BILLINGS - Does your car need an oil change every 3, 5 or even 7-thousand miles? In today's Angie's List report, how often depends on a variety of factors.
"My car is a fairly new car so it has a computer that tells me that it's time for the oil to be changed. It's pretty simple," said Annie Adams. She has the oil changed in her car every 3,000 miles.
Three months of 3,000 miles used to be sound advice on when to change your oil, but times have changed.
"With the improvements made to engine oil as well as cars you need to depend on your owner's manual," said Angie Hicks, the founder of Angie's List.
Vehicles that use conventional motor oil should have their oil changed between 3,000 and 5,000 miles.
"Synthetic oil is better oil. It lasts longer and it protects better. Some cars require synthetic oil," said auto shop owner Jim Trump.
Where and how you drive your vehicle can also play a role. If you're in extreme climates or in stop and go traffic frequently, you may want to increase your oil changes to help out the engine.
"Oil changes lubricate the engine and keep it from wearing. An oil change is the most important thing you probably can do for your car to keep the car healthy," said Jim.
Checking under the hood and vehicle during an oil change can also help your mechanic spot needed repairs or services before major work is needed.
"Develop a good rapport with a regular mechanic who works on your car because that trusting relationship will help you in caring for your car," said Angie.
Angie's List says a common complaint they hear regarding oil changes is upselling. Your best defense against being upsold is to know what the manufacturer recommends at specific intervals for your car.