Ever seen dirty, overused cooking oil, and how food tastes after it’s been fried using the former? Food tastes awful, doesn’t it? There’s a great chance that the same thing happens to your engine, in a slightly different sense, if you keep on forgetting to change oil. Your engine fails miserably at bringing you peak performance at every turn because of the built-up sludge inside.
In other words, aging, dirty engine oil just wouldn’t get the job done. It can even cost you massive repairs in the long run. So to avoid further complications, you need to change your car’s engine oil regularly. But how often is “regularly”?
It depends on your car’s age. If you’re driving a car less than five years old and you’re advised to have an oil change every 3,000 miles, you’re doing it wrong. This is because most car manufacturers have actually abandoned the so-called “3,000-mile rule” and are now advising customers to change oil every 5,000 miles.
It also depends on how the car is being used. For instance, if you’re doing a lot of stop-and-go driving in congested city streets every day, that’s called an “extreme operating condition1”. If so, you’re looking at a short 1,000-mile long oil change interval. Go beyond that, and you risk clogging up your car’s innards with sludge.
The best advice you’ll get is to take a look at your user’s manual and follow it to the letter. It’s as simple as that.