How Frequently Does Your Car Oil Need to Be Changed?

By: Whitehorse Toyota   |   31 Aug 2022

Before you reach your vehicle’s suggested mileage, changing your engine's oil is neither harmful nor beneficial. However, the consequences of not changing your oil on time? These can be dire. 

Lubricating the engine allows the moving parts to move freely and reduces wear and tear from friction. The engine may also take in heat from the combustion of the fuel in your machine. 

Remember, motor oil's lubricating and heat-absorbing qualities degrade over time. If you leave your engine oil sitting for too long, it will gather grime, corrode, and sustain other serious harm. That's why you need to know when to change your car oil.

How to Know When to Change Your Car Oil

Several elements determine whether a vehicle needs new motor oil or not. Experts claim that the frequency of oil changes is significantly influenced by how frequently a car is used. Commercial vehicles require frequent oil changes, whether used to transport passengers or goods. Alternatively, you can follow the standard schedule advised by your dealer if you frequently use your car, such as on daily commutes from home to work.

You should follow a regular oil change schedule for preventive maintenance. If you don't comply, your warranty will be void, which is something you don't want. Typically, the owner's manual for your car contains the maintenance schedule. Even then, there are other ways to determine if your car needs an oil change.

If you're unsure when the time is right, here are the obvious signs that your car oil needs to be changed:

  1. Dark Oil

Fresh, clean motor oil appears as a brilliant amber liquid to someone who has never seen it before. It darkens and gets stained with engine dirt when used. You must be cautious and check your engine oil at least once a month because it won't be noticeable when this starts.

Make it a routine to check the state of your oil regularly. Look at the oil's colour on your oil dipstick. Use a paper towel to get a more accurate reading to wipe the dipstick's end. It is time to replace the oil if it is black or dark brown.

  1. Engine Noise

Over time, engine oil becomes stale and worn. Because of this, automakers advise getting an oil change every 4500 km or so. Your car's oil may get thicker and dirtier if it is old.

This will make it more difficult for the engine oil to lubricate its parts effectively. If your machine is not properly lubricated, it will start making various metal-on-metal noises. In this case, you should change your oil immediately as delaying the issue could seriously harm your engine.

  1. Burnt Oil

If your car's interior smells like burned oil, you may have a leak or another similar issue. It can also suggest that your engine may have run out of oil, which has increased the temperature. 

To remedy this, replace the oil and fix the oil leak as soon as you can. If you smell gasoline or exhaust fumes, your car may be overheating. In either scenario, you need to plan maintenance right away.


There is no definite answer regarding how often you must change your car oil. However, it is generally recommended that you change your car oil every 4500 km or every three months, whichever comes first. Additionally, be sure to keep Toyota Connected Services handy to stay up to date on your Toyota’s maintenance, thanks to its vehicle health reports. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your car runs smoothly and efficiently for a long time.

If you need an oil change or other repairs for your Toyota, visit a Toyota service centre in the Yukon and have your vehicle checked by the pros.   Whitehorse Toyota is a full-service Toyota vehicle and genuine Toyota parts retailer, and we have some of the most experienced factory-trained service technicians in the business. If you need help, book a service appointment immediately!


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