Most cars today can last up to 10,000 miles before needing an oil change. On-board computers also notify the driver when the engine oil is low and should be changed. For those of you with older vehicles, it is recommended your oil be changed every 3,000 miles, but is this actually true? Oil filters need to be changed more so than the actual oil itself. The K&N oil filter becomes clogged from debris and shavings from frequent driving.
Common practice is to always change the oil when you change your K&N oil filter. This isn’t done because the oil is dirty, but rather the oil has broken down and will not protect your engine like fresh oil would. There are different types of oils that are intended to last longer like synthetic oils. These are performance oils that are stronger and claim they do not need to be changed every 3,000 miles. This can be true, but it is all based on the owner’s discretion. If you think the oil will still do a good job at protecting and lubricating your engine, than you can leave it in after you’ve change your K&N filter.
However, if you do decide to leave this oil in and your engine starts to buck or knock, then you know you have made a bad decision. If you were to leave your oil in for the life of your vehicle, it would destroy your engine and its moving parts in short order. When the oil is broken down, it can no longer lubricate the moving parts.
You can absolutely get away with changing the K&N oil filter without changing your oil. This can be done two times while only changing your oil once, which would be around 6,000 miles or so that the oil could last for. Automotive manufacturers will always tell you to refer to the manual for how often you should change your vehicle’s oil due to warranty and liability reasons.
Older engines have more wear and tear on them so oil should absolutely be changed at the 3,000 mile mark. Newer engines that are just starting to be put to work will last much longer without noticeable damage. If you are very serious about extending your oil then you could monitor it to check the oil’s viscosity level and acid content. This will tell you how well it is still performing.
The K&N oil filter will also last longer than your average economy oil filter due to its cotton media. It can also work with any kind of oils including synthetics, conventional, and blended motor oils. The oil filter is a must to change if you are debating this. Unlike oil, when debris builds up on the K&N filter, it cannot filter the oil. This unfiltered dirt will damage your engine and is the quickest way to destroying it. A replacement engine costs thousands of dollars and could possibly be worth more than the vehicle itself.
Driving longer distances as opposed to stop and go city traffic also plays a role in how quickly you should replace your K&N oil filter and engine oil. Stop and go traffic makes the engine work harder than if it were at a constant speed for a long distance. Therefore, the engine’s oil will be put to the test and need to be changed quicker than vehicles that commute. Vehicle that commute should not change their oil based on the combination of mileage and length of time since it was last serviced. Changing the K&N oil filter a few times before the oil is changed can also be done in this situation.