How often should you change your oil? That is a question we are asked often; in fact, this topic was just recently brought up at our LeTip of West Orange County networking meeting. With over 2,000 makes and models of vehicles on the road, there are just about as many manufacturers’ recommendations on when to change the oil. Most of us are under the impression that our vehicle’s oil should be changed every 3,000 miles. That was very true in the 1970’s, when most cars used thicker, higher viscosity oils, which tended to wear down within 3000 miles. However, today’s motor oils are comprised with synthetic blends and are lasting much longer. With the newer synthetic blend oils, vehicles with fewer than 100,000 miles (without any mechanical concerns) require oil changes between 5,000 – 7,000 miles. You may want to change your oil more frequently or at least have it checked, if you are noticing oil leaks, suspect your vehicle is burning oil, see blue smoke from the tail pipe, or hear a ticking sound or knocking sound (especially when you first start it). As a preventative maintenance, it is good practice to check your oil periodically between oil changes and especially before road trips, no matter how old or new your vehicle may be.
An exception to the oil change recommendation would be driving less than 5000 miles a year, where we would then recommend changing your oil at least once a year. Not driving your car does not necessarily mean you are preserving it. Vehicles are made to be driven. If the oils and coolants sit in a car without moving freely, they become contaminated and toxic, causing premature deterioration to hoses and other engine components. As the vehicle sits, the engine oil loses its viscosity from the environmental elements, causing the sitting oil to become easily contaminated.
As we have stated time and time again, the best time to find an auto mechanic is when you don’t need one; much like choosing a personal physician. At our auto repair shop, an oil change is probably the best time to see if we are a good fit for you. We not only include the manufacturer’s recommended grade of oil and oil filter, but also a full courtesy visual inspection that includes rotating the tires, checking and measuring the brakes and testing the battery. It is an exceptional value for the service and with the exception of the dealers’ “free” service, we can beat their prices. Additionally, new car owners may be interested in knowing that not only can our auto repair team maintain your vehicle and keep your new car warranty valid, but if you choose to be a do-it-yourselfer and maintain and service your own vehicle, your warranty is covered! Just keep your receipts.
We sincerely appreciate the loyalty of our customers for allowing us to be their first choice for all their vehicles’ scheduled maintenance services and repairs. Nat A. brought his 2001 Toyota Camry to us for many years and when he got his 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring, we were the first to change the oil and rotate the tires!