If you fit one of these 4 profiles, you may need to change your oil more often.
You probably already know the oil-change recommendations for typical drivers, according to your owner’s manual:
- for 2008 and newer model-year vehicles: every 7,500 miles or every six months, whichever comes first.
- for 2007 and older model-year vehicles: every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first.
But many people don’t know that if you regularly operate in certain severe conditions, like the driver types hightlighted below, you may need to change your oil more frequently:
- for 2008 and newer model-year vehicles: every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first.
- for 2007 and older model-year vehicles: every 3,000 miles or every three months, whichever comes first.
So if you find your driver profile here, be sure to move up your scheduled oil-change date to help keep your vehicle—and your life—running smoothly.
Do you have a short daily drive with lots of stop signs or traffic lights? If yes, your engine may not have enough time to warm up. Colder engines can lead to unburned gasoline, which mixes with your oil, reducing your engine’s protection. (Be especially aware of this issue in winter, when people often drive short distances instead of walking in frigid temperatures.)
Hot-Weather Highway Hustler
Driving at higher speeds for a sustained period actually helps the oil warm up and move to critical places in your engine, keeping it well lubricated. But watch out when the weather gets blazing: In high temperatures, oil can get too thin, lose additives and oxidize prematurely—all of which can reduce its strength.
If you live near dirt roads, in polluted environments or in the Southwest and you haven’t replaced your air filter in a while, you may need more frequent oil changes. When motor oil combines with dust, it can turn into an abrasive compound that erodes metals from your system. The resulting sludge—a combination of oil, dust and metal—is not ideal for your engine.
Farmers, construction workers and weekend warriors, heads up: Carrying or towing heavy loads can make your engine run hotter than normal. This can lead to eroded metals, thinner oil viscosity and premature, excessive oxidation—which means you need more frequent oil changes.
If your Ford vehicle is equipped with the Intelligent Oil-Life Monitor, that may notify you of the proper time for an oil change. And no matter what type of driver you are, consult your Ford owner’s manual to be sure you’re using the correct motor oil and weight for your vehicle. While we’re at it, don’t forget: It is extremely important to change your oil filter with at least every other oil change. An oil change, oil-filter check and more is all included in The Works™ maintenance package at your local Ford Dealer Service Center.