car's oil dip stick

When was the last time your car had an oil change? Chances are you don’t remember. If you’ve ever wondered how often you need a regular oil change, we have some tips below.

How often do I need an Oil Change?

The common practice for oil changes was to have one every three months or 3,000 miles. These days, however, it is recommended to get an oil change between 7,500 and 10,000 miles. As car performance steadily improves, you can go longer between oil changes.

Benefits of Regular Oil Changes

However, to improve your car’s performance and prolong its life, it’s important to maintain a regular oil change schedule. Other benefits of regular oil changes include a smoother running engine, better gas mileage, improved emissions, and compliance with your manufacturer’s warranty. If you’re taking good care of your car, you can stay eligible for maintenance under warranty, saving you money in the long run.

Best Type of Oil for My Car

Picking the best type of oil for your car will depend on a number of factors. Consider the make and model of your car when choosing an oil, and refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations. We have a roundup of the best types of oils, including both synthetic and conventional, that you may want to choose from.

Top Ten Motor Oils

  • STP PRO Formula
  • AmazonBasics Conventional Motor Oil
  • Castrol GTX Synthetic Blend
  • Pennzoil Motor Oil
  • Castrol GTX MAGNATEC
  • Formula Shell Motor Oil
  • Valvoline Premium Conventional
  • Quaker State Advanced Durability Oil
  • Mobil 1 Extended Performance
  • Royal Purple HMX

Can I Change My Oil Myself?

You can change your oil yourself, but when you crunch the numbers, you’re not actually saving yourself money. And you’re definitely not saving yourself time. Purchasing your own motor oil and an oil filter for an oil change can start at about $20, and you also need additional supplies such as ramps to elevate your car, a drain pan, and a wrench. Additionally, you have to transport the used oil and dispose of it properly. Those costs add up, and your time is valuable as well. You’ll end up saving money over time by having a professional conduct regular oil changes for you.

Do I have to Change My Oil Filter?

You can choose to change your oil filter every other time you get an oil change. However, it is recommended you change the filter if the check engine light comes on, or you drive in less-than-ideal conditions such as stop-and-go traffic, use your vehicle to regularly tow heavy loads or you drive in extreme heat conditions.

Remember, your individual car may have specific needs when it comes to an oil change. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a trusted mechanic for the best recommendation for you.

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