How Long Can You Go Before Changing Your Oil?

Interior of engine.

Learn More About Oil Changes and Impact

Today, you’re as prone to see a German or Japanese car on the roads in Mission Viejo, California as you will an American-made car.  While each of these cars has pros and cons, and some have features and upgrades that others don’t, one area where they are all the same. They need basic maintenance and upkeep like car oil changes. 

How often do Japanese-manufactured cars need oil changes?

When you read the car owner’s manual’s fine print, the factory recommendation for car oil changes is between 3,500 and more than 10,000 milesHowever, if you have a mechanic that specializes in Japanese cars, they will ask you about your driving conditions, and then make the frequency determination as to what type of oil and oil filter your car needs.

Most mechanics, using those same factors of driving style, will recommend Japanese car oil changes every six months or every 5,000 miles, depending on which comes first. Is it OK to wait for car oil changes for a car with low mileage? Again, it will depend on your driving style, but in normal driving conditions as opposed to severe driving conditions, car oil changes can be done once a year. 

What is considered severe driving conditions?

Severe driving conditions are described in some car owners’ manuals as: 

  • Making frequent short trips under ten miles round-trip, especially in cold weather
  • Driving in heavy traffic that requires a lot of stop-and-go traffic
  • Driving on dusty, gravel roads
  • Driving on highways a lot, especially in the summer

 Is one type of car oil better than others? 

Car engine oil has different thicknesses, for hot and cold temperatures. A car engine needs to be matched up with the right thickness with each car oil change. For a top-quality oil, the one characteristic you want to make sure of is testing standards, like the American Petroleum Institute or a recognized international testing standard. 

If an API (American Petroleum Institute) is mentioned in car engine oil, you can feel comfortable knowing it is a tested product and found to be a good match. The last factor to be concerned with for a Japanese car oil change is that you get a full synthetic oil. 

How much does a car oil change cost for a Japanese car?

Some factors have an impact on car oil changes like the year, make, and model of the car, and the engine size. The engine size will determine the amount of oil needed. And if you choose a synthetic or semi-synthetic oil, the prices can vary a little bit between oil change centers, or if you choose a big box store mechanic service. The average cost today is around $100.00. The cost of crude oil by the barrel can affect the cost of car oil changes too. 

Are Japanese cars expensive to maintain?

Japanese-manufactured cars have a reputation for being durable and reliable. With that being said, they have less downtime, but when they need major repairs, it can be expensive. A Japanese car oil change is typically not any more expensive than other cars. 

What is the lifespan of Japanese cars? 

The average lifespan is around 10 years, but many car owners trade their cars every 3 to 4 years to have a new car warranty. Like any car, the driving conditions, driving style, and maintenance and upkeep routines, like scheduled car oil changes, will have an impact on the lifespan of any car. 

What happens when you don’t get a car oil change in a Japanese car?

When you drive over the recommended mileage for a car oil change, as the engine heats up, it doesn’t function as well and the components wear out faster. Like an American-manufactured car, the internal parts of the engine are metal, and fresh oil is necessary to keep them lubricated to prevent friction. 

 What are signs it is time for a car oil change?

Most oil change centers and garage shops put reminder stickers inside the driver’s side windshield. But you should be familiar with what indicators are telling you it is time for a car oil change: 

  • Strange Smells and Sounds

When car oil gets old, it can start to smell and you may hear loud sounds coming from the engine. In these instances, it is time for a car oil change. 

  • Oil and Smoke

A translucent trail of smoke coming from the tailpipes in the winter is normal, but if that smoke continues as you drive down the road, you may have an oil leak. Or when you check your oil, if it dark, dirty, or gritty, it is time for a car oil change. 

  • Can’t Remember The Last Time

If you aren’t able to remember when you got the last car oil change, you probably need to schedule one now! 

 In Closing

Next to your home, your car is an expensive and important investment. By maintaining a regular car oil change schedule, you’ll get a longer lifespan from your car. If you need a car oil change in Mission Viejo, CA, please reach out to our team today at 949-583-0811.