How often do you need to change oil?

How often do you need to change your car's oil?

The experts at the Prestige Car Kent service centre are here to help, debunk myths, and ensure you get a fair deal. In this blog, we talk about how regularly you need to change the oil in your car.

For anyone looking to save, the thought of needing to pay for an oil service may be the last thing you need to hear, but there is an upside! Not too long ago, oil changes were recommended every few months, but technology has moved on so far that sometimes they’re only needed every 2 years, according to some car manufacturer service schedules.

How do I know when an oil change is due?

Most people will probably be told by their dashboard! Most modern cars now have a service light, which the technician should reset for each service.

Alternatively, do it the old-fashioned way – check your handbook! It will say how often services are due, letting you know the major milestones required for work.

Generally speaking though, an oil change is due at every service. For the majority of cars, that is every year (or 12,000 miles, whichever is sooner).

Need a quote or help with finding out the service interval on your car? Call us on on 01689 664 769 or use our enquiry form.

What causes oil to need changing?

The oil in your car’s engine is responsible for lubricating all the moving parts and also helps to everything cool. Over time, it will lose its vital properties that protect the engine and therefore metal-on-metal contact happens, which will rapidly wear out engine components until eventually something breaks.

Oil is doing its best work when your engine is started and when it is cold, whilst all those metal objects in the engine are warming up. You can therefore look after your car by giving it time to warm up gently by not revving or accelerating too harshly. Longer journeys are also better for your car, whereas short ones often don’t get the engine up to full operating temperature.

How do I check my car’s oil level?

We’d recommend checking your oil level once a month, and before you set off on any long trips.

For many newer cars, checking your car’s oil level doesn’t require you to be a trained mechanic, as you can check electronically from the comfort of your driver’s seat! Consult your owner’s handbook, and then go through the menus on your dash or infotainment to get to the right display.

If your car has a conventional dipstick within the engine bay, you still don’t need mechanical knowledge to check your oil level! Here are the steps:

  1. Ensure your car is parked on flat, level ground for an accurate reading
  2. Wait for your car’s engine to have cooled – give the car an hour after you have last driven it. Whilst you’re waiting, get a cloth or kitchen towel ready.
  3. If you think you may need to top up the oil, you’ll need to have a top-up bottle to manufacturer recommended specs (check your owner’s handbook), a funnel to avoid making a mess, and probably some gloves!
  4. Open your bonnet and locate the dipstick (the handbook should tell you where it is if you can’t find it).Pull out the dipstick and take a look; there should be two marks that indicate the minimum and maximum oil levels.
  5. Use the cloth or kitchen towel to wipe the oil off and insert the dipstick back so you can take a fresh reading.
  6. Remove the dipstick once more; the level should be halfway between those two marks. If it is below the halfway mark, you can top it up.
  7. When topping up, only pour a little in at a time – the difference between minimum and maximum is around 1 litre.

Just bear in mind that topping up oil does not count as an oil change! There is far more oil than what you can see within the engine’s sump, and you cannot refresh the oil by simply topping it up.

Would you like a servicing quote? Call our friendly team on 01689 664 769 or use our enquiry form.

The Prestige Cars Kent Service Centre is situated in Orpington, Kent. With 13 service ramps, we offer short leads times and the same service you would expect from a main dealer, without the inflated costs. With dealer-trained technicians and the latest diagnostic equipment, your car is in safe hands!