Type of DrivingThe type of driving you do greatly affects how often you need to change your motor oil.
Age of Car3,000 miles used to be a good guideline for cars and still is for cars that were made over 10 years ago. However, today’s manufacturers are continuing to develop higher mileage engines that makes for less oil change maintenance. Oil change intervals vary according to your vehicle’s make, model, and specifications set by the manufacturer. When in doubt, always refer to your owner’s manual. Your manual will provide you with accurate oil change interval recommendations.
Synthetic vs. Conventional OilThere are two different types of oil for today’s vehicles, conventional and synthetic. Keep in mind that oil type varies for different types of cars, such as high-tech engines, new cars, higher-mileage vehicles, and heavy-duty/off-road SUVs. It’s important to check your owner’s manual to see which type is appropriate for your vehicle.
Conventional oil is designed for engines that are recommended to use conventional oil and will meet or exceed the manufacturers specifications. Conventional oil is formulated with additive packages to ensure that it has the proper heat tolerance, breakdown resistance, and viscosity that engines require.
Synthetic blend oil offers a premium blend of synthetic and conventional oils. This combination provides advanced technology against tougher driving conditions, such as stop-and-go traffic and long engine running time.
Synthetic or “full synthetic” oil is engineered specifically to provide the highest level of lubrication in high and low temperatures, which results in better overall engine protection. Synthetic oil has superior cleansing properties which help to keep your engine cleaner. This combination provides advanced technology against tougher driving conditions, such as stop-and-go traffic and long engine running time.
Read our How to Buy Motor Oil article to learn more about this topic.
What Happens if You Don't Change Your OilSo what would happen if you just never changed your oil? Well, motor oil doesn’t run out. It only gets dirtier and dirtier. Compare it to mopping the floor with a bucket of water and detergent. The water starts out clean and fresh, but the more you use it, the dirtier it gets. Eventually, you will only make the floor more harmful if you don’t change out the dirtied water.
Without changing out the old oil, your engine will be forced to work harder. Eventually, it will overheat and suffer severe damage. If that happens, you could be out of a car and a lot of money.
Be Safe Not SorryThe time between oil changes will ultimately vary depending on the driver and their driving conditions. However, when considering the potential damage that can occur, it’s worth erring on the side of caution. Consult your owner’s manual and follow the recommendations offered by your car’s manufacturer. If you can’t remember the last time you had an oil change, don’t delay—stop by your local Pep Boys and have your car serviced by one of our certified professionals.
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