Motor lubricant plays the unique role of making an engine run more smoothly and fuel-efficiently, as well as extending the machine’s service lifespan by drastically reducing the rate of wear and tear on the moving parts. This level of operation means that the oil’s efficacy would eventually fade, necessitating a change every so often. Depending on the type of vehicle and the frequency of use, the rate of replacing lubricant would vary; while some experts might recommend changing every 5,000 or 10,000 miles, there’s no “golden mileage” that applies to all vehicles.
The most important factor to consider is the manufacturer’s notes. As the creators themselves are more familiar with a particular model’s construction and tolerances than anyone else, a vehicle’s manual and spec sheet are often the best resources to consult regarding the frequency of oil changes and the type of lubricant to be used.
Such guidelines are drafted under the assumption that the user would engage in regular driving, though. If an owner makes frequent short trips (<10 miles), drives in dusty and grimy conditions, drives at sustained speeds during hot weather, uses the vehicle for towing, or turbocharges the engine, more frequent changes and higher-performance oil variants will be needed for the machine to run in peak condition and last as long as possible.