How do I know when my car needs an oil change?

I bought my car five months ago. I don't know how to maintain a car, but I know you are supposed to change the oil regularly. How do I know when that's supposed to happen?

Answer
Oil is the lifeblood of your car, so changing it regularly is what keeps your vehicle in tip-top shape!
To know when you’re supposed to change your oil, consult your car’s owners manual. This should list the proper maintenance schedule for your vehicle, including how often to change the oil.
While maintenance schedules can vary, most experts recommended changing your oil every 3,000 to 7,500 miles. The type of oil you use in your vehicle can impact its performance, so you may need to change the oil more or less frequently than this.
You can also check your oil levels yourself to determine if it may be time for an oil change. If you forget to change or check your oil, most vehicles have an oil alert. If the oil gets too low, you should see an icon illuminated on your dash. If this pops up, you’ll know for sure that it’s time to change your oil.
Changing the oil is essential to keep your car lasting as long as possible. And while insurance won’t cover oil changes, the right car insurance should protect your investment. Use the Jerry app to compare quotes from over 50 car insurance companies to make sure you always have the best coverage for your needs.
Emily Maracle
Answered on Oct 20, 2021
Emily Maracle is a car insurance specialist living in New York. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she has a degree in English Literature and a background in customer service. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and living sustainably. In the future, she can't wait to upgrade to a hybrid or electric car.
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