How long can you go past your oil change?

I was due for an oil change 900 miles ago, but the earliest I can schedule an appointment is next week. I have to drive out of state tomorrow and I’m worried about ruining my car. Do you know how long I can go past an oil change?

R.E. Fulton · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Most cars can last 5,000 to 7,500 miles before needing an oil change. If your car uses synthetic oil, you may be able to go even longer between oil changes: up to 10,000 to 15,000 miles.
But driving past your oil change due date can potentially cause damage to your engine.
The numbers above are general guidelines, and won’t apply to every make and model—especially if you own an older vehicle. Check your
owner’s manual
to see when you should change your oil and follow accordingly.
If you notice any of the following warning signs, you may want to think about changing your oil more immediately: 
  • Change in oil color and consistency
  • Smell of burning oil
  • Engine emitting knocking noises
  • Dashboard warning light comes 
If you notice any of these, you should probably postpone your out-of-state trip—or try to make an appointment somewhere else to get your oil changed before you go. 
MORE: How often should I get an oil change?
View full answer 
Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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