How Often SHOULD You Change Your Oil?

Todd: I’m Todd. 

Thad: I’m Thad. 

Todd: And we’re the Watters boys. 

Thad: One of the most hotly debated questions among car mechanics is, how often should a person change their oil? 

Todd: It’s right up there with “grease monkey or wrench wizard?” 

Thad: I prefer “motor maven.” 

The shorter you drive, the more often you should change your oil

Todd: Most quick lube places will tell you to change your oil at least every three months or 3,000 miles. 

Thad: While garages that rebuild engines for a living will tell you, hey don’t bother changing it, it’ll change itself. 

Todd: Not that we’re implying that some of these places MAY have an agenda. 

Thad: The truest truth is that it really depends on how much you drive your car. 

Todd: If you drive less than 10 miles at a time, or take a lot of short trips during the day and therefore are starting up and turning off your engine a lot, then you should change your oil a lot more often. 

Thad: At least every 1,000 miles. 

Todd: That’s because short trips are harder on your oil, because it never gets hot enough to perform at peak efficiency. 

Thad: And nothing’s harder on your engine than when you first start it. 

Doing this a lot, is harder on your oil

Todd: So if you’re doing that a lot, you really need to keep the oil as new as possible. 

Thad: If you drive 20 miles or more at a time, then you can wait longer to change your oil. 

Todd: We recommend three thousand miles between changes. 

Thad: Which for most of us is really four thousand miles. 

Todd: That’s because we all tend to push it, because, reasonably enough, we don’t want to pay to have it changed any sooner than we have to. 

Thad: It’s the same reason why I wait to get my hair cut. 

Todd: I’d also recommend having the oil in your hair, changed. 

Thad: The main thing to remember is that, in general, the longer your journey and the fewer times you start your car, the better it is for your oil and the longer it can go. 

Todd: But you should really never go past the three thousand mile mark. 

Thad: Oil’s viscosity breaks down and eventually creates sludge. 

Todd: Your car’s engine light usually reflects this by coming on, but you can’t just depend on the “idiot” light. 

Thad: Named in honor of my brother… 

Todd: Because your engine’s heat can crystallize that sludge into something very unpleasant, and very expensive to fix. 

Thad: It’s much cheaper to just change your oil regularly – and much better for your car. 




Thad: Oil changes are cheap maintenance, and now we want to make it even cheaper.  

Todd: We’re making this special offer to email subscribers of “Talkin Cars.” 

Thad: If you subscribe to our blog via email, we will send you a coupon good for an $18.99 oil change at Watters Autoland in Indianola. 

Todd: That’s a new filter and up to five quarts of oil, for just $18.99! 

Thad: You save 50% off the normal Watters Autoland price! 

Todd: Just subscribe to our “Talkin Cars” blog via the email subscription option and we’ll then email you your coupon. 

Thad: It’s our way of saying thank you and for apologizing for the way my brother writes.  

Todd: Remember, they have to read your writing, too. 

Thad: But I’m cute so that helps. 

Todd: Get your hair oil changed.



Todd and Thad Watters own and manage Watters Autoland in Indianola, Iowa. Visit them at 


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Filed under Auto maintenance, Oil change

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