You may have remembered back when or even recently when your parents told you that having a car was a big responsibility. “yeah yeah… okay!” and off you go, to college or school, concerts, driving around with your friends, and just pretty much on the move with the occasional car wash here and there and always making sure that the tank is full of gas.
Whether the car is new or old, over some time the oil is going to get dirty. When the engine is running, it is burning the fuel in the vehicle. The mechanics of the engine require the movements of pistons and valves to ignite the fuel, in order for them to move smoothly however, they need to be lubricated with the oil. Intense heat is also involved to ignite the fuel to get the car moving so over a period of time, the oil is going to cook. So over time the oil will get darker and darker as it cooks with the heat. Engine oil is designed to withstand extreme heat so that you have longer periods of time between changing it. The standard time interval to get the oil change is around every 3,000 miles.
If the car is a used car, you could ask the previous owner when was the last oil change. If they have maintained the vehicle perhaps at a popular corporate service station such as midas or jiffy lube, then a sticker is placed on the windshield that is a reminder as to what date or mileage the car should be brought in for another change. If not then you would have to rely on the previous owner, most of the time you will get the truth. Always make sure a mechanic gives you the final evaluation on what your car will need. Make sure that you are also clear on what kind of oil was used.
If it is synthetic oil or a combination then it extends the amount of time longer by perhaps another thousand miles or more. Determining the amount of time between oil changes is better measured by miles instead of by time. If you don’t drive the vehicle that much throughout the year, then this is a better way to determine that change. There is always new technology coming out with oil and sensors where you can read these better.