As a car owner you must know that oil changes are just one of the many minor hassles you will go through from time to time, but they’re crucial to keeping your car in good shape. Furthermore, if you don’t change your oil ‘on time’ and with the proper products, it could impact your vehicle’s parts and performance. But how often should you change your car engine oil if you do not take your car out so frequently? If you are one of those irregular car drivers, one who is wondering about how often to change the oil if you don’t drive much, we are here to help.
How often should you change engine oil if you don’t drive much?
According to motor experts, it is recommended to change your engine oil after every 4000 to 6000 miles or four to six months, whichever comes first. However, it can vary depending on the type of vehicle you own. Thus, one should always consult their car’s instructional manual because more often than not, such information is listed. As for infrequent car drivers, people who do not drive around in their car much, they would normally cover this mileage between 9 to 12 months. And some of them might not even cover it in a year which leads them to think that there is no need to get their vehicle’s oil changed. Unfortunately, this is a wrong assumption because no vehicle can sustain without a regular oil change. There are also a lot of reasons why you need to change the oil in your car, and we shall see them below.
Why exactly do you need to change the engine oil if you are not a frequent driver?
The basic purpose of the engine oil is to lubricate the engine. However, the reality is that engine oil starts to degrade with the passage of time. The longer it sits, the less viscous it becomes and thus, the less effective it will be at keeping various engine components properly lubricated. Even if you don’t drive as often and you’re not hitting the recommended mileage interval, it is best to get your oil changed twice a year. Your oil may be fine, but it’s the moisture in your engine that’s the real enemy. If you don’t run your car for very long very often, the engine won’t get hot enough to burn off this moisture, and your oil won’t be as effective at lubricating your engine, eventually leading to shorter engine life.
It is best to keep track of the miles you drive between oil changes, though some cars make this easier with a dash indicator that tells you it’s time to head to the mechanic shop, as part of what is called an oil life monitoring system. These systems track your mileage and driving to determine when your car needs an oil change. When the light illuminates, it’s best to get the oil changed as soon as possible, but it’s not necessarily urgent.
Make a Habit, to save yourself from Future troubles
Make it a habit of checking your oil at least once a month to ensure your car’s not leaking or burning oil. If the level is low, add oil. Good oil should be a clear brown-black colour, though the Automobile Association of America cautions that colour is not the only indicator of oil life. If the oil is murky or opaque, it might be time for a change, and if it’s milky, it may be due to leaking coolant from the engine.
Moral of the story, a timely oil change will protect your vehicle from regular maintenance issues and you can keep on driving it for years to come. If you don’t know how often to change your oil, or how to check it between oil changes, consult your owner’s manual. These habits will help ensure the longevity of your engine.