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When Should you Change your Oil?

There is a lot of confusion about how often you need to change the oil in your vehicle. Every 3,000 miles is a common benchmark that many people stand by. The truth is that the answer varies greatly based on several factors.

Why do you Need to Change your Oil at All?

Your engine requires oil to run smoothly. Since the engine is arguably the most important part of your vehicle (after all, the car won't go anywhere without an engine), it's important to keep the engine happy by changing the oil when necessary. This will keep the engine running smoothly and make it last longer.

Should you Trust the Windshield Sticker?

If you get your oil changed at an auto shop, the technicians will often place a small sticker on your windshield with the date of the oil change and when to come back in for another change. The most common interval recommended is 3,000 miles. While older vehicles may very well need to have their oil changed every 3,000 miles, newer models can generally last longer before an oil change is recommended.

Consult your Vehicle Owner's Manual

The most important thing you can do when considering when to change your oil is to consult your vehicle owner's manual. Every car is different and there is no universal answer to the question - "How often should I change my oil?" The owner's manual will have instructions from the car's manufacturer on when to change the oil.

Other Factors

In addition to the number of miles driven, there are several other factors that can impact when an oil change is necessary, such as:
  • Towing
  • Driving in off road conditions (gravel, dusty roads)
  • Driving in cold weather
  • Taking frequent short trips (less than 10 miles)

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