How Often Should You Change Your Oil?
Most cars can go at least 8,000 Km before an oil change, some newer vehicles running on synthetic oil can go as much as 12,000 Km.
“Change your car’s engine oil every three months, or 5,000 Km.” At one time, that was standard auto advice.
Basically, how often you change your oil ideally should be how often it is stipulated according to your vehicle’s manual.
Most auto mechanics would have you believe otherwise (of course they’re angling for their pockets), they bring out your oil dipstick, frown face, shake head, and show you how black your oil is, by extension how negligent you have been (Oga Kasali, I dey hail o) , but the truth is your oil will naturally turn black after about 1,000 Km or thereabout, depending on how old the car is, even if your oil still has over 10,000 Km run-time life in it before the next ‘necessary’ oil change.
The truth is, with newer technology, engine oil and engines have greatly improved mileage on oil change intervals.
However, driving manners, terrain, and “extreme operating conditions” (If you do a lot of stop-and-go driving in city or rush-hour traffic, make a lot of short trips each day and leave the car parked long enough to have your engine cool down between them, and don’t often get up to high speeds on a highway, your engine rarely gets hot enough to evaporate the water that forms in the crankcase and builds up sludge in the engine. Other extreme conditions are if you drive in very hot weather or in areas with a lot of blowing dust or dirt, or tow or haul heavy loads all the time) would influence how soon your next oil change should be done.
In any of these circumstances (extreme operating conditions) change the oil as often as every 2,000 to 5,000 Km on older vehicles. On new vehicles, follow the manufacturers’ recommendations for ‘extreme use’.
Some manufacturers suggest that oil be changed every 12,000 Km or more, but that’s based on ‘optimum operating conditions’, and the manufacturers are the ones who get to sell you a new vehicle if your old one wears out prematurely (hehe).
To be on the safe side, you might want to change your oil every 8,000 Km or every six months, whichever comes first.
If you’re a highway driver who goes on a lot of long journeys at high speeds, you can probably extend the oil change interval to 12,000 Km, only on the newest vehicles — don’t go longer than 8,000 Km between changes on older vehicles!
And never, under any circumstances, go farther than the manufacturer’s recommended maximum interval between oil changes!
And never forget to check your oil level once in a while.