Are you unsure about how often you should change the oil in your new car? Well, the answer depends on various factors such as your vehicle’s age, the type of oil you use, and your driving conditions. Unlike in the past, where you had to change the oil every 3,000 miles, modern oils have increased the recommended oil change intervals to up to 7,500 miles. Some engines can even go up to 15,000 miles between oil changes if you use full-synthetic engine oil. However, you should always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for oil changes, as you cannot judge the condition of your engine oil by its color.
To help you maintain your oil levels, it is crucial to check the oil level monthly and add more as needed. Some newer engines consume less than a quart of oil between changes, while others may consume as much as a quart every 600 to 700 miles.
Proper oil maintenance can help you avoid costly vehicle repairs, as low oil levels may cause engine wear or damage that may not be covered under your new vehicle warranty. If you don’t drive your vehicle frequently, most automakers recommend an oil change every year.
Choosing the Right Oil Type
To choose the right oil type for your car, you should consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle’s recommended oil weight. This number refers to the consistency or thickness of the oil that you should use.
For general use in moderate temperatures, it is advisable to follow the recommendation in your owner’s manual. Always choose an oil from a brand that displays the starburst symbol indicating that the oil has been tested by the American Petroleum Institute (API).
Synthetic vs. Semi-Synthetic Oil
Regarding the type of oil to use, it is best to follow your car manufacturer’s recommendations. If you use semi-synthetic motor oil instead of fully-synthetic oil, it is unlikely to cause any immediate or unusual problems.
However, semi-synthetic oil may not provide the same level of protection for your engine as fully-synthetic oil, and it may result in reduced engine performance. Conversely, engines that require semi-synthetic oil may benefit from increased protection and performance if you use full-synthetic oil instead of semi-synthetic oil.
Understanding Oil Weight Ratings
Finally, the “w” in engine oil stands for winter. The first number in the oil rating refers to a cold weather thickness. The lower this number is, the less viscous your oil will be at low temperatures. For instance, 5W-engine oil will flow more easily at lower temperatures than 15W-engine oil.
The larger number following the “w” refers to warm weather viscosity, or how fluid your oil is at high temperatures. The higher the number, the thicker the oil at a given temperature.
In summary, these are the key points you should remember when it comes to changing your new car’s oil: always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, check your oil level monthly, choose the right oil type based on your owner’s manual recommendation, and follow your car manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the type of oil to use.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a healthy and efficient engine.