Car Care Tips

Tips to keep your car on the road.

Maintenance November 10, 2014

Oil Change Intervals at Virginia Tire & Auto

Oil Change Schedule
At Virginia Tire & Auto, we recommend that customers change their oil as often as their vehicle manufacturer instructs. A vehicle manufacturer’s recommended oil change interval can be found in the vehicle owner’s manual (vehicles equipped with oil life monitoring systems will also notify the driver when an oil change is required).

In addition, your Virginia Tire & Auto sales associate will access your vehicle’s oil change schedule electronically and advise what oil change interval is recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. When an oil change is performed at Virginia Tire & Auto, the oil change mileage interval will be printed on your invoice and will be used to calculate the mileage for the next recommended oil change interval, as set forth on the oil change reminder sticker that is placed on your vehicle’s windshield.

Normal v. Severe
Owner’s manuals usually contain two different maintenance schedules—one for normal service and one for severe service, depending on how the vehicle is driven. Manufacturers use these classifications to recommend how often you should have services, such as oil changes, performed on your vehicle.

The definition of severe service driving varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and sometimes even from one model year to the next.

Vehicle manufacturers generally suggest that if your driving habits frequently include one or more of the following driving conditions then you should follow the severe service schedule:

  • Repeated short trips of less than 5 miles
  • Repeated short trips of less than 10 miles with outside temperatures remaining below freezing
  • Driving in hot weather in stop-and-go “rush hour” traffic
  • Extensive idling and/or low speed driving for long distances, such as police, taxi or door-to-door delivery use
  • Driving in dusty conditions or on rough, muddy, or salt spread roads
  • Towing a trailer, using a camper or a car-top carrier

If none of the driving conditions described above apply to your driving habits then vehicle manufacturers generally suggest following a vehicle’s normal service schedule.

Because of the driving conditions in Northern Virginia, and research indicating that only about 20 to 40 percent of vehicles are regularly driven under normal conditions*, Virginia Tire & Auto defaults to the vehicle’s severe maintenance schedule when setting oil change intervals. If you would like to modify the oil change schedule stated on your oil change reminder sticker, please notify your sales associate, who will happily honor your request.

*See Filter Manufacturers Council, Technical Service Bulletin 94-1R1, October 2006; and AAA Study Finds Most Motorists Drive Under Severe Conditions, Do Not Realize It, Heather Huner, October 1, 2009.

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