Everyone knows that vehicles need engine oil to operate properly – but not every vehicle needs the same oil, or needs it to be changed on the same schedule. Using the wrong oil, or not changing it at the correct intervals, can cause serious issues with your engine, and can even void the warranty on new vehicles.
Most newer vehicles require synthetic or synthetic blend oils, whereas older vehicles often require standard oil. How often it needs to be changed also depends on how old the vehicle is, what type of oil it uses, what kind of conditions you drive in, and more. Your owner’s manual will outline these details for you, but here are some general rules of thumb that you can refer to in the meantime.
Oil Change Intervals for Older Vehicles
For most older vehicles, it is recommended to have the oil changed every 3 months or 3,000 miles under normal conditions. This is because standard oil does not have a long lifespan, and becomes worn fairly quickly.
Under severe conditions, however, the oil should be changed more frequently. This includes vehicles that are:
- Mostly driven for only short trips (5 miles or less)
- Operated in areas with extreme cold, heat, or dusty conditions
- Are frequently driven in stop-and-go traffic
- Are used to carry heavy loads or pull trailers
Your manual should have different oil change intervals for severe driving conditions. Following this schedule means having your oil changed more often, but it also means helping to prevent undue wear and tear on your engine, helping it to run stronger for longer.
Oil Change Intervals for Newer Vehicles
If you have a newer vehicle, chances are that it has an oil monitoring system installed. This means that it should give you a warning when your oil is worn and needs to be replaced. This can range anywhere from 5,000 to 7,500, with some engines needing oil changes as infrequently as 10,000 to 15,000 miles.
Earlier versions of oil monitoring systems work based on mileage alone, whereas newer ones are more advanced and are able to monitor the condition of the oil. If you have an earlier version and drive under severe conditions, it is better for you to change your oil more frequently as stated in your owner’s manual, instead of relying on the monitoring system.
While having to change your oil less often is a perk of a newer vehicle, you do have to be more careful about checking your oil level on a regular basis. Once a month is a good place to start. This is because engines often consume a small amount of oil as a normal part of their operation. If you go 4 to 6 months between changes rather than just 3, your engine will consume more oil. Checking your oil means that you can top off between changes, instead of risking causing engine damage due to insufficient oil levels.
One of the best perks of our Signature Service® oil change is that it includes oil and other fluid top-offs free of charge for 3,000 miles after your oil change. Learn more about this service at our website!
If you are in need of an oil change, stop by your neighborhood Jiffy Lube® location anytime, no appointment necessary. Our highly trained technicians will ensure your vehicle receives the correct oil, let you know when your next oil change should be completed, and do a thorough inspection to keep you up-to-date on any future repairs that may need to be done.
Jiffy Lube® recommends following manufacturer recommendations, where applicable, for maintenance schedules and service intervals.
Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center for specific services offered.
Go to ChicagolandJiffyLube.com for services and locations in Chicago, Chicagoland Suburbs, Northwest Indiana and Southeast Wisconsin.
Jiffy Lube® Service Centers are owned and operated by independent franchisees.