Most of us believe and follow the rule regarding regular oil changes—not because we have learned the “hard way,” but because we have trusted someone along the way about our vehicle maintenance. Perhaps you believed your dad when he taught you the “3 months / 3,000 miles” rule. Perhaps you heard your family refer to their oil changes being “overdue” throughout the years and eventually their habits rubbed off on you. Perhaps the first person to tell you about the need for regular oil changes was your mechanic on your very first visit. Whoever it was, they were right; you do need regular oil changes.
For your convenience, the professionals here at Preferred Automotive have decided to consolidate our customers’ most frequently asked questions (FAQs) as a guide for your personal vehicle!
How often do I really need to change my car/truck’s oil?
The easiest answer to this is to tell you to check the automaker’s recommendation by reviewing the user manual. Most of today’s manufacturers recommend oil changes between 3,000 and 7,000 miles (some even every 10,000!). It all depends on a few factors: the vehicle’s make/model/year, driving style, and driving conditions.
Will changing my car’s oil less frequently harm its engine?
There’ve been advances in motor vehicles over the decades, allowing your car or truck to go much longer between oil changes without harming its engine. That said, motorists should follow maker recommendations based on driving conditions, frequency, and driving style (hard/gentle driving and braking).
What do driving conditions have to do with anything?
As with our own bodies, harsher conditions have harsher consequences. In general, if where you live requires your vehicle to work harder on daily drives, the frequency with which you have your oil changed increases. Conditions which affect your vehicle’s “health” are as follows:
– Cold weather, below 10 degrees Fahrenheit—if you live here in Rockville, MD, this applies to you!
– Extreme heat, above 90 degrees Fahrenheit
– Extreme humidity
– Salty air (coastal cities)
– Hilly and mountainous regions
What driving styles affect oil change frequency?
Again, harsher driving means more frequent upkeep.
– Consistent late or hard braking
– Repeated short-run trips (less than 5 minutes)
– Towing a trailer or hauling heavy supplies
– Frequent stops on daily travels (as opposed to mostly freeway driving)
How does going longer without changing the oil affect my car/truck’s warranty?
It shouldn’t actually affect your warranty. Although let’s say you NEVER get your oil changed and your car dies from this or the engine is rendered irreparable, this could void your warranty. “Missing” an oil change here and there—although not recommended—will not likely affect your warranty. Be sure to read your warranty verbiage, as (very rarely) some warranties require the first 10-30 oil changes be accounted for.
Have more questions about oil change Rockville, MD? Are you looking for a new auto shop to call yours? Come visit us at Preferred Automotive; we would love to answer any questions you may have and to earn your business. We hope to see you soon!
Preferred Automotive | 12356 Wilkins Ave | Rockville, MD 20852 | 301-881-8530