How Many Miles Between Oil Changes For Your Car

How Many Miles Between Oil Changes For Your Car

Deciding how many miles between oil changes for your car can be tricky and subjective for several things. One such factor includes the number of miles or km your car has covered. For instance, if your driving routine involves covering 16 km or more, changing your car’s oil after every 1000 miles should be good.

Thus, there are several other things you need to consider while deciding the number of miles between oil changes for your car. So, if you’re willing to learn all about it, all you need to know is to read this further!

Older car models

To find how many miles between oil changes for your car of an older model, you will have to know its mileage. This is because oil changing in older car models is dependent on their mileage. In addition, it is also contingent upon your maintenance schedules. Usually, this schedule involves maintenance for normal conditions, including extreme service.

Severe conditions include short trips that comprise not more than 5-10 miles. In addition, it also takes into account extreme weather conditions and dusty climates. Furthermore, you will also have to consider whether your car carries heavy loads frequently or not.

If your older car falls under the extreme service category, you’ll have to change its oil regularly and be relatively sooner. In addition, you will also have to perform other maintenance tasks regularly.

However, if your car falls under the “normal” category, you’ll be wasting money by changing its oil frequently.

Newer car models

The majority of the newer car models now come with a built-in monitoring system that monitors their oil life. This system has been designed to monitor the oil levels and notifies you when you need to change the oil.

Relatively earlier models of cars came with systems that focused on only mileage and time. However, recent car models come with monitoring systems. They don’t just analyze the time and mileage but also all other operating conditions.

With the advent of such advanced monitoring systems, many manufacturers in the user guide now exclude the “severe service” part. Furthermore, the monitoring system tends to shorten the interval at which people change the oil.

After every oil change, you must ask your technician to reset the system. You can also do it by reading the instruction manual. Lastly, if you’re not an avid driver and still haven’t received a notification from the monitoring system, it is recommended that you change the oil at least once every year.  

How Many Miles Between Oil Changes for Your Car?

Experts have recommended the following intervals to change the oil. These intervals are car specific and can apply to the majority of the vehicles.

1000 Miles

Changing oil after every 1000 miles means changing it semi-annually or after approximately 1.6 km. Even though changing the oil after every 1000 miles may seem like you’d have to change oil frequently. However, this figure is largely contingent on a person’s driving habits.

If your driving schedule largely comprises 16 km or 10 miles trips, changing the oil after every 1000 miles is appropriate. This is primarily because of two reasons.

Firstly, since your trips are short and at a steady speed, your car’s engine will be unable to release the condensation that builds inside. This is because it is not getting enough heat due to the brevity of the trip, and consequently, the engine oil breaks down quickly.

Secondly, the majority of the breaking up in the engine happens when starting the ignition. Thus, since you won’t be driving for too long, this will affect the engine’s overall health. Therefore, changing the oil regularly will stop this from happening.

3000 miles to 5000 miles

Changing oil after 3000 miles is where many experts reach a consensus. In addition, changing the oil after longer intervals such as 5000 miles is mostly common for regular drivers.

Usually, people new to driving change their car’s engine oil at a greater interval. This is because initially, they usually drive for not more than 20 minutes and at steady speeds. Also, changing the oil after 3000 miles or after every 4.8 km is recommended for people driving older models of cars.

10,000 Miles

Car drivers who use synthetic oil are advised to change their oil after 10,000 miles. Synthetic oil is more costly than regular oil. However, it is extremely beneficial for the engine and car’s battery life. In addition, it is also environmentally friendly, unlike other oils.

However, many experts suggest that vehicles that frequently carry heavy loads mustn’t use synthetic oil. This is because it can exert extra pressure and strain on the engine. In addition, if your vehicle’s engine tends to clog quite often, then synthetic oil is the best choice for you. Thus, changing oil after 10,000 miles or after 16 km to 24 km isn’t recommended for the majority of the drivers, but only under specific circumstances.

Services that will help you cut down costs

You must’ve often heard your grandfather advise you to change your car’s oil every 3000 miles. However, this school of thought might’ve been right about older car models. Newer cars are significantly different now and require a whole other approach.

Changing your car’s oil now and then isn’t just a huge hassle but also very expensive. Many experts recommend car owners perform basic servicing and maintenance tasks regularly. These tasks include checking hints of rust in your car’s battery, car’s lights, air filter, conditions of the hoses, tire condition, etc. This makes your car remains healthy and exceeds its shelf life. It will also help you minimize costs associated with frequent oil changes.


So, before deciding how many miles between oil changes for your car are needed, you need a clear understanding of your car and driving habits. It might appear a little confusing at first, but with time and guidance, you’ll get the hang of it soon. Happy driving!