Everyone who drives a car or truck knows they’ll have to go for an oil change eventually, but how long should you wait? As with most car service questions, the answer is not going to be the same for everyone. It will vary based on your driving conditions and your driving habits. There are, however, general mile markers that indicate you should consider an oil change in the near future. We’ll break down what you should know.
How Often Should You Have an Oil Change?
In the simplest terms, estimates for the time between oil changes would be somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. However, with significant improvements in fuel-delivery systems, engine materials, manufacturing methods, and oil chemistry, many drivers can get 7,500 or even 10,000 miles before needing an oil change.
Also, most vehicle owner’s manuals will have information about your oil. Generally, they will suggest mileages for an oil change based on whether your driving routine is “severe” or “normal”. Normal driving is a basic daily commute for the average driver, while severe generally indicates commercial vehicles, or those used for towing, off-roading, or racing.
If you are in doubt as to whether it is time for an oil change, call or contact Bradley’s Auto to schedule an appointment. We can quickly and easily test to see if your oil needs to be replaced. If you’d like to go a longer period between oil changes, synthetic oil options can outlast traditional oil.
How Can You Tell If Your Oil Needs to Be Changed?
Most drivers will get their oil changed before they can see or hear anything wrong with their car. However, there are several signs that may indicate your oil needs to be changed.
- The oil is dark and dirty – Clean oil is a clear amber color, but becomes contaminated from dirt and particles it collects from the engine. To check the oil color, use a dipstick. If the dipstick comes up with thick dark fluid, it is time to schedule an oil change right away.
- Loud or unusual engine sounds – Clean oil provides lubrication that protects metal on metal contact in your engine and keeps the engine quiet as you drive. If your engine suddenly because louder, the oil is likely contaminated to a degree that it is no longer providing adequate lubrication. If you hear engine noises, you may be in dire need of an oil change.
- Oil change or check engine light – The oil change light on your dashboard will let you know that there isn’t enough oil in the system. As soon as you see this light, check your oil level with a dipstick and if it is too low, schedule an oil change.
- Exhaust smoke – Smoke being emitted from your tailpipe could indicate an oil leak in your engine or faulty parts. If you notice smoke, have a professional perform a diagnostic test to pinpoint the problem.
- Oil smell inside your car – If there is a strong odor in your car, it likely indicates a leak. This may also be mixed with the smell of gas or exhaust fumes. If you smell this, your vehicle is likely overheating and oil is burning in the exhaust area. This can cause serious damage to your car so reach out to a professional right away.
Visit Our Red Bank, NJ Shop For an Oil Change
Call or contact Bradley’s Auto Service in Red Bank, New Jersey today to schedule oil service. The 10th oil change you get at Bradley’s Auto will be free. Our ASE certified mechanics have built a reputation for providing honest, professional auto services.