How Long Can A Car Go Without An Oil Change?

Are you wondering how often do you have to change your car’s oil? Or how long can it go without an oil change? Well, keep reading to get your answers.

While getting the oil changed can be a task for many, as you need to take time out from your schedule, but it is important that you take good care of your four-wheeler, since that helps in maintaining its good health.

Oil change is a major part of the upkeep of your car’s health.

When to change your car’s oil?

In the past, an oil change was required every 3000 miles. On the other hand, now, when the engine technology has improved significantly, cars can go 5000 to 7500 miles before they require an oil change. However, your vehicle can go even further to 10,000 miles or even 15,000 miles without an oil change if it uses synthetic oil.

The above-mentioned numbers are more of a general guideline. These will vary according to the make and model of your car, so be sure to check the owner’s manual to be aware of the exact period you can have between oil change.

When would you need to change oil more frequently?

Sometimes, you may need to change the car’s oil more frequently. This would depend on the climate you drive your car in, and your driving patterns. For instance, some cars need an oil change every 3000 miles under “severe driving conditions”. These can include;

  • Driving on gravelly, dusty, or sandy roads
  • Hauling or towing heavy equipment
  • Travelling in constant stop-and-go traffic
  • Short trips of less than five miles in moderate temperatures and 10 miles in freezing temperatures

It’s always best to be proactive when these factors may influence the frequency of oil changes needed by your car. You should get regular oil changes, as this would reduce the long-term costs of using your car and increase your car’s reliability.

What are the warning signs that indicate a pending oil change?

Are you unsure about when an oil change is required? You should look out for these warning signs for some guidance;

  • Burning oil smell: If you notice a burning oil smell, that’s a strong indicator of an oil leak, and of a pending oil change.
  • Change in color and consistency: When oil is fresh and clear, it’s amber in color but translucent. As time passes, the oil picks up debris, which subsequently turns the oil black and rather gritty.
    You can check the color and consistency by removing the dipstick. If you can see the dipstick through the oil, that means an oil change is needed.
  • Dashboard warning light: This light, the oil change light, comes on when there’s not enough oil in the car. If the engine light comes on as well, this indicates that the engine is at risk of damage as well. Any light coming on means you need to get your car checked as soon as possible.
  • Knocking noise from the engine: Oil prevents the engine’s moving parts from grinding against each other. When these parts aren’t lubricated enough, the engine will start to make a loud knocking sound, as the parts hit each other. This is a common indicator that there isn’t enough oil, and you need an oil change before your engine gets overheated.

A common question that comes from car users is will oil go bad if one doesn’t drive the car? So, the answer is that even if you drive your car rarely, and the mileage is much less, you should still get an oil change at least twice a year. This is because oil degrades over time.

If your car needs an oil change, go to your service station, and get some fresh oil in your car, so the situation doesn’t deteriorate further.

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