how long can you go without an oil change

How Long Can You Go Without an Oil Change?

Having a new car comes along with it a car maintenance that should be observed if you want your car to last and of course, function well. There are lots of car maintenance items such as brakes, coolants and transmission, but your engine is running while you’re using it, so oil change should be one of your priorities. Some dealers include oil change in the package like for example, having the first 5K mileage, but beyond that, it’s the car owner’s responsibility to take care of it.

So, how long can you go without an oil change? We’ll have that answered in the next parts. Remember, if a car is not followed thru with a regular maintenance, this might result to a lot of problems in the later part, and the worse would be emergencies on the road while driving which may lead to accidents. Prevention is always better than cure, so just make sure to properly monitor your car’s health.

Why does a car need an oil change?

Let’s get to the basics first. In a nutshell, cars need an oil change simply because a car’s engine oil wears out from time to time after driving thousands of miles and not changing it would mean a lack of lubrication between the internal parts and may cause problems when it comes to functionality. Since the engine is lubricated by oil as well and heat is absorbed from these moving internal parts inside the cars, a friction is created, and therefore, a regular monitoring of when to do an oil change is very significant in order for a car to last.

When do you need an oil change?

There are a lot of signs of when you should have an oil change. You may check the ones below:

  • In the Instrument Panel cluster, if the “oil change” or “check engine” indicators are either turned on, there is something wrong with your car, and by that it means you need an oil change or have it checked by a mechanic
  • If your car mileage is already 3-5K for new cars, then that may need an oil change. Just keep adding it up and monitor it regularly
  • Problems are becoming visible and audible, like for example, you hear engine noise because lack of lubrication results to the engine being teared up slowly and if by the time you’ll check the oil, it’s dirty and dark

So, how long can you drive without an oil change?

There may be specific reasons why the oil hasn’t been changed in your car yet after the signs are already showing, but yes, you can still drive your car even without an oil change. A car can go more or less 5K miles, given the car can still tolerate (make sure the signs above are still not noticeable yet). Moreover, the response of a car without an oil change depends on how old it is.  Automotive mechanics have different perceptions when it comes to having an oil change. 

How many months can you go without an oil change?

As to the accepted number of days or weeks or months, it’s more or less 2 weeks and do the oil change after that. You have to be mindful of the proper maintenance of your car; especially if it has already aged and you still don’t want to replace it. However, if you already have the means to do an oil change, then just do it. Always remember, regrets come at last.

Using synthetic oil before doing an oil change. How long can you go without an oil change with synthetic oil?

Synthetic oil can be used if you still don’t have the conventional oil. However, the former costs more than the latter. This is probably because of the additives and because of the synthetic oil being a lot thinner, it flows easier; this allows it to leak easily in areas where there are possibilities of oil leaking in your engine. Nevertheless, you can still use it before using the conventional oil; you can go up between 7,500 to 10,000 miles between oil changes. However, just to make sure that your car is in proper shape, better have it checked by a mechanic if a synthetic or conventional suits your car the best.

Automotive dealers provide services for this; there’s no need to worry if you don’t know any mechanic in your place. This is one of the perks if you buy a new car from a dealership; for sure, your car’s maintenance will be taken care of.

Your car can still survive for a number of days even without an oil change

Whether your problem is about finances, no time, got to do other priorities first, and others, you don’t have to worry. You can still use your car. However, the effects of that come in the later part; sometimes, it’s already hard for it to be fixed, or yet, it will cost you a lot bigger compared to properly observing your car’s needs such as doing an oil change. As a reminder, don’t think of just surviving, rather, think of the long term advantage for you. Be mindful of your car’s health. You’ll reap what you sow.


Whether or not you have a lot of reasons, the most important thing to consider is your car’s condition. We use our cars for so many reasons and we should take care of them. They are our possessions and yes, we work hard just to acquire one. So, it’s never a question of how long can you go without an oil change; it’s a question of “when do I need to have an oil change?” This may cost you but it’s still for your safety. And, it will for sure help you save in the long run (lesser to no problems in the engine and internal parts).

Preventive maintenance is a lot more essential than fixing something, therefore, checking your instrument panel cluster as a basic thing to do won’t take you for hours. It’s something that we, car owners should be mindful so that it won’t give us headaches in the end.