How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

By: Lisa Harper

How often you should change your oil is a question posed by many car drivers. An oil change is a simple but fundamental aspect of vehicle maintenance and is one of the best preventative car maintenance jobs you can carry out.

Book an oil change

But how do you know when to change your engine oil?

Traditionally oil changes were recommended at around 3,000 miles or approximately every 3 months. However progress and improvements in engine design and oil manufacturing mean that these figures are largely outdated in modern cars. Fully synthetic oils are designed to last much longer than mineral oils so most modern engines are now capable of travelling between 5,000-10,000 miles between oil changes depending on your vehicle and driving conditions.

At Stoneacre we endorse sticking to your owner’s manual recommendation on when to change engine oil. However it is important that you read these recommendations closely to determine the correct interval between oil changes as it will alter depending upon your vehicle’s operating conditions and your driving habits.

when to change oil

Manufacturers have a number of driving conditions that they consider severe on your engine and which result in more frequent oil changes being necessary. Some of these include:

  • Towing a trailer or carrying goods on a roof rack or in a car top carrier

  • Frequent fast acceleration then stopping/slowing considerably shortly afterwards (think of a long line of traffic lights and speeding up to get through one set only to get stopped at the next)

  • Regular short trips of less than 5 miles under normal conditions or 10 miles in freezing conditions

  • Frequent start/stop driving (urban driving) in hot weather

  • Frequent driving on roads that are dusty, muddy or have salt or gravel on the surface

  • Driving at less than 50mph over long distances

how often to change oil

It is also worth noting that short slow trips cause quicker degradation of oil quality than driving long distances on a motorway at the speed limit, so may result in more frequent oil changes being necessary.

The Motorist Assurance Program states that testing on oil has found that whilst after 3,000 miles the oil still lubricates engine parts some of the additives will have started to deplete meaning they offer less protection and offer fewer benefits to your engine.

At Stoneacre we also recommend that you change your oil filter every time you change your oil to help keep your car running smoothly.

If you book your vehicle in for an interim service with Stoneacre as well as carrying out a comprehensive range of checks we’ll change your oil and oil filter as standard.

Please note we record all our calls to ensure that we give you the service you deserve.