When should you change the oil in a car?

Besides regularly refueling your car and choosing the best one, it is equally important to pay attention to another fluid without which your vehicle wouldn't be able to operate, and that is engine oil.

For the proper functioning of the engine, it is necessary for every motor vehicle to have quality, correct, and clean engine oil. Therefore, regular oil checks and changes are mandatory, as well as regular replacement of the oil filter, in order to extend the engine's lifespan. The primary role of engine oil is to lubricate moving parts, reducing friction among the engine components. This cools the engine, maintains compression and engine cleanliness, and provides protection against corrosion.

How often should you change the oil in your car?

Most car manufacturers recommend oil changes every 10,000 to 15,000 kilometers, although some suggest that the best oil change interval is every 7,000 kilometers. The type of motor oil, as well as the age, power of your vehicle, and your driving habits, dictate when you should change the engine oil.

According to some research, drivers with normal driving habits who own a car younger than 10 years should change the engine oil every 10,000 kilometers or every six months, whichever comes first. On the other hand, in vehicles older than 10 years, the oil change should be done every 7,000 kilometers or every six months.

Drivers with less common driving habits (off-road driving, towing or carrying heavy loads, driving at low speeds for long distances, or extended periods of not using the car) should change the engine oil every 5,000 kilometers or every six months for vehicles younger than 10 years, or every 3,000 kilometers or every three months for cars older than a decade.

To determine the most reliable oil change frequency for your car, you should refer to the user manual or consult a reputable expert, such as a mechanic who can provide the best advice regarding oil changes.

More frequent oil changes cannot harm and, at the same time, allow mechanics to assess the overall condition of your vehicle and perform routine maintenance tasks such as replacing other fluids in the car, the timing belt, brakes, and even tire inspections. More frequent oil changes mean that your mechanic checks your vehicle three or four times a year instead of the usual once a year during a minor car service.

Why is it necessary to change the engine oil and oil filter in your car?

Since engine oil plays a crucial role in the engine's operation, it also has a limited lifespan. During engine operation, engine oil loses its properties and accumulates impurities over time. Fresh and clean oil is always lighter in color, while after wear and extended use, it becomes dark, almost black in color. Old and worn-out engine oil adversely affects engine parts and fuel consumption during driving, as well as reduces engine power.

Over time, if the engine oil is not changed regularly, it can lead to engine damage, and even damage to the entire car, which later requires an extremely expensive repair. Therefore, in addition to regular engine oil checks, complete engine oil change is recommended at the recommended time or mileage intervals.

When changing the engine oil, the oil filter must also be changed, as it accumulates the most dirt. If the oil filter is not changed, it is important to note that the old filter can retain 2-4 deciliters of old oil, which immediately reduces the quality of the new oil.

Which engine oils are best to use for a car?

When pouring new oil for a car, it is necessary to follow the manufacturer's recommendation for the specific motor vehicle. The specifications are listed in the vehicle's instructions or can be checked on the manufacturer's website to find out which oil is recommended for a particular type of vehicle.

Ideally, always use oil from the same manufacturer to avoid mixing oils. If you are unable to add the same engine oil, it is important that it is always the same grade and base oil.

Keep in mind that a mixture of two high-quality engine oils can create one very low-quality engine oil that will only harm your car.


The basic rule is that synthetic oils are initially recommended for new vehicles, which range from 0w30 to 15w40. These oils have the lowest viscosity and are the best for car and engine performance. Oils of these grades are most commonly used up to 100,000 kilometers.

When it comes to synthetic oils, the oil change interval is every 10 to 15 thousand kilometers.

After synthetic oils, you should switch to semi-synthetic oils, which range from 10w40 to 20w50. These oils provide the best performance for vehicles up to 150,000 kilometers and, due to their viscosity, reduce engine consumption. Semi-synthetic oils have an oil change interval of 8 to 12 thousand kilometers.

Mineral oil is primarily used for vehicles that have covered more than 150,000 kilometers. Since oil consumption is higher at that point, mineral oil with a grade of 20w50 should be added to the car. Motor oils for older engines are produced with grades ranging from 15w40 to 20w60. These oils have a lower lubrication level and significantly higher oil consumption. Mineral oil should be changed every 3 to 5 thousand kilometers, after which it starts to lose its performance.


When choosing oil for your car, do not go for any, the cheapest oil for the car, because as we have already mentioned many times, this liquid is quite important for the functioning of the car.

The following engine oils are most commonly used here:

  • Elf oil
  • Shell oil
  • Castrol oil
  • Motul oil
  • Mobil oil
  • Total oil

Car oil - oil change and how to check oil in a car

After driving a certain number of kilometers, it is good for the driver to check the level and quantity of engine oil in the car. The fastest way to check is to pay attention to the dashboard warning light regularly. However, it is also good to physically check the level of engine oil from time to time, and also the color, that is, the quality of the engine oil. You will get the most accurate check of the amount of engine oil if you follow these instructions:

  • the motor vehicle must be parked on a level surface,
  • the engine must be cold,
  • pull out the dipstick from the engine oil reservoir, wipe it with a cloth or paper towel, and then return it to the reservoir. When you pull out the dipstick again, the oil level should be between the "min" and "max" marks on the dipstick.
  • if the oil level is near the "min" mark or below it, it is mandatory to add oil or completely change the oil.
  • also pay attention to the color of the oil, if it is not yellowish, it is also recommended to change the oil.
Oil change in a car

Procedure for changing engine oil

When it comes to oil for the car and its replacement, keep in mind that you don't always have to pay someone to do it on your car, but you can very easily do it yourself. Follow these steps:

  • Turn off the car and wait for it to cool down a bit. Place it on a ramp or simply park it in the yard on a level surface.
  • Lie under the vehicle, specifically right under the engine, and pay attention to the part of the engine that is closest to the ground, which is the oil pan where the mentioned liquid is located.
  • Find the plug on the oil pan, and before opening it, place an old container to collect the oil.
  • Wait for the oil to drain into the container, and then find the oil filter. Unscrew it and replace it with a new one.
  • After replacing the filter, close the opening on the oil pan, and pour new oil into the engine under the hood.

Oil change is very important, and therefore it is the duty of every driver to take care of this vehicle component. In newer cars, the oil change is mostly done during regular small services, and then the oil is purchased in recommended shops separately, or your service provider can do it. However, oil change is a more frequent need in older cars, in order to keep the car's performance at the highest level and to avoid any unforeseen situations on the road.