Get an oil change if I don't drive much?

Tara Baukus MelloDear Driving for Dollars,
I drive my car very little -- less than 3,000 miles a year. Should I still change my oil every 3,000 miles?
-- Gregory

Dear Gregory,
While getting an oil change every 3,000 miles was once the norm, the manufacturers of today's cars usually recommend longer mileage intervals.

That said, since you drive very few miles annually, you should consult your owners manual or go online to the manufacturer's website if you've lost it to see if your car's manufacturer has a recommendation for the length of time between oil changes. It is likely to be annual.

Be sure when you do change your oil that the shop follows the manufacturer's recommendations, or you could possibly cause engine damage to your low-mileage car. For more tips, read Bankrate's "Don't scrimp on your oil change."

Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.

Ask the adviser

If you have a car question, email it to us at Driving for Dollars. Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

Bankrate's content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy. Please remember that your use of this website is governed by Bankrate's Terms of Use.


Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us

Get cost-cutting tips for buying, selling and maintaining your wheels. Delivered monthly.

Partner Center


Tara Baukus Mello

More cars on the road for Thanksgiving

Expect the roads to be crowded this Thanksgiving holiday, with more Americans piling their families into their cars to visit loved ones.  ... Read more

Connect with us