How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

Close on fresh oil pouring out of silver container into engine

Most drivers already know how important the oil in their Acura is, but how often should you change your oil? Every 3,000 miles used to be the standard rule of thumb, but advances in engine and oil technology have pushed that number up significantly. With that in mind, you need to know when the oil in newer and older vehicles should be changed and why that’s such an important piece of maintenance to have taken care of.

The service team at your Chicago Acura dealership is always happy to help, so read on for answers the following questions:

  • How Often Should You Change Your Oil?
  • How Can You Tell You Need an Oil Change?
  • What Kind of Oil Should You Use?
  • Why Are Oil Changes So Important?

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

According to the experts, most modern vehicles have recommended oil change intervals between 5,000 and 7,500 miles, and those using full-synthetic motor oil might go as far as 15,000 miles. Your owner’s manual will give you the exact figure, but we also thought we’d provide some oil change frequency guidelines based on the age of your vehicle.

If you have a newer vehicle, it’s probably equipped with an oil-life monitoring system that will automatically determine when a change is needed based on actual vehicle operating conditions. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that needing less frequent oil changes makes it vital you check the level monthly and top up as needed.

In contrast, older vehicles will still have their oil change intervals determined by mileage. Your owner’s manual should provide one for ‘normal’ operation and another for ‘severe service’. Severe service includes:

  • Sustained Stop-And-Go Drives
  • Towing a Heavy Trailer
  • Carrying Heavy loads
  • Primarily Making Trips of 5 Miles or Less
  • Driving in Extremely Hot, Cold, or Dusty Climates

How Can You Tell You Need an Oil Change?

While following oil change frequency guidelines set out by your owner’s manual is important, you should also keep in mind that your vehicle may require an oil change sooner than expected. Here are just a few signs you might require an oil change:

  • Active Check Engine or Oil Change Light
  • Knocking or Other Unexpected Noises from the Engine
  • Dark or Dirty Oil
  • Smell of Oil Inside the Car
  • Smoke from the Exhaust
  • Poor Mileage

If you notice any of those signs, be sure to visit our service center so we can find the problem and put it right.

What Kind of Oil Should You Use?

While every engine needs oil, not every engine needs the same type of oil. Modern engines are built to require oils that meet specific industry and automaker specifications. Fail to use the right one and you could void your new-car warranty.

For a late-model vehicle, you’ll probably need a synthetic-blend or full-synthetic oil to minimize friction and maximize fuel economy. You need to check the SAE viscosity grade meets performance standards set by the API, ILSAC, and/or ACEA and that the oil fits your exact make and model. You should be able to find those requirements detailed in your vehicle owner’s manual, but you can also contact our service center to find out what your Acura vehicle requires.

Why Are Oil Changes So Important?

Oil changes are such a common maintenance task that you might question how important they are for the life of a vehicle, but delaying them would be a very poor decision. Engine oil is vital for:

  • Proper Engine Lubrication
  • Proper Cooling of Engine Components
  • Removing Contaminant Particles and Sludge
  • Improving Gas Mileage
  • Preventing Serious Internal Damage

Even the best modern oil breaks down and becomes too contaminated over time. If you don’t perform oil changes at recommended intervals, you’ll risk everything from poor mileage to expensive repairs.

Let Us Keep Your Vehicle Running in Prime Condition

An oil change is something you can take care of by yourself, but you can always trust the service center at your local Chicagoland Acura dealer to take care of anything from oil changes to more complex repairs. To find out more about anything from oil change frequency guidelines to current specials, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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