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How often should I get an oil change for my car?

How often should I get an oil change with synthetic oil? I know the auto shops will put every 3,000 miles, but do I really need to have my cars oil changed that often?


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Every car and engine manufacture may be different, but most manufacturers now recommend intervals of 7,500 miles or more. The auto repair shops and quick-lube oil chains always promote an oil change every 3,000-mile because they are the ones who profit by the frequent visits.  That being said, you may notice the oil filter will go bad sooner (between 3,000 and 6,000).

In the past, it was considered a good idea to change a cars oil and filter more frequently. Today, most manufacturers suggest 7,500 miles or more due to advances in engine materials and tighter tolerances, and better quality oil that goes into a car engine.

"Ford, Volkswagen and Porsche, for example, recommend oil changes every 10,000 miles. So does Toyota on several engines, including the Prius' 1.8-liter four-cylinder and the Camry's 2.5-liter four-cylinder. BMW says owners can go up to 15,000 miles between oil changes (with synthetic oil)."

The intervals will vary by manufacturer and engines, so be sure to consult your owner's manual or maintenance schedule to see how often they recommend to change the oil in your vehicle and what type of oil to use.

"But to change oil every 3,000 miles is probably wasting money. Environmentalists say it also adds to the glut of used oil that must be recycled or disposed, and the state of California is trying to discourage the practice."

With that said, you may want to check your oil every so often to make sure your car is not low on oil or burning through oil.  Always be sure to check your oil levels before going on a long road trip.



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Re 2015 Toyota Sienna: we were told 10,000 miles with synthetic oil! But they still want you to bring it in every 6 months "for a mini-maintenance." So surprising, they do still want to get paid every 6 months. That's ok with me because I'm unable to check the oil level myself, and I do agree it SHOULD be checked. Not sure what else they do--checking other fluids, tire pressure, codes?

Source(s):

Seattle dealership instructions re leased van

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