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When Do I Need an Oil Change | Oil Change Denver | Pickering’s Auto Service


When Do I Need an Oil Change?


Although a lot of you out there try to “push the limits” for your oil change intervals, there are some good reasons why you may not want to wait.  Depending on the vehicle and oil that’s used consistently, the time between oil changes could range anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 miles most generally, according to the owner’s manual. Your driving environment also plays a role in how long you can wait for your next oil and filter service; road dust and dirt could mean you need changes sooner.

Having said this, at Pickering’s Auto Service, we recommend servicing your vehicle based off the 3,000 miles for standard oil and 5,000 miles on synthetic. Now, if you go 1,000 miles over, will that make your vehicle brake down tomorrow? No, most likely not. However, it is important to know that on many newer vehicles that take full synthetic oil, many manufacturers have technical service bulletins (TSB’s) that state how much oil is “ok” or “normal” to burn every X number of miles. It may even be listed in your owner’s manual.

For instance, Subaru has many models, 2006 and newer, that state that it is “normal” to burn 1 qt of oil every 1,000 miles. This means that they know that this happens and they do not have a “fix” for it. So, what does that mean for you as the owner? Let’s say that the oil change interval on your vehicle is every 5,000 miles and the motor holds 5 qts of oil. The TSB states it burns 1 qt of oil every 1,000 miles. That means that if you do not add oil every 1,000 miles or more frequently, than when you bring your vehicle to the service shop for an oil change, there would be no oil in your engine. THIS IS NOT GOOD. You need to have oil in your engine for it to run and lubricate properly and for many of the different parts of the motor to operate as designed. So, if you are not keeping up with checking your oil on a regular basis, it is possible to run your engine dry before you even go in for your oil change.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are an average driver and you dive roughly 10,000 miles a year, if you try to push your oil changes out too long, then you may only be having a certified technician look over your vehicle 1 time a year or so. We recommend at minimum to have a certified technician perform a full vehicle health inspection at least 2 times a year to make sure that the rest of your vehicle is in top condition. If the only time a technician looks over the vehicle is once a year for it’s oil change, than you may not catch other problems with the vehicle before they leave you stranded on the side of the road.

Lastly, there is one more thing to think about in regards to frequency of oil changes. When you purchase your vehicle new, usually at most, your vehicles engine may come with a 100,000 mile warranty. The manufacturer would love for you to come back and purchase a new vehicle after it’s warranty time is up and so it makes sense that they would engineer the vehicle to go 100,000 miles and not much further. This is called planned obsolescence. Their goal is for your engine to go 100,000 miles, not 200,000. So, they create their scheduled maintenance lists based off their warranty, not your desired vehicle life. Ever wonder why your grandparents still have a refrigerator that was built in the 1960’s working like a champ, and the brand new one you purchased last year already has problems? Companies stay in business with you buying new products from them, not maintaining older ones. If you plan to drive your vehicle for over 100,000 miles, it makes sense to keep up on a 3,000 or 5,000 mile oil service schedule.

If this isn’t enough to convince you of why it is important to stay on schedule, here’s a short list of why it’s BETTER to just “git r done” on time.



Whether you’re a long distance driver or not, gas mileage is important…especially with today’s prices!  Did you know that your mpg (miles per gallon) is affected by the quality of the additives and the oil you use? This is just one more thing where you do get what you pay for.  For an example: Pickering’s Auto Service Lakewood, CO – Arvada, CO – Westminster, CO feels so strongly about providing quality to their customers that they include BG’s MOA additive with every oil change they perform to increase internal component lubrication and also help with the advanced oil breakdown that can occur with Denver’s stop-and-go and mountain driving.


Your engine produces A LOT of heat.  This is normal.  What isn’t normal – or fun to deal with – is when your engine overheats.  Overheating can be caused by a number of factors but running on dirty oil is a major contributor to the problem.


Regular oil changes help reduce and remove dirt and sludge that build-up in your vehicle’s engine.  And it doesn’t take much knowledge about mechanics to know that a cleaner engine is a better running engine.  Plus, when your car is running well it produces less exhaust. Less exhaust means less greenhouse gas emissions. To save money and lower demands on the earth’s resources, it’s best to schedule your next oil change at the appropriate interval.


It’s no exaggeration, when your car, truck, van or SUV breaks down, you know how much it can ruin your entire day…your week…your LIFE!  Just like your own personal health, you have to do certain things to maintain a healthy lifestyle; the same goes for your vehicle. Regular preventive maintenance can prolong the life of your car… and its value.  Oil changes are just one of the “preventative” measures you should perform when necessary.


Trent Pickering, co-owner of Pickering’s Auto Service tells us, “We know that people tend to put off preventative maintenance but they really shouldn’t.  Auto manufacturers recommend those intervals for a reason. Not following their advice could cause more extensive damage or even void your warranty! If you subscribe to our text messaging service, you can even get $5 off your next oil change or other auto service. We really do want to help you keep your car running right.”

And one more thing: Changing your car’s oil too frequently will NOT guarantee that your engine will last longer. Once again, follow what the manufacturer recommends for the best results. Plus, changing oil too often requires the disposal of the old oil – and that’s bad for our environment.

(P.S. - Did you know that the Lakewood Pickering’s building’s heating system runs off of old, discarded oil?   We also use solar power…we believe and utilize GREEN practices whenever we can!)

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