How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

person pouring oil into car

Every vehicle needs regular maintenance if it’s going to perform at its best, but how often should you change your oil? Service experts used to recommend an oil change once every three-thousand miles, or three to four times a year. Today, an oil change frequency of 7,500 to 10,000 miles is appropriate for almost all non-diesel models.

Oil Change Frequency Guidelines

Since most Pensacola, FL and Daphne, AL drivers put on about 10,000 to 15,000 miles a year, you should be getting your oil changed one to two times a year, on average. However, it’s important to note that your owner’s manual may include more specific recommendations for your vehicle. You should check there or call if you’re not sure when to bring your model in.

How often should you change your oil if you do a lot of heavy driving? If you regularly engage in any of the following activities, you’ll want to increase your oil change frequency:

  • Off-roading
  • Commercial use
  • Racing
  • Heavy towing

You’ll also want to increase your oil change frequency if you drive a diesel model. For these vehicles, a 5,000 to 7,500-mile interval is more appropriate.

man performs Oil Change

How Often Should You Change Your Oil: FAQ

Q: I don’t drive very often. Do I need to change my oil?

A: Yes, you still need to have your oil changed regularly. Oil will degrade in the engine if it isn’t being used, and if it breaks down too much, you could put your vehicle at risk next time you turn it on. It’s smart to get your oil changed at least once a year.

Q: What do I need to change my oil at home?

A: Make sure you pick up an oil that’s appropriate for your model. You’ll also want to grab a new oil filter, as you need to replace this part each time you swap out the fluid. Come to your local Sandy Sansing parts department, and we’ll make sure you walk out with the right stuff.

Q: Should I use synthetic or conventional oil in my vehicle?

A: Some vehicles require synthetic oil, but other models do not. However, synthetic oil often lasts longer than conventional oil, so it might be worth the higher price. Ask our service team about a synthetic-conventional blend.

When Should I Check My Oil Level?

Although you only need to have your oil changed once or twice a year, you should be checking your oil levels monthly, or more often if possible. The purpose of an oil level check is to catch leaks and low volumes before they lead to long-term, lasting damage on your engine. If the level is low, add more oil carefully.

If you’re performing an oil level check, and you notice a significant change in color, a burnt smell, or small metal particles in the fluid, you’re probably experiencing a similar problem. Take it in for an inspection today.

Turn to Sandy Sansing for Oil Changes

Now that you’ve seen how often you should change your oil, you might be ready to schedule service! Even if you’re all the way out by Milton or Ferry Pass, there’s an easy-to-reach Sandy Sansing service center that can have your oil changed today!

Have any questions? Not sure when your last oil change took place? Contact us today. We also have more information on other services like tire rotations and coolant level checksBe sure to explore our overview of how to properly wash your car while you’re here!