Synthetic Motor Oil – How Many Times Should You Check Your Oil A Year

by admin on April 12, 2010

Finally the world is coming around.  Since the beginning of the time in the automotive world the 3,000 mile or 3 month oil change has been the standard.  With modern engine technology and modern oil technology oil change intervals are extending beyond the 3,000 mile mark.  In a lot of cases it is extending well beyond this mark.

Mobil 1 has been offering extended change interval oils for awhile up to 15,000 miles and AMSOIL has been offering 25,000 mile one year oil changes since 1972.

In Europe oil change intervals of 7,000 miles plus have been the norm for a long time already.  The marketing in the US has done a better job at keeping the interval shorter to keep oil revenues boosted longer.

The risks with extending your oil change interval…

If you don’t have to change your oil as frequently you probably won’t check your oil level as frequently.  If you change your oil every three months and check the oil level at least once between oil changes then you will have checked your oil levle 8 times in one year.  If you change your oil once a year and check once between changes that would only be 2 times you checked your oil level.  Older vehicles especially are prone to a little oil consumption… its normal and in most cases is not anything to worry about.

If your car is using 1/2 quart per month in consumption then checking your oil at 6 months would reveal a 3 quart defficiency!  Wow.  that could spell disaster for your engine.  My experience over the years is that by the time the oil light comes on the oil is off the dipstick (for whatever reason this has happened to my wife a number of times, my fault i know).

If you do extend your oil change intervals to match Mobil or AMSOIL you must have a plan to check your oil at least once a month and be ready to add just a little bit.  If your car calls for 5 quarts of oil at an oil change than go ahead and buy 6 quarts so you have a bit on hand when you check your oil.

This should be turned into a ritual.  Pick a day of the month to do it every month like the first saturday of every month.  Keep a small notebook in your glove box and check off each month that you check your oil, each time you change your oil, and each time you change your air filter, fuel filter etc…

For more information on which oil to choose you can go here and find out more on synthetic motor oil.

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