Preventative Maintenance – How Often Should I Have My Oil Changed?
An oil change at John’s Thistle Auto is a simple yet very important step in your motor vehicle maintenance. The purpose of regular oil changes is to prevent oil sludge.
Oil eventually starts to turn into jelly. Literally – petroleum jelly. Sludge clogs up oil passages and keeps oil from getting to some areas of the engine, causing parts to wear out prematurely. And that means expensive engine repairs.
That’s why you need to change the oil and oil filter on a regular schedule. Your manufacturer will have a recommendation for how many miles you can go between oil changes. They also usually have a number of months between recommended oil changes. That’s because the detergents and other additives in the oil break down over time.
Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for time and mileage, but you need to remember that it’s based on using the recommended weight of oil. And if your vehicle came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended intervals assume you continue to use synthetic.
Also how you drive can have a big effect. Most owner’s manuals will have a list of driving conditions that are harder on your vehicle, such as:
- stop and go driving
- short trips
- driving in very hot or very cold weather
- heavy loads
If some of your driving fits this, you may need to change your oil and do other maintenance on a shorter schedule.
Some vehicles have an oil life calculator that takes all of these factors into account and tells you when you should change your oil. This is a handy feature but you should also make a note of the appropriate time for your next oil servicing. If you are unsure, call John’s Thistle Auto to discuss your driving habits and get their recommendation for your next oil service.
It is also recommended to have your service technician inspect and lube your steering and suspension during the oil servicing.