Skip to main content

Can I drive when my car needs an oil change? Unless you’re incredibly diligent about car maintenance, it’s likely that at one time or another, you’ve realized that you’re overdue for one. So, how long is too long to go in between oil changes? Recommendations have changed over the years, and you may be surprised to learn just how far you can go once your car is due for an oil change

How often should I change my oil?

The answer to this question varies depending on the type of vehicle you drive. Consumer Reports says that the best way to determine precisely how frequently you should change the oil in your car is to look at your owner’s manual.

In the past, oil changes were supposed to be done at 3,000-mile intervals. Now, that number may vary, even going as high as every 10,000 miles. Some vehicles have systems that try to gauge when you’re due, taking into account the miles you’ve driven and how hard you drive your car. 

How often you change your oil may also depend on a time frame. Even drivers who don’t put tons of miles on their cars must change their oil regularly. This keeps the oil from becoming old, less effective, and ultimately killing your engine

Can I drive if my car says to change the oil?

Some vehicles will relay a message telling you when it’s time to change your oil. This message is sent after your engine has experienced enough wear and tear since your last oil change, so it’s essential to ensure that the oil tracking system is reset every time you get an oil change. Your engine computer system keeps track of things like temperature and revolutions, which determine how often you need to change your oil. 

Once the change engine oil light comes on, getting your car serviced within the next two weeks or 500 miles is best. If you can do it sooner than that, it’s better. You definitely don’t want to wait too long. 

What happens if I don’t get an oil change in time?

Related Should You Get Your Car’s Oil Changed Based on Mileage or Time?

Should You Get Your Car’s Oil Changed Based on Mileage or Time?

You’ve undoubtedly heard stories about engines dying without oil. Not changing your oil when it’s due can also cause problems. Waiting too long to change oil causes your engine to burn the oil that’s in there. If you haven’t changed your oil in a long time, your vehicle isn’t burning clean oil; it’s burning oil full of gunk. This is terrible for your car and can cause problems or even kill your engine. 

To sum up, the most crucial way to determine when your vehicle is due for an oil change is to check your owner’s manual. Don’t rely on some random oil change business to tell you it’s every 3,000 miles if it’s not. (However, if you have a trusted mechanic and a vehicle with problems, it may be best to listen to them.) Additionally, once your change oil light comes on, do so as soon as possible. Don’t wait more than two weeks or 500 miles, or you may have a costly problem on your hands.