A: Oil changes are necessary because engine oil is what keeps your engine's parts moving together smoothly. The older your oil gets, the more contaminants and debris from the metal engine parts it collects, and the less fluidly it flows through the engine. Dirty engine oil equals poorer engine performance. Plus, diving for too long with old motor oil can shorten the life of your engine.
A: Your vehicle's owner's manual should have a suggested interval for oil changes, but typically it's somewhere around 5,000 miles. Some newer cars have longer intervals up to 7,000 or even 10,000 miles, so ask your dealership technician or mechanic what's best for your car.
A: Oil gets dark naturally, so don't be alarmed by black motor oil, but once you start to see particles floating in it, that means it's time for a change. Low oil level and poor engine performance are also indicators.
A: Synthetic oils are generally better in terms of longevity and engine performance. Cars using synthetic oil tend to have better horsepower, and synthetic oil stands up better to high heat and thus lasts longer than regular oil. Conventional oil is usually less expensive, but since it needs to be changed more often, the costs balance out.
A: Yes. The rougher you drive your vehicle, the sooner you should change your oil. Heavy towing or hauling like frequently trailering a boat, stop-and-go traffic, extreme temperatures, and high humidity can all make your engine work harder and require sooner oil changes.