How Often Should I Change My Oil?

by Chris Bjorklund


My husband’s 2008 Honda CRV has only gone in for an oil change twice since he’s owned it. It now has 30-some thousand miles on it. I keep bugging him to get an oil change, but he says the manufacturer suggests waiting until the oil indicator light goes on. That light rarely goes on. That happens about every 12-15,000 miles. My dad drilled into me that you get an oil change about every 5,000 miles at least.

To settle our disagreement, I decided to find out what one of the Diamond Certified auto repair experts thinks about that. Richard Cordes, owner of European Sales & Service, says it’s a mistake to wait that long. Longer intervals between maintenance visits means that your shop will miss out on detecting small problems early on that can become big expensive problems later. The more miles you have on the car, the more important regular oil changes and check-ups are.

Mr. Cordes says oil is inexpensive, and by changing it at least every 5,000 miles, you’re buying yourself what he calls “cheap insurance.” He also reminds you to check the oil change requirements of any after-market extended warranty you might have purchased. Some companies will void your warranty if you don’t have regular lube and oil changes every 4,000 miles or 4 months, whichever comes first. Check out that very fine print to see what your policy says.

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