You might not need to change your oil every 3,000 miles anymore, but regularly scheduled oil changes are still a major maintenance and money saver.

Key Takeaways:

  • Oil changes are essential maintenance
  • The 3000-mile rule shouldn’t be followed without question
  • Oil changes avoid accidents and extra expense during car shipping
  • The health and safety of vehicles and owners can depend on regular oil changing

Oil changes are an essential part of being a proactive car owner. The old mantra of doing so once every 3,000 miles has been drummed into drivers for decades, yet many still forget or avoid this form of maintenance. This can be a good thing in some ways: The vehicles of today are light years ahead of past models, which makes the “3,000 miles” advice less applicable than it was.

There is no denying an oil change is vital but understanding that there’s no one-size-fits-all schedule in getting it right avoids being too early or too late with the lubrication. This guide will cover contributing factors to the proper timeframe for your car and the negative outcomes oil changes avoid.

Factors to consider before changing your oil

Scientific American reported a study recommending that drivers who travel around 10 miles a trip should aim for a twice-yearly oil change, as should those who frequently start their engines on cold oil. Such short-distance drivers will probably need to change oils long before the outdated 3000-mile mark. Upwards of 20-miles-a-day drivers should consult their vehicle’s manual for the best oil change frequency.

The owner’s manual is a good place to start forming an oil change strategy if your car is new. Youth and age affect cars like they do humans, so younger vehicles will go longer without the need for an oil change while older models will need more attention and likely more oil swaps as the miles and years mount up. Where you live can also impact the ideal time for an oil change: Extremes of hot or cold or areas with a lot of dirt or gravel roads are likely to require more frequent changes.

The type of oil used is also a change rate factor. Synthetic oils last longer than standard ones and need to be changed less often. Alternatively, high-mileage oils can help older vehicles avoid this maintenance for longer. Using either of these will further influence the “right” time to change your vehicle’s oil.

How oil changes relate to car shipping

Successful car transport means checking important boxes before the vehicle is shipped. Changing the oil before departure is another good idea. Your car will have to be driven to varying degrees during the auto shipping process due to onboarding, off-boarding, and whether you chose to drive the vehicle to and from a carrier’s terminal.

The small expense of a pre-transport oil change can protect you from greater financial liability. This maintenance can help reveal any leaks your vehicle may have and get them addressed before it starts its journey. Many miles of your car dripping oil all over the other cars in transit, as well as the carrier truck itself, will land you with cleanup expenses much higher than the cost of an oil change.

The benefits of a regular oil change

An infusion of fresh oil keeps engines running while extending their life. Well-scheduled changes can do a lot more than that by keeping you, your vehicle, and your bottom line healthy in the following ways:

Prevent engine seizure: Your engine will get vocal when it’s time for an oil change because lubrication levels between its parts will drop. This results in louder engine function that can manifest as rumbling, rattling, and screeching as metal grinds against metal. Oil changes guarantee smooth running and a healthier, quieter engine that won’t fuse itself together or tear itself apart.

  • Avoid strong scents: Oil levels can also drop because the lubricant is escaping. Engine leaks can be detected by smelling oil or exhaust when inside the vehicle. Ask a mechanic to check for leaks and refill any lost oil to avoid these unpleasant and dangerous fumes.
  • Temperature control: Oil can be an engine coolant as well as a lubricant in some models. Engine heat gets transferred into the oil, which in turn goes through a cooler before returning to the engine to regulate its temperature. This repeated hot cycle exposes the oil to thermal breakdown, which decreases its viscosity and reduces its cooling and lubricating potential over time. Regular oil changes are necessary so the oil can maintain enough integrity to do its job.
  • Financial savings: The maintenance savings alone are enough to change the oil regularly. A new engine can cost between $4,000 to $7,000, not to mention the labor costs and piecemeal expenses of an engine on its way to failure. Regular oil changes deliver further savings in terms of improved gas mileage leading to lower costs when filling up. How often and how far you drive decides how significant these savings will be.
  • Cleaner oil: Running an engine is a dirty business. Sediment, grit, and other liquid and particulate matter build up in oil over time. A regular change gets rid of this grimy stuff that can become a thick sludge that proves highly abrasive to engine parts or doesn’t move enough to sufficiently lubricate. The reaction between oil chemicals, heat, and oxygen can also create acids that lead to engine corrosion.

The return on investment of regularly scheduled oil changes is huge compared to the minimal outlay of time, cost, and effort. This maintenance can also expose other potentially costly issues before they cause serious trouble. Keep on top of it, and your car shipping experience will go much more smoothly.

Your whole vehicle is in good hands with Mercury Auto Transport

The Mercury Auto Transport knowledge base is full of handy advice on every aspect of car transport. We are a full-service auto shipping broker specializing in connecting reliable carriers with customers all across the country. You can contact our team today to find out more about making your next car shipping experience safer and more cost-effective.

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FAQs

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.