Staying on top of your used car’s oil changes is critical to keep it in good shape. The oil lubricates the engine’s moving parts, keeping them from wearing too quickly and helps keep the engine clean by preventing dirt buildup and overheating. If oil isn’t changed as often as needed, it can break down over time and can’t properly do its job. So, how often should you be changing your oil in your quality used car?
Generally speaking, there are four generally recommended intervals for oil changes:
- Every 3,000 miles
- Every 5,000 to 7,500 miles
- Every 10,000 to 15,000 miles
- Every six months
To better know when you should have the oil changed, there are a few factors specific to you and your used car to consider, including:
- What does your owner’s manual say? Your owner’s manual will provide a suggested maintenance schedule based on the age and make of your used vehicle.
- What type of oil does your car require? For example, most of today’s quality used cars are designed to use either a full synthetic or a synthetic blend oil, which can last longer between changes.
- What type of driving do you do? Those who rarely drive more than 10 miles at a time (which doesn’t get the oil as hot as it needs to be) or who often start their car when the oil isn’t hot yet should change their oil more often—at least twice a year, even if that’s every 1,000 miles. But commuters who drive more than 20 miles a day on mostly flat highway roads can go as far as their owner’s manual recommends, possibly longer, between changes. If you do “less typical driving” in your quality used car, which includes frequent off-roading, driving in dusty conditions, or towing heavy loads, you should change your oil more often, about every 3,000-5,000 miles.
- What are your driving conditions? Extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, will cause engine oil to wear out more quickly.
Overall, no matter the interval, get in the habit of checking your oil at least once a month to ensure your car isn’t leaking or burning oil.
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Stop by The Auto Connection today to find your perfect used car. Our Virginia locations include Danville, Norfolk, Newport News and Richmond. Get the approval process started from home with our easy online application.