Turnpike Tire and Auto Service

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How Important is Changing My Oil Every 3 Months/3,000 Miles?

Regular oil changes are extremely important and are fundamental for proper vehicle maintenance. Failing to keep oil clean and clear can cause a lot of damage to the engine, destroy gas mileage and result in frequent trips to the local repair shop.

Why Change the Oil

Engine oil’s main purpose is to lubricate the engine. It keeps things running smoothly and prevents parts from grinding against each other. But it also plays many other important parts. Oil helps to keep the engine cool. It also removes moisture and dirt particles, both of which can cause serious damage. It lubricates and seals the combustion chambers and protects the parts from rust. As the oil is used up in the engine, it begins to break down and lose its ability to perform these necessary functions. As such, it is extremely important to remove the worn-down stuff and replace it with clean oil.

When to Change the Oil

The traditional recommendation is to change the oil every 3,000 miles or three months, whichever comes first. This rule of thumb came about in the 1950s as a safe estimate of how long engine oil holds up. This might be true for older cars, but most new cars can go longer than that between changes. In addition, engine oil has improved over the years.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Recommendations

The best guideline for determining when to change the oil is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Most owners’ manuals will have both a mileage and time stated, and whichever comes first is when the oil needs changing. It may be surprising to find out that the maker of the car actually recommends a longer time between oil changes. New engines and oils can last as much as 5,000 miles or longer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Oil changes are one of the most important vehicle maintenance tasks.
  • Engine oil serves to lubricate, seal, protect and cool the engine.
  • Older cars should follow the rule of changing the oil every three months or 3,000 miles.
  • New models that have better parts do not need the oil changed that often.
  • Engine oil quality has increased over the years, making it more durable than ever before.
  • Always check the owner’s manual for model-specific guidelines on the frequency of oil changes.
  • Some manufacturers recommend changing oil every 5,000 miles or possibly even longer.
  • Change the oil following either the time or mileage guideline in the manual, whichever comes first.

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