The old saying goes that you need to change your oil every 3,000 miles. The old saying is wrong. The truth of the matter is far more complicated – but under typical conditions, you only need to change your oil every 10,000 miles, and sometimes it’s good for 15,000.

What Type of Oil Are You Using?

You should always use the correct viscosity oil for your car. You can find this information in the owner’s guide for your vehicle. However, when choosing between synthetic oil, conventional oil, or a blend between the two – the choice is entirely yours.

Keep in mind that while synthetic oil will take you farther between oil changes, you still should change your oil at least once every 12-months, no matter the type of oil you choose. While oil manufacturers make synthetic and conventional oils to handle a ton of use, they degrade over time.  

How Often Should You Change Conventional Oil

It’s where the myth came from, so you should change your oil every 3,000 miles with conventional oil, right? Absolutely not.

Even though conventional oil can last up to 7,500 miles, I would still play it on the safe side and change it right around 5,000 miles. However, that’s still 2,000 miles more then many automotive shops will recommend.

How Often Should You Change Synthetic Oil

I’ve been a mechanic for eight years and run synthetic oil in every vehicle I’ve ever owned. 10,000 miles is the gold standard when it comes to getting synthetic oil changed. Some mechanics recommend every 7,500 miles – don’t do it.

When paired with the proper oil filter, synthetic oil can last up to 15,000 miles. So, what do I do? I set the reminder for 10,000 miles and work to fit it into my schedule AFTER I hit the mileage mark. Maybe it takes another month or two – but I don’t have to freak out about it because I have another 5,000 miles until truly needs to be replaced.

How Often Should You Change Blended Oil

Blended oil is just what it sounds like. It’s nothing more than a mix of synthetic and conventional oil. You should change blended oil around 7,500 miles, although it can last for up to 10,000.

Don’t Void Your Warranty

If your vehicle has a manufacturer or an extended warranty, you must get the oil changes done at the recommended intervals or risk voiding your warranty. Furthermore, you need to use the recommended fluids.

It doesn’t matter if synthetic is better or conventional is cheaper. Without written permission from the manufacturer, you need to use the recommended fluids every time.  

So, why do all these automotive shops recommend changing your oil more often? Because it’s the easiest job a mechanic can do, and the more often you change your oil, the more money you give the mechanic. Take it from one – pushing your oil change back a few thousand miles won’t hurt a thing, and it will save you a few bucks.