Modern Oil Types and Increased Oil Change Intervals

2nd Nov 2020

man refilling car engine oil

Every car engine needs oil, but not just any oil will do. Today’s modern car engines are designed with efficiency in mind with engine parts and components built to the same exacting standards, requiring modern oils that meet specific automaker and industry specifications. Using the right oil and documenting its use over time is critical to ensure reliable and long-lasting service.

That brings us to the importance of oil changes and oil type. We’ll also look at modern oils and what you should know about synthetic blend oil change frequency.

What are Modern Oils?

The latest car models require modern oils - these are synthetic-blend or full-synthetic oils with low viscosity. These resource-conserving and multi-grade oils are designed for lubricating conventional internal combustion car engines. While older cars may still use conventional crude-oil-based engine oils, synthetic oil is the preferred option for newer cars.

Why? Because it’s better at minimizing friction, maximizes fuel economy, evaporates less rapidly, is more chemically stable, won’t produce sludge as quickly as conventional oil, won’t thicken in cold weather, and lasts longer. However, choosing the right synthetic oil is not always easy. You have to get the right oil type and follow the recommended oil change intervals for your car make and model — these details are provided in your car’s owner manual.

Why Change the Oil?

Over time, contaminants build up in your motor oil, causing sludge issues and reducing oil viscosity. While the oil filter is designed to do that job, it has a limited capacity, after which it won’t keep the contaminants from circulating in your engine. You want clean oil lubricating your engine, so change it when the replacement interval comes.

Recommended Oil Change Intervals

Many drivers still stick with the 3,000-mile oil change guideline that has been around for many years. But with the innovations in more efficient engines, tighter build tolerances, fuel injection, and higher-quality modern oils, manufacturers have updated their oil change intervals and oil type recommendations. Often, 5,000-10,000 miles is the new norm with synthetic oils.

  • Oil change intervals in older cars - Oil changes are often based on mileage and have two maintenance schedules - one for cars driven in ‘normal” conditions and others under ‘severe’ operation. If you’re driving in extremely wide-ranging weather conditions, doing lots of short trips, sustained stop-and-go driving, or frequently carrying heavy loads, you’ll need to follow the more rigorous oil change schedule.
  • Oil change intervals in newer cars - Most modern cars come with automated oil-monitoring systems that determine and notify you when an oil change is needed with an alert on the instrument panel — again, make sure you’re using the right oil type. These systems analyze the car operating conditions to identify when the oil starts degrading. Whenever you change your oil, ensure that the oil-monitoring system is reset.

Key Takeaway

men checking a car engine

For modern cars, you should check your engine oil levels more frequently and top it up as needed. Maintaining proper oil levels helps you avoid costly car repairs resulting from engine wear and damage caused by poor quality oil. If you’re not sure about what oil type you should be using, refer to your car’s owner manual or consult your mechanic on the correct synthetic blend oil change frequency recommended for your car make and model.

Shop Performance Car Engine Oils

Looking for classic performance engine oil for your Nissan 240Z? Need synthetic engine oil for your latest tune-up? Get started at Enjuku Racing. We specialize in premium aftermarket upgrades for the Nissan 240SX and a wide variety of other vehicles. Connect with our customer service department to learn more about oil change intervals and oil type recommendations.