When it comes to changing your car’s engine oil, everyone has a different opinion. Some say four times a year; others say every 3000 miles; still others say once a year should be plenty.
The bad news is there’s really no one answer to that question. It depends on your car, how many miles you drive, and the kind of driving you do.
The list goes on and on.
Factory Scheduled Car Maintenance
The good news is you can get a reasonable answer from your car’s owners manual. The manufacturer is probably your best source for a maintenance schedule.
After all, they built the car; they
should know how often the oil needs changing.
But there’s a little more bad news: The owners manual generally provides maintenance recommendations based on “normal driving conditions.” That’s no problem. You’re normal, right?
Not so fast. Turns out, their idea of normal is actually anything but. Normal to them is generally someone who drives between 12,000 and 18,000 miles a year, with a balance of stop-and-go and highway driving, on relatively flat roads, at average temperatures… and so on.
Drive only 6000 miles a year? That’s actually severe driving conditions. Same thing if you drive 24,000 miles a year. All city driving? Severe. Drive through the mountains? Severe. A lot of construction kicking up dirt? Severe.
When To Service Engine Oil
So how do you know whether your driving is “normal” or “severe”? Talk to the technicians at your local Cottman center. Explain your driving
characteristics and they’ll be able to help you work out a schedule that meets the factory recommendation but conforms to your particular driving habits. All while keeping your costs as low as possible and providing the best possible care for your car.
Generally speaking, that’ll include anywhere from one to four oil changes a year, depending on your mileage.
So quit guessing about your car’s maintenance schedule: Talk to the pros at your nearby Cottman center, and let them work up a schedule that fits your personal driving situation.