Everything You Need to Know About Oil Changes

You’ve probably heard the buzz about oil changes in the automotive industry over the last few years. Everyone has an opinion on when you should have your oil changed and whether you should use conventional or synthetic motor oil in your engine. Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair is here to quiet the noise. Here is everything you need to know about oil changes for your car, truck, or SUV.

Motor Oil Function

To start, let’s talk about what motor oil does. It has one job: to lubricate moving engine parts to reduce friction and prevent them from overheating. As you know, overheating causes engine damage, which is why motor oil extends the life of your vehicle’s engine. Fresh motor oil stands up to the heat generated by your engine best, which is why your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends you change the motor at specific mileage milestones. Old, dirty motor oil will breakdown and fail to lubricate engine parts.

Conventional Vs. Synthetic Motor Oil

A lot of the motor oil buzz is the debate between conventional and synthetic motor oil. Conventional motor oil is organic, extracted from the ground and refined. Synthetic motor oil is manmade. Despite what many may say, unless your automobile manufacturer recommends otherwise, there’s nothing wrong with using conventional motor oil. It works well for 3,000 miles. If you live in an area with extreme weather, synthetic motor oil does better, but we don’t see sub-zero temps in St. George, Utah.

Oil Change Duration

So… how often should you have your engine’s oil changed and should you use conventional or synthetic motor oil? First, see what your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. You’ll find that information in the back of your owner’s manual. If the manufacturer prefers synthetic motor oil, you’ll likely need to have your oil changed every 7,500 miles. If conventional motor oil is a-okay, an oil change every 3,000 miles is recommended, as discussed above. We take what your automobile manufacturer recommends and build upon that to determine your optimal oil change duration, because every vehicle is different.

There are other things that will determine whether you need to have your motor oil changed earlier than 3,000 miles or later than 7,500 miles. They include

  • Your daily commute’s overall miles
  • Whether you drive in stop-and-go-traffic, on city streets, or on open highways
  • How hard you are on your car, truck, or SUV
  • Your vehicle’s age, make, model, and overall mileage

Bring your automobile into Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair in St. George, UT, and we’ll discuss the best motor oil change schedule with you.


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