How often should you change your oil depends on just a few factors… but it’s simple. You likely are classified as a “severe service” driver if you do any stop and go driving in the city or if you drive on dusty roads. The only non severe service I can think of is people that get on the highway drive continuous for 45 minutes get off the highway and stop. Everyone else should follow the severe service guidelines and here’s why.
Stop and go is hard on an engine… dust from dusty roads contaminates filters and the lubricants in your engine causing premature wear and failure if not taken care of. Short city driving never heats the engine all the way up and allows unburnt fuel to dilute the oil thus diminishing the oils ability to protect the engine.
Cruising down the highway is actually easy for an engine to do. Depending on the vehicle the engine output is only 10-20% of the full horsepower capability. So the engine for the most part is just cruising, lightly loaded, at full temperature, steady state and happy. You probably can use your oil quite a bit longer under these circumstances.
So how often should I change my oil? check your manual and check the bottle of oil you are going to use. Most vehicles now are specifying change intervals that range from 5,000 miles to 10,000 miles and beyond. This is not new by the way. European vehicles and Europeans have been using these extended change intervals for over a decade now… the US is just finally catching on.
I personally change my oil once a year or every 25,000 miles but I am using a very specific high end motor oil that is designed and guaranteed to do that. I am also using the oil in vehicles that I have maintained and know to be mechanically sound.
The old tried and true 3,000 mile oil change interval is now becoming a thing of the past. Most people have been averaging every 5,000 miles anyway.
If your looking for the best motor oil to extend your oil changes and protect your engine better then have a look at this motor oil report that compares all the top brands… test data included.