Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


How Often Should I Change Motor Oil? - Vol.119

This is one of the most commonly asked questions by most car owners. They understand the importance of motor oil and the impact of not changing it on time; however, they don't really know how often they should change it. If you are among such car owners, then you have reached the right page. Below is the answer to your question.

Generally, most light truck and passenger car manufacturers suggest changing the oil at least once a year or every 7000 - 7500 kms. For turbocharged gasoline engines and diesel engines, it's suggested to change oil at least twice a year or every 3000 - 3500 kms. The recommendations are based on the type of engine you have and the fuel you use.

However, one more very important thing that one should remember is that the data given above is for cars that are driven under perfect circumstances. We don't really drive our cars under ideal situations. Normally, our driving habits fall under "severe service" driving. Frequent short trips, driving on roads with pot holes at slow or high speed are all severe service driving.

For such driving, the recommendations change. If you drive your car under such conditions, then you will have to change your motor oil every six months, and not once a year. For diesel engines, it would be every three months instead of every six months. It is because when one drives the vehicle in harsh conditions, the vehicle gets affected negatively. To guard it, changing motor oil regularly is vital.

A new engine can go up to 7500 miles without an oil change. However, as the engine adds miles, the risk factor increases. The blowby also increases as more unburned fuel is dumped into the crankcase. This causes a fall in performance and the oil to breakdown. The condition requires immediate oil change. Loss of performance, increased emissions, fuel economy and oil consumption are some major problems that can occur because of the failure to change engine oil on time.

Companies are researching vehicles to reach a point and give a standard on when to change oil. Most companies now suggest changing it at least once every six month, irrespective of the weather conditions or the car's performance. The reason is that one does not always directly notices the changes in their car's performance. If your car is working fine without oil change, it doesn't necessarily mean that all is well.

The mechanic can also tell you when to change your motor oil, based on the condition of your car. It should be remembered that it is not always same for every car. Each car is used differently, in different conditions for different purposes. A car with a weak engine will need better maintenance; whereas a car with a new or stronger engine can run better without constant oil change.

One does not have to depend only on a mechanic, as you can also find information online, from the car manual or from the manufacturer. The manufacturers know the car better, inside out. They can recommend you when to change the engine oil, based on the condition and requirements of your car.

You should contact your manufacturers and let them know your problem. Giant corporations are always busy researching and serving customers. They might charge you a small fee for the service though, but at the end of the day, it is worth it