Do I Really Need an Oil Change?

by Joe Ferguson on December 21, 2012

If you’re like me, you have a sticker on the inside of your car’s windshield. This sticker annoyingly thinks it knows what’s best for you and your car, demanding that you have your oil changed when the numbers it displays correspond with your mileage. Does this sticker really know what it’s talking about?

Simple answer: Yes…and no. Okay, so it’s not a simple answer.

The sticker serves as a reminder to take care of your car owner responsibilities in the future (or in some cases from the past). One of the responsibilities required of all drivers is to pay a visit to your auto shop have your filter and motor oil changed to ensure long-lasting engine life.

Is the mileage on the sticker exact? If I don’t get the oil changed precisely when it says, will my car go up in flames?

You probably won’t go up in flames if you go over the recommended service time, but if you go too far past, your wallet may explode down the road. Oil is important for your car’s engine to perform at optimal capacity. The fresher the oil, the better it will work.

The common time frame for oil changes is usually every 3,000 miles. This, of course, may vary from car to car, and driver to driver.

Depending on your car’s age and your own driving habits, you could either be in need of an oil change much later or much sooner than the helpful sticker suggests. Some mechanics recommend a 5,000-mile leeway for those who don’t trust the advice of the sticker.

You don’t have to wait until your next oil change to see how your car and oil are working together. Check your oil regularly and catch any small issues before they become much bigger problems.

If a major problem does arise, your trusted oil change professional will be able to help you. Don’t compound the dilemma by attempting to fix something you don’t have a full grasp of, you’ll just end up forking over more cash to your mechanic.

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