We’re all taught rules as we grow up to adhere to: brush your teeth every morning, eat three meals a day, drink lots of water, look both ways before crossing the street, get your oil changed every 3,000 miles…
This list could go on forever.
How much of this stuff, though, do we ever examine ourselves? Surely, these are great suggestions for health, hygiene, and car maintenance—but are they necessarily true?
Here at Preferred Automotive, our expertise is specific to the cars and trucks out there on the Rockville, MD roadways. Yes, we think you should brush your teeth and drink LOTS of water—but, today, we’d like to review with you the validity of having your oil changed every 3,000 miles. Read on!
Where did this “3k” rule come from?
In truth, there was a time when changing the oil every three months or 3,000 miles was a good guideline. Car manufacturing has changed a lot in the last twenty years, though. It’s just no longer necessary for vehicles these days. Now, if you have an antique model, then this rule is likely good to go by—but for the rest of us, defer to your owner’s manual and your trusted mechanic for what your vehicle requires. Every 5,000 to 7,000 is more standard—even every 10,000 in some cases.
Is there anything WRONG with getting the oil changed too often?
For starters, it’s overkill. Getting your oil changed in Rockville, MD, more often than necessary spends your money, frivolously. Think about it: you could be spending money twice as often (or more!) when you don’t need to! Further, there are environmental concerns that come with throwing away good oil and the impact it has on our ecosystem.
The type of “driver” you are plays a role
Do you drive short distances with a lot of stop-and-go? Or, are you more of a long-distance driver, most often? The short distance, stop-and-go driver will cause his/her vehicle to require more frequent oil changes. This doesn’t mean every 3k miles, though! Again, it’s important to check your owner’s manual and speak with your trusted mechanic about what works best for you and the way you use your car or truck.
What happens when the oil ISN’T changed out often enough?
Here’s the catch: you want to be sure you aren’t waiting too long. Oil won’t run out, but it will continue to get dirtier and dirtier. Ultimately, you’re running filthy oil through your vehicle and it will negatively affect operability. Over time, it won’t start as easily or run as smoothly; the parts in your engine will get too hot, which can cause the engine to run less proficiently. As time continues, this will cause the engine mechanisms to alter (warp) and wear out. Eventually, your engine will shut down and require replacement. That’s an expensive oversight.
In general, following the rules you were taught growing up is a good idea. But, know that the “3k rule” is unnecessary for your vehicle! Stop by here at Preferred Automotive and let’s figure out a healthy and safe timeline for your vehicle’s oil changes!
Preferred Automotive | 12356 Wilkins Ave | Rockville, MD 20852 | 301-881-8530