What is the engine oil change interval?

The engine oil change interval is the time between oil changes expressed in miles or kilometers.

Engine oil change intervals are dictated by various factors like: engine type (diesel or petrol), the engine mileage, overall engine condition (does it burn oil), are you using synthetic or mineral oil, quality of gas (petrol) etc.

Why is the engine oil change interval so important?

Simple: don’t respect the engine oil change interval and it will spell doom for your engine.

You see, over time engine oil looses its primary characteristics.

This prevents it to properly lubricate and protect the inner parts of the engine (the crankshaft, pistons, valves etc.)

This then inevitably leads to major engine damage and huge repair costs.

Hope that a 4 digit (or more) bill from the mechanic is a good enough reason to do this task on time.

Engine oil change interval for cars : 

New car (from 7.500 to 10.000 miles or 15.000 to 20.000 kilometers)

New cars mostly have a prolonged oil change interval. Thanks to the fact that the engine is new and that modern engine oils last a lot longer then they use to, you’ll be free of this task for some time.

Pay attention to do the oil change when the dealer tells you exactly (this is very important because of the guarantee terms). Of course, in all modern cars you’ll get the service warning sign so you won’t miss the oil replacement even if you wanted to.

Used car (heavily depending on the engine condition; 3.000 to 6.000 miles or 5.000 to 10.000 kilometers).

For used cars, it’s best to ask your local mechanic for the engine oil change interval. You’ll get the proper information since a good mechanic will know what the engine condition is.

All you’ll have to do is watch the mileage. If you don’t have the warning sign on the dashboard for some reason, write down the mileage.

In this case, most mechanics tie a paper note in the motor compartment.

Written on it is the mileage of the last oil change. Bit old school, but equally effective.

What oil should I choose?

Types of engine oils and their various purposes are a vast topic on its own.

The main thing you should know is that there are two main differences in engine oils:

  • mineral and synthetic
  • viscosity of engine oil (defined by number and letter markings; for example 15W-40)

If you do your car maintenance at dealer or a garage, then don’t worry. They probably know the specifications for the oil your engine needs.

On the other hand, if you’re going to DIY the oil change, be sure that you have the proper oil.

Main thing to know: don’t mix up synthetic and mineral oil as this will cause damage to the engine. Also, find the proper viscosity, especially if your engine has high mileage and likes to burn oil.

In this DIY situation, it’s better to buy oil at a car parts shop as they will know, by specification, what engine oil is the best for your car.

Expensive or cheap oil?

  • New or newer cars

Use the expensive oils. Although they can have a hefty price tag per liter, they mostly have a prolonged service interval and quality protection for the engine.

Just look at it as a long-term investment, especially if you plan to keep or use the car for a longer period of time.

  • Used and old cars

Again heavily depending on the engine condition.

If the engine burns oil, then using expensive oil is nothing more than throwing money through the window.

If the engine is in fairly good condition, there are very good engine oils in the middle price range that will do the job just fine.

To simplify : the worse the engine condition is, the less money you should spend on oil. Expensive oil cannot revive the engine.

Change the oil on time-do not wait for the bitter end

Don’t wait long for the oil change. Maximum tolerance is 1.000 miles or 2.000 kilometers. More than that and you’ll be in risk of damaging the engine.

If you prolong, the engine will continue to function, no doubt. You must then check the oil level more frequently.

But the point is that prolonging makes long-term damage to the engine. This then leads to major repairs and costs.

Since the engine oil change is simple, quick and proportionally cheap to do on almost all cars, it only seems that neglecting this means harming your car and eventually your budget.

If you can, always change the engine oil filter 

When doing the oil change, replace oil filter also.

You don’t have to this every time, but it means the world to the engine.

The main task of the oil filter is to collect all the filth and sludge that comes out of the motor oil.

Knowing that, replacing it every time seems highly logical.

Don’t cheap out on this one.