Oil changes are considered to be a minor part of owning a car, but that's not entirely true. Oil changes are crucial to keeping your vehicle in good running order. As a matter of fact, if you don't change your car's oil on time and with the proper products, it could void your car's warranty. If you're looking for an oil change in Saskatoon, and you're not sure how often you should change your car's oil, read on.
Methods of the PastIn the past, experts recommended that you change your oil every three months or every 3,000 (whichever comes first). While that was a solid estimate that worked in the past, experts now claim that how much you drive has a lot more influence on when you should change your oil.
Changing your oil too frequently won't help your vehicle. It certainly doesn't hurt it, but it can be a waste of time and resources. Conversely, not changing your oil frequently enough can hurt your vehicle, significantly, and can seriously reduce its ability to function.
When to Get an Oil Change in SaskatoonExperts now recommend four different intervals for oil changes based on factors specific to both your vehicle and your driving habits. They include a change after 1,000 miles or every six months, every 3,000 miles, every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, or every 10,000 to 15,000 miles.
Changing Your Oil Every 1,000 MilesIf you've heard that changing your oil every 3,000 miles is too often, you may balk at the thought of changing it every 1,000 miles. However, changing your oil this frequently depends on how you drive. If your daily driving consists of trips that are ten miles or less, you should consider changing your oil every 1,000 miles.
Why So Frequently?The first reason for this is because you're not taking long trips at high speeds. Because of this, your engine isn't getting hot enough to evaporate the condensation that accumulates inside. The condensation can cause the oil to break down faster.
The second reason is because most of the wear and tear on your engine happens when you start your car. If you aren't driving far, or most of your driving is city driving (which is harder on your engine than freeway driving), changing your oil more frequently can help mitigate the damage you do when frequently starting your vehicle.
The “Gold Standard” 3000 Mile Oil ChangeIf you're driving an older vehicle or your driving habits include both city driving and freeway driving relatively equally, you may want to stick to the “every 3000 miles” rule.
Engines accumulate a lot of dust, dirt, and debris while you drive, and these contaminants will eventually find their way into your engine oil. If you drive your car an average amount, are looking for an oil change in Saskatoon, and you tend to stick to roads and freeways, then once every 3,000 miles should do the trick.
Every 5,000 to 7,500 MilesThe owner's manual in some newer vehicles recommends changing the oil at longer intervals, usually falling between 5,000 to 7,500 miles. This interval is becoming increasingly common, though it's important that you take your driving habits into account when deciding whether to change your oil.
For example, a new car that is driven for 20 minutes or more at fairly steady speeds (that is, not your run-of-the-mill stop-and-go city driving), you may be okay with increasing the time between your oil changes. If your car is older though, you may want to stick with the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule.
Changing Your Oil Every 10,000 MilesIf you drive a vehicle for which the manufacturer recommends synthetic oil, or if you switch from natural to synthetic oil, it's certainly possible to go as many as 10,000 miles (or more) between oil changes. Synthetic oil has some benefits over natural oil, such as providing better performance and being better for the environment. However, synthetic options are often more expensive than regular oil.
Is Upgrading Worth it?If your vehicle's manufacturer recommends synthetic oil for the best performance, you should probably use it. That being said, if your vehicle wasn't specifically designed to be used with synthetic oil, changing is entirely up to you. If you're someone who frequently tows heavy loads, synthetic oil can be beneficial to your engine by decreasing the strain placed on it.
Also, if you drive a vehicle that's known for having an issue with engine sludge (dirty, degraded oil that builds up in the engine), changing to a synthetic option can help your vehicle operate much cleaner, prolonging its life.
What About the Dashboard Lights?You can estimate when the best time to get an oil change in Saskatoon based on the information above. Sometimes, though, that little light on your dashboard doesn't coincide with when your oil change estimation would be.
The little light is part of your vehicle's oil life monitoring system. They're put in vehicles to track your mileage and use data from your driving that your car's computer will analyze and use to determine when your car needs an oil change. If you drive a newer vehicle and your “change oil” light comes on, it's typically best to change your oil as soon as possible, but you don't have to drop everything and change it immediately.
The Difference Between Oil Change and Oil PressureIf you drive a newer vehicle with an oil life monitoring system, that light is different than your oil pressure light. This light illuminates on your dashboard if your car's oil isn't flowing properly due to low oil level, a failing pump, a leak, or some other issue. Be sure to know the difference between the two lights. If the oil pressure light comes on, you'll need to stop driving immediately to avoid possible engine damage.
When Should You Check Your Oil?If you haven't already, make it a habit to check your oil at least once a month. If the level is low, add oil. If your oil is good, it should be a clear brownish-black color. If it's murky or opaque, it may need a change. If there's a milkiness to it, your engine may be leaking coolant.
If your vehicle is a very recent model with an oil life monitoring system, it's possible that it won't have a dipstick for you to check your oil. If you're in this situation, remember that where you drive and how you drive will affect how frequently you need to change your oil.
Is It Time for a Change?The frequency with which you should change your oil depends on a variety of factors, including the age of your car, the type of oil it uses, and how and where you drive. Short jaunts of city driving can require more frequent oil changes to keep your vehicle in good shape, while longer drives at constant speeds can require fewer changes.
Regardless, if you're looking for an oil change in Saskatoon, stop by Faithfull Tire & Auto today. We will ensure your oil is changed promptly and properly. No matter what type of vehicle you're driving, we have the oil to ensure your vehicle runs properly for years to come.