Oil in a car can be likened to blood in the veins which give life to man. Checking it on a regular basis is a key part of keeping your engine running well and getting the most miles out of it. The oil lubricates the engine’s internal moving parts, keeping them from wearing too quickly. It also helps keep the engine clean, by preventing dirt buildup, and helps keep it from overheating.
Modern diesel truck fleets go 75,000 to 100,000 miles on an oil change. Understand that these trucks have massive sump systems and multiple oil filters, including bypass filters.
The Volvo system has two full-flow main oil filters and one high-efficiency bypass filter. Fleet trucks will get routine oil analysis every 10,000 to 20,000 miles that they go.
When To Get An Oil Change
It used to be that an oil change was needed every 3,000 miles. However, engine technology has improved greatly over the years. Due to this, cars can generally go 5,000 to 7,500 miles before needing an oil change. Furthermore, if your vehicle uses synthetic oil, you can drive 10,000 or even 15,000 miles between oil changes.
However, keep in mind that these numbers are just general guidelines. They do vary by make and model, so you’ll want to check your owner’s manual for the exact oil change interval.
Instances Of More Frequent Oil Changes
You may need an oil change sooner than expected, depending on the climate and your driving patterns. For example, some cars need an oil change every 3,000 miles under “severe driving conditions,” which can include:
– Traveling in constant stop-and-go traffic
– Frequently short trips of less than five miles in normal temperatures and 10 miles in freezing temperatures
– Driving on dusty, sandy, or gravelly roads
– Towing or hauling heavy equipment
Since all these factors can influence when an oil change is needed, it’s best to be proactive. By getting regular oil changes, you’ll reduce the long-term costs of operating your car while also increasing its reliability.
Warning Signs That An Oil Change Is Needed
If you’re not sure exactly when an oil change is warranted, there are some warning signs that you can look out for…
Change in color and consistency: When engine oil is clear, it’s translucent and amber in color. As the oil does its job, it’ll start to pick up debris, which will turn the oil black and gritty. Check the color and consistency by removing the dipstick. If you can’t see the dipstick through the oil, then an oil change is needed.
Burning oil smell: If you notice a burning oil smell inside the cabin, then there’s most likely an oil leak.
Knocking noise from the engine: Oil is used to prevent the engine’s moving parts from grinding against each other. When these parts aren’t properly lubricated, the engine will start to make a loud knocking sound. You’ll need to get an oil change before the engine overheats and stops working altogether.
Dashboard warning light: The oil change light will come on when there’s not enough oil in the car. If the check engine light comes on, then things may have gotten so bad that the engine is at risk of damage. Either way, your vehicle will need to be looked at as soon as possible.