If you want to keep your car operating in good shape, you know you need to change your oil. Some vehicles will even alert you when it’s time for an oil change. Are you guilty of sometimes driving miles over the recommended time for a new change? How important is it really that change your oil? How often do you need to do it? Take it from someone who knows cars, like Len Stoler Lexus.
First, if you have a modern car, you can let the vehicle’s oil life monitoring system guide you as to when it is time for a change. Use this over the windshield sticker they put in there when they last changed your oil. If your car is telling you it’s time, then it’s time. Do not put it off until you are at 0%. By that point, it is too long.
You can also refer to your user’s manual. They are put in these cars for a reason, after all. If you have a used vehicle and it didn’t come with the original manual, you can look it up online. Most vehicle manufacturers have made their manuals available on the internet.
You can also use the time estimate. If you put low miles on your car, or you have a “weekend car”, then you need to change your oil more often, and the mileage itself is not a good indicator. Over time, the oil will become contaminated by the gases that blow through the engine. The oil will sit in this contamination and degrade. So even if you have not hit the number of miles, your oil is still getting old and needs to be changed out.
Keeping fresh, proper oil in your vehicle at all times prevents more serious problems that come when it’s not properly lubricated.