auto maintenance December 12, 2017

Oil Change Myth No Longer True for Burke, VA Motorists

The old 3,000 oil change myth for car owners who live in Burke, VA is pretty much history. The norm for an oil change in the past was always every 3,000 miles, but this is no longer true for cars that are no more than seven or eight years old. With changing engine technology and oil chemistry, these changes have improved oil change intervals by several thousand miles. Today's vehicles can go an average of 5,000 to 7,500 miles in between oil changes and some up to 10,000 miles.

Each vehicle is different. Always follow your car manufacturer’s recommended oil change mileage intervals for your particular vehicle based on normal driving conditions. It will vary depending on your driving conditions and habits in Burke, VA, the condition of your car and the type of oil you use. Most newer cars are equipped with a maintenance reminder on the dash that lights up when it is time for an oil change.

Driving Conditions That Shorten Oil Change Intervals:

  • Frequent cold starts
  • Extreme heat
  • Excessive humidity
  • Towing a trailer or hauling a heavy load
  • Repeated short trips less than four miles
  • Extensive idling and stop-and-go traffic

Any of these driving conditions may Shorten your oil change intervals by as much as 25% to 40% depending on the severity.

What Happens if you Don’t Change the Oil?

It simply gets dirtier and dirtier. It’s kind of like mopping a dirty kitchen floor. You start out with a bucket full of clean water and the more often you rinse the mop out in the water, the dirtier it gets so you end up making the floor filthier if you don’t change the water.

Oil acts as a lubricant for your car and its primary function is to cut friction. Your engine contains a lot of moving parts that rub together. Oil needs to flow freely into every nook and cranny. The oil washes away dirt and debris which keeps the moving parts clean. If your oil gets too dirty and doesn’t flow properly, these parts will wear out faster.

Most automotive centers in Burke, VA still put a sticker on your windshield with the mileage of when your next oil change is due. Check your owner’s manual to see if they added your car’s recommended mileage or if they only added 3,000 miles, the old myth, till your next oil change.

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