As engine technology advances, recommended oil change intervals have gotten longer. High-quality oil in a well-engineered engine has led to extended intervals.
Here’s the problem: With longer oil change intervals, it’s important to follow them closely. Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles, if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn’t have time to build up much sludge.
But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles and you go over another thousand, you’re getting into heavy sludge territory.
You absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely. And don’t forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop-and-go driving, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted conditions, hot or cold weather, or haul heavy loads, you’re driving in severe service conditions. Is your driving closer to the regular schedule or the severe service schedule? It’s your call as to when to change your oil to protect your engine.
If your car comes from a factory with synthetic oil, the recommended oil change interval is for synthetic oil. If you use conventional oil, you shouldn’t use the synthetic interval – you need to shorten it.
Service advisors often report that when they talk to someone with 200,000 miles or more, the vehicle owner will say their secret is changing the oil on time. Please don’t skip an oil change. Once the sludge has started to build up, it’s tough to get out.