Consumer Watch: When to change the oil in your vehicle

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 4:48 PM

(WHAS11) -- How often do you change the oil in your car? There was a time when changing your oil every 3000 miles was necessary, but as Good Morning Kentuckiana's Andy Treinen explains in today's Consumer Watch, that is not the case any more.

Regular oil changes are as important as ever, but 'regular' no longer means 3000 miles. In fact, depending on the vehicle, manufacturers are recommending anywhere from 3000 miles all the way up to more than three times that. "It could be three thousand, seven thousand, even ten thousand miles," Angie Hicks, from Angie’s List, said.

Hicks says many improvements have been made to engine oil since the 70's when 3000 miles was standard. Conventional oil is still require a change about every 5000 miles and synthetic oil is from 7 to 10,000 miles.

With technology these days there are very few excuses for not taking care of your car. "My car is a fairly new car so it has a computer that tells me that it's time for the oil to be changed," Annie Adams, a consumer, said.

A vehicle's owner manual will provide the same information and more than ever, those recommendations are all over the place.

For instance, the 2010 BMW 3 Series can go 15,000 miles without an oil change.

Where and how you drive can also play a role in the cleanliness of your oil. No matter the recommendations, car owners need to stick to them.

"If you skip a lawn treatment you can always catch up and recover your lawn, but your engine will wear and you won't get it back," auto shop owner Jim Trump, said.

One of the real benefits of regular oil changes are regular check ups under the hood and just know your manufacturer recommendations to avoid the number one complaint against mechanics, which is up selling services.

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