Q: Do I need to change my oil if it's at 60% oil life?

asked by on July 22, 2016

My recommended service change was at 100,250 miles, but my oil life on my dashboard says 60%. Can I wait a bit longer to change the oil? What are the risks of waiting longer?

My car has 100300 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There is a lot of mixed information about the service life of oil. There are many factors that have an effect on oil life.

Most newer cars like yours are equipped with oil life monitors. Some go by mileage, and some are more dynamic and take into account temperature, how hard the engine is pushed, and more. Some other factors are the age and condition of the engine, and where you live plays a role. If it’s all flat and not in the city, you can stretch it to 6 or 7 thousand miles. If it’s hilly, or city driving, 5K at the most.

Full synthetic oils last much longer than conventional. Now that you have 100,000 miles, I would shorten the interval. Your engine might be using a little more oil now, so check the level once or twice between changes. If the oil level is low, the remaining oil degrades much quicker. It’s always the last thousand miles, or running low on oil, that oil sludge develops. Once it is there, it can not be removed without an engine rebuild.

Summary: I wouldn’t go past 20% oil life remaining. That’s probably around 4 to 5K. Check your oil at least once a month. So your answer is yes, you can wait. Some shops still say 3K or 3 months. That is just a waste. Make sure the monitor is reset every time the oil is changed and I would change it between 40 and 20 percent.

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