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How Many Miles can You go over an Oil Change?

  • Car Care Tips
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 6 minutes

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How long can you go without an oil change for your car? Way.com can help you! 

Which would you rather do? Pay less than $100 for an oil change that takes an hour, or pay thousands of dollars for an engine repair that takes days to finish? Of course, the obvious choice is to get the oil changed, but that’s the risk you take when you put it off.

Most cars can go between 5,000 and 7,500 miles before they need to have their oil changed. Also, if you use synthetic oil in your car, you can drive 10,000 or even 15,000 miles before changing the oil. 

oil change

Don’t try to see how long you can go without getting your oil changed.¬†Taking the time to do it may seem like a chore. But if you don’t change the oil regularly, the junk will build up and cause a much bigger problem.

When should you get an oil change?

A trip out of state sounds fun. But driving past your oil change can cause stress and worry you don’t need.¬†

Before, you had to change every 3,000 miles. But engine technology has come a long way in the past few decades. Because of this, most cars can go between 5,000 and 7,500 miles before changing their oil. Also, if you use synthetic oil in your car, you can drive 10,000 or even 15,000 miles before changing the oil.

But keep in mind that these are just general rules of thumb. They change depending on the make and model, so you’ll need to look in the owner’s manual to find the exact time between oil changes.

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Importance of Oil Change for your car

You must often change the oil to keep your car running at its best.¬†The main job of motor oil is to keep the different parts of your car’s engine well-greased. As it moves through the engine, the oil protects the moving parts, pulls heat away from the engine, and carries away bits of dirt and metal.

Your car’s oil loses its effectiveness over time when exposed to heat, air, and water. The oil filter gets clogged up with dirt, and oxidation turns the oil into sludge.

The sludge and dirt wear away parts of the engine that the oil is supposed to protect. Unfortunately, this means that very expensive repairs are needed. However, all of this could be stopped with just a little bit of time and money.

Homer Simpson Episode 21 GIF


Examples of regular changes

Depending on the weather and how you drive, you may need an oil change sooner than you thought. 

Under “severe driving conditions,” can include:

  • Being stuck in traffic that never lets up
  • Short trips of less than five miles in normal weather and 10 miles in freezing weather happen often.
  • Driving on roads that are dusty, sandy, or have gravel
  • Bringing or pulling heavy things.

Since all these things can affect when you need to change your oil, it’s best to be safe. In addition, by regularly changing your oil, you’ll reduce the long-term costs of running your car and make it more reliable.

Image by peoplecreations on Freepik

Warning Indicators of an Oil Change

If you are still determining¬†when it’s time to change your oil, there are some signs you can look out for.

Changes in color and texture: When engine oil is clear, it is see-through and has an amber color. However, as the oil does its job, it will start picking up dirt and dust, making the oil look dirty and black. 

Take out the dipstick and look at the color and consistency. If the oil is so thick that you can’t see the dipstick through it, you need to change the oil.

The smell of burning oil:¬†If you smell burning oil inside the car, there’s probably an oil leak.

Knocking sound from the engine:¬†Oil keeps the engine’s moving parts from rubbing against each other. If these parts aren’t properly oiled, the engine will start to make a loud knocking sound. You’ll need to change the oil before the engine gets too hot and stops working.

Warning Light Dashboard: The oil change light will come on the dashboard when there needs to be more oil in the car. If the check engine light comes on, something might be so bad that it could hurt the engine. So your car needs to be looked at as soon as possible, no matter what.

Image by jcomp on Freepik


Your mechanic might put a small sticker in the corner of your windshield that says to come back in 3,000 miles. If you follow the manual, you would only need to change your oil 12 times over 60,000 miles.

Should you stick to the shop’s timetable?¬†Experts say that changing the oil on your car too often won’t make it last longer or run better. You are also wasting your time, money, and natural resource.

Even though the oil change isn’t too expensive‚ÄĒbetween $42 and $79 for most cars‚ÄĒyou’ll probably be offered other services you might not need.

Too often, changing your oil and dumping used motor oil is also bad for the environment. Even though a lot of used oil is collected after it has been used, it is still a big problem for the environment because it doesn’t dissolve and has heavy metals and toxic chemicals.

Use Way.com to change your car insurance

Your car will last longer and be more reliable if you take care of it and get the oil changed regularly. Way.com can also help you get good car insurance at an affordable price to protect your car.

It’s easy: download the Way.com app to get started. Then, in less than 45 seconds, a licensed broker will get all your information from your current insurance company and give you quotes from the best competitive insurance companies.

On average, people who use Way.com save $971 a year on car insurance.

Here’s more info on¬†top-rated airport parking,¬†the best parking spots in your city, affordable¬†auto insurance, easy¬†auto refinance, and¬†high-quality car washes near you.


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