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Oil changes are a constant source of confusion for most car owners. From disputes regarding oil change intervals to understanding the difference between a recommendation from the service centre or manufacturer, there is a lot of conflicting information to confuse you. Here’s what you need to know about the proper time to bring in your vehicle for a car service in Markham at your trusted auto shop.

The 5,000 Kilometre Myth?

Most service centres will recommend regular oil changes in intervals of every 5,000 kilometres for as long as you own your vehicle, which can be as early as every three to four months for some drivers. These service centres are interested in maintaining your vehicle and have a long-term perspective for you and your ride. This conflicts with some manufacturer’s recommendations which often boasts about how little maintenance they require, yet it is important to remember that the manufacturer’s responsibility is to cover any warranty issues with the vehicle. Therefore, some of their recommendations would be considered a minimum guideline to keep the car under warranty, and not necessarily to help your vehicle last beyond the warranty period. Before assuming that your vehicle does not need an oil change every 5,000 kilometres, consider the facts:

  1. Engine oil consists of complex additives and detergents. While it still lubricates past 5,000 kilometres, it may lose critical additives; therefore, it may not offer the same benefits.
  2. Longer intervals may benefit the environment, but at the expense of your engine.
  3. Although engine oil has improved in terms of quality, it is also relied upon more heavily in today’s modern cars. For example, not only is engine oil expected to provide lubrication and cooling, some vehicles now use engine oil for valve timing.
  4. It is widely known that extremely long oil change intervals (usually above 12,000kms) are detrimental to an engine. In fact, Consumer’s Reports released a study in June 2015 indicating which engines were likely to burn the most engine oil as a result of extended intervals. 25 out of the listed 30 vehicles are from manufacturers that recommend long oil change intervals, as high as once every 25,000kms.

So When Is the Right Time for an Oil Change?

The best way to determine how often you should change your oil is:

  • If you plan to keep your vehicle long-term, the recommendation is still once every 3 months/5,000kms (regular oil) or once every 4 months/8,000kms (synthetic oil) – whichever comes first. Keep in mind that the manufacturer’s guidelines do not take into account your driving patterns, road conditions, etc and the guidelines are the minimum recommendation to keep the vehicle under warranty. They are not necessarily the recommendation for your vehicle with the interest of having it last beyond the warranty period.
  • If you do not plan to keep the vehicle long-term (for example, you want to return it after the lease term is finished) then you may want to follow the minimum recommended maintenance intervals from the manufacturer.
  • Trip Type – If you drive your vehicle on frequent, short trips, you may need to change your oil more often. This is especially true if your commutes consist of stop-and-go traffic.
  • Terrain or Load – If your vehicle is frequently driven in hilly areas, or you tow and/or load your vehicle, you may need to change your engine oil sooner than the recommended manufacturer’s interval.

Book Your Car Service in Markham

Oil keeps your engine properly lubricated, reduces heat and friction, and removes debris or buildup in the engine by passing these through the engine oil filter. If it is time for an oil change, bring your vehicle in to AutoNiche today.

For regular maintenance service or to schedule an oil change in Markham, call AutoNiche

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