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When Should I Get an Oil Change?

How Often do I Need to Get an Oil Change?

Oil changes are of the most regular maintenance requirements for most vehicles. While these maintenance visits might seem insignificant in size, the consequences of ignoring a needed oil change can be devastating to your vehicle’s health and your wallet.  Here are some tips on determining how often you need an oil change.

The Clockwork of Oil Changes

On average, vehicles are estimated to need an oil change every 3,000 miles or every six months. This can vary based on your driving habits, your driving frequency, the age of your vehicle, and the quality of the oil you use. If you drive a newer vehicle, you might be able to safely wait a little longer between changes. It is best to consult with your car care experts if you are unsure if the 3,000 miles/six-month system works with you and your vehicle. While it is not an exact science, this system can help you keep a rough estimate of when you are due for another oil change.

Vehicle Notification System

The most obvious indicator that it is time to get your oil changed is the warning light on your dashboard that may signal when you are running low. Look at your owner’s manual to see the different ways that your oil light may notify you of the needed vehicle service. In certain vehicles, a flashing oil light means that you only need an oil change while a steady light means that you are due for an oil and filter change. Keep in mind that it can be risky to depend on these systems because they are not error-proof. Assuming that your oil change light is accurate, waiting for it to come on will also take away some of the flexibility that comes with scheduling your oil change ahead of time. However,  if you are forgetful when it comes to your oil changes, the notification system installed in your vehicle can be a great backup indicator of when you are due for oil maintenance.

Self-Checking Oil Composition

You can also check the status of your oil on your own by opening under your hood and pulling out the oil dipstick in your engine. If you are unfamiliar with your engine system, consult your owner’s manual for the basics here. Before reading the dipstick, you need to wipe it off to get rid of residual oil before reinserting it and pulling it back out; make sure that you fully reinsert the clean dipstick to accurately gauge your oil levels. This will give you a clear line of where your oil is reaching in your engine’s system. If the dipstick indicates that your levels are low, this means it is time for an oil change.

Vehicle Function

Oil works in your vehicle by keeping the various parts of your engine’s system working together without resistance or friction. If your engine is not performing well or if it is making strange noises, this could be a sign that essential parts of your vehicle’s system are not properly oiled. If your vehicle function is off, it is important to check your vehicle’s oil levels and composition, as this might be your vehicle letting you know that it is time for an oil change. Bring your vehicle in for diagnostics at the first sign of an issue for help detecting the source of your car troubles.

Where to Get an Oil Change | Oil Change in the Triangle

To keep your vehicle in good health, you should be completing regular oil changes or having them completed for you by a professional. If you see a professional for your vehicle care, a seasoned expert will provide you with a sticker indicating when you should next get your oil changed based on the date or the mileage your vehicle reaches. Expert care can save you the time and trouble of changing your oil, taking the pain out of these needed services.

Chapel Hill Tire has 10 locations in the Triangle for drivers in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Carrboro. Find a location near you for an affordable oil change today!

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