Oil Change Frequency for High-Mileage Vehicles

Vancouver auto mechanic performing a high-mileage oil change

No matter how old your vehicle is, it needs regular oil changes to keep running like it should. Motor oil cleans your engine, lubricates its moving parts, manages heat, and prevents rust formation. When your oil starts to break down, a quick oil change allows you to continue enjoying these benefits.

As your vehicle and engine age, they slowly become less effective at using motor oil. There are a few different reasons for this, including gradual debris/metal buildup and the breakdown of rubber components. Given this, make sure to take your high-mileage vehicle’s needs into account when scheduling oil changes.

When Do Aging Vehicles Need an Oil Change?

Vancouver, WA, drivers are often told that it’s best to change their oil every 3,000 miles or three months. In reality, things are a bit more complicated than that, and all sorts of factors can affect your car’s oil change requirements. Take the type of oil you use, for example:

  • Drivers should change conventional oil every 3,000 miles.
  • Synthetic blend oil can last longer between one oil change and the next — about 5,000 miles.
  • Full synthetic oil has the best life span of any oil type, lasting 5,000 to 7,000 miles before reaching the end of its service life.

However, all these numbers have one thing in common: they’re meant to reflect the oil change needs of the average vehicle. Since your high-mileage vehicle won't use its oil as efficiently as it once did, you should get oil changes more frequently than the above guidelines suggest. The next time you visit your go-to auto shop for oil change service, ask the mechanics working there for advice on oil change scheduling — they’ll be happy to help.

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Consider High-Mileage Oil

Which oil option is best for your aging vehicle: conventional oil, synthetic blend oil, or full synthetic oil? Surprisingly enough, the correct answer is none of the above. Instead, there’s one other type of oil Vancouver motorists should have on their radar — high-mileage oil.

Though it closely resembles full synthetic oil in many ways, high-mileage oil is designed for vehicles that have been on the road for 75,000 miles or more. This oil type contains a variety of seal conditioners, viscosity modifiers, anti-corrosion agents, and cleansers. As a result, it's better able to handle oil burn-off, corrosion, and other problems common to aging vehicles.

Follow These High-Mileage Oil Tips

To get the most out of your high-mileage oil, be sure to:

  • Avoid using this type of oil in new vehicles: While this probably won’t cause any issues, other oil types are a better fit for younger cars.
  • Make sure your oil comes from a reliable brand: If you go to a reputable Vancouver auto shop for oil changes, you can rest assured that you’ll get high-mileage oil you can count on.
  • Know when it’s time for an emergency oil change: If your fuel consumption starts to increase, you notice oil leakage, or you hear strange noises, don’t wait until your next scheduled appointment — set up a high-mileage oil change service right away.

Other Forms of High-Mileage Maintenance

As the owner of a high-mileage vehicle, you should also make an effort to:

Keep Your Car Clean

Rust is always a concern for aging vehicles. While motor oil can discourage rust from forming inside your engine, you’ll need to regularly wash and wax your car to keep rust from affecting its exterior.

Check Other Fluids

Motor oil is arguably the most critical fluid in your vehicle, but it also isn’t the only fluid your car relies on. With that in mind, be sure to check your coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid on occasion. If any of these fluids are low or if you find a leak stop by your local auto shop for service.

Replace Old Filters and Belts

When your car has been on the road for years, its belts and hoses have gone through a lot — and they might need to be replaced as a result. Additionally, you’ll want to remove and replace any clogged filters in your vehicle.

Avoid Severe Driving Habits

Regular short trips, long-distance driving at slow speeds, and towing heavy loads are all forms of severe driving. These habits cause wear and tear on your car, which is a particular concern for high-mileage vehicles. To compensate for severe driving habits, schedule oil changes more often than usual.

Get the Best Oil Change in Vancouver

Frequent oil changes can go a long way toward helping you get the most out of your high-mileage vehicle. But while this service is relatively simple, picking the wrong auto shop could result in you overpaying or not getting a full-service oil change. To ensure you’re getting exceptional oil changes, look for a shop that people in the area trust.

When they need an oil change, Vancouver residents turn to Gaynor’s Automotive for the job. We have the strongest reputation of any auto shop in the area, and there’s a reason for that — our ASE-certified mechanics can handle any repair or maintenance service your vehicle needs.

Schedule your appointment for an oil change service today (and don’t forget to check out our oil change coupons)!

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