Driving short distances
Making regular trips of less than 3 to 4 miles, with each followed by several hours of inactivity, can be tough on your engine. The short trip is harder on your engine than longer trips because there is not enough time for the engine to completely warm up and burn off condensation and fuel vapors that form in the crankcase. Over time, these contaminants will accumulate and result in the formation of corrosive acids and sludge, making the oil less effective at doing its job.
The age of your vehicle
Older vehicles or vehicles with higher mileage may require more frequent oil changes. Many new vehicles will have an oil life indicator but older vehicles may not have this feature. Older vehicles tend to use oil less efficiently and will contaminate new oil faster than a new engine.
Driving conditionsIf you are driving in extreme weather conditions you should be aware of the effects this can have on your oil. Consider using a synthetic oil to add some extra protection. In addition to the weather, making trips where you are stopping and starting frequently – such as city driving or bumper to bumper traffic – can do a number on your engine. Sticking to your maintenance plan is even more important if your daily commute includes frequent stopping-and-starting. If you are this type of driver you may benefit from more frequent oil changes – especially if you have an older vehicle.