How Often Should I Have my Oil Changed?

For a lot of people, the answer to the question of how often they should change their vehicle's oil will probably be more often than they do at present. Regular oil changes extend the life of your vehicle's engine and make sure it's performing as well as it was designed to perform. Of course, it's not as simple as every vehicle having to have its oil changed at the same intervals. How often you need an oil change depends on a number of factors, so let's look at how you can know how often you need to change your oil as part of your car care and car maintenance regime.

What does oil actually do?

Oil is the most vital component when it comes to protecting your engine. It protects against wear during cold starts, it prevents corrosion, it prevents overheating by acting as a coolant, and it also keeps your engine clean by removing particulates. It's certainly not an exaggeration to compare the oil in your vehicle's engine to the blood in a human body. They do similar jobs and they are both absolutely vital for the efficient and long-term operation of their host.

How often do I need to change my oil?

The first and most obvious way of finding out how often you should have an oil change is to consult the owner's manual for your vehicle. There you will find the guidelines for the frequency required for your vehicle, depending on how it's driven. As a rough guide, vehicles manufactured prior to the year 2000 should have their oil changed every 7,500 to 15,000 km, while those built after that date can go 15,000 to 30,000 km between changes. But regardless of what vehicle you have and how little you drive, it's advisable to get your oil changed at least once a year. However, if you do a lot of short journeys or if you do a lot of hard driving, such as towing a trailer on a regular basis, you really should look at more frequent changes.

Checking your oil

Simply relying on periodic oil changes isn’t the end of the story though, and that's because you need to keep an eye on your oil level between changes as a vital part of car safety. For a number of reasons, your engine could be losing oil, and if you don’t spot it in time you could have a catastrophic failure of your engine. And that could cost you a lot in terms of both money, and the safety of you and your passengers. You should check your oil at least once a month or every 1,000 km, and then top it up if it's not at the required level. Most modern cars will have electronic systems to warn you about a low oil level and even when an oil change might be due, but it's still a good idea to check manually, just in case. Putting the correct oil in is also extremely important, so make sure you know exactly what sort of oil your vehicle is using through consulting the manual or by speaking to an expert.

For more information about how often you need to have an oil change carried out, what oil your vehicle uses or to book in for an oil change carrying out, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Kearys BMW