How often should I change my oil?

One of the most common questions that we get asked is how often an oil change should be scheduled for a car. The answer is – it depends.

The first answer that many people are given is what their father or grandfather told them. “Of course you should change your oil every 3,000 miles.” The second most common answer, and usually a better answer is “Whatever the manufacturer recommends.” But that still doesn’t completely answer the question. Car manufacturer’s recommendations for oil change intervals (OCI) are often confusing and sometimes misleading. Manufacturer recommended intervals for an oil change range anywhere from 3,000 miles to over 15,000 miles for vehicles sold in the United States and so we are still back to “it depends.” Furthermore, manufacturers usually have a couple different recommended intervals based on how the vehicle is used and what environmental conditions it is driven in. And sometimes the manufacturer’s recommendations simply do not provide adequate protection for your vehicle in the real world.

Another variable that comes into play is the type or quality of oil and filter used. Not all oil and filters are created equal. Some are more satisfactory for longer OCI’s than others.

As you can see, there is no real simple answer to the question that we posed in the beginning. So what should you do? A properly maintained vehicle will cost less to operate over the long haul and have fewer breakdowns and unexpected failures. The experienced staff at Mountain Valley Motors will be happy to assist you in developing a customized preventative maintenance plan for your vehicle based on your driving habits and environment. We have the experience and knowledge to help you make informed decision about how best to care for your car. Call us today!