it indicates that your vehicle is due for an oil change.

Keep in mind that some types of engine oil and oil additives are darker than others. Therefore, you must familiarize yourself with the fresh oil color before so you can tell whether the color got dirtier over time of use or it's just dark since the beginning.

  1. Oil smells

Another important symptom indicating that your vehicle is due for an oil change is smelling some oil smells inside the vehicle. When oil gets very dirty and very old, it starts leaking towards the vehicle's interior in some scenarios. That's why you will notice a strong oil smell every time you enter the car. You must take the situation seriously and reach out to your mechanic to check what's going on when that happens.

An oil leak is never a good situation, and it can immediately lead to significant engine damages. So, whether this leak is related to skipping an oil change or to any other reason, you must take care of it immediately to prevent dealing with higher repair costs.

  1. Different exhaust smoke

Depending on the vehicle you are driving, the smoke coming out of the tailpipe should not be clear and shouldn't have a clear color here. Therefore, if you notice that the smoke coming out of the tailpipe is different than before, it might indicate an internal problem related to old oil. Therefore, when this happens, you must consult with the mechanic to inspect the vehicle and confirm the culprit.


Oil change intervals differ significantly depending on your engine type and the type of oil. For example, you might need to change the engine oil once every 3000 miles spot. On the other hand, if you are driving a modern car and using full synthetic oil, you might not need to perform an oil change up to 15,000 miles.

An oil change is extremely critical as it prevents engine damages related to overheating issues. However, ignoring an oil change release too unnecessary repairs that might cost thousands of dollars down the road. If you get into this situation, the only option is to evaluate whether it's worth installing a new engine or not. In many situations, you might need to sell your car and use its value towards a better vehicle that has a good engine.

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