How Often Should You Change Your Car’s Oil?


Regular oil changes help keep your car in good shape and performing at its best. For many years, a 3,000-mile oil change guideline remained standard. Due to better engine technology and high-quality synthetic oils though, you can potentially drive for more miles between oil changes. The recommended intervals for oil changes depend on factors such as the type of vehicle you drive, the kind of oil you use, and your driving habits.

Manufacturer’s Suggestions

Manufacturer’s recommendations are a good place to start when you’re trying to figure out an oil change baseline. For example, if you buy a new Kia for sale, take a look at your car’s owner’s manual for specifics tailored to its engine and needs. These guidelines should be more accurate than the 3,000-mile rule and keep your vehicle performing well in these ways:

  • Reduces engine wear and tear
  • Controls temperature in the engine
  • Removes engine contaminants
  • Maintains seals and gaskets
  • Improves fuel efficiency
  • Complies with requirements to keep the car warranty valid

To expand on the latter point, keep records of your oil changes and other maintenance work.

Synthetic vs. Conventional Oil

Synthetic oils generally can last up to 10,000 miles between changes, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. They can be more expensive but tend to offer better value in the long term.

Driving Habits

Change your oil more often if your driving habits include frequent stop-and-go city driving, towing heavy loads, or driving in extreme weather or temperatures. However, if you drive primarily on highways, you put less stress on your car’s engine. You should be able to go a bit longer between oil changes.

Monitoring Systems

Chances are that your car has an oil change monitoring system. These sensors keep an eye on the condition of the oil and account for factors such as engine temperature, RPM, and vehicle speed.

Sooner Rather Than Later

If you are ever wondering whether you should change the oil in your car, go ahead and take it to a service station. Peace of mind is important, and regular oil changes are valuable for car health.

For example, they help prevent engine wear and extend the life of the engine. Similarly, good engine oil lubricates the moving parts of the engine. This reduces friction and wear and tear. Otherwise, engine parts may grind against one another and damage the engine. Paying a little more money for oil changes that are closer together can save you cash in the long run if the alternative could result in engine neglect.

For this reason, it is fine to aim for oil changes every 3,000 miles if you want. That number is incredibly easy to remember and track. That is especially true since service station reminder stickers typically still follow 3,000-mile intervals.


Whether you choose the traditional 3,000-mile marker, manufacturers’ recommendations, or a customized interval that blends your driving habits and manufacturers’ suggestions, try to stay consistent with your oil changes. Consistency helps ensure you remember to change your car’s oil regularly, which keeps it in great health.

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