How Often Should I Service My Car? Leave a comment

In the course of our vehicle inspections for several clients, we have met cars that had enough oil in their engines but whose engines had knocked or were rehearsing knocking. And I would guess that the first thing that comes to your mind is, “I thought it’s only when your car’s engine runs out of oil that it knocks?”

Well, not exactly. Other factors mostly connected to the oil you use and the frequency of servicing can also ambush your car’s engine till it knocks.

So, How Often Should I Service?


You should as a rule-of-thumb service your engine every 6 months or 6,000 miles (10,000Km). While this is a surprise to most people who nearly service their engines every week, it delights those who would rather schedule servicing for once a year. This 6 months or 6,000 miles is just a guide. Consulting your manufacturer’s manual would give you more specifics with regards to the frequency of oil change and suitable grade (we talked about grades previously).

The answer varies depending on the following:

The Number Of Miles You Drive Often

If your daily routine causes you to shuttle a lot of miles, then definitely, you would want to service more often. This is because you would hit the 6,000miles average benchmark, faster than the person who uses her car for short-distance school runs, only. If you ramp up miles easily, please prioritize not just the servicing of your engine but general maintenance of your vehicle. It’s quite the same if you are caught in traffic often. The build-up of sludge is much easier in this engine condition. You would want to readjust from the earlier suggested 6,000miles, to say 5,000 miles if traffic is your daily nightmare. Again, you are safer referring to your car manufacturer’s manual for when best to have your engine oil changed.

How Well Your Car Has Been Previously Maintained

The history of maintenance is important to how you should service your car, going forward. While a few things are telltale signs of a poorly maintained car, you can’t always tell if there’s huge sludge in the lower half of the engine at the point of purchase. It’s a bit more invasive a process than mere visual assessment or even diagnosis. This leaves you with the choice of ensuring that right after purchase, an experienced mechanic checks thoroughly to rule out the possibility (and impact) of poor maintenance on your freshly purchased pre-owned vehicle. You must after this, stick with a strict schedule of how, when and with what you run your vehicle respective maintenance procedures.

Your Choice Of Oil

Oil grades should be in strict adherence with what is contained in the manufacturer’s manual.  Your choice here refers to if the oil is synthetic, semi-synthetic or simply the regular. Advisably, if you use any of the options less than the synthetic, you would invariably have to service more often than a 6 month duration or every 6,000 miles to avert sludge buildup. It remains the reason why automobile experts will often nudge you to do synthetic oil over the regular ones. Soon, we hope we will be able to bring you a post that captures the major differences between these qualities of oils.

N.B: What we have tried to stress here is the frequency of when you should service your engine. There are a number of other procedures that amount to the proper maintenance of your vehicle and their duration might differ. Engine oil change is one of the most frequent but not the only procedure.

Not sure of what oil to service your engine with? Feel free to contact us at and we will be glad to guide you. Have your car’s brand, model and mileage at hand before doing so, to enable an accuracy of our response.

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