We have a lot of customers ask us when to come in for an oil change. Our certified technicians at Mountain View Automotive in Northglenn are always happy to answer that question! Of course, it depends on a few factors. One thing that is clear is that if you don’t change your oil regularly it can shorten the life of your engine.
One of the purposes of your vehicle’s oil is to cut friction. After you drive for a while, your car’s oil gets contaminants and loses its viscosity (the ability to flow). Those contaminants create friction when parts rub together. If your vehicle experiences a lot of friction it will wear the parts out faster, sometimes causing major troubles with your engine. The damage could even require an engine overhaul or replacement.
Start by looking at the car manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule regarding when to come in for an oil change. The manufacturer knows what works best for your specific vehicle model. You can look in your owner’s manual that came with the car. If you don’t have the manual because you lost it or you bought your car second hand, you can find typically find the recommended oil change schedule on the car’s manufacturer’s website.
You may hear someone talk about a set time period that is recommended for an oil change but not all cars and trucks are the same, so there is no set time period. When your car, truck or SUV needs an oil change depends on the age of your vehicle, the mileage, and how you use your vehicle. Changing your oil more frequently than recommended is fine but not necessary.
With today’s vehicle computers, your car will let you know when to come in for an oil change. If your low oil light indicator comes on, you need an oil change. Bring it in as soon as you see it and if you can, don’t wait for the light because by the time it comes on your car may already be experiencing damage to your engine.
When to come in for an oil change also depends on what kind of driving conditions you face. If you have a lot of cold starts, extreme heat, towing, and multiple short trips under four miles, it can shorten the oil life. If you regularly have these kinds of driving conditions it can shorten your service interval by 25 to 40 percent.
Dash Maintenance Reminder
Do you drive a lot or a little? The number of miles you drive also factors into how often you need to change your oil. Your dash light is triggered by your car’s computers which tracks your car’s time and mileage. In addition, some car’s dash reminders use an electronic sensor that measures the car’s oil quality, and others use an algorithm based on driving metrics to determine the life of the oil. If your car doesn’t have a dash reminder, you can always refer back to your manual for guidance.
Oil changes are important to keep your car running. So if you want to know when to come in for an oil change, give us a call at Mountain View Automotive in Northglenn. We can help you with oil changes, other maintenance, and any repairs. Bring in your car, truck or SUV and we can get the oil changed quickly.