You might assume that you need to change your car’s oil every 3,000 miles. This has been the drumbeat from numerous advertisements over the years. We all know that regular oil changes are the number one thing to do to keep your engine running smoothly.

But things have changed with modern cars, and when to change your car oil isn’t as cut and dried as it used to be. Let’s look at the main factors in determining when to get an oil change.

Is 3,000 miles still the standard for oil changes?

The short answer is, no, it’s not. Modern engines allow for cars to go much further than this, often between 7,500 miles and 10,000 miles. This is due to significant improvements in engine materials, manufacturing methods and fuel-delivery systems. Of course, if you have an older car with a lot of miles on it, you will want to get more regular oil service.

Check your warranty

Even in cases where your car could go longer than 3,000 miles between oil changes, you do have other considerations to make. Check your car’s power train warranty—it will include specifications of oil type, mileage and more in the car’s manual. Make sure that you’re following all the recommendations; otherwise, you could jeopardize voiding the warranty.

Conditions that affect the oil change schedule

If your car’s outside of the warranty period, then you’ll be making more of an educated guess on when to take it in for service. There are some conditions that will require you to make more frequent oil changes. For example, if you’re making many short trips that are 10 miles or less. If you drive frequently in hot weather in heavy traffic, this could also require more frequent oil changes.

Those driving for low speeds at long distances will also need service more often. A good idea is to talk with a trusted mechanic about the right oil change schedule for your car to make sure none of these extreme conditions apply in your case.

Checking the oil level

Many of today’s vehicles have electronic systems that monitor the oil’s level. They both keep track of how many miles the car has driven since it was last serviced as well as whether the oil needs to be changed. This takes all the guesswork out of when to get an oil change.

Other cars use the dipstick method to check the oil level. Most cars require that the oil be topped off between changes—that’s why it’s important to check the oil level at least once per month. Check your manual on how to check the oil properly. You also want to always bring your car in for service if you notice any sign of an oil leak.

For anything from oil changes to major repairs, the team at Coastal Diesel Injection is here to help. We’re your full-service shop for diesel repair. Whether you’re driving a truck, piloting a boat or operating agricultural vehicles, our team of expert technicians is here to help. Give us a call today, or stop by the shop.