How Long Can You Go Over Your Oil Change?

Do you need an oil change and you’re worried about having to delay it? Many things can go wrong with your automobile–brakes wear out, transmissions need replacing, and sooner or later you’ll face having to deal with replacing your muffler, fuel filter, getting your air conditioning recharged, etc. Some things are normal wear and tear on the vehicle, and other things may be the result of defective parts, accidents, unexpected electronics failure, etc.

But changing your oil is something that is NOT part of the list of things that can “go wrong with your car”. The oil change is a necessary part of vehicle maintenance. Oil lubricates crucial parts of your automobile–the oil over time gets dirty, and that dirt can degrade your vehicle (see more info on this below). Not changing your oil is a bad idea–but some people can’t afford to take a vehicle into the shop to get the oil changed the moment the indicator comes on.

Other people have the money to get the job done, but not the time. In either case, how many miles can you go over your oil change?

Opinions Vary: Read The Manual

Some mechanics may tell you that you should change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Changing your oil is paramount to prolonging the life of your engine.

Clean oil makes your engine run more efficiently. In turn, this saves you money on the backend allowing you to travel longer. After all those miles on the open road, your engine collects sediment; most of that sediment settles in your oil.

Too much sediment in your oil can clog up injectors and cause dangerous sludge to build up in the engine. So, as a rule of thumb, automotive professionals have a standard to keep the engine going. But, for the most part, if you go over your normal change cycle you will not do much damage.

A couple thousand will not kill you. It may slow you down a bit though, but how many miles can you go over your oil change?

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Some drivers may find their engine runs perfectly fine when operating over the recommended mileage–for a while. Some believe you can get away with driving as much as 5,000 to 6,000 miles over the recommended mileage change.

This may be due to multiple variables including whether you are using synthetic oil or not, the quality of the oil, and other factors. It’s not a good thing to take a chance on, however–how much did you pay for your car? Compare that to the price of an oil change and it becomes clear very quickly why you should spend the money.

So why does the auto industry want you to bring your car in every 3,000 miles? In some cases its profit, in other cases it may be that marketers know car owners tend to procrastinate and by the time these people actually DO bring their cars in to have the oil changed, they are running up against the ACTUAL limit. But what do other industry people say? advises, “The majority of automakers today call for oil changes at either 7,500 or 10,000 miles, and the interval can go as high as 15,000 miles in some cars.” Again, this calls for respect of the variables like the type of oil, type of vehicle, how much you drive in the city versus highway driving, etc. Edmunds also recommends reading your owner’s manual and taking the advice in it especially where oil changes go.

Your Car (Or Your Car’s Manual) Will Tell You When It Is Time

Modern auto manufacturers have advanced enough to tell the driver when to change the oil in the engine. Usually, the check oil light will come on when you need to take your car in for maintenance. Often this light will come on well past the recommended three-month mark. For the best results, as mentioned above, always read the vehicle’s manual when you first buy your car. Doing this, along with regular upkeep and maintenance of your car, you should have a long-lasting engine for miles to come.