Questions about the oil change schedule are never far from a responsible driver’s mind. You should understand why changing your vehicle’s oil on a consistent basis is good for the engine’s overall performance and longevity. Some rules of thumb for oil changes have been around for decades. Many people have suggested that you should change the motor oil every 3,000 miles, but this may or may not work for your specific vehicle and its driving purposes. So you might be wondering if you’re getting your vehicle’s oil changed too often, or maybe not enough. Consider these key factors:
Your vehicle’s purpose is the key factor in determining when it’s time to change the oil. The motor oil is meant to prevent engine parts from creating friction and overheating. Some engines are required to work harder than others because the vehicle is expected to perform tasks like towing, pulling, traveling at high speeds. If your vehicle is used for purposes above and beyond a vehicle’s normal utility, you should have the oil changed more often.
What type of motor oil is your vehicle using? The reason most engines are able to last much longer than the old standard of 3,000 miles without an oil change is because of the use of synthetic motor oil. Synthetic motor oil doesn’t break down as quickly or lose its viscosity as quickly as conventional motor oils do. However, conventional motor oil is less expensive, and if your vehicle uses it, the oil changes should be at shorter time intervals.
Obviously, the newer your vehicle is, the less you need to be concerned about engine wear. As your vehicle ages, the amount of wear and tear on the engine will be more apparent. Staying current with your vehicle’s oil change schedule becomes more important, the older your vehicle gets. If you are driving an older vehicle, should be making the oil change intervals shorter, not longer. Especially if you want to extend your vehicle’s road-life or retain its resale value.
Many newer model vehicles are equipped with an oil life monitoring system. This is a dashboard notification that tells you when it’s time to get an oil change. This system is a computer that uses software algorithms to monitor the engine’s condition. Even if you have the aid of this technology, you should always use the owner’s manual and your vehicle’s specific driving conditions to interpret the monitoring system.
The oil pressure light on the dashboard requires immediate attention, and you should get an oil change as soon as possible. Actually, you should get some oil in your engine as soon as possible. When your dashboard’s oil pressure light comes on, it means the engine’s oil is worn out or empty. This problem MUST be addressed immediately, or you risk ruining your vehicle’s engine for good.
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