Unless a dark puddle greets you under your car, a warning light on your dash, or enough smoke coming out of your tailpipe to worry the Boise fire department -- the oil in your vehicle's engine is usually out of sight, out of mind.
So how often do you need to check and change the oil in your vehicle, and what kind of oil is best for your car?
Let us take some of the mystery out of having your vehicle's oil changed regularly and keep you on the road and out of the shop!
how often should I check my oil?
This is where out of sight, out of mind can cost you big time. No matter how new your vehicle is, checking the oil is one of the most important things you can do to either catch or prevent significant problems down the road (literally!). A drop in your oil level or in its appearance is a harbinger of something serious, so checking it often is important.
You should check your engine's oil level at least once a month, and possibly more if it's driven hard or has higher mileage. Check your owner's manual or our service department if you need help locating your dipstick and understanding how to check your oil properly.
How often should I change the oil in my vehicle?
Your grandpa might say "every 3,000 miles", but your co-worker only changes his every 10,000 miles. So what gives? Who's right? The answer is, they are BOTH right, depending on the year, make, model, and how they use their vehicle.
So how do you know how often you should have the oil changed in YOUR vehicle? Your owner's manual is the best guide, and if you drive a car manufactured in the last 10-15 years or so, it might even be able to tell you itself! Many vehicles have an oil life sensor that will notify you when it's time to change your oil, based on an algorithm that includes cold starts, drivetime, idle time, etc.
What kind of oil should I be putting in my engine?
The right type of oil for your engine is usually going to be the type/weight suggested by your vehicle's manufacturer. Many late-model vehicles even have a sticker or graphic on the oil-fill cap that tells you which kind to use. Some other things to keep in mind are cost and how you use your vehicle.
If you regularly operate your vehicle under extreme conditions (heat, cold, dirt roads, towing, the track, etc) you might want to consider changing your oil more often, or using synthetic, etc. as long as it doesn't void your vehicle's warranty or contradict the manufacturer's specifications.
The best way to keep your vehicle's engine oil out of sight and out of mind is to pay it the attention it needs at regular intervals! If you are looking to get your oil changed in the Boise area, we have a full-service department and options to keep your vehicle regularly serviced and on the road.