Keep your car running reliably mile after mile
How Often Should I Change My Oil?
Given our affinity for classic cars, we see tremendous, long-term benefit in changing the oil regularly. That’s why we recommend every 3,000 miles or 3 months for engines that use conventional oil and every 5,000 miles or 5 months for engines using synthetic oil if the car has less than 50,000 miles on the odometer. If you’re car uses synthetic and has higher mileage than that, we recommend changing the oil every 4,000 miles or 4 months.
You may be thinking, “But John, I drive a 2012 Honda Accord. I’m planning to keep the car for 3 years, not 30. Do I still need to worry about changing the oil every 3,000 miles?”
The answer is: Yes, we highly recommend it. Engines today are built with such precision, a.k.a. extremely tight internal clearances between parts, that it’s critical the oil be able to flow through and clean and lubricate all those moving parts. If you regularly push your oil changes to 4,000 or 5,000 miles, you’re risking the engine oil becoming watery and more like sludge than a lubricant.
When sludge builds up over time, it can clog oil passageways in the engine and lead to engine cooling problems, low oil pressure and noisy lifters. Carmakers like Toyota and Mini witnessed this first hand when their recommendations for longer oil change intervals wreaked havoc on their customers’ engines.
In short, we don’t recommend gambling with your engine. The risk and associated repair costs are too great. Changing your oil is cheap by comparison. If your schedule is too busy and you simply don’t have the time to have the oil changed every 3,000 miles, switch to synthetic oil. That will buy you more time in between oil changes.
Should I Use Synthetic or Conventional Oil?
Many cars today have synthetic oil in the engine when they come off the production line. If your car is one of them, you need to continue to use synthetic oil.
If your car uses conventional motor oil, you can stick with conventional. We recommend you switch out to synthetic if:
- You regularly push your oil change intervals to 4,000 miles or more.
- You use your vehicle for towing or plowing.
- The vehicle spends a lot of time sitting and idling.
- You drive a company vehicle or otherwise rack up a ton of miles every month. Switching to synthetic is simply a time saver for you because you’ll have fewer trips to the shop.
What Else Can You Do to Help Me Maintain My Car?
While oil changes are a critical part of your preventive maintenance program, we also recommend and perform other routine maintenance like:
- Air Filter Replacement
- Belt & Hose Replacement
- Brake Fluid Flushes
- Cabin Air Filter Replacement
- Cooling System (Radiator) Flushes
- Engine Tune Up (Spark Plugs)
- Fuel Injection System Cleaning
- Fuel Filter Replacement
- Lighting – Headlights, Taillights, Brake Lights
- Timing Belt & Water Pump Replacement
- Tire Rotations
- Transmission Fluid Flushes
- Windshield Wiper Blades
Why Should I Choose John’s Auto Service Instead of a Quick Lube?
We’re adamant about the benefits of our shop vs. a quick lube:
- You’ll have an ASE-Certified Technician performing the oil change, not a young kid with minimal training.
- We perform a thorough 48-point inspection with every oil change, which gives you valuable information about the condition of the car and what maintenance or repair needs are coming due. The quick lubes only inspect your car for the limited services they can perform. They cannot tell you if your brake pads are wearing thin or if your water pump is beginning to leak.
- The experienced ASE-Certified Technician at our shop who’s doing the inspection is able to identify maintenance and repair needs more accurately and more thoroughly than an oil change tech with no experience.
- We help you prioritize and plan for any repair or maintenance needs we identify.
If you bring your car to us regularly, we can “get to know” your car and keep an eye on what it needs. If we detect a minor oil leak today, we can make you aware of it and monitor it over time vs. rushing to repair it today. Think of us as Primary Care Physicians for your automobile.
What Else Should Be Done at the Same Time?
During an oil change, it’s common to:
- Inspect the vehicle. At John’s we do a 48-point inspection with every oil change — at no additional charge.
- Inspect the air filter and replace as needed.
- Rotate the tires.
- Inspect the lighting to make sure all your headlights, taillights, etc. are working.
- Check and adjust the tire pressure. Don’t forget the spare!
- Check and top off all fluids.