Does the 3,000-Mile Guideline for Oil Changes Still Apply?
Do you really need to change your oil every 3,000 miles? No! Unless you own a worn out or old vehicle then you do not have to follow this guideline. When you choose to have the oil changed, it is recommended that you get the car oil checked through a trusted mechanic like someone you’ve been going to for years.
Do Not Trust the Sticker
The next time you opt for car maintenance and find a sticker over your windshield indicating an oil change, think twice. Do you really need it? Assuming that you opt for the oil change even before completing the 3,000-mile interval, the maintenance technician would suggest that you come back again for an oil change in another three months.
It is advisable that you check with your vehicle manual before making a decision. The manual should be able to help you indicate when and how an oil change would be required. Most brands for example, suggest an oil change only after completing 5,000 miles. A frequent change in oil could pose a threat to your vehicle. Take the time to read through the manual or look up the information online if the time permits.
You may also want to consider the fact that by frequently changing oil, you would be wasting oil. To help you understand this better, let’s take California as an example. California recycles just about 60% of the oil and by changing the oil before the 3,000-mile interval, you’re not only wasting oil but inviting environmental trouble. In other words, if one could replicate the situation with another precious natural resource, you would be dumping gallons of milk away before its expiry date and in turn wasting all your savings.
You should trust the oil indicator present at the dashboard of your vehicle. Each time the oil indicator lights up, that’s when you should get the vehicle’s oil changed. Expect the indicator to light up every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Make sure to pay attention to it when it does light up so you don’t risk your safety or the vehicle for a bargain.
Reasons for an Oil Change
If you’re wondering why your mechanic asked for an early oil change, these could be the possible reasons:
1. If you’ve been braking the car in stop-and-go traffic, your car could be at a risk of finishing up the oil.
2. It is recommended that you drive the vehicle for a minimum of 20 miles a day to be able to avoid this issue. Short distance driving could be another reason for an early oil change.
3. If you’ve also been driving around extreme climatic conditions like dusty or sandy roads or even around extreme heat or cold, expect to have the car oil changed frequently.
4. Another reason could be an off-road adventure. This could not only affect the vehicle, unless you’ve been driving a rugged vehicle, but can also lead to frequent oil changes.
Now that you know where you stand and what the possible causes could be to the issue, make sure to take precautions beforehand.