How often do I need to change my oil?
Over the last number of years there has been so many improvements in motor oil and the additive packages that are designed to protect your engine.
The quick oil change stations that used to tout oil changes every 3,000 miles have had to adjust their marketing. Most vehicle manufactures are beginning oil change intervals at 5,000 miles. Car makes like General Motors, Lexus, BMW, VW, Jaguar, Mini and many others are exceeding oil replacement services to 10, 12 and 15,000 miles.
Taking oil samples for analysis has determined that the oil additive packages today are not breaking down as they used too. Even in town, diesel powered delivery trucks, the oil samples after 20,000 showed very good lubrication and engine protection with oils like Castrol 15W-40 Tection.
The only real reason to change oil is when the oil gets dirty from contaminants like gas, condensation, chemical changes in the oil, metal particles, dirt, dust and by-products from combustion. An engine that runs rich or has prolonged periods at idle will get the cylinders washed with gas. Small amounts of gas will get into the oil and reduce lubrication.
Collector cars and vehicles that sit through winter or other up and down temperature swings, that are kept in a garage that is not temperature controlled will collect condensation in the oil. We all know that water and engine bearings are not a good combination.
Tiny metal particles from wear in the engine that have not yet been taken out by the oil filter cause wear. Dust and airborne particles that are ingested through the intake system from a dirty, clogged or non-existent air filter and even PCV systems and some types of oil vent systems can allow dirt to enter the engine.
This brings us to "severe service" listed in our owner’s manual.
Severe service is described as extended idling, towing, heavily loaded vehicles, mountain driving, constant hard acceleration or driving in dirty, dusty or sandy conditions. If you fall into the above driving conditions then you need to follow severe driving service intervals.
Whatever you drive, always consult your owner’s manual for the proper oil change service and preventive maintenance.
Remember engine oil, transmission fluid and the lubricants that protect transfer cases and differentials are the life blood of that vehicle.
The care and service that you give your vehicle will be returned by your car or truck through many care free driving miles to work on road trips and vacations.
Listen to your vehicle. It will tell you when it needs service or repair. Your car or truck is always talking to you. You just need to listen to it!