I-Team: How often should you really get your oil changed?

How often should you get your oil changed?
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 3:57 PM EST
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(WFSB) - How often should you get your oil changed?

It’s a simple question. Your dad probably thinks he knows the answer, but it turns out it’s not as simple as it used to be.

When the I-team asked drivers at a Rocky Hill gas station, we got a number of responses including:

“Every, I think it’s 3,000 miles,” said Monica Hemmingway.

“About every 4 to 5 months,” said Orville Mathurin

“I have no idea. It’s my father-in-law and my husband takes care of the servicing and stuff,” said Anal Patel.

When the I-Team asked the experts, we got a variety of responses too.

“With the Mobil one full synthetic, it’s up to 10,000 miles. Conventional oil is about 3,000 to 5,000,” said Damian Fox.

Fox is the owner of Foxy’s 44 Express Oil Change in Avon. He tells customers to follow the recommendations for their car’s specific make and model. However, Fox himself sticks to an old rule.

“I personally change mine every 3,000 miles,” said Fox.

For what seemed like decades, the rule was change your oil every 3,000 miles or every 3 months. However, most mechanics agree that now with synthetic oil you can go longer than that. How long? That is where there is disagreement.

At Economy Oil Change in Manchester, they also recommend going by the manufacturer’s guide, but they suggest you stick to the 3,000 mile rule if you aren’t sure.

“It’s hard to say one specific mileage given all the different vehicle manufacturer recommendations,” said Chris Torres, Economy Oil Change marketing manager.

Paul LeBlanc at Paul’s Auto Repair in East Hartford has different advice.

“We have a lot of customers that go and follow the service intervals set by the manufacturer, and then they come in and they have oil burning concerns after they’re outside of their factory warranty,” said LeBlanc

LeBlanc recommends getting an oil change every 5,000 miles even if your owner’s manual says otherwise. He says that’s because the manufacturer isn’t accounting for the extremes of living in Connecticut.

“The climate affects a lot of how the car will process the oil,” said LeBlanc.

One thing everyone can agree on: when it comes to oil, it’s often better to safe than sorry.

There unfortunately isn’t an easy answer to the question when you should change your oil. With no universal standard, you really need to know your car and how you use it. In the end, spending the money to get an extra oil change or two is cheaper than engine failure.