Should You Follow the Gauge or Go by Mileage? (Expert Explained)


There is a lot of debate surrounding when you should change your car’s oil- by mileage or by the gauge. Both have their pros and cons, but which one is the right choice for you? In this article, we will discuss both options in detail and help you make the decision that is best for your needs.

To answer the question of the day “Should you follow the gauge or go by Mileage before changing your oil?” I would say the answer is not straightforward. Ultimately, it depends on your car and driving habits.

If you are someone who drives short distances or lives in a city with stop-start traffic, then changing the oil based on mileage may be the best choice for you. This is because frequent starts and stops can cause more wear and tear on the engine over time – meaning more frequent oil changes.

On the other hand, if you drive mostly on highways and your car is newer, then going by the gauge may be more suitable for you. The gauge will take into account all of the factors that go into determining when an oil change is needed such as driving type, temperature levels, altitude, etc., and will offer a more accurate picture.

It all comes down to knowing your car, and driving habits, and being aware of when the oil needs changing. Whichever method you choose to go for, just make sure that you are taking regular trips to the mechanic to get your oil changed. Regularly maintaining your car is essential for its longevity and performance in the long run.

Now that we have a fair knowledge about which method is the best for changing oil, let’s dive in and look at the pros and cons of both methods for changing oil.

Pros of Mileage-Based Oil Changes

There are a lot of advantages of changing oil based on mileage such as:

• Less expensive

• Provides a more consistent maintenance schedule for your car

Let’s take a look at these points in detail

1. Less Expensive

The primary advantage of changing your oil based on mileage is that it can be less expensive. Generally, the rule of thumb is that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles. This provides a good interval for your car to have its oil changed and will save you money in the long run by ensuring that the engine runs optimally without having to pay for more frequent service visits.

I used to oil change every 5000 miles, but I changed my mind to 3000 miles and it has saved me a lot of money in the long run because of the less frequent visits to a service station.

2. Provides a Consistent Maintenance Schedule

Secondly, Mileage-based oil changes can also provide you with a consistent maintenance schedule for your car. With this approach, you’ll know exactly when to bring it in for an oil change and won’t have to worry about guessing or forgetting when it’s due. This can help prevent unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs, as well as provide a more reliable performance from your vehicle over time.

If you have ever forgotten to get your oil changed, you will understand just how important this is.

Cons of Mileage-Based Oil Changes

However, there are also some pitfalls of changing oil based on mileage. These include:

• Costlier in the long run

• Moisture build-up

1. Costlier in the Long Run

First and foremost, mileage-based oil changes may end up costing you more in the long run if you don’t keep track of when to change the oil. If you wait too long between oil changes or don’t follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, then you risk causing additional damage to your engine that could end up costing you a lot more money than just an oil change.

My friend forgot to get his oil changed and ended up having to pay a lot more in the end due to the damage that was done.

2. Moisture Build Up

Another downside to mileage-based oil changes is that they can lead to moisture build-up in the engine over time. This can occur when the engine isn’t running enough and it gets too hot, allowing condensation to form on the oil and causing sludge and other contaminants to form. The only way to prevent this from happening is to make sure that you are changing your oil regularly and keeping an eye on the temperature levels of your engine.

In conclusion, while mileage-based oil changes can be an effective way to save money over time, it’s important to keep track of when you need to get your oil changed. Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of using the gauge-based oil change

Pros of Gauge-Based Oil Changes

Now let’s take a look at some of the advantages that come from changing your car’s oil based on the gauge reading. The most important benefit is:

1. Prolonged engine life span

One of the main advantages of changing your car’s oil based on the gauge reading is that it can help prolong the engine life span. With this approach, you can ensure that your engine is always running at its best and get the most out of each oil change.

This is done by monitoring the engine’s performance and adjusting the oil accordingly. If you see any changes in the performance or mileage, then you can adjust the oil to ensure that it’s performing optimally and lasts longer between oil changes.

2. More Knowledgeable About Your Vehicle

Using gauge-based oil changes can also help you become more knowledgeable about your vehicle and its needs. By monitoring the performance of your engine and adjusting the oil accordingly, you can learn more about what type of oil works best for your car and how to keep it running at its peak performance.

Cons to Gauge-Based Oil Changes

Of course, there are also some downsides to gauge-based oil changes. The main ones include:

• Build-up of Residue and Sludge

• Can be more expensive due to frequent oil changes

• May require additional labor and/or parts to adjust the oil

1. Build Up of Residue and Sludge

The main disadvantage to changing your oil based on the gauge is that it can still leave residue and sludge in the engine due to the lack of frequent checks. This can lead to poor performance and increased wear and tear on the engine over time.

Residue sludge is a build-up of oil and other debris that can accumulate in your car’s engine over time. This build-up can cause problems such as decreased fuel efficiency, increased emissions, and even engine damage if left unchecked.

2. More Expensive

The main disadvantage of gauge-based oil changes is that they can be more expensive due to the need for more frequent oil changes. This is because you’ll need to monitor the performance of your engine and adjust the oil accordingly. This could mean having to change the oil more often than with a mileage-based approach, which can add up over time.

3. Additional Labour and/or Parts

Another disadvantage is that gauge-based oil changes may require additional labor and/or parts to adjust the oil. This can add to the cost of the oil change and may require more time and expertise than a simple mileage-based approach.

Final Thought

When it comes to deciding between gauge-based or mileage-based oil changes, you need to decide which one is best for you. Think about your budget and how much time you’re willing to commit to monitoring and adjusting the oil. If you can afford it and have the time, then gauge-based oil changes may be the best option for you. Otherwise, mileage-based oil changes may be a better choice. When in doubt, always check with your local mechanic or automotive professional to ensure that you’re taking the best.

Thank you for reading. Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand the pros and cons of using gauge-based oil changes. Feel free to comment or post any questions you may have!

Thanks for your time!

Gideon Ansah Baffour

Hello, passionate reader My name is GIDEON BAFFOUR ANSAH. There are a lot of things in this world that I love. My family, my friends, dogs, video games, and of course – everything with engines. It has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. There is just something about them that makes me happy. I've been blazing up the trails and immersing myself in this wonderful hobby turned career and on this website, I'm excited each day to share everything I've learned and continue to learn a day in day out.

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