Oil is what keeps your engine running. It reduces friction, lessens wear, lubricates metal parts, and cools engine parts. If you don’t get regular oil changes, carbon and varnish buildup would be toxic to the engine.

How Often Do You Need An Oil Change?

Changing your vehicle’s oil every 3 months or every 3,000 miles is the best way to protect the most important part of your vehicle, the engine. Many manufacturers will recommend that you change your oil every 5,000 miles or more; however, these estimates are based on ideal driving conditions.

Severe Driving Conditions That Affect Oil Change Frequency

Severe driving conditions can affect how often you will need an oil change. The following conditions are considered severe:

  • Frequent short trips of 10 miles or less
  • Short trips in cold weather
  • Stop and start city driving
  • Highway driving in extreme heat
  • Driving in dusty conditions, like gravel and sand

Signs You Need an Oil Change

You should follow your normal schedule and milage for your routine oil change but there are some indicators to look out for that might be telling you its time for an oil change. These indicators can be any of the following:

  • An oil reminder on your dashboard: In newer vehicles, this light or message takes your actual driving conditions into account.
  • Dark oil on your dipstick: Fresh engine oil is transparent and light brown or amber. Dirty and old oil appears dark brown or black — and too opaque to see through.
  • Overheating: Poor lubrication also makes your engine work harder, which can generate excess heat.
  • Grinding or tapping noises: these may be the dreaded “metal on metal” sounds, warning you that your oil level is too low to protect your engine.

Different Types of Oil Changes

There are different types of motor oil you can choose from during an oil change. If you’re not sure which is the best option for your vehicle, consult your mechanic!

  • Conventional motor oil is from crude oil with a variety of additives.
  • Synthetic motor oil is a man-made ingredient with a variety of additives. This protects your engine better than conventional oil due to the purity of the man-made ingredients.
  • High mileage motor oil contains anti-wear additives to prolong your engine life if your vehicle has over 75,000 miles or more. This is available in the conventional, synthetic blend, and full synthetic oil formulas.

Schedule Your Next Oil Change

If you’ve noticed any of the signs of needing an oil change, or you’ve driven 3,000 miles since your last oil change, bring your car into Tommy’s Automotive! Oil changes only take a short amount of time to perform and we can have your car back to you within the same day. Contact us or call (610) 696-2633 to schedule your next oil change or tune-up.