Many drivers are finding themselves off schedule from their routine service with new driving habits. You may be left wondering when should you really change your oil? Depending on the age of your vehicle, the type of oil that you use, and the driving conditions, oil service intervals will vary. Most newer vehicles specify a synthetic motor oil that has an extended service life. Quality full synthetic motor oils driven under the right conditions can be stretched as far as 10,000 to 15,000 miles! More realistically though you will end up servicing your car around 5,000 miles. Very few drivers meet all of the criteria to utilize the full potential of advanced synthetic motor oils. Before you get too excited that you never need to change the oil there are a few things to keep in mind!
Most drivers do not operate under pristine high mileage driving conditions in a short time to take full advantage of the oil's potential mileage life. No matter what the mileage driven EVERY manufacturer agrees that the oil needs annual service at the extreme minimum. You cannot judge engine oil condition by color, so follow the factory maintenance schedule for oil changes. While you're in the factory maintenance schedule be sure to look at the definitions of severe vs. standard duty. We are all pretty tough and reliant on our cars and put them through the paces more than we might think! Some conditions that are considered "SEVERE":
- Primarily short trips (5 miles or less)
- Extremely hot
- Excess cold
- Dusty climates
- Sustained stop-and-go driving
- Carrying heavy loads or towing a trailer
So looking at the list everyone is a severe driver in the North East!!!! So to really determine your oil change interval it is best to check the owner's manual. As a general rule, high-quality synthetic motor oil will properly lubricate your engine for 5,000 miles. It is good practice to have your car service twice a year and have the oil changed during that service. At the end of the day, the oil change is extremely cheap insurance on your engine which is worth at least $10,000-$20,000!!!!